Cynthia Tohe Bell

Ngāti Raukawa

1922 - 1997

Cynthia was born in Levin and was educated at Levin District High School, Palmesrston North Tech and Horowhenua College. During the Second World War she worked as a typist for Base Records. She married Benjamin Bell with whom she has one daughter, Robyn Gardiner.

Biographical sources

  • Phone conversation with Joanna Selby on 5 August 2004.


  • "Lucy Jacob." Biography of New Zealand Women: Ko kui ma te Kaupapa. Ed. Charlotte MacDonald, Meremere Penfold and Bridget Williams. Wellington, N.Z.: Bridget Williams, 1991. 325-327.
  • Co-authors Hine Tamatea Morgan, Joanna Hoana Selby, Cynthia Bell and Arohaana Sciascia. A biographical account of Ngāti Raukawa kuia Lucy Winiata who saw the building of the first Ngatokowaru wharetupuna at the turn of the century and the rebuilding of the new meeting house some seventy years later. She married Harry Jacob in 1919, was a member of the Patriotic Society during World War Two and had strong ties to the Anglican Church. She was actively involved in the establishment of new branches of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in Ngāti Raukawa and her performances of waiata and patere were noteworthy.