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Sir Apirana Ngata (1874 - 1950)

17 Jul 2015

Our Subjects / Ā Mātou Kaupapa:
Biography, History, Māori

What did Sir Apirana Ngata do in his life?

LEVEL: Intermediate / Secondary

Sir Apirana Ngata (1874-1950) was a Ngati Porou leader, lawyer and politician who is famous for his work in Maori land development and reform, and for his support for the creation of a Māori battalion during the second world war.

A great site for information about famous New Zealanders is Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. We used the keywords Apirana Ngata. We then chose 'biographies' from the left hand side of the search results. The second result is the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography entry for Sir Apirana, but there are 130 biographies in which he is mentioned!

There is a lot more information on Sir Apirana Ngata on Te Ara. Reading Sir Apirana's biography will give you some ideas of which keywords to use. We tried the keywords Apirana Ngata Maori Land, and found lots of results including this story on Ahuwhenua - Maori Land and Agriculture, which mentions Sir Apirana's work on land reform. Using the keywords Māori battalion we found a chapter on new Maori organisations in the 20th century that mentions Sir Apirana, and which is part of the story Nga Ropu - Maori Organisations. The keywords Apirana Ngata achievement bring up the New Leaders chapter of the Ngati Porou story, which sums up Sir Apirana's major achievements in a few paragraphs. Te Ara has lots more info about Sir Apirana - for example, check out this video of Sir Apirana Ngata farewelling soldiers going away to war.

HOT TIP: When you're reading stories on Te Ara, remember that the Short Story gives you a quick overview, and the Full Story gives you a lot more detail.

There's also some information on Te Ara from the 1966 Encyclopedia, but remember that this information was written in 1966 and has not been edited, and you should compare the information here with other websites or information in books. 

Apirana’s most famous quote or whakatauki /proverb, E tipu e rea was composed for Rangi Bennett to encourage her in her education. In this NZONSCREEN link you can see the whakatauki and the translation. This whakatauki has slight variations. We think the original version is the one written in the mihi in Ngata’s dictionary, as this dictionary was written by his grandson Hōri Mahue Ngata.

We also like the New Zealand History Online, which has this article on Sir Apirana Ngata. New Zealand History Online has lots more information about Sir Apirana, so you could try the same keywords you used in your Te Ara search. We used the keywords Apirana Ngata, and found over 40 results.

HOT TIP: New Zealand History Online search results also include links to other images and websites related to your search. You can choose these from the tabs at the top of the results page. We found this site for the 28th Maori Battalion using the 'other sites' tab.

HOT TIP: Another place to look is Wikipedia which has great coverage of many topics, including Sir Apirana Ngata, and the Māori Battalion. But you need to be aware that this information is contributed by lots of different people. If you are using this site, it always pays to check the information against that on other sites or in books from the library.

There have been a lot of books written about Sir Apirana Ngata, so you could visit your school library or local library for more information.

HOT TIP: for more on searching for information about people, try our ManyAnswers entry on finding biographical information.

For My Homework.
We have to learn about Apirana Ngata.
And we have to describe him
What can I do???
Maggie, Ross Intermediate

Hi Maggie. Have a look through the websites we've suggested. They should have enough information about him for you to use. Also check out your school and local library, as there have been books written about him, too.
Good luck!
Annie, AnyQuestions

hi im doing an essay on sir apirana nagta and just wanting to no if you could send my a good website to find infor on him
Joshalene, Waiariki Polytec


hi. i have to do a essay about Apirana Ngata but there is so many things that are written about him. i would like to know what are some other things that he has done thats got to do with his land development schemes?
Julian, Waiariki Polytech

Hi all
try the links we've suggested, and there are a lot of books around about Sir Apirana Ngata that should have the information you need.
There's a brief bio at the nzhistory site that might help, too:
There's also an article written by him:
To find these we searched google for: "apirana ngata" "land development".
Good luck!
Annie, AnyQuestions

Umm I have looked through just about all the websites and I cannot find what Apirana Ngata ACTUALLY did. Can you help me or tell me? :)
Jamie, Mt Roskill Intermediate

The websites we've suggested do have information about what Sir Apirana Ngata did - but you will have to read them carefully.
Good luck.
Annie, AnyQuestions

what were the most important national issues that he dealt with? there are heaps and i can just find 2 important ones
georgia, a cool school

For my homework too
We are not just learn about Sir Apirana Ngata we learn about Dame Whina Coope too.
I really don't know how to do it!!!
S.D, A.P.S

