Nau Paraone Kawiti (Brownie) Puriri

Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Whātua

1924 - 1979

Nau Puriri was born in Whangarei, "a direct descendant of the chief Kawiti, who commanded Ruapekapeka Pa in the Bay of Islands, and a grandson of Canon W. H. Keretene of Whangarei". Puriri was educated at Ngararatunua Native School in Kamo and Mount Albert Grammar School in Auckland. Puriri was an Interpreter in the Māori Land Court and worked in Court and land titles work for the Department of Māori Affairs. He later moved to the Māori Welfare Division where he worked as a District Welfare Officer in Auckland. In 1961 he was appointed Associate Editor for the Māori text of Te Ao Hou and a year later became editor of the Māori text in Te Ao Hou. In 1962 he was appointed as the Assistant Controller of Māori Welfare and in the same year went on a world tour as one of ten New Zealand representatives invited to Prince Phillip’s Commonwealth Study Conference in Canada. Puriri was a committed member of the Māori community in Auckland and Whangarei.

Biographical sources

  • Correspondence from Takirititore Puriri, 31 Mar. 1998.
  • "News In Brief." Te Ao Hou 37 (1961): 8.
  • "Brownie Puriri’s World Tour." Te Ao Hou 39 (1962): 7
  • .


  • "Strength in Sport." Te Ao Hou 25 (1958): 54-55.
  • Puriri writes of a discussion with former New Zealand national discus champion, Ikar Lissienko, concerning the scarcity of Māori champions in athletic field events such as discus, javelin, shot put and hammer throwing, and notes Lissienko’s comments on the basic requirements of competing in such sports.
  • "Opportunities And Dangers In Auckland." Te Ao Hou 27 (1959): 28- 33.
  • Puriri notes the huge increase in Auckland’s Māori population between 1939 and 1959 and observes that while this influx has generally been absorbed into the workforce, in an economic recession the unskilled ‘would be the first to suffer’. He discusses the work opportunities in Auckland and underlines the need for secondary school qualifications and parental involvement in assisting school-age children. Puriri gives guidelines on preparing for interviews and discusses a survey conducted by the Māori Affairs Welfare Division in Auckland in which employers were questioned on their attitudes towards employing Māori labour.
  • "[Untitled article]" Te Ao Hou 56 (1966): 11.
  • Puriri writes a response to Leo Fowler’s article "The Old Marae" which mourns the drift of Māori youth to the cities. Puriri begins by challenging Fowler about his own ‘ancestral halls, ancestral burial grounds and villages’ and goes on to discuss the Māori transition from agricultural to industrialised society.
  • "Māori on T.V.: A Māori View: A Pakeha View." N. P. K. Puriri and Alan Armstrong. Te Ao Hou 58 (1967): 19- 21.
  • This article contains two perspectives on a television programme examining ‘Integration through Māori eyes’ with Puriri writing a Māori viewpoint and Armstrong presenting a Pakeha response.
  • "Waitangi, 1969." Te Ao Hou 67 (1969): 51-53.
  • The text of Puriri’s Waitangi Day speech.
  • Other

  • "Māori Mementos." Te Ao Hou 36 (1961): 42-43.
  • Reviews

  • Rev. of Turi, by Lesley Cameron Powell. Te Ao Hou 46 (1964): 54.
  • Rev. of Beyond School,by Michael Hansen and Derek Wood. Te Ao Hou 53 (1965): 55-56.
  • Rev. of Race Conflict in New Zealand 1814-1865, by Harold Miller. Te Ao Hou 56 (1966): 60-61.
  • Rev. of The World of the Māori, by Eric Schwimmer. Te Ao Hou 57 (1966): 61.
  • Rev. of The Māoris of New Zealand, by Dr Joan Metge. Te Ao Hou 59 (1967): 58-60.
  • Rev. of Māori, by Dr J.E. Ritchie. Te Ao Hou 61 (1967/68): 60.
  • Rev. of The Rata Tree, J. P. Poiner-Webster. Te Ao Hou 61 (1967/68): 61.
  • Rev. of Women of Polynesia, by T. Barrow. Te Ao Hou 61 (1967/68): 62-63.
  • Rev. of New Zealand, published by Whitcombe & Tombs. Te Ao Hou 64 (1968): 60.
  • Rev. of The Tail of the Fish, by Matire Kereama. Te Ao Hou 66 (1969): 53-54.
  • Traditional

  • Muru, Selwyn. "Nau Paraone Kawiti Puriri." Te Kaea: The Māori Magazine 1 (1979): 3.
  • In Māori.


  • "Brownie Puriri’s World Tour." Te Ao Hou 39 (1962): 7+.
  • A report of Puriri’s overseas travel while attending Prince Phillip’s Commonwealth Study Conference in Canada in 1962 as one of ten New Zealand delegates.
  • Taylor, C. R. H. A Bibliography of Publications on the New Zealand Māori and the Moriori of the Chatham Islands. Oxford: Clarendon; Oxford UP, 1972. 34.