Hinematau Naomi McNeill


1951 -

Hinematau McNeill was born in Rotorua and was educated at Te Matai Primary School, Malfroy Primary School, Rotorua Intermediate and Rotorua Girls’ High School. She continued her studies at Auckland University and Waikato University and graduated with a B.A. and an M.A. (1st class Hons.) in Social Anthropology from Auckland University. She taught at Waiariki Community College in Rotorua, and designed the college’s Bachelor of Māori Studies. She is currently principal lecturer in Māori Studies at Auckland Institute of Technology. Hinematau writes non-fiction work and has published a novel. She has also written under the name of Naomi Te Hiini.

Biographical sources

  • Correspondence and phone conversation with Hinematau McNeill, 22 March 1993 and 31 July 1998.


  • Te Ariā the Spirit Sings. Auckland, N.Z.: Harper, 1998.
  • A collection of stories based on her relationship with her grandmother and tribal stories.
  • Non-fiction

  • "Māori Women and Anthropology." Naomi Te Hiini. Broadsheet 114 (Oct. 1983): 18-19.
  • In this critique of the University of Auckland’s Social Anthropology Department, Te Hiini criticises the absence of Māori staff, ‘the abysmal representation of Māori students’, and the bias against Māori women in the department. Te Hiini also condemns the department’s study of Māori society, which she contends fails to take into account the impact of ‘imperialism and neo-colonialism’.
  • "Colonial Plunder: Tapuika Lands and Oral Traditions." Hinematau McNeill-Te Hiini. Hurupaa: Undergrowth 5 (Sept. 1986): 28-34.
  • This is the first of a series of three extracts drawn from the introduction of her MA thesis in Social Anthropology. She questions the motivations of European settlers who claimed interest in the Māori oral traditions but, like Sir George Grey, were only learning the culture in order to facilitate the subjugation of the Māori. She challenges the views of contemporary historians in their perception of Māori issues of last century.
  • "Colonial Plunder: Tapuika Lands and Oral Traditions. Part 2: A Critique of Anthropology." Hinematau McNeill-Te Hini. Hurupaa: Undergrowth 6 (Mar 1987): 3-17.
  • McNeill-Te Hiini writes a critique of the discipline of anthropology by examining its various theories. She argues that ‘the purpose of anthropology is cultural exploitation.... [and her] critique focuses on the racism that permeates the discipline.’
  • "Colonial Plunder: Tapuika Lands and Oral Traditions. Part 3: Towards Liberation." Hurupaa: Undergrowth 7 (Sept. 1987): 49-61.
  • In this last section of McNeill-Te Hiini’s three-part paper, she examines the processes of liberation and asserts that the ‘liberation of Aotearoa requires the overthrow of capitalism and the future direction to be by Māori people.’ She assesses the future of anthropology and contends that in its present form it is ‘obsolete’ and proffers in its place an anthropology of liberation that is Marxist in nature which she states will ‘enlighten rather than impoverish the people.’
  • Attitudes to Family Violence: A Study Across Cultures. Prepared by Synergy Research Limited & Hinematau McNeill, Jane von Dadelszen, Alison Gray, Emele Duituturaga & Raewyn Good, Rosemary Ash. Wellington, N.Z.: Family Violence Prevention Co-ordinating Committee c/- Department of Social Welfare, 1988.
  • A report of ‘qualitative research which investigated the attitudes to family violence held by respondents from Māori, Pakeha and Pacific Island cultural groupings in one society - Aotearoa/New Zealand’ which was commissioned by the Family Violence Prevention Co-coordinating Committee. It is composed of nine parts, including research methodology and field work, data base and analysis procedure, overview of the results, and three separate parts dealing with Māori, Pakeha and Pacific Island respondents’ attitudes to themes of family violence and recommendations. McNeill writes the section entitled ‘Māori Study’ and outlines her research methodology for sixty ‘personal in-depth’ interviews examining concepts of violence, causes and influences of violence including verbal provocation, conditioning and macho models of masculinity. Her interviews also covered areas concerning the objectification of women, attitudes towards domestic violence, sexual abuse, and recommendations. She provides a bibliography.
  • "Women’s Studies and Mana Wahine Programmes at Waiariki Polytechnic: The Mana Wahine Uni-Tech Programme." Women’s Studies Journal 8.1 (Mar. 1992): 67-69.
  • McNeill provides an outline of the ‘Mana Wahine Programme’ at Waiariki Polytechnic and briefly touches on issues impacting on Māori women.
  • Theses

  • "Tapuika Oral Traditions." MA thesis, Auckland U. No further details.