Walker, Ranginui

Walker, Ranginui

In Brief

Ranginui Walker, Whakatohea, was a writer and academic. His writing is an invaluable source of information on Māori literature, as well as many other topics. Walker worked and advocated extensively in the area of education and he published numerous books and articles. In 2003 he was appointed to the Waitangi Tribunal. His book, Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou: Struggle Without End, published in 1990, was ground breaking in providing a uniquely Māori view of recent history and beyond to the very origins of the Māori people. Ranginui Walker passed away 29 February 2016.


Walker, Ranginui (1932–2016 ), Whakatohea, associate professor of Maori studies at Auckland University (Te Wananga o Waipapa), became known to the broader public in the 1980s with his regular columns in NZ Listener and Metro, although he had published many academic papers before that.

The wide range of his interests makes his writing an invaluable source of information on Maori literature, as well as many other topics.

His book-length publications include Nga Tau Tohetohe (1987), a collection of his finest columns, and Ka Whawhai tonu Matou: Struggle without End (1990), an unusual book of Maori history, as well as more specialised works: The Political Development of the Maori People in New Zealand (1984), The Meaning of Biculturalism (1986), History of Maori Activism (1983), The Treaty of Waitangi (1983), Perceptions and Attitudes of the New Generation of Maoris to Pakeha Domination (1981), Liberating Maori from Educational Subjection (1991) and Nga Mamae o te Iwi Maori: Te Ripoata o te Hui i Turangawaewae (1987).



Nga Pepa a Ranginui: The Walker Papers was published in 1996.

He Tipua: The Life and Times of Sir Apirana Ngata was shortlisted for the 2002 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.

Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou: Struggle Without End (Revised Edition) was published by Penguin in 2004. This revised edition contains two new chapters (over 100 pages) and includes the last decade and a half, bringing us up to 2004.

Tohunga Whakairo: Paki Harrison: The Story of a Master Carver was published by Penguin in 2008. This major biography by Ranginui Walker traces Paki Harrison's life and work, from his privileged upbringing in the Ngāti Porou household of his grandmother, to where he was singled out for special training. Tohunga Whakairo: Paki Harrison won the 2009 Nga Kupu Ora Book Award for Biography.

Ranginui Walker received the 2009 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in Non-Fiction, worth $60,000, in recognition of contribution to New Zealand literature.

Ranginui Walker passed away 29 February 2016.


Updated January 2017.