Dinah Moengarangi Rawiri-Steele

Dinah Rawiri-Steele was joint winner of the Te Māori Literary Competition at the 1974 Wairoa Māori Artists and Writers’ Conference. She won Section 2 with her poem “Ti hei mauri ora.”

Biographical sources

  • Rawiri, Dinah Moengarangi. “Three Poems.” Te Ao Hou 61 (Dec. 1967): 45-47.


  • "Mrs Gates." Koru: The New Zealand Māori Artists and Writers Annual Magazine 1 (1976). n.pag.
  • The story of fearless Mrs Gates who leaps in and defends her two children when they are bullied in the playground.
  • Poetry

  • "The Coming." Te Ao Hou 59 (June-Aug. 1967): 6.
  • The notes accompanying this poem state that Rawiri learnt from her elders the story of the coming of the Tainui and that the Tainui captain, grateful to Moana, the ocean-goddess, for bringing the canoe to a ‘safe haven’, sacrificed his son by throwing him into the sea. Rawiri writes this poem from the perspective of the child’s mother who was driven to the point of madness because of the loss of her son.
  • "Deep Mystery." Te Ao Hou 60 (Sept. 1967): 15.
  • A poem touching on the despoliation and deforestation of the land and the speaker mourns the ‘death of a river/And the sorrow of a land/Which has said ‘Farewell.’"
  • "Taheke." Te Ao Hou 61 (Dec. 1967): 45.
  • In this poem Rawiri writes of the death of her grandmother, Takehe, who was a woman of quiet dignity and belonged to ‘the old proud age’ of her people. Rawiri recognises that her death is a release from the ‘tumultuous tide of a new,/ and paler,/ sea.’ Taheke was the daughter of Te Whiti.
  • "Bethells." Te Ao Hou 61 (Dec. 1967): 46.
  • A poem describing the brooding, desolate nature of Bethells beach and its ‘sole companion’ the sea.
  • "The Resting Islands." Te Ao Hou 61 (Dec. 1967): 46-47.
  • Rawiri writes of the peaceful, tranquil landscape of the Waitakere Ranges - a land ‘knowing nothing of clawed, fanged, sudden death’ with the only blemish being ‘the distant busy hum/ Of the traffic of man...’
  • "Visit To The Museum." Te Ao Hou 66 (Mar. 1969): 15.
  • As the poet looks at the carvings in the museum she is suddenly transported into the world of the ancestors embodied in the carvings and ponders on the incongruity of placing these carvings in the museum environment with work of other cultures and modern materials.
  • "Me He Manu Rere." Te Ao Hou 66 (Mar. 1969): 17.
  • The poet marvels at the young children, Māori and Pakeha, singing waiata together ‘with such unknowingness- / White and brown - / The no-barriers of / Very young youth -."
  • "Back From Malaya..." Te Ao Hou 66 (Mar. 1969): 20-21.
  • Into the warm bustle of excitement, parental pride, reminiscences of other battles and preparation for his arrival, the young shell-shocked soldier returns from fighting in Malaya. His mind, seared by seeing too much ‘of the inhumanity of man / to man...’, finds great difficulty relaxing in the welcome of his family and his cousin notes that the ravages of war have diminished him ‘into that which is less than a man’ - he has become a stranger in their midst.
  • "Ti Hei Mauri Ora." Te Māori 6.6 (Oct. 1974): 11. Rpt. in Koru: The New Zealand Māori Artists and Writers Annual Magazine 1 (1976). n. pag.
  • The speaker writes of manuhiri moving on to Marae Tukaki and gradually gaining strength and identity as they move on to the Marae Aotearoa, the Marae World and the Marae Universe. Rawiri-Steele was a joint winner with this poem, with Mike Stevens for Section 2 of the Te Māori literary competition at the Wairoa Māori artists and Writers Conference.
  • "Heritage." Pacific Moana Quarterly 3.4 (Oct. 1978): 438-440.
  • This poem explores through different voices the diverse perspectives of Parihaka and its destruction from a ‘British Empirical History’ to ‘An old man guard[ing] this place’.