Edward Macpherson Kohu (Ted) Douglas

Ngāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe

1942 -

Edward Douglas was born in St Kilda and was educated in schools in Otago and Hutt Valley High School, Lower Hutt. He continued his studies at Victoria University and Auckland University and graduated with a B.Sc and an M.Sc. He has a New Zealand Trained Teacher’s Certificate. He was president of the New Zealand Federation of Māori Students in 1966. Douglas was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to do post-graduate study in Demography and Sociology at the University of West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, and later worked for the Jamaican Ministry of Education as a Planner. In 1970 he returned to New Zealand and was appointed Lecturer in Geography at Victoria University. In 1973 he became Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Anthropology at the University of Waikato. From 1982-1984 he was Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Māori Studies and Research at Waikato University. In March 1987 Douglas was seconded to the Royal Commission on Social Policy as the Senior Research Officer; he worked with the Royal Commission until it reported and was disbanded in May 1988. Douglas has been involved with contract work for the Department of Māori Affairs and for the Iwi Transition Agency. He has made a number of submissions to the Waitangi Tribunal including the Manakau claim, Ngāti Awa claim, Te Reo claim and broadcasting frequencies claim. He is involved on the Housing Committee of the National Māori Congress and has done consultancy work for the Tainui Trust Board. Douglas has been a member of the board of trustees of Hato Petera College in Auckland. Douglas has written over fifty academic monographs, papers, reports, tribunal submissions and journal articles. His poetry has been published in Te Ao Marama and his short stories remain unpublished.

Biographical sources

  • Interview, phone conversation, and correspondence with Ted Douglas, 25 Aug. 1992, 6 Aug. and 26 Sept. 1998.