Hi guys - if you're really struggling with this - log on to AnyQuestions between 1 and 6, Monday to Friday - and a librarian will be online to help you.
Annie, AnyQuestions

Hey guys, if you really want to know, why Apirana is famous, try
Shardae, OC

Hi Shardae - thanks for the tip!
Remember, though, that any one can post an answer on Wiki.answers - so they're not always trustworthy.
You'll need to check a few different sites and books to check.
Remember, too, that your local library will probably have books on Sir Apirana Ngata that will help you all.
Annie, AnyQuestions

hi, does anybody know a website that is esy to put into my own words for kids about sir apirana ngata? please
Alice, kaimai

look one the websties and i cant find ever much on sir Apirana Ngata.
need help a.s.a.p
ashley, Intermediate

Hi all - we've hunted down some more sites that might help you.
But - you will need to read the information in them to find out what he did and the issues he deal with.
Annie, AnyQuestions

Hi I am doing a subject in class about Sir Apirana Ngata and iwas wandering if anyone knows what his Pepeha is and tauparapara and all of that stuff...
Thank you
Wilemina, Colege

I have to learn about him for homework why is he important to New Zealand id my question!!!!!!

Hi Angel
We're here to help you find your answers - and these websites are the best we've found to help answer who Sir Apirana Ngata was, what he did, and why he is so important.
Annie, AnyQuestions

what are some of his quotes?
aimee, hauraki plains collage

Kia Ora koutou,
What is his Whakapapa guys??
Who are his parents???
Raumati, T.K.O.K

hey my homework was our faviourite maori hero and i chose sir apirana ngata for my maori hero
Donna, MPS

Great Great Grandfather there is so many information about you I want to be like you. Your a legend and I want to discover you even more. XXXOOO your great great granddaughter Samara
Samara, Groves

I was wondering who inspired him, what awards did he receive and some challenging moments he might have had for a speech due Friday
Paige, St Peters College

I also am a descendant of Sir Ngata (he is my great grandfather). Ive been trying to find some family facts. Can you suggest any websites?
Beryl wooding, Australia

, heeeey imm doing an essay bouut ths dude um is he easy to do lols xx
Alouinna ., papakuraa .

Hi Paige, Beryl and Alouinna. The websites we've suggested should give you information for a speech or essay. Beryl, the Dictionary of NZ Biography entry has some family information. Otherwise, for more specific family information you may need to contact a kuia or kamatua in your whanau. You could also try your local or school library to see if there are any books with more information about Sir Apirana's family. All the best with your research!
Lisa, AnyQuestions

. what steps did sir apirana ngata take to help develop maori land ?
vanessa locke, te wharekura o manurewa

Hi Vanessa, you will find the information you need in the websites suggested above, particularly the entry from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Good luck!
Lisa, AnyQuestions

did any1 actually read the whole thing on the website ????
amy, cobham

what happened on the day he died ?
phoenix, roscommon

How did Sir Apirana Ngata die ?? How did he get onto our NZ $50 note ???
need it for my speech
Sasha, Kamo High

how can i do this it is hard to do this for him and itz reallyhard! who is he? whoever can you please reply!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Enelisa, avondale intermidiate

hi im doing a test and have to find out some facts andwhere he lived iv looked at the websights but couldnt find where he lived
jessica, avondale intermediate

Hi guys - if you read carefully through the websites we recommend, you'll find things about where Sir Apirana Ngata lived and when he died. Your local and school libraries will have books on Sir Apirana too. For information on the $50 note, look at the reserve bank website: You can also log on to AnyQuestions between 1 and 6, Monday to Friday - and a librarian will be online to help you.
Lisa, AnyQuestions

im learning about my great x4 grandad for my homework this week and im just learning this year
api, kahutara

Can you suggest a website that shows quotes from Sir Apirana and his perspective on the treaty on Waitangi?
Fiona Blakes, Avondale

Hi I'm just wondering who his kids are I'm finding out becouse I could just be related to him if u can post back and tell me who they are I would be so happy :D
Damon, Ris

i wish to know more about princess te pues herangi . if any one knows any thing about her please reply
benny, L.S.P.

hi i'm learning about Sir Apirana this year and just wondering if he was the one who made the New Zealand Haka up and if he was one of the people to sign the treaty of waitangi or one of gis relatives and it would be great if you can write back to me as soon as possible that would make me really happy:P Thanks
Emma, Moala

