Archie Keepa

Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Raukawa

1935 - 2003

Archie Keepa was born in Manunui and grew up in the King Country. He was educated at Ngapuke Native School and Raurimu District High School. In 1952 he joined the navy and worked as an engineer mechanic for nine years and nine months. In 1961 Keepa moved to Ashburton and worked as a fitter and turner at the Ashburton Hospital for twelve years up until his retirement. During his time in Ashburton he helped establish a marae in 1967 and was instrumental in helping to create a Māori culture group in the district. He served eleven years on the Ashburton Borough Council as a councillor and was a Māori warden for eleven years. He was a kaumatua at Hakatere Marae and at Ashburton College. He researched local mid-Canterbury history for thirty years and planned to write his views of mid-Canterbury. He was a J.P and in 1990 he was awarded the Commemoration Medal for services to the community of Ashburton.

Biographical sources

  • Phone conversation and correspondence with Archie Keepa on 13 and 23 June, 1998.
  • Correspondence from Keepa whanau, 8 July 2004.


  • "Being Māori in Mid Canterbury." Interview by Tim Higham. Te Iwi o Aotearoa 19 (1989): 21-22.
  • In this interview with four mid-Canterbury Māori personalities, Keepa discusses his life in Ashburton.