  • Report on the Future of Queen Victoria School: Ed. E. Douglas and I. Nottingham. No details.
  • This is a proposal commissioned by the St. Stephens and Queen Victoria Trust Board for new directions in the education of Māori women occasioned by the faltering state of funding and enrolments at Queen Victoria School.
  • "Māori Representation. E Nga Iwi, Whakarongo Mai." Comment 11.1 (1970): 27-28.
  • Douglas states that "this article argues that the Māori parliamentary electorates and the role of Māori in parliament should be determined by Māori rather than as add-ons to mainstream party politics. The article notes the chronic under-representation of Māori and Māori issues in parliament as a consequence of an assimilationist agenda derived by Pakeha."
  • Recent Demographic Changes in New Zealand. [Hamilton, N.Z.]: U of Waikato, 1974. [U of Waikato, Working papers in sociology, no. 9]
  • Looks critically at change in fertility, mortality and migration in New Zealand over the previous decades and discusses the social impact that such changes have on social and cultural affairs.
  • Population and Population Policy for New Zealand: Submissions to the Social Council for World Population Year. [Hamilton, N.Z.]: U of Waikato, 1974. [U of Waikato, Working papers in Sociology, no. 10]
  • This is a plea that New Zealand develop a comprehensive population policy which would inform other social and economic goals and processes.
  • New Zealand Participation in the World Fertility Survey: A Proposal. Hamilton, N.Z.: U of Waikato, 1977. [Working papers in Sociology, no. 12, June 1977]
  • This proposal recommends New Zealand involvement in the World Fertility Survey. Douglas notes two existing New Zealand reports on family design and fertility control published in 1976 and 1977, and he discusses potential alternative sources of information. He also assesses the economic and welfare benefits of the World Fertility Survey in New Zealand and possible disadvantages.
  • Fertility Decline and Socio-cultural Change: The Case of the New Zealand Māori. [Hamilton, N.Z.]: U of Waikato, Centre for Māori Studies and Research, 1977. [U of Waikato, Centre for Māori Studies and Research. Occasional Paper, no. 2, April 1977].
  • Douglas writes that this paper "is an attempt to apply [J.C.] Caldwell’s reformulation of transition theory to the recent and rapid fertility decline amongst the New Zealand Māori." Douglas examines the demographic causes, social and economic determinants, and psychological reinforcements of high fertility in rural Māori society. He then discusses in detail the path to low fertility in the transitional Māori society from post-Second World War up till the 1970s.
  • "The New Net Goes Fishing: Fertility Changes Amongst the Māori of New Zealand." The Persistence Of High Fertility. Ed. John C. Caldwell. Canberra, Austral.: Department of Demography, ANU, 1977. 661-678.
  • In this comprehensive paper, Douglas considers explanations for two key questions concerning contemporary Māori fertility: why the Māori fertility remained high for so long and what caused the changes to lower fertility.
  • "Te Māori." Pacific Viewpoint 20 (1979): 103-109.
  • Douglas writes that this article "is a part of a wider survey of the 1970s decade in New Zealand affairs. It summarises social cultural and economic trends as they have affected Māori in the decade viz. 1970-79."
  • "He Timatanga." Waiora, Waimāori, Waikino, Waimate, Waitai. Papers given to Seminar on Water and the Environment. Hamilton, N.Z.: Centre for Māori Studies, U of Waikato, 1984. 5.
  • In the introduction, Douglas provides a Māori classification system for water: waiora, waiMāori, waimate and waitai. He also edited the full conference report. This short paper was later published as "Fresh Water: Waiora: A Water Typology." Terra Nova 8 (1991): 17.
  • Māori Under-Development: Submissions to the Employment Promotion Conference, and the Māori Employment Conference, Wellington, March 1985. Wellington, N.Z.: The Māori Economic Development Commission, [1985].
  • Co-authored and prepared by Edward M. K. Douglas and John Dyall. In this paper the authors examine the cumulative causation of Māori under-development and list six contributing causes. They discuss possible solutions and present seven "proposals for change in the area of employment and skill training." They conclude that "Māori resources are under-developed and under-utilised. The task at hand is to enhance their development so that Māori communities can benefit and through this, the whole nation can benefit by an increase in goods and services. Current policies of central government will only serve to perpetuate Māori under-development and dependency. As well, the cost to the nation will continue to escalate, at a time when there is need for fiscal restraint."
  • "Nga Kohanga Reo: a Salvage Programme for the Māori Language." Nga Tumanako: Report Of The Māori Educational Development Conference. Ed. R. Walker. Auckland, N.Z.: Centre for Continuing Education, 1985.
  • Co-authored with Rahera B. Douglas. This paper was presented at the ANZAAS Science Congress in Perth in 1983. Douglas states that "it applauds the initiative of kohanga reo (TKR), and discusses some of the pedagogical, social and cultural difficulties encountered in the first two years of TKR."
  • Fading Expectations: The Crisis in Māori Housing: A Report for the Board of Māori Affairs. [Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Māori Affairs], 1986.
  • This publication of seven chapters was commissioned by the Board of Māori Affairs with the purpose of investigating the housing needs of Māori families in Tai Tokerau. Douglas outlines the current situation of Māori housing, assesses the demand for housing, discusses the philosophical objectives of renting and buying, and examines demographic evidence. He looks at the agencies which provide housing for Māori; these include the Department of Māori Affairs and the Housing Corporation. In the remaining three chapters, Douglas gives evidence concerning the unmet demand for Māori housing, looks at housing in Tai Tokerau and lists proposals for action. The publication concludes with a Bibliography and two appendices: "Research Proposal: Māori Women’s Welfare League", and "Purchase of Garages from MRC, Ruakaka."
  • Te Tumu o Tainui: A Commemorative Souvenir of the Opening of Te Tini o Tainui Dining Hall by the Prime Minister The Rt Hon David Lange. Maketu Marae, Kawhia, November 1, 1986. Comp. Tuauru Forbes. Ed. Te Kohu Douglas and Te Aue Davis. Maketu Marae Trustees, 1986. No further details.
  • This contains historical and contemporary studies of the marae at Maketu, Kawhia, where the Tainui canoe is said to have been buried. It includes a description of the ancestral house Auaukiterangi, the old dining room Te Ruruhi, and Maimai Aroha the house used by Te Ariki Tapaeru and her family.
  • He Whakaro Taunaki no te Tari Taiwhenua: A Discussion Paper. Ed. E. Douglas. [Wellington, N.Z.]: Department of Internal Affairs, 1988.
  • "Te Reo o Te Tiriti Mai Ra Ano: The Treaty Always Speaks." Royal Commission on Social Policy: Te Komihana A Te Karauna Mo Nga Ahuatanga-A-Iwi. The April Report Vol. 3. Pt. 1, 1988. Wellington, N.Z.: The Royal Commission on Social Policy, 1988. 77-220.
  • Co-authored with Manuka Henare.
  • "Nga Take i Puawai Mai i Nga Wananga: Issues Raised in the Discussions." Royal Commission on Social Policy: Te Komihana A Te Karauna Mo Nga Ahuatanga-A-Iwi. The April Report Vol. 3. Pt. 1, 1988. Wellington, N.Z.: The Royal Commission on Social Policy, 1988. 221-278.
  • Co-authors Manuka Henare and Edward Douglas.
  • "New Directions in Social Policy." The New Zealand Official Yearbook, 1988-9. Wellington, N.Z.: Dept. of Statistics, 1988.
  • Māori Health Workforce In The Wanganui Area: Report Of The Pilot Study Undertaken In October-December 1988 To Determine The Māori Employee Component Of Wanganui Health Services-Roopu Kaimatu Hau Ora Mo Wanganui; Te Purongo Mo Te Ata Titiro Tuatahi, Ki Te Whiriwhiri I Tetahi Ahua Mo Te Wahanga Ratonga Hau Ora, I Whakahaeretia I Oketopa-Tihema 1988. Wellington, N.Z.: Māori Health Workforce Development Commission, Department of Health, 1989.
  • A report on a study by Douglas examining the health services workforce in the region served by the Wanganui Area Health Board. The study aimed "to determine and quantify the extent that Māori are involved in professional, paid, and voluntary service, and to determine how many of those involved were Māori." Douglas notes that the study demonstrates a very low degree of Māori involvement in the health service in Wanganui, apart from their role in the client group. He adds that the lack of Māori in professional roles in Wanganui is "repeated in most or all other health districts and health areas in New Zealand."
  • Hui Manawhenua: Proceedings of the Conference Hui Manawhenua: Rotorua, 9-12 April 1990. Chief ed. Edward M. K. Douglas. Ed. Ann La Porta and Pauline McKay. [Wellington, N.Z.]: Hui Manawhenua, 1991.
  • This consists of the papers and proceedings of a conference on indigenous peoples from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and U.S.A. The conference was held to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
  • "Fresh Water: Waiora: A Water Typology." Terra Nova 8 (1991): 17.
  • "Te Iwi Māori." Pacific Viewpoint 32.2 (1991): 129-138.
  • This paper discusses the demographic social, political and cultural changes which have affected Māori.
  • "Māori Language Nests (Kohanga Reo) and Their Impact on New Zealand Communities." Journal of Indigenous Studies 3.1 (1992). No further details.
  • Douglas discusses Māori initiatives in education at pre-school and primary school which have provided opportunities for the immersion of Māori children in education institutions where the language of instruction (and the target language) is Māori. Within these language nests, the social organisation and the philosophy of the institution are determined by Māori and derived from Tikanga Māori.
  • "The Rights of the Indigenous Child - Reconciling the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People" Eds. E. Douglas and R. B. Douglas The International Journal of Children’s Rights 3.2 (1995). No further details.
  • Poetry

