He was raised on the West Coast of the North Island and in 1952 went to Te Aute Māori Boys’ College where he spent the next six years
- Tiwhia. "Values of a Māori Boarding Schoo." Te Ao Hou 25 (1958): 12.
- "Values of a Māori Boarding School." Te Ao Hou 25 (1958): 12-13.
- Tiwhia describes his six years as a student at Te Aute Māori Boys’ College and writes how influential the school was in cultivating his Māori identity and knowledge of the Māori language and culture. Tiwhia is a strong advocate for the retention of Māori Church Schools despite their falling rolls and economic struggles.