Miritana Hughes

Tūhourangi, Te Arawa, Ngāti Manawa, Ngāi Tūhoe

1924 -

Miritana Hughes was born in Australia and educated at primary schools in Australia. Hughes later studied under John Rangihau in Rotorua and Tahi Tate in Rotorua. He has worked as an actor and Telecom Technician in New Zealand. He left New Zealand in 1978 and went to Australia where he has been living ever since. He is currently a retired war pensioner and is still actively writing. Hughes was a foundation member of the Māori Artists and Writers’ Society [Nga Puna Waihanga]. Hughes has attended a writing workshop at the University of New South Wales in Australia. Between late 1960 and 1970 he wrote and read stories for the Drama Department of Radio New Zealand. Hughes writes short stories and school journal stories and has written many stories for Cooee: Australia’s New Zealand Voice. He plans to return one day to New Zealand to settle in Murupara.

Biographical sources

  • Correspondence and phone conversation with Miritana Hughes on 8 May 1993 and 8 Sept. 1998.


  • "The Dolphin." Koru: The New Zealand Māori Artists and Writers’ Annual Magazine 1 (1976). n.pag.
  • Placed into the idyllic beach setting of this story is Moemoea, an old man watches the movement of a shark across the water, and Nuki and May and their nine children enjoying a day at the beach. But the story innocuously shifts from reality into fantasy or legend when it transpires that Moemoea was formerly a dolphin and has been turned into a man as a result of a curse which can only be broken if Moemoea can perform a great deed that will impress the sea Father.
  • "Grace." NZ Listener 26 Aug. 1978: 24-5.
  • A story of the relationship between Paruri and his twelve year old deaf and dumb niece. Hughes touches on society’s response to the disabilities of the mute and hearing impaired. He highlights the young girl’s long-suffering patience with those who treated her ‘like some kind of imbecile’.
  • "Tahi Matekuerenui." Koru: The New Zealand Māori Artists and Writers’ Annual Magazine. Ed. Haare Williams. 2 (1978): 8. Rpt. in Te Ao Mārama: Contemporary Māori Writing. Volume 5: Te Tōrino: The Spiral. Comp. and ed. Witi Ihimaera. Contributing editors: Haare Williams, Irihapeti Ramsden and D. S. Long. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed Books, 1996. 36-40.
  • With the death of Tauringa the time had come for Tahi to leave his job in the city in order to move to his tribal area and take up his role as chief.
  • "Te Hinaki" Koru: The New Zealand Māori Artists and Writers’ Annual Magazine. Ed. Haare Williams. 2 (1978): 9.
  • A short episode in the life of Tana, a Māori padre, as he enters prison for the first time and contemplates the world ‘inside’. This piece also explores the steps he had taken to reach this place.
  • "Kei Te Kaukau Te Rakiraki." The Kiwi Cooee (Australia’s New Zealand Voice) 2.7 (1989): 10-11.
  • "When School is out." "The Kiwi Cooee" (Australia’s New Zealand Voice) 4.7 (1991): 12.
  • "Tahi Mateuerenui." "The Kiwi Cooee" (Australia’s New Zealand Voice) (1991): 12,15. No further details.
  • Sound recordings

  • "Call Me Mother." No further details.
  • This story is about a girl giving birth to her baby in the bush. It was broadcast on National Radio in the 1960s.
  • "Te Hinaki." No further details.
  • "The Hangi." No further details.
  • "The Broken Twig." No further details.
  • "Te Whare." No further details.
  • "Dead or Alive." No further details.
  • About a man who died and woke up two hundred years later.
  • "Mutu." No further details.
  • About a ragamuffin school boy who wagged school.
  • "Janey." No further details.
  • A story about a girl who sat in a special tree.
  • "The Motion Was Carried." No further details.
  • "Tino Pai." No further details.
  • This story was translated into Māori by Katerina Mataira.
  • "Ruru and The Taniwha." No further details.
  • "The Huhu Bug." No further details.