Pei Te Hurinui Jones

Pei Te Hurinui Jones OBE (9 September 1898 7 May 1976) was a New Zealand tribal leader, interpreter, land officer, writer, translator and genealogist. Of Māori descent, he identified with the Ngati Maniapoto iwi. He was born in Harataunga, Thames/Coromandel, New Zealand, on 9 September 1898.[1] Jones had very limited formal education and was largely self-taught. The famous Waikato Kingitanga leader, Te Puea, referred to Jones and his brother Mick as "those bloody Hurai" (Jews), as their father, Daniel Lewis, was Jewish.[2]

Both Jones and his older brother, Mick, and friend Leslie Kelly were at one time close associates of Te Puea of Turangawaewae.[3] He considered himself senior in his genealogical ties to Te Puea with whom he worked.[4] He wrote the first history of the Tainui people, having gathered the information for many years with the help of Kelly. In 1940, when Jones was suffering from cancer and expected to die, Kelly took the material to a publisher and had it printed under his own name as "Tainui" but Jones had an operation and lived to an old age.

Jones was a strong National Party advocate. He stood for Parliament several times between 1930[5] and 1963.[1] In 1930 he stood as an Independent in the 1930 by-election for Western Maori. In the 1938 election, when he stood as an Independent in the Western Maori electorate (with National Party support), he came second after Labour's Toko Ratana. He stood as the National Party candidate for Western Maori in 1943, 1945 by-election, 1957, 1960 and 1963,[6] although a newspaper report said he was "Unofficial Labour" in 1943.[7]

Jones was one of the Kingitanga actively involved in getting compensation for the confiscation of land in 1863 after the defeat of the Kingite rebellion. He was involved with the Maori Land Court, and with