Charlie Hurihanganui

Te Arawa

1932 - 2003

Charlie Hurihanganui was born in Waipipimahana and attended primary schools in Wharepaina, Reporoa, Taupo and Oruanui before attending Whakarewarewa Native School for two years. After leaving school, he worked at the Ruatawhai Nursery and in 1950 began working in the timber industry as a cross-cutter and timber machinist. Over the next 45 years Hurihanganui continued to work in the timber industry and assisted in a number of timber related projects overseas. In 1988 he became a tutor at Waiariki Polytechnic (renamed Waiariki Institute of Technology in 1998) and continued to work as a tutor and pastoral care co-ordinator up until his retirement in 2002. As a keen sportsman, Hurihanganui not only ran the Fletcher Marathon four times between 1979-1982, but also won the Bay of Plenty Golf Champion of Champions in 1967. He was president of the Whakarewarewa and Ngongotaha Rugby Clubs, chair of the Bay of Plenty Māori Advisory Rugby Board, and a former president and charter member of the Rotorua Kiwanis. Hurihanganui was a lay preacher and did voluntary work for the disabled and local hospice. He was married to his wife Eileen for fifty-two years with whom he raised a family of seven sons, two daughters, and various foster children.

Biographical sources

  • Phone conversation with Charlie Hurihanganui, 10 July 1998.
  • Correspondence from Ally Gibbons on 17 June 2004.
  • Blanchard, Kelly. “Charlie had Touch of Success.” The Daily Post 24 Mar. 2003: 2.


  • "Maata Wickliffe." The Book of New Zealand Women - Ko Kui Ma Te Kaupapa. Ed. Charlotte Macdonald, Merimeri Penfold and Bridget Williams. Wellington, N.Z.: Bridget Williams Books, 1991: 733-735.
  • Co-authors Louie Waaka, Charlie Hurihanganui and Cushla Parekowhai. A biographical account of Maata Wickliffe who played the leading role in the New Zealand film The Romance of Hinemoa. Louie Waaka and Charlie Hurihanganui give an eye-witness account of her life from the time of her return to Rotorua after many years of guiding at Wairakei thermal area. She became actively involved in catering for visitors at Wahiao marae and helped establish the Māori Women’s Welfare League’s Puarenga branch and the housing project for Māori mothers.


  • Blanchard, Kelly. "Charlie Had Touch of Success." The Daily Post 24 Mar. 2003: 2.