  • "Maumahara (in Remembrance)." In "Three Poems of Solitude." Te Ao Mārama: Contemporary Māori Writing. Comp. and ed. Witi Ihimaera. Contributing ed. Haare Williams, Irihapeti Ramsden and D. S. Long. Vol. 5: Te Torino: The Spiral. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1996. 111-112.
  • A poem written in remembrance of a young Māori who committed suicide.
  • ""Tangimoana (Sounds of the Sea).” In “Three Poems of Solitude.” Te Ao Mārama: Contemporary Māori Writing. Comp. and ed. Witi Ihimaera. Contributing ed. Haare Williams, Irihapeti Ramsden and D. S. Long. Vol. 5: Te Torino: The Spiral. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1996. 112-113.
  • A sensory evocation of the polarities of passion and solitude experienced by the speaker.
  • "Hiamoe (Sleepy)." In “Three Poems of Solitude.” Te Ao Mārama: Contemporary Māori Writing. Comp. and ed. Witi Ihimaera. Contributing ed. Haare Williams, Irihapeti Ramsden and D. S. Long. Vol. 5: Te Torino: The Spiral. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1996. 113.
  • As the landscape changes into darkness, the troubled thoughts of the speaker are not alleviated by the onset of sleep.
  • Reviews

  • Rev. of Return to Sender, by Wira Gardiner. He Pukenga Kōrero: A Journal of Māori Studies 2.1 (1996): 73-77.
  • Theses

  • "A Migration Study of Cook Islanders." M.Sc Diss. Victoria U,. No further details.
  • "Generational Changes in Fertility from a Sample of Māori Families in the Wider Waikato and Maniapoto Region." Diss. No details.
  • Monographs have been published from this thesis.


  • Erai, Michelle, Fuli, Everdina, Irwin, Kathie, and Wilcox, Lenaire. Māori Women: An Annotated Bibliography. [Wellington, N.Z.]: Michelle Erai, Everdina Fuli, Kathie Irwin and Lenaire Wilcox, 1991. 7.