WINIATA [Wynyard], Maharaia
A new biography of Winiata, Maharaia appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.
Maharaia Winiata was born on 29 September 1912 at Ngahina pa, Ruatoki. His father was Winiata, son of Pihana, and his mother was Teruakawhero. He received his early education at Otumoetai and Tauranga Primary Schools, and later attended the Tauranga District High School. By 1945 he had graduated M.A., Dip.Ed. from Auckland University College, and in 1952 he received a Nuffield Scholarship which enabled him to study at Edinburgh where he was the first Maori to obtain a Ph.D., his thesis being entitled The Changing Role of Leadership in Maori Society.
Earlier he had entered the Methodist ministry, then turned to teaching, rising to the position of acting principal of Wesley College, Auckland. He also did valuable work as secretary of the “King” movement, but it was after 1949, as Adult Education Officer in South Auckland and Auckland, that Winiata did his greatest work for the welfare of the Maori people. He believed that not until all strata of Maori society had become educated would many of the problems affecting the race as a whole be solved. He also wished to preserve Maori culture and, with this in view, promoted schemes for building carved meeting houses. He died suddenly at Tauranga on 6 April 1960 and was buried at Judea pa in the shadow of Tamatea pokaiwhenua – one of the finest of these meeting houses. Because of his great work in Maori education, it was fitting that Dr Winiata's memorial should take the form of the Maharaia Winiata Memorial Scholarship. He was survived by his wife, Francis Eileen Winiata, and three sons and two daughters.
by Robert Ritchie Alexander, M.A., DIP.ED.(N.Z.), B.T.(CALCUTTA), PH.D.(MINNESOTA), Teachers' Training College, Christchurch.
- Bay of Plenty Times, 7 Apr 1960 (Obit)
- Journal of the Tauranga Historical Society, No. 6.