Hi Damon - thanks for your question. Some information (like the names or Sir Apirana's children) isn't available online. You could try your school or local library to see if there are any books that have this information. It may be that to find out if you are related to Sir Apriana, you will need to talk to a kamatua or kuia in your iwi. All the best!
Lisa, AnyQuestions

Why is Apirana Ngata on the fifty dollar note?
Samantha, One tree Hill

Hi there. I am doing an Level One assessment on Sir Apirana Ngata. I have read through quite a few books and websites, but my focus question for this assesment was 'How and Why did Sir Apirana Ngata encourage Maori to fight during World War Two'.
Can anyone answer this for me, even just in a short explaination to go on?
Thanks a lot in advance!
Jamee, St Doms

Hi Jamee - the Dictionary of NZ Biography article includes some info about Sir Apirana and the First World War. You could try the EPIC databases ( but you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or, you can log on to between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday, and one of the librarians can help you online. You could also talk to someone at your local library or school library. Best of luck!
Lisa, AnyQuestions

It's great to see so much interest in Sir Apirana Ngata. If you have read the articles and still can't find the answer you are looking for, you can log on to between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday, and one of the librarians can help you online.
Lisa, AnyQuestions

What steps did Apirana Ngata take to help develop Maori land?
Taulez, St Marys College, Wellington

Hey there, im researching about Apirana Ngata.. I was wondering if you can answer this for me........ What steps did Apirana Ngata take to develop Maori land? Thank you sisters.
Chur Moko, Porirua Community College

Help!! This doesn't help at all i have to find facts on him!
Connor, HIS

hi every one im asking about sir apirana nagat of what one of his things that he loved doing please tell me i need to know
teuila harris, papatoetoe high school

Hi everyone, we've rewritten this entry to give more guidance on finding info about Sir Apirana Ngata. Read through the entry again, and try the websites and search ideas we suggest. For more help, go to between 1pm and 6pm Monday to Friday and a librarian will help you.
Lisa, AnyQuestions

does anyone know his pepeha i really need it for my essay, please
sariah wikaira, te kura kaupapa maori o te tonga o hokianga

Kia ora Sariah,
I think you should go to and type in the keywords - Apirana Ngata. On the left will come up - biographies - click on that and the second one to come up is his. In the first 3 sentences it gives his iwi and 4 of his hapu. Also his mother and father.
If you dont know Ngati Porou's maunga and awa go back to the home page and type in keywords Ngati Porou and it will bring up Ngati Porou 's short story with that information:))
Alice, Uiangapātai

you guys really done good on this!!...
thanks for all this!...
jess, te arawhanui

kiaora kotou
im looking for maui pomare! :)
im wondering if you guys have him???
this is for kura mahi! thanx :)
TeRangimarie, Tearawhanui

did sir apirana fight in WW2??
kim, melville high

Kia ora TeRangimarie and Kim - the dictionary of New Zealand Biography entry on Sir Apriana talks about his involvment in Word War 2 (see the fifth paragraph from the end). We will have a ManyAnswers entry on Maui Pomare as soon as possible, but in the meantime you can log in to between 1 and 6pm on weekdays to have a librarian help you to find info. To get you started, there is an entry on him in the dictionary of NZ biography too:
Lisa, AnyQuestions

where does it explain why apriana encouraged maori to fight in world war 2 ?
schvaria, melville high

Hi Schvaria, there are a couple of paragraphs on this in the Dictionary of NZ Biography entry for Sir Apirana, but for more in depth info try Te Ara's entry on Māori and Overseas Wars ( The Wikipeida entry on the 28th Maori Battlion is also useful, and it references a book by J.F. Cody called 28 (Maori) Batallion: The Offiical History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45. It's available from the Electronic Text Centre (
Lisa, AnyQuestions

what did he do?
jess, berkley

I would really want to know more about him since he is my great great uncle!! I know I dont even know you but I im so proud to be your great great niece :)
jess, massy

Kia ora, just wanting to say to most of the students who have to do essays on Apirana Ngata to take the time to read through the websites referenced here. Don't seek a quick answer, seek the knowledge so you too can make a difference!
Tarns, Takiura

Hi!can you help out with a trick question?here it is anyway,What hospital did S.A.N die in?
Clifton, Kingsford Primary School

Hi Clifton, good question! Sometimes detailed info like this can be hard to find online. If you have read through these sites and can't find the answers you need, you can log on to between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday, and one of the librarians can help you :) You could also try your local library - the librarians there can help you find answers too. Good luck!
Sargia, AnyQuestions

