Mihipeka-Rukuhia Edwards

Waikato, Te Arawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Maniapoto

1918 - 2008

Mihipeka-Rukuhia Edwards was born in Tapuika, lived in Rotorua for five years and moved to Manakau where she lived from the ages of five to sixteen. She started writing in 1988 at the age of seventy when she felt the story of her age group needed to be written. She wrote by hand for hours and hours night and day. Her endeavour was supported by Robyn Kahukiwa, Pat Grace and Bruce Stewart. Mihi states: “I wrote Mihipeka to try and tell people what really happened and why. First of all because of the language and how it was lost.” Mihi started writing her second book straight after Mihipeka was completed with Jonathan Dennis as her editor. In 2002 her third book, Mihipeka: Call of an Elder/Karanga a te Kuia completed her three-part autobiography.

Mihi wrote other work about the environment and was broadcast on Radio New Zealand. She read her work at various writers’ conferences and was a kuia for the Family Planning.

Biographical sources

  • Interview and phone conversation with Aunty Mihi Edwards, Aug 1992, and Aug 1997.


  • "This Story is the Only Story." Te Ao Marama: Il mondo della luce: Il cinema della Nuova Zelanda. Torino, It., 1989. 27-29.
  • As told by Aunty Mihi.
  • Mihipeka: Early Years. Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin, 1990. Extracts rpt. in Te Ao Mārama: Contemporary Māori Writing. Volume 1: Te Whakahuatanga O Te Ao: Reflections of Reality. Comp. and ed. Witi Ihimaera. Contributing editors: Haare Williams, Irihapeti Ramsden and D. S. Long. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1992. 62-79.
  • The author’s story of her life from birth in a rural Māori area through her move to more urbanised areas and marriage to a Pakeha in Wellington about the time of the Second World War.
  • Mihipeka: Time of Turmoil: Nga Wa Raruraru. Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin, 1992.
  • A continuation of the author’s story, from her marriage and the birth and raising of her children to her marriage breakup and her return in later life to traditional ways.
  • Mihipeka: Call Of An Elder/Karanga A Te Kuia.Wellington, [N.Z.]: Steele Roberts, [2002].
  • Non-fiction

  • "Te Timatanga." Toi Wāhine: The Worlds of Māori Women. Ed. Kathie Irwin and Irihapeti Ramsden. Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin, 1995. 15-18.
  • Illustrated by Robyn Kahukiwa.
  • Other

  • "Mihi Edwards (Aunty Mihi)." Interviewed by Pat Rosier. Broadsheet 181 (1990): 33-34.
  • Edwards discusses aspects of her childhood highlighted in her first book Mihipeka, and speaks of her concern for environmental issues.
  • Sound recordings

  • Mihipeka: Early Years. Prod. Rangi Chadwick. Narrator Tungia Baker. Radio New Zealand, 1991.
  • The radio adaptation received a special commendation at the 1992 Mobil Radio Awards in the Best Documentary of Feature Section of spoken programmes.
  • Traditional

  • "He Haka ma te Wāhine." Toi Wāhine: The Worlds of Māori Women. Ed. Kathie Irwin and Irihapeti Ramsden. Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin, 1995. n.pag.
  • Illustrated by Robyn Kahukiwa.


  • Brook, Kip. "Mihi Edwards Continues The Story Of Her Struggle." Northern Advocate 21 Nov. 1992: 11.
  • Carroll, Penelope. "Matriarch And Her Message." New Zealand Herald 21 Nov. 1992: 5.
  • Packer, Ann. "Aunty Mihi Remembers…" Evening Post 11 Nov. 1992: 28.
  • Rosier, Pat. "Mihi Edwards (Aunty Mihi)." Broadsheet 181 (1990): 33-34.
  • Vercoe, Moerangi. "Coming of Age in New Zealand - As a Māori." Dominion Sunday Times 13 May 1990: 10.
  • Vivequin, Wanda. "Surprises Likely Next Time." Northern Advocate 18 Nov. 1992: 5.
  • "Mihipeka Anne [Aunty Mihi]: Kohanga Reo Teacher Led The Way." The Dominion Post 12 June 2008. http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/national/obituaries/484793 19 Aug. 2010.
  • 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.
  • Reviews

