Tuaiwa Te Iwa (Eva) Hautai Kereopa Rickard

Waikato, Tainui

1925 - 1997

Tuaiwa/Eva Rickard was born in Raglan, the daughter of Riria Rapana and Hone Kereopa, and was educated at Raglan Primary School and District High School. She worked in an army munitions factory during the Second World War before returning to Raglan to work in a convalescent hospital for soldiers. Eva joined the post office in Raglan and spent 30 years working there. In 1945 she married James Rickard and had nine children and raised many others. After the family grew up, she went back to full-time work in the post office until her retirement in the 1980s. Eva lived in Raglan all her life and was heavily involved in the fight to reclaim a two-acre plot of land that belonged to local Maori. In 1969 a public meeting was held in the town regarding the aerodrome: this piece of land was a Maori cemetery, but had been converted into an 18-hole golf course. After numerous court cases, the Minister of Lands said he would return the land; in 1984 the land was finally handed back, although the title was not returned until 1988 and 89. Eva served on Social Welfare and Justice committees and at one time housed up to 18 young people. She was in the Plunket Society and helped to build the local Plunket rooms. Eva won the Raglan part of the Mrs New Zealand competition and was runner-up in the Hamilton area. She was a good singer and sang at the marae. Eva raised money for the buildings at the local marae Poihakana. She ran concerts at the Raglan camping ground, was a keen netball player and was a Methodist elder in the Raglan Union Church.

Eva was leader of the Hikoi to Waitangi in 1984. When Dr Sinclair went overseas, she became chair of Te Matakite o Aotearoa (a lands rights movement). She was one of the foundation members of Mana Motuhake and stood for the Western Māori seat in the 1980s. She spoke at all sorts of functions (Rotary, Lions, and so on) and was an excellent and humorous speaker. She sang before her speeches “to sweeten her speech”. There are many references to Eva Rickard in the Waikato Times. She was the subject of a number of films and documentaries such as The New Dawn (with Donna Awatere), Herepo’s Place and The Last of the Women in Raglan (with Moko/Barry Barclay). Tom Poata produced Nga Kara Me Nga Iwi and Eva by Hokio Films as part of the Rangātira Series in 1997. Two or three other programmes about Eva were produced by Australian Broadcasting. A BBC production was filmed on the day that the land at Raglan was handed back through the Māori Land Court. Eva acted in Mauri and The Flight of the Albatross. Her greatest contribution was spearheading the return of the land. The media initially referred to Eva as a radical, although later she was known as “Land Consultant”. She gave a lot of her time to other land issues, was a marriage counsellor, christened babies, and presided over funeral services. Tex observes that Eva “was at her best when the chips were down and she had a run-in with the police on some occasions.”

Biographical sources

  • Phone conversation with Tex Rickard, Aug. 1998.
  • “Mana Motuhake Candidates.” Tu Tangata 3 (Nov./Dec. 1981): 10.


  • "Whenua." Pacific Voices: An Anthology of Writing by and about Pacific People. Ed. Bernard Gadd. Albany, NY: Stockton House, 1977. 5.
  • Rickard describes in this short transcript from a TV interview the different meanings of the word whenua and gives some of the reasons why Māori have such a close attachment to and reverence for the land.
  • "Te Karanga a Tainui Awhiro." Te Kaea: The Māori Magazine 1 (Dec. 1979): 16-17.
  • Rickard discusses the struggle by the Tainui Awhiro people to regain their tribal land which was taken by the Government through the Public Works Act of 1923 for a war-time emergency landing field during the Second World War and never returned.
  • "Eva Rickard." In ‘Wahine Ma Kōrerotia.’ Broadsheet 101 (1982): 23-27.
  • Rickard talks about herself to Donna Awatere (Section focussing on Rickard: pp. 225-26).
  • "Submission To The Treaty of Waitangi. Turangawaewae. Economic Summit Conference - September 1984." ibid. 41-43.
  • As a Tainui spokesperson Rickard outlines five submissions on the Treaty and Waitangi Day ‘celebrations’ which advocate formal debate between the tribes on Treaty issues, greater power invested in the Waitangi Tribunal, and reform of Māori political representation.
  • "Te Tiriti O Waitangi." 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. 37-40.
  • Rickard discusses the various Māori Political Movements from the Kotahitanga and Kingitanga movements commencing in 1850s through to the era of Māori activism of the 1970s.
  • Poetry

  • "Hikoi Ki Waitangi." 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. 106.
  • A grandmother explains to her young mokopuna the reasons for the Hikoi Ki Waitangi.


  • "Mana Motuhake Candidates." Tu Tangata 3 (Nov./Dec. 1981): 10.
  • Brief biography.
  • Haggie, Sonya. "Tainui Awhiro celebrate return of land." Tu Tangata 14 (Oct./Nov. 1983): 30-31.
  • Eva Rickard speaks of her fight to have the Raglan golf course returned to the Tainui Awhiro people, her response upon hearing that the New Zealand Government had decided to give the land back and her future vision for the land and its development.
  • Tully, Maggie. "Eva Rickard." Maggie Tully interviews Eva. The New Zealander (June 1979-June 1980): 62-67.
  • Nga Puna Roimata: Tuaiwa Hautai Kereopoa Rickard 1925-1997. Tuaiwa Whanau and Moko Productions, 1998. No further details.
  • Contains 30 essays about Eva.
  • Listener Bedside Book. Ed. Paul Little, Mary Crockett and Terry Snow. Auckland, N.Z.: Wilson and Haughton Publications, 1997.