Māori Marsden

Te Aupouri

1920 - 1993

Māori Marsden, son of Rev Hoani Matenga and Hana Toi Marsden, was educated at Wesley College and also studied at Auckland Bible Training Institute. While studying for a B.A. at Auckland University, he became chair of the Auckland University Māori Club. In 1957 he graduated with L.Th from St. John’s College, Auckland, and was ordained an Anglican minister in the same year. From 1957-59 he was an Assistant Curate of Frankton and Assistant Chaplain of Tokoria from Marsden was Priest-in-Charge of Taranaki Māori Pastorate from 1960-63 and Chaplain to the Armed Forces from He was Honorary Assistant Priest of Devonport from 1971-74 and from Marsden was appointed as Officiating Minister of the Diocese of Auckland from 1974-76, Pastor of Northern Wairoa Pastorate from 1984-85 and was the Māori Missioner of the Diocese of Auckland from He "was one of Māoridom’s foremost spokesmen and composers of waiata.... His essay on ‘God, Man and Universe’ in Te Ao Hurihuri (1975) is still a seminal work on this subject. His other work includes Māori Illness and Healing (1986), Resource Management Law Reform (1989) and Kaitiakitanga: A Definitive Introduction to the Holistic World View of the Māori (With T. A. Henare, 1992)."

Biographical sources

  • Te Hahi O Te Porowini O Niu Tireni: Church of the Province of New Zealand: Clerical Directory, 1988. No further details.
  • Davis, T.R. "The Maori at University." Te Ao Hou 7 (1954): 12.
  • Mardsen, Māori. "He Pepeha mo Enei Ra." Te Ao Mārama: Contemporary Māori Writing. Comp. and ed. Witi Ihimaera. Contributing ed. Haare Williams, Irihapeti Ramsden and D. S. Long. Vol. 5: Te Torino: The Spiral. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1996. 32.


  • "God, Man and Universe: A Māori View." Te Ao Hurihuri: The World Moves On. Ed. Michael King. Wellington, N.Z.: Hicks Smith & Sons Ltd, 1975. 191-220. Rpt. in Te Ao Hurihuri: Aspects of Māoritanga. Ed. Michael Smith. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1992. 117-137.
  • Marsden presents a detailed study of Māori philosophical and metaphysical belief systems and gives a methodical explanation of the following concepts: ihi, mana, tapu and wehi. He discusses the pure rites, tohi rites, baptism with water, tohi whakahaa, te tuha, te whakapaa, and kairarawa. He also explains the meaning and popular misconceptions of tohunga and gives a study of the Māori Gods and Creation starting with Io. He looks at the Māori world view, Te Korekore. Throughout his study he sees some parallels with Christian rituals and in some cases these have been incorporated together.
  • "A Philosophy of Education." Māori Educational Development Conference, Tuurangawaewae Marae, 23-25 March, 1984. Sponsored by NZ Māori Council. Nga Tumanako. Ed. Ranginui Walker. Auckland, N.Z.: Centre for Continuing Education, U of Auckland, 1984. 39-40.
  • In this extract from Marsden’s address at the opening of Tutahi Tonu meeting house at the Auckland Teachers’ College, on 19 November 1983, Marsden writes of the supremacy of achievement in contemporary educational theory which, he observes, has its origins in the Industrial Revolution, Calvinism and Western materialistic thought. This quest for achievement, Marsden argues, mitigates against and constrains the human identity and personality, and he contends that faith in God is pivotal and the ‘foundation...for authentic existence’.
  • "Winston Kaua E Whakahihi!!" Te Iwi o Aotearoa 19 (Mar. 1989): 10.
  • Marsden writes an apology to Chief Judge Durie and the Rangitane Tribe for an insult proffered by Marsden’s mokopuna Winston Peters. Marsden also provides a critique of Winston Peters as a politician whom Marsden asserts is ‘[l]ike many of his generation...a casualty of assimilation.’
  • "He Pepeha mo Enei Ra." Te Ao Marama: Contemporary Māori Writing. Com. and ed. Witi Ihimaera. Contributing ed. Haare Williams, Irihapeti Ramsden and D. S. Long. Vol. 5: Te Torino: The Spiral. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1996. 32-33.
  • Other

  • "Taupo-nui-a-tia." In English with Māori translation by Māori Marsden. Te Karere: the Newsletter of the NZ Māori Artists and Writers Society. Rpt. in Pacific Moana Quarterly 3.2 (Apr. 1978): 204-205.
  • This poem encapsulates the diverse responses of the speaker to the 1977 annual hui of the Māori Artists and Writers Society at Te Rangi-ita Marae, Taupo, and, to the beautiful surrounding of mountains, lake and river.
  • Kaitiakitanga: A Definitive Introduction to the Holistic World View of the Māori. Wellington, N.Z.: Ministry for the Environment, 1992.
  • Co-authors M. Marsden and T. A. Henare.
  • Poetry

  • "Lesson from Life." Te Iwi o Aotearoa 17 (Jan. 1988): 28.
  • A poetic reflection on the meaning of life from many different perspectives from the natural world.