Thomas G. Poutawera

A clerk in the Native Land Court in Wellington in the late 1890s.


  • "How Ngarara-Huarau was Killed." Te Whetu. Trans. Elsdon Best. Journal of the Polynesian Society 2 (1893): 211-219. Rpt. as "Te Patunga o Ngarara-Huarau." Te Whetu. Trans. T. G. Poutawera. Te Ao Hou 4 (1953): 15-20.
  • The story centres around the movement of the Tainui people after their arrival in New Zealand. Their journey was suddenly halted when the Tainui canoe became immovable at the isthmus of Otahuhu and it transpired that Raka was holding the canoe back because of his wife’s adultery. After Raka chanted an invocation the canoe was able to be moved to Manukau and Kawhia. One part of the tribe named Ngaitarapounamu moved to Mimi and were later swept when fishing by storms to Rangitoto where they settled at Greville Harbour. They lived alongside the other inhabitants of the island until one of the women violated tapu and they were overwhelmed by monsters. Remaining members of the tribes living in other areas did not perish and one day a woman came by chance to the cave of Ngarara-Huarau, ‘the monster reptile with the numerous progeny’, and was captured by him. She was ultimately able to trick him into coming back to her home and there he was killed.
  • Papers/Presentations

  • "Education." Papers and Addresses Read Before the First Conference of the Te Aute College Students’ Association, February, 1897. Gisborne, N.Z.: Te Aute College Students’ Asociation; Printed at the Herald Office, 1897. 11-16.
  • In this essay Poutawera contends that education is the means to reverse the declining Māori population and by education he means not only formal schooling but all influences that train and form character. He provides a history of the native schools since 1872 and notes that by 1896 90% of Māori over the age of 16 could either read or write, and that many Māori could ‘speak the English language fairly well’. While noting the successes of the education system Poutawera also articulates its defects and contends that education has ‘failed to raise the standard of Māori morality’. Poutawera recommends that technical and agricultural schools be established for Māori, that Māori stay on at school to the sixth standard and thereby have better employment prospects and for religious education to be introduced into schools.


  • Williams, John A. Politics of the New Zealand Māori: Protest and Cooperation, 1891-1909. [Auckland, N.Z.]: Auckland UP, 1969. 189.