Areta Koopu

Ngāti Kahu

1941 -

She was born and educated in Gisborne. She has worked as a family and marriage counsellor with Marriage Guidance, was a credited Family Court Counsellor, and a credited Supervisor with Marriage Guidance. From 1993-96 she was President of Māori Women’s Welfare League (MWWL). She chaired the Committee for Children in 1986 and was a member of the committee for the Year of the Family. She was on the national AIDS committee which wrote a national strategy for the government. She served on the national Te Kohanga Reo Trust during her presidency of MWWL and was a board member of the Māori Education Trust. Areta was a member of the Prime Minister’s Honours Advisory Committee and is currently a member of the Waitangi Tribunal and works as a Human Rights Commissioner. Although Areta’s writing has been confined to annual reports and speeches, she was instrumental in producing the Māori Women’s Welfare League Diaries from 1993-1996 which were published by Bridget Williams. She also worked in the production of Te T˚matanga Tātau Tātau: Early Stories from Founding Members of the Māori Women’s Welfare League. She is the mother of five children and has two grandchildren.

Biographical sources

  • Phone conversation and correspondence with Areta Koopu on 23 July and August, 1998.


  • "Waiariki: Areta Koopu." In ‘Te Ropu Wahine Māori Toko O Te Ora.’ Marion Antonievich. Tu Tangata 5 (1982): 20-21.
  • Koopu provides a brief area report for the Waiariki Māori Women’s Welfare League branch at the Executive Meeting of the League in February 1982.