Manuhuia Augustus Bennett

Te Arawa

1916 - 2001

Manuhuia Bennett was born in Rotorua, the son of the first Māori Bishop of Aotearoa, Frederick Augustus Bennett and Arihia Rangioue née Hemana. He was educated at Clive Primary School, Otaki Māori College and Te Aute College. He attended the University of New Zealand, the University of Hawaii, and Jackson Seminary, Honolulu. Bennett graduated with a B.Sc in 1954 and was awarded a D.D (Honoris Causa) in 1964. In 1944 he married Katerina Clarke at Te Puke. He became an Anglican Deacon in 1939 and was ordained Priest in 1940. From 1940 he worked in the following parishes and pastorates: Tauranga-Te Puke Mission District (1940-44); Forces Chaplain (1944-46); Rangitikei - Sth Manawatu Māori Pastorate (1946-52); Wellington Māori Pastorate (1952-57); Church of Holy Nativity in the Diocese of Honolulu (1953-54); St Faith’s Church, Ohinemutu (1957-64); and Associate Chaplain of the Waikeria Youth Centre (1964-68). In 1968 Bennett was appointed Bishop of Aotearoa – a position he held up till 1981. During this time he worked towards getting full autonomy for the Bishopric of Aotearoa, as past Bishops Bennett and Panapa were Suffragen to the Bishop of Waiapu. In 1985 he joined the Waitangi Tribunal. Bennett was awarded the CMG in 1981 and ONZ in 1989.

Biographical sources

  • Correspondence with Katerina Bennett, 19 Mar. and 24 Nov. 2004.
  • Interview and correspondence with Bishop Bennett, June 1992 and Aug. 24, 1997.
  • Who’s Who in New Zealand. 12th ed. Ed. Max Lambert. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1991. 50.


  • "No Room For Ratbags." Mana: The Māori News Magazine for All New Zealanders 6 (1994): 82-84.
  • Bennett writes of his childhood years.
  • Non-fiction

  • "The Māori People of Wellington." Te Ao Hou 18 (1957): 25-29, 51.
  • In this detailed study of Māori in Wellington, New Zealand’s second largest urban community of Māori in the 1950s, Bennett notes the high degree of youth working in unskilled work or working in the Public Service, Department of Māori Affairs or the Post and Telegraph Department. He examines Māori housing in the city, discusses the pros and cons of integration versus separate Māori communities, and comments on the high percentage of mixed marriages and the comparatively low church attendance. He concludes that Māoritanga "can indeed survive in the cities."
  • "The Māori Adolescent." Te Ao Hou 51 (1965): 7-9.
  • Published under the name Manu Bennett. The text of Bennett’s address to the Whakatane Prisoners’ Aid and Rehabilitation Society in which he discusses the problems facing the Māori adolescent. Bennett states that while the Māori community "was still fairly compact" prior to the Second World War, the post-war Māori "became dispersed - his institutions redundant, and the pattern of tribal cohesion lost." Bennett examines factors that have impinged on Māori youth and concludes with a list of the "tremendous upheavals" faced by Māori since the turn of the century.
  • "Te Kupu Whakamutunga: The Last Word." He Mātāpuna: A Source: Some Māori Perspectives. Wellington, N.Z.: Te Kaunihera Whakakaupapa mō Aotearoa, New Zealand Planning Council NZPC No. 14, Dec. 1979. [Rpt. in 1989]. 74-79.
  • In Bennett’s conclusion to the series of papers published in He Mātāpuna: A Source: Some Māori Perspectives, he looks at the question of Māori identity, notes the successes of Māori living overseas, examines attitudes towards women and children, and discusses turangawaewae.
  • "Guest Editorial." Tu Tangata 3 (1981): 2.
  • On his retirement from the office of Bishop of Aotearoa in 1981, Bennett presented this final pastoral letter to the Māori people of New Zealand. He summarises the conclusions of the Tu Tāngata Wānanga held at Te Unga Waka, Auckland, N.Z., in March 1981, which urged Māori to vote in the coming elections so as not lose the special representation of Māori political seats through default due to small Māori turnout at elections.
  • Foreword. He Kōrero mo Waitangi, 1984: He Tohu Aroha, Ki Nga Tupuna: "Talk, Conciliate and Heal". Ed. Arapera Blank, Manuka Henare and Haare Williams. [Ngaruawahia], N.Z.: Te Runanga o Waitangi, 1985. n. pag.
  • Bennett articulates the growing Māori disillusionment with the Treaty of Waitangi grievances and provides a background to the events leading up to the nationwide Waitangi Hui which was convened at Turangawaewae Marae in September 1984, "for the purposes of talk, of reconciliation, and for planning of a new deal for the Māori people, and for a better deal for the Nation."
  • "Faith, Culture and Identity." Te Reo O Te Tiriti Mai Rano: The Treaty Is Always Speaking. Ed. Bernard Kernot and Alistair McBride. Wellington, N.Z.: Alistair McBride for the Tertiary Christian Studies Programme of the Combined Chaplaincies at Victoria U of Wellington, 1989. 34-38.
  • Bennett discusses faith, culture and identity in relation to the Treaty of Waitangi, and asserts that the Treaty is like a Biblical covenant where partners of the Treaty must "enter into a commitment of mutual good faith" with each other. Bennett focuses on the language of the Treaty and particularly on the missionaries’ choice of the words kāwanatanga and tino rangātiratanga in the Treaty.
  • "Quo Vadis?" AGMANZ Journal: Quarterly of the Art Galleries & Museums Association of New Zealand 17.3 (1986): 25-26. Rpt in Te Ao Mārama: Regaining Aotearoa: Māori Writers Speak Out. Comp. and ed. Witi Ihimaera. Contributing ed. Haare Williams, Irihapeti Ramsden and D. S. Long. Vol. 2: He Whakaatanga O Te Ao: The Reality. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1993. 195-197.
  • In this exposition on the future of New Zealand, Bennett contends that Te Māori was "[p]erhaps the most important influence for growth ever to overtake any ethnic minority in this highly technical and electronic age". This was because it was a reassertion of the culture of the Māori and of New Zealand at large which was given recognition in the international arena.


  • "Consecration of New Bishop of Aotearoa." Te Ao Hou 65 (1968-69): 32-34.
  • Describes Rev. Manu Bennett’s consecration as Bishop of Aotearoa and Suffragan Bishop to the Bishop of Waiapu in the Cathedral Church of St John the Evangelist at Napier on St Luke’s day, 18 October 1968.
  • Moses, Dorothy. "A Parson’s Family in Honolulu." Te Ao Hou 10 (1955): 58-59.
  • About Rev and Mrs Bennett’s fourteen months in Hawaii.
  • "New Move to Help Boys in Difficulties: First Māori Chaplain in Penal Institutions." Te Ao Hou 51 (1965): 6.
  • Describes Bennett’s move from pastoring St Faith’s Church, Ohinemutu, to becoming associate chaplain of the Waikeria Youth Centre in the Te Awamutu district.
  • "’A Totara Falls’ With the Death of Manu Bennett."
  • "He Maimai Aroha." Mana 44 (2002): 6-7.
  • "Poroporoaki to Bishop Manu Bennett – Waitangi Tribunal."