Story: Māori rugby – whutupaoro

Parekura Tureia (1st of 4)

Parekura Tureia

In 1917 Parekura Tureia of Ngāti Porou travelled as part of the 28th reinforcements for the Māori (Pioneer) Battalion in France. Before returning to New Zealand, he toured with the New Zealand Inter-services team which won the King's Cup. However, Tureia and Nathaniel 'Ranji' Wilson, a New Zealander with West Indian heritage, were excluded from the team that visited South Africa in 1919, at the request of the South Africans. Two years later, Tureia captained the New Zealand Māori team against the South Africans in Napier, a match followed by controversy over an intercepted telegram from a South African journalist criticising white New Zealanders' support for the Māori. Tureia went on to fight in the Second World War, reaching the rank of captain in 28 (Māori) Battalion. He was killed in action in North Africa on 23 November 1941, aged 44.

Using this item

Nga Taonga a Nga Tama Toa Trust

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Malcolm Mulholland, 'Māori rugby – whutupaoro - Rugby union, 1910s to 1930s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 September 2020)

Story by Malcolm Mulholland, published 5 Sep 2013, updated 1 Jan 2015