Maaka was born at Whitianga and was the daughter of the head of the Ringatu Church, Paora Kingi Delamere, and Hannah Travan née Te Au. She was educated at Omaio School and Turakina Māori Girls’ College where she was junior dux of the school. She trained as a nurse at the Cook Hospital in Gisborne and subsequently married Pax Jones and had nine children. Maaka began teaching part-time in 1958 at Gisborne Boys’ High School and Gisborne Girls’ High School. In the late 1960s she became an itinerant teacher of Māori, Social Studies, English and Art at other schools in Gisborne including Lytton High School and Waikohu College. In 1974 she spent a year at Christchurch Teachers’ College and obtained a Māori language teaching certificate. Maaka completed papers towards a B.A. in Māori at the University of Canterbury and Sociology at Victoria University. She was an itinerant Māori teacher in Christchurch and was instrumental in introducing te reo Māori into a number of Christchurch secondary schools. In 1979 Maaka moved to Wellington and worked as a Māori language teacher at the Correspondence School, teaching Māori at all levels, and also taught Māori language to several Ministers of the Crown. She was founder of the New Zealand Māori Language Teachers’ Association and was a founding member of the New Zealand Māori Language Board Nga Kaiwhakapumau I te Reo.
Maaka wrote over 60 waiata, and a number of short stories and poetry in Māori and translated some of them into English. Her work has been published in Koru, Te Ao Hou, Te Kaea, Into the World of Light and Te Ao Mārama, and has been broadcast by Radio New Zealand, and produced on record. Her waiata have been performed by culture groups such as Te Wahi-Pounamu, Tairawhiti, and Te Whanau-A-Apanui Cultural Group which gained third place in the Aotearoa Festival in Whangarei in 1988. Other waiata have won first place in competitions at Gisborne, Hamilton, Ngaruawahia, Rotorua, Christchurch, and Blenheim.
Maaka and her father, Paora Delamere, wrote the first published text of the Ringatu faith, Te Pukapuka o Nga Kawenata e Waru a Te Atua me Nga Karakia Katoa a Te Haahi Ringatu (The Book of the Eight Covenants of God and all the Prayers of the Ringatu Church) in 1968. Maaka and Ngoi Pewhairangi were made ministers of the Ringatu Church in the late 1960s and Maaka worked for the Ringatu Church all her life. She began writing a biography of her father; a short biography of her father was published in the third volume of the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. She was a member of Māori Women’s Welfare League, was a founding member of Kaiwhaka Pumau i Te Reo and was one of the founding members and an announcer of the Māori radio station formerly called Te Reo o Poneke radio in 1980-81, which later became Upoko Te Ika Radio. She was on the Board of Governors of the Wellington Polytechnic, was an early member of the Waihirere Māori Club during the late 1950s and was Kuia of the Victoria University Marae. She was a member of the NZ Literary Fund Board from 1990 and was a member of the QEII Arts Council and the NZ Māori Arts Board. She represented New Zealand at the World Assembly of Churches in 1991. Maaka received the QSM in 1993 for services to the community and education, to Māori Radio and to the retention of the Māori language. She received the New Zealand 1990 Medal and was appointed a JP in 1986. Maaka was the founder of the co-ed Kapahaka of Gisborne High School which is currently known as Turanga Wahine Turanga Tane.
- Phone conversation and correspondence from Con Te Rata Jones, 13 Sept. 1998, and 17 June 2004.
- Into the World of Light: An Anthology of Māori Writing. Eds. Witi Ihimaera and D. S. Long. Auckland, N.Z.: Heinemann, 1982. 59
- Ngā Mōrehu/The Survivors. Eds. Judith Binney and Gillian Chaplain. Auckland, N.Z.: Oxford UP, 1986. 73.
- New Zealand Who’s Who Aotearoa 1998 Edition. Auckland, N.Z.: New Zealand Who’s Who Publications Limited, 1998. 833.
