Titewhai Harawira

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Titewhai Harawira is a Māori activist and the mother of New Zealand politician Hone Harawira.[1] She is affiliated with the Ngāti Hau and Ngāti Hine hapū of Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Wai.[2]

Harawira has been an outspoken political commentator and a civil rights campaigner. She was part of a small group which formed the Waitangi Action Committee in 1979 to shut down Waitangi Day celebrations until the Treaty of Waitangi was honoured.[3] Dame Whina Cooper, Eva Rickard and Titewhai Harawira led a hikoi at Waitangi in 1985.[4] In 1990 she went to the Netherlands to ask the government there to take back the name "New Zealand" so that the original Māori name "Aotearoa" could be used instead.[5] She is on the New Zealand Maori Council,[6] and she is a talkback host at Radio Waatea.[7] For many years Harawira has escorted New Zealand Prime Ministers at Te Tii marae, Waitangi, during Waitangi celebrations.[8][9]

Titewhai Harawira married John Puriri Harawira and they had eight children. Her husband died when the youngest child was eight years old.[10]

In 1989 she was jailed for nine months for assaulting a patient at a mental health unit she ran.[11]


  1. ^ Hartevelt, John (9 May 2011). "Sharples: Titewhai Harawira's rudeness 'uncontrollable'". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "The Waatea team". Waatea News. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Alisdair Rogers; Stephen Vertovec; C. Panter-Bric, eds. (1995). The Urban Context: Ethnicity, Social Networks and Situational Analysis. p. 83. 
  4. ^ Keane, Basil. "Ngā rōpū tautohetohe – Māori protest movements – Waitangi Day protests". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. 
  5. ^ King, Michael (2003). The Penguin History of New Zealand. p. 100 (p. 108 in the 2011 edition). 
  6. ^ "Titewhai Harawira wins over escorting PM at Waitangi". Radio New Zealand news. 4 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Watea News". Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  8. ^ Trevett, Claire (6 February 2013). "Key waits on 'Granny-gate'". The New Zealand Herald. 
  9. ^ "Prime Minister Helen Clark at Waitangi". New Zealand History Online. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Harawira reflects on life and love". Western Leader. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  11. ^ McLeod, Rosemary (17 February 2011). "The pity of Harawira". The Press.