Kia ora can anyone get me contact with the ngata whanau. Its important.

what impact did he have on maori
preeti aryal, queens high school

Hi dwayne,
You may want to contact his iwi, Ngati Porou, They might be able to help you get in touch with the Ngata whanau :) All the best!
Sargia, AnyQuestions

Who where his children? I have only heard of two that is Henare and Mate Kaiwai. And what was the Date his brother Renata Died.

hi im doing a internal assessment on apirana ngata and i am wanting to know if you could help me by getting some good websites about this person so i pass and get and high achievment on the person please
tia, rangitikei college

Im doing homework on this and this is great! Thx!
Carmen, Anonymous

Kia ora Tia,
Read through the entry and try some of these websites - they have the best info we can find on Sir Apirana Ngata, who he was and what he did.
If you need help finding answers you can log on to between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday, and one of the librarians can help you online.
You could also try your local library - the librarians there would be glad to help too :) Good luck!
Sargia, AnyQuestions

Hi I have to do at least eight sentences of apiranas pepeha so I was wandering what his mountain is and his river and tribe and where he is from and what his waka is
Emily, awakeri

Kia ora Emily,
Great questions! If you follow these links and read through the information about his life, you will be able to find out about his tribe and where he was born and grew up. Remember if you're having trouble finding information you can always log on to AnyQuestions ( between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and a librarian will help you online :)
Sometimes local/personal information like this may not be available online, so you might need to contact his tribe to get definite answers.
All the best with your research!!
Sargia, AnyQuestions

Kia Ora Guys,
I'm Apirana Ngata's great great Granddaughter. i would like to know more about him and my family background.
Samara, Beaudesert State High

Kia ora Samara, thanks for your comment! It's great you want to find out more about him :) These are the best sites we can find for information about his life - for more family background you might like to ask your whānau, or contact your local iwi, as this kind of personal information often isn't available online. If you're having trouble, log on to, Monday to Friday 1-6pm, and we might be able to help you find a starting point :) Te pai katoa!
Sargia, AnyQuestions

how old was apirana ngata when he became a politician
henry, waitetuna

I want to know about apirana ngata impact that it had on his family
rameka, adult literacy turanga

Kia ora Henry and Rameka,
If you follow these links there is lots of info that might help with your questions :) Try looking particularly at the Te Ara and New Zealand History websites.
If you're having trouble finding what you need, you can chat with a librarian online on, Monday to Friday 1-6pm, or visit your local libraries :)
All the best with your research!
Sargia, AnyQuestions

who is this person and why is he on the $50 note? what is the significance of this bird?
amy, waitunga

i have to do a extra task and i have to write about his speial events he has attended and i dont know what they are can you help me plzz
kery, otahuhu intermediate

Kia ora Kery, great question!
Try looking through Sir Apirana Ngata's biography on Te Ara to see if you can spot some of the events he went to or was involved in :)
If you're having trouble finding what you need, try chatting with a librarian on They're available Monday to Friday 1-6pm to help with questions like this :) All the best with your project!
Sargia, AnyQuestions

sir apirana was a great man and a hero to maori
herana kohi, waimahia inter school

kia ora. kei te mahi au tetahi aromatawai e pa ana ki te "pao" pera i te Moteatea engari ko toku patai he aha nga Pao i tuhi a Apirana?
Hello. i am doing a essay about "Pao" like a moteatea but my question is what are some or a Pao that Apiriana write?
Paige, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O whangaroa

He was the first maori person to complete his degree
matariki, te aute college

Kia ora Paige! Thanks for your question :) The best way to get help finding this particular info online is to log on to anytime Monday to Friday 1-6pm and a librarian can help you :) Or you might like to visit your local or school library, as books often have more in-depth info than websites! All the best with your project!!
Sargia, AnyQuestions

Mekonen, Kedgley intermediate school

kia ora i am doing a manu korero speach in 4 weeks and i have chosen inspiratinal idol and i have chosen sir Apirana Ngata i need help to do my manu korero
Thanks : waikura
Waikura, Paharakeke

what tribe was he
juliana, kedgley intermediate

How and why did Apirana Ngata encourage Maori to fight during world war 2.
That's a question I have for homework
Jason, Onehunga

How did he do what he did?
Ann, Pukekohe Int

Hello can you tell me more information, can you explain more about how sir apirana ngata
Elisa, Kedgley intermediate school

What is his achievements and contribution about Sir Apirana Ngata
Elizabeth Jones, Southern Cross Campus

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