- "Maaka Jones." Ngā Mōrehu/The Survivors. Ed. Judith Binney and Gillian Chaplain. Auckland, N.Z.: Oxford UP, 1986. 70-89.
- Binney and Chaplain visited Maaka Jones twice in August 1984 and recorded this oral account on 2 January 1985 during the last day of a wānanga at Tutawake meeting house at Whitianga. Maaka Jones describes her father’s involvement in the Ringatu church and discusses some of the tapu women in her family, including Waitauhi, who held office in the church. Although Maaka Jones had a strong introduction into Ringatu during her childhood years, the loss of her first child drew her and her husband Pax Jones back to the church where she received her own ‘commission in life’ - that of being a Ringatu minister.
- "Te Mahi Parāoa Rewena." Na Maaka Jones i whakaMāori nga tuhi pākehā a Ivan Highes." Te Tautoko 13. Whanganui a Tara: Te Pou Taki Kōrero, Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga, 1991. 12-15.
- "Te Papakāinga o nga Kararehe me nga Ngārara." Ko te tuhinga i te reo Pākehā na E. M. Cook. Na Maaka Jones i whakaMāori. .” Te Tautoko 13. Whanganui a Tara: Te Pou Taki Kōrero, Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga, 1991. 20-23.
- "He Whakatupato." Koru: The New Zealand Māori Artists and Writers’ Annual Magazine. Ed. Haare Williams. 2 (1978): 10.
- "Te Totara o Motu." Koru: The New Zealand Māori Artists and Writers’ Annual Magazine. Ed. Haare Williams. 2 (1978): 10.
- "E To E Te Ra I Waho O Motu/Go Down, O Sun, From The Motu River." Te Kaea 3 (1980): 19. In Māori and English. Rpt. in Māori only as "E To E Te Ra I Waho O Motu." Into the World of Light: An Anthology of Māori Writing. Ed. Witi Ihimaera and D. S. Long. Auckland, N.Z.: Heinemann, 1982. 58-59.
- A poetic discourse on the setting of the sun over Whakari.
- "Te Hunga Kua Riro Ki Te Po." Into the World of Light: An Anthology of Māori Writing. Ed. Witi Ihimaera and D. S. Long. Auckland, N.Z.: Heinemann, 1982. 58.
- "Nga Uri A Peti/ The Descendants of Peti." Trans. Te Aomuhurangi Temamaka Jones. The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Poetry/Ngā Kupu T˚tohu o Aotearoa. Ed. Miriama Evans, Harvey McQueen and Ian Wedde. Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin, 1989. 260-261.
- The speaker tells of her birth near Whitianga Bay - the place where her Pakeha ancestor arrived by ship and intermarried with her Māori ancestor Peti. She recalls their continued dependence on the sea for their sustenance.
- "Te Pakake/ The Whale." Trans. Te Aomuhurangi Temamaka Jones. The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Poetry/Ngā Kupu T˚tohu o Aotearoa. Ed. Miriama Evans, Harvey McQueen and Ian Wedde. Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin, 1989. 261-262.
- A lively portrayal of the sighting and subsequent catching of a whale.
- "Poi Pounamu/ Pounamu poi." Trans. Te Aomuhurangi Temamaka Jones. The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Poetry/ Ngā Kupu T˚tohu o Aotearoa. Ed. Miriama Evans, Harvey McQueen and Ian Wedde. Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin, 1989. 264-265.
- The speaker tells of the flight of her poi pounamu through Aotearoa.
- "Waiata Tangi mō Paora Delamere/ Lament for Paora Delamere." Trans. Te Aomuhurangi Temamaka Jones. ibid. 262-263. Rpt. in Māori in 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. 99-100.
- The poet mourns the death of her father, the Ringatu leader, Paora Delamere. She regrets that she did not take in more of the scriptures, traditions and her father’s ‘dreams for the Ringatu Church’ ‘during [their] short visits together’.
- "Aorangi." 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. 100.
- 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. 14.