Robert Te Ngaungau (Bob) Tukiri

Tainui, Ngāti Hikairo, Tainui Awhiro

1932 -

Robert Tukiri was born in Huntly and was educated at Huntly Primary School and Raglan District High School. He began farming at Raglan at the age of fourteen after the tragic death of his parents, sister and a neighbour. He went on to work at the freezing works, glass works, sugar refinery in Auckland, and shearing gangs in Hawkes Bay. He spent thirty years working in engineering with Telecom from He has been involved in local body politics in Huntly as a Huntly Borough Councillor for fifteen years, and he served one term on the Waikato District Council. He was a commissioner with the Hilary Commission from its inception from For 32 years, he was a member of the New Zealand Māori Rugby League Board and chair for fourteen years. He jointly chaired the Māori Board and Waikato Provincial Rugby League Board for five years. He is currently a commissioner of the NZ Māori Rugby League. He has been a JP for eleven years. Tukiri has written articles for the local paper on the importance of participation in sport and has written submissions. He has always been a champion of the underdog.

Biographical sources

  • Phone conversation with Bob Tukiri on 30 July and 6 August, 1998.


  • [No Title]. He Kōrero mo Waitangi, 1984: He Tohu Aroha, Ki Nga Tupuna: "Talk, Conciliate and Heal". Ed. Arapera Blank, Manuka Henare and Haare Williams. [Ngaruawahia], N.Z.: Te Runanga o Waitangi, 1985. 64.
  • In this short terse statement made at the Waitangi Hui in 1984, Tukiri urges Māoridom to become less dependant on the State and actively build up their own economic base. This is an extract from a four-page submission by Tukiri to a two-man commission appointed by the government to examine the restructure of the social welfare system early in the 1980s. His submission focussed on breaking the dependency of Māori on the welfare system.