Henare Uru

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Henare Uru
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Southern Maori
In office
Preceded by Hopere Uru
Succeeded by Tuiti Makitanara
Personal details
Born Henare Whakatau Uru
Kaiapoi, New Zealand
Died (aged 56)
Wellington, New Zealand
Spouse(s) Ruita Te Aika (m. 1891; div. 1896)
Gladys Constance Mary Rogers (m. 1915)
Relations Hopere Uru (brother)
Tui Uru (daughter)
Jade Uru (great-grandson)
Storm Uru (great-grandson)
Children Four

Henare Whakatau Uru (1872 – 7 March 1929) was a New Zealand politician. He was the Reform Party Member of Parliament for Southern Maori from 1922 to 1928.

Early life and family[edit]

Uru was born at Kaiapoi in 1872. His father was Hoani Uru, a farmer, and his mother was Kataraina Kaiparoa. A member of the Ngāi Tūāhuriri hapū (sub-tribe) of Ngāi Tahu, Uru was educated at Rangiora High School.[1]

He married Ruita Te Aika in 1891, but the couple divorced in 1896. Uru subsequently married Gladys Constance Mary Rogers in 1915.[1] Their son, also named Henare Whakatau Uru, served as a pilot officer during World War II and was killed while on operations over Europe with 299 Sqn in 1944.[2] Their daughter, Tui Uru, was the first Māori presenter on New Zealand television.[3]

Uru was known as a sportsman in his teens and 20s, playing rugby union for the Kaiapoi Football Club, and being involved in athletics, wrestling and tennis. He was also a noted cyclist.[1][4]

A member of the North Canterbury Mounted Rifle Volunteers, Uru attended the opening of the Australian federal parliament in 1901.[1] He also managed the Rapaki Music Company and has been credited with introducing the tune Now is the Hour to New Zealand.[1]

Political career[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1922 20th Southern Maori Reform
1922–1925 21st Southern Maori Reform
1925–1928 22nd Southern Maori Reform

Uru won the Southern Maori electorate in the 1922 Southern Maori by-election following the death of his brother Hopere Uru in November 1921.[1] He retained his seat at the 1922 and 1925 general elections, but was defeated in 1928 when he finished third behind Tuiti Makitanara and Eruera Tirikatene.[5][6]

Uru's main parliamentary contribution was the progression of Ngāi Tahu issues, leading to the formation of the Ngaitahu Trust Board in 1929.[1] He was also a member of the Board of Maori Ethnological Research.[4] He died in Wellington in 1929 and was buried at Tuahiwi, near Kaiapoi.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Lock, Christine Elizabeth. "Uru, Henare Whakatau and Uru, John Hopere Wharewiti". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Henare Whakatau Uru". Online Cenotaph. Auckland War Memorial Museum. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Benson, Nigel (18 May 2013). "Warm, professional and always a lady". Otago Daily Times. p. 36. 
  4. ^ a b "Obituary". Evening Post. 8 March 1929. p. 10. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. p. 144. 
  6. ^ "Maori seats". The Press. 14 November 1928. p. 8. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Hopere Uru
Member of Parliament for Southern Maori
Succeeded by
Tuiti Makitanara