    Mihipeka: Call of an elder/Karanga a te kuia
  • Entwisle, Peter et al. "Books." Otago Daily Times 25 Jan. 2003: B8.
  • O’Leary, Michael. "Auntie." Listener 22 Feb. 2003: 53.
  • Riddell, Kate. "Lore Meets law." New Zealand Books 13.3 (2003): 15-16.
  • Sharp, Iain and David Verran. "Bookmarks." Rev. of Playing God, by Glenn Colquhoun. Rev. of Mihipeka: Call Of An Elder (Karanga a Te Kuia), by Mihi Edwards. Sunday Star Times 19 Jan. 2003: C6.
  • Mihipeka: Early Years.
  • Iosefa, Sarona. "Historic Māori Films to be Screened." The Press 15 Oct. 1988. No further details.
  • Barnes, Helen. "Book reviews." Broadsheet 180 (1990): 38.
  • Bennett, Jean. "Woman Tells how the Reo was Lost." Bay Of Plenty Times 16 June 1990. No further details.
  • Eade, Robyn. "Community Feature: A Māori Lifestory." Dunedin Star Weekender 30 Sept. 1990: 6.
  • Evans, Miriama. "Māoridom’s Darkest Days." Dominion 12 May 1990: 7.
  • Fowler, John. "Non-fiction." New and Notable: Books for the Secondary School Library 7.4 (1990): 20.
  • Gale, Glenda. "Non-fiction." Infochoice: A Buying Guide for Secondary School Libraries 6 (1990): 6.
  • Gilbert, Margaret. "Enthusiasm, Anger." Christchurch Star 23 June 1990. No further details.
  • Harris, Timoti and Hugh Barr. "Book Reviews" Rev. of Mihipeka – Early Years, by Mihi Edwards. Rev. of Te Ao te Maori: the Tauiwi, Later immigrants, by Ruth Naumann and Frank Winiata. Social Studies Observer 23.2 (1990): 33.
  • Hetaraka, Janet. "Mihipeka - Telling Her Story from the Heart." Northern Advocate 5 May 1990: 2.
  • Leigh, Jack. "Realisation of Lost Identity." New Zealand Herald 19 May 1990: 6.
  • Marshall, Heather. "Lessons." Evening Post 19 May 1990: 28.
  • McLean, Gavin. "Of Mixed Interest." Otago Daily Times 17 Oct. 1990: 38.
  • McLeod, Aorewa. "Moving Account of Māori Values: A Story Every New Zealander Should Read." Sunday Star 27 May 1990. No further details.
  • "Memories of a Māori Life." Tearaway Nov. 1990. No further details.
  • Wepa, Dianne. "Script: Mihipeka: Early Years." Chaff June 1990. No further details.
  • Whaanga-Schollum, Mere. "Painful, powerful." Listener 3 Sep. 1990: 110.
  • "When Speaking Māori Brought a Strapping." Contact Newspaper 18 May 1990.
  • Mihipeka: Time of Turmoil: Nga Wa Raruraru.
  • Adeane, Jean. "Young Māori Woman Seeking to Stand Tall." Sunday Times 29 Nov. 1992: 22.
  • Baker, Garth, Robert Sullivan and David Robie. "Books." Rev. of Sir Edmind Hillary’s Sagarmatha. Rev. of Mihipeka: Time Of Turmoil, Nga Wa Raruraru, by Mihi Edwards. Rev. of Easter Island, Earth Island, by Paul Bahn and John Flenley. Dominion 14 Nov. 1992: 11.
  • Brookes, Barbara, Gregory O’Brien and Gavin McLean. "Books." Rev. of Mihipeka: Time Of Turmoil, Nga Wa Raruraru, by Mihi Edwards. Rev. of The Art of Alfred Sharpe, by Roger Blackley. Rev. of No right to strike, by David McGill. Evening Post 20 Nov. 1992: 5.
  • Edmond, Lauris Dorothy. "Shedding Light On An Unknown Place." Rev. of Maud and Amber, A New Zealand Mother And Daughter And The Women’s Cause, 1865 To 1981, by Ruth Fry. Rev. of Mihipeka: Time of Turmoil, by Mihi Edwards. New Zealand Books 2.4 (1993): 8.
  • Faith, Rangi. "Between Two Cultures." The Press 13 March 1993: 10.
  • Hoben, Ngaire et al. "Non-fiction." New and Notable: Books for the Secondary School Library 10.1 (1993): 28-30.
  • Packer, Ann. "Auntry Mihi remembers…" Evening Post 11 Nov. 1992: 28.
  • Smyth, Elizabeth. "Nga Wa Raruraru: A Pakeha View." University Review 1.9 (1992): 12.
  • Strange, Glyn et al. "Weekend books." Press 13 Mar. 1993: sup. 10.