Rachael Ngeungeu Te Irirangi Zister née Beamish

Ngāi Tai, Ngāti Paoa

1893 - 1997

She was born in Waiariki, Mercer, and was raised with Te Puea Herangi before attending Mercer School and a finishing school in Auckland. Subsequently she worked for various companies, Native Land Court work. In 1938 she married Canadian William Louis Zister. For some 20 years she was a member of the Tainui Māori Trust Board. She was a Justice of the Peace, was awarded a CBE in 1989, and was a recipient of the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration medal and the New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal. She donated land at Umupuia for a marae for Ngai Tai.

Biographical sources

  • McCollum, Maureen & Robert McCollum. “Zister, Rachael Ngeungeu Te Irirangi 1893 – 1997”. Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007 URL: http://www.dnzb.govt.nz
  • The original version of this biography was published in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography Volume Five (1941-1960), 2000


  • "Te Puea Herangi." Biography of New Zealand Women: Ko Kui ma te Kaupapa. Ed. Charlotte MacDonald, Meremere Penfold and Bridget Williams. Wellington, N.Z.: Bridget Williams, 1991. 664-669.
  • Co-authors Tui MacDonald with Ngeungeu Zister.


  • "100 years for Kuia." Te Māori News 2.17 (Oct. 1993): 3.
  • Carroll, Penelope. "A Century of Sellf-Determination." New Zealand Herald 9 Oct, 1993. S2:6.
  • "Rachael Ngeu Ngeu Zister." Journal (Wesley Historical Society New Zealand), 1994: 57.
  • Fox, Derek. "Grew Up With Te Puea." Mana: the Māori News Magazine for All New Zealanders 8 (Feb./Apr. 1995): 81-83.
  • "He Maimai Aroha." Mana: The Māori News Magazine for All New Zealanders 17 (Aug/Sept. 1997): 14-16.
  • "He Poroporoaki." Te Māori News: Māori Weekly Newspaper Feb. 1997: 2.
  • "Lives of Note." Evening Post 29 May 1997: 7.
  • "Matriarch Lived Life For Māori." New Zealand Herald 23 May 1997: A7.