Edgar Riwai (Eddie) MacLeod

Te Āti Awa, Taranaki

1932 - 1994

Edgar MacLeod was born in New Plymouth and grew up at Parihaka Pa in Taranaki. He was educated at Pungarehu Primary School and St Bede’s College in Christchurch. He spent three years training to be a Catholic priest at Greenmeadows Seminary in Napier and subsequently left the seminary and became a social worker for Social Welfare in Porirua. He was a member of the Prisoners’ Aid and Rehabilitation Society in Wellington, and was Secretary of the New Zealand Māori Council for about five years. McLeod worked for Māori Affairs in Auckland and was posted to New Plymouth for one year and put in charge of the Māori Affairs District Office. He worked with street kids in Auckland for many years and represented Māori youth in the Courts. He became involved in the Whare Paia dispute with Carrington Hospital and was also involved in the Paremoremo Prison protests. He married Sue Waetford with whom he had six daughters. McLeod’s role model was Titokowaru; he has been described by his brother, Lindsay Rihari MacLeod, as "a warrior for urban Māori [who] had a consuming affinity for the unemployed, the powerless and the oppressed - the Rawa Kore." Lindsay adds that Eddie had "an uncanny innate sense to prophetically warn of the effects of an insensitive bureaucracy on social issues, and typical of his ‘prophetic utterings’ predicted over twenty years ago that the greatest threat to Māoritanga would be drug addiction." Milton Hohaia adds that MacLeod was "highly respected in Auckland and was a tireless worker for the poor and homeless, and was a passionate speaker."

Biographical sources

  • Phone conversation and correspondence from Lindsay Rihari MacLeod on 30 July and 3 Aug. 1998, 17 and 25 June 2004.
  • Te Ao Hou 54 (1966): 56.


  • "Helping Our Own." Te Ao Hou 52 (1965): 21-22.
  • MacLeod, a member of the Prisoners’ Aid and Rehabilitation Society, gives a profile of a recently released Māori offender and discusses the problems faced in rehabilitation.
  • "Hui Aranga at Wanganui." Te Ao Hou 66 (1969): 34+.
  • In this report of the Hui Aranga held at Wanganui, McLeod writes that during the hui ‘Māoridom received its accolade from the Church with the presentation for the first time of the Mass in the Māori language’. McLeod considered this significant in light of other recent moves to preserve the Māori language.
  • "Nga Take A Te Kaunihera." Te Māori: The Official Journal of the New Zealand Māori Council 1.5 (Aug./Sept. 1970): 19+.
  • Submissions by the Māori Council on the Valuation of Land Amendment (No. 1) Bill and the Rating Amendment Bill, 1970.
  • "Elections to Māori Committees." Graham Butterworth and Eddie McLeod. Te Māori: The Official Journal of the New Zealand Māori Council 1.4 (May/June 1970): 5.
  • In this editorial, written in response to ‘complaints of improprieties and irregularities at all levels in [national and local Māori] Council elections’, Butterworth and McLeod outline the procedures to be followed in any case needing further investigation.
  • "No Consultation Takeover." Te Māori: The Official Journal of the New Zealand Māori Council 2.3 (Apr./May 1971): 24.
  • McLeod writes of the ‘high handed’ action of the Taupiri Drainage and River Board in proposing to construct a dam on Māori land without formally consulting the Māori landowners.
  • Other

  • "Haere Ki Te Hono I Wairua: Mrs Rangikamaea Randell." Te Māori: The Official Journal of the New Zealand Māori Council 1.4 (May/June [1970]): 8.
  • McLeod writes a tribute to Rangikamaea Randell who was known as Aunty Eddy and who dedicated her life to working as a ‘teacher, missionary, community leader, welfare worker and Māori warden.’
  • "Obituaries." Te Māori: The Official Journal of the New Zealand Māori Council 2.2 (Feb./Mar. 1971): 44.
  • McLeod writes a tribute to Aubrey Thompson who was Deputy-Chairman of the Auckland, N.Z. District Council.
  • Reviews

  • Rev. of Māori Life in Old Taranaki, by John Houston. Te Ao Hou 54 (1966): 56-57.