Heeni, also known as Jan, Jane or Janice, attended primary schools in Kutarere, Wainui, Paengaroa (Maketu), and Whakatane, and then continued her studies at Queen Victoria School. She pursued further studies at Otago University’s Medical School and was a recipient of a Ngarimu Scholarship. She married Pera Kawiti and they farmed at Pouto on the Kaipara Harbour. Aorangi Kawiti describes Heeni as "mother, home-maker-supreme, seamstress, knitter, weaver (self taught using books), active member of the Māori Women’s Welfare Leage, Country Women’s Institute, School Committees, school teacher, nurse, avid reader and writer, and teacher of linguistics to her many children and young followers, as well as an enthusiastic Bible School teacher."
- Correspondence from Rhonda Aorangi Kawiti, 24 May 2005.
- Correspondence from Reg Kawiti, 17 June
- "Pouto." Te Ao Hou 76 (1975): 27.
- A short account of the predominantly Ngāti Whatua community of Pouto and a description of its marae and close-knit community.