Brown Turei

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The Most Reverend
Brown Turei
Te Pīhopa o Aotearoa
Province The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
Diocese Te Pīhopatanga o Te Tairāwhiti
Personal details
Born (1924-12-12)12 December 1924
Opotiki, New Zealand
Died 9 January 2017(2017-01-09) (aged 92)
Gisborne, New Zealand
Denomination Anglicanism
Spouse Mihi Turei
Alma mater Saint John’s College

William Brown Turei ONZM (12 December 1924 – 9 January 2017) was the Archbishop, Te Pīhopa o Aotearoa/Bishop of Aotearoa (senior bishop of the Māori Tikanga) and Primate/Te Pīhopa Mataamua of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. He shared the primacy with Philip Richardson, archbishop for the New Zealand dioceses, and Winston Halapua, Bishop of Polynesia.


Childhood and education[edit]

Turei was born in 1924 in Opotiki, to the Waititi whānau. He became a whāngai to the Turei whanau in Cape Runaway, on the East Cape. He was named after the Reverend Brown Turei, a Hāhi Mihinare priest on the east coast.

He spent his primary school years at Rangitukia and Cape Runaway and studied at Te Aute College for four years. He briefly attended College House, Christchurch, before enlisting with C Company of the 28 Maori Battalion to serve in World War II. After the war he attended St John's College, Auckland and was ordained a priest in 1950.

On 15 October 2009, Turei was selected by Te Aute College to be a part of its 1st XV leaders group. The honour is given to former pupils over the age of 55 who have made a significant contribution to Māori society. Turei attended Te Aute College from 1939 to 1943.

Ordained ministry[edit]

Turei served the Anglican Church in parishes and Maori pastorates in Tauranga, Whangara, Te Puke, Whakatane, Manutuke, Christchurch and Waipatu. He was appointed Archdeacon of Tairāwhiti in 1982 and has had a long association with Hukarere Girls College, becoming chaplain there in 1984. He was also chaplain of the Napier Prison for four years.

In 1992 Turei was elected as Te Pīhopa o Te Tai Rāwhiti, following the reforms of the Anglican Church in 1990. In February 2006 he was elected to succeed Whakahuihui Vercoe as Pihopa o Aotearoa, at a hui at Turangawaewae, and on May 11 he was installed and appointed co-presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia alongside David Moxon and Jabez Leslie Bryce.

In the 2016 New Year Honours, Turei was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the Anglican Church.[1]

In August 2016, Turei announced that he would retire as te Pihopa o Tairāwhiti by the year's end, and as Maori archbishop in March 2017.[2] However, he died before that date, on 9 January 2017, in Gisborne.[3] He was 92 years old.[4]


Turei was married to Mihi (née King) and they had three children.


  1. ^ "New Year honours list 2016". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  2. ^ "Maori Archbishop to retire in March 2017". 23 August 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-23. 
  3. ^ "Archbishop Brown Turei dies at 92". 10 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-10. 
  4. ^ "Archbishop Brown Turei a 'gentle and wise' man". Gisborne Herald. 10 January 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.