Pehiriri Reweti

Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi

1899 - 1983

Pehiriri Reweti was born at Tauranga, the eldest child of Titihuia and Mokohiti Reweti. By the age of four he had mastered many of the whakapapa related by his koroua, Ngatoko, Winiata and Nepia at Huria Pa. He was educated at Tauranga District School, Auckland Boys’ Grammar School and Auckland University, where he studied law. He married Maria Tamihana from Te Arawa waka (Ngāti Uenukukopako) and had twelve children. Reweti supervised the Māori Land Development Schemes on the Mangatawa, Maungarangi and Kaitemako Blocks at Tauranga, a scheme introduced by Apirana Ngata during his term as Native Minister between 1928 and 1934. He was a member of the first group of Māori Welfare Officers appointed, and worked as Senior Māori Welfare Officer at Tauranga for thirteen years. He then transferred to the Māori Affairs Department, Rotorua, where he worked as Land Consolidation Officer. Later he returned to the Māori Affairs Department, Tauranga, where he remained until his retirement. Reweti was a rangātira of Hairini marae of Ngai Te Ahi hapu, and was also descended from Ngai Tamarawaho of Huria and Ngāti Tapu of Matapihi. He was acknowledged as an expert in Māori land law and history, and as an authority on Māori Land Court procedures. He had a deep and thorough knowledge of whakapapa. He was a member of the Tauranga Historical Society, and gave addresses at Society meetings which were subsequently published in their journal. He was a visionary who stood competently in both Māori and Pakeha worlds.

Biographical sources

  • Phone conversation with Debra Reweti, 6 Sept 1998.
  • Journal of the Tauranga Historical Society 25 (1965): 28-29.
  • Journal of the Tauranga historical Society 40 (1970): 25.


  • "Confiscation of Māori Land and Its Aftermath." Bay of Plenty Times 29 Sept. 1965. No details. Rpt. in Journal of the Tauranga Historical Society 25 (July-Sept. 1965): 28-29.
  • This is a report of Reweti’s address to the Tauranga Historical Society meeting in September 1965. Reweti traces the events leading up to the confiscation of 200,000 acres in the western Bay of Plenty during the 1860s. Reweti argues that although three quarters of the land was returned when Ngaiterangi agreed to surrender, some 50,000 acres were redistributed and very little was ever returned to earlier owners of the land, the Ngāti Ranginui.
  • "Reactions of the Māori People to Land Confiscations." Journal of the Tauranga Historical Society 40 (Aug. 1970): 25-26.
  • In this Editorial report Reweti’s address to the Tauranga Historical Society on 6 May, 1970 is briefly recounted. In the address Reweti follows on from his previous address to the Society and chronicles some of the effects of the land confiscation in the Bay of Plenty, particularly in regard to the Ngāti Ranginui tribe.