Frederick Augustus Bennett

Te Arawa

1872 - 1950

Frederick Bennett was born at Ohinemutu the son of Irishman, Jackson Bennett and Te Arawa chieftainess Raiha Ratete. He spent his childhood at Te Mu in Wairoa. During a church service in Te Mu, Bennett was spotted by Bishop Suter who offered to provide him with an education in Nelson. There Bennett attended Bishopdale School and Nelson College. In 1891 he began working as a lay evangelist in Wanganui and in 1896 returned to Nelson where he was ordained deacon and became a priest in 1897. In 1929 he became the first Māori Anglican Bishop. In 1950 he died and was buried beside St Faith’s Church, Ohinemutu.

Biographical sources

  • Matenga, Hemi. "Frederick Augustus Bennett." Te Ao Hou 26 (1959): 44-46.


  • He Kupu Whakamarama. Pipi-wharauroa. 1-17 (1898-1899).
  • Ed. F. A. Bennett.
  • Foreword. The Story of Te Aute College. Wellington, N.Z.: A.H. & A. W. Reed, 1951. 9-11.
  • Although not an old boy of the school, Bennett claims a fifty-year association with Te Aute College through his brother and sons who were students of the school. He writes that he is proud of the progress of Te Aute and Hukarere and recognises that Te Aute has produced many Māori leaders. On pondering on the future of Te Aute, Bennett contends that there should be more government co-operation in the development of the school.


  • Matenga, Hemi. "Frederick Augustus Bennett." Te Ao Hou 26 (1959): 44-46.
  • A biographical account of the first Māori Bishop.