Wharehuia Hemara

Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngā Puhi

1950 -

Wharehuia Hemara was educated at St John’s College in Hamilton from 1968-69 and attended Waikato University from He travelled and worked overseas visiting Europe, North Africa, Asia, America and Australia. From 1981-84 he attended Auckland University where he graduated with a B.A. majoring in Māori and Archaeology. He was President of the Māori Students’ Association at Auckland University and was a member of the Auckland University Marae Planning Committee and Māori Representative on the Auckland Students’ Association Executive Committee. In 1986 he obtained a Diploma of Librarianship at the School of Librarianship at Victoria University. From 1987-88 Hemara was awarded a James Cook Scholarship (Blackwells of Oxford) to study access to information to, for and by indigenous minorities in North America. From 1985-1988 he was Māori Literature Specialist at the Auckland Public Library and was Kaitiaki i Nga Kōrero Kōrero Māori/Guardian of Māori Manuscripts of the Alexander Turnbull Library for a number of years. He has been a member and secretary of Te Roopu Tainui ki Whanga-nui-a-Tara and has chaired the Poutama, the Māori network within the National Library. From 1989-91, he co-curated a major Alexander Turnbull National Library exhibition "Nga Kupu Kōrero - The People of the Treaty Speak." In 1986 he curated two exhibitions for Auckland Public Library: "Nga Kupu a Tu - Words of Dissent" and "Te Mobil - A Response to Mobil Involvement in Te Māori."

Biographical sources

  • Interview and phone conversation with Wharehuia Hemara, Aug. 1992 and Sept. 1998.


  • "Māori Collections in Public Institutions." Library Life, 1985. No further details.
  • "Grey New Zealand Māori Manuscripts." Archifacts 1986. No further details.
  • "Treasures At Your Local Library." Te Iwi o Aotearoa (1987): 18. No further details.
  • Hemara provides a brief history of the development of Māori literacy and outlines how Māori can gain access to the Auckland Public Library’s extensive collection of Māori manuscripts and other Māori literature.
  • "Places to start Researching Tribal History." Te Iwi o Aotearoa 5 (1988): 18-19.
  • Hemara provides details of Māori material held by the Auckland City Art Gallery, Auckland Library, the National Archives (Auckland, N.Z.), Museum War Memorial, Auckland University Library, and Auckland University Māori Resource Room. He also gives details on how to access archive services. He provides the text of a short guide by Kim Shelton entitled "Tracing Your Whakapapa through Māori Land Court Records."
  • "Māori Manuscripts and Archives in the Alexander Turnbull Library." Archifacts: Bulletin of the Archives and Records Association of New Zealand 1 (1990): 38-39.
  • Hemara briefly describes the huge collection of Māori manuscripts in the Alexander Turnbull Library, discusses how they can be accessed, and explains the criteria for defining which manuscripts belong to the Māori Collection. He writes of the burgeoning interest in the Māori Collection by Māori and outlines the various ways the Alexander Turnbull Library has catered to its Māori users. Hemara describes a pilot programme to introduce a particular tribe to the library and to inform them of their rights of ownership over their tribal intellectual property.
  • "Whakatoro - Reaching Out." Turnbull Library Record 23.1 (1990): 34-38.
  • "Justice System In This Country Is Unfair!!!" Pikitanga: He Apiti I Te Rau Ora. 2 (1992) Supplement in Library Life 158 (1992): 9.
  • "Your First Responsibility Is To Us: Information Needs of Indigenous Minorities." ALIA 92 Libraries: The Heart of the Matter. Canberra, 1992. 141-144.
  • "Library Services To The Māori Community." Incite 14.7 (1993): 8.
  • "Socio-cultural disruption." Kia Hiwa Ra: National Māori Newspaper Feb. 1997: 4618.
  • "Keen Interest In Education." Kia Hiwa Ra: National Māori Newspaper Mar. 1997: 5018.
  • "Spirited Defence of Rights and Privileges." Kia Hiwa Ra: National Māori Newspaper Apr. 1997: 5119.
  • "20th Century Land Purchase." Kia Hiwa Ra: National Māori Newspaper May 1997: 5221.
  • "Te Rohe Potae Tribe Outnumbered." Kia Hiwa Ra: National Māori Newspaper June 1997: 5322.
  • "Poverty And Disease Strike Maniapoto." Kia Hiwa Ra: National Māori Newspaper July 1997: 5423.
  • "Māori Children Should Be Called By Pakeha Names So That Their Facility In English Could Be Improved." Kia Hiwa Ra: National Māori Newspaper Aug. 1997: 5520.
  • "Suspicious Of Crown’s Actions." Kia Hiwa Ra: National Māori Newspaper Sep. 1997: 5613.
  • "Māori Parents were Motivated by Fear." Kia Hiwa Ra: National Māori Newspaper Oct. 1997: 5716.
  • "Teachers Directed To Change The Names And Ages Of Māori Students In Their Charge." Kia Hiwa Ra: National Māori Newspaper Nov. 1997: 120.
  • "How And Where To Research History." Kia Hiwa Ra: National Māori Newspaper Dec. 1997: 5930.
  • "How And Where To Research History." Kia Hiwa Ra: National Māori Newspaper Feb. 1998: 609.
  • Papers/Presentations

  • "Library Profession Response to Bi-culturalism" To Diploma of Librarianship students at Victoria University. No further details.
  • "How the Library Profession can Best Serve the Māori Community." New Zealand Library Association Conference. Dunedin, N.Z. 1984.
  • "The History and Content of the Grey New Zealand Māori Manuscripts." ARANZ Conference. Takapuna, Auckland, N.Z. 1985.
  • "Māori Collections Held in the Alexander Turnbull Library." ARANZ (Archivists Association of New Zealand) Conference. Wellington, N.Z. 1989.
  • "Māori Research in Public Institutions." PARBICA (Pacific Archivists and Librarians) Wellington, N.Z. 1989.
  • Hemara was a discussion panellist.
  • "Te Wero - Libraries Response to the Challenge of Bi-culturalism." New Zealand Library Association Conference. New Plymouth, N.Z. 1990.
  • Reviews

  • "Review of Te Hikoi Marama." Archifacts 2 (1991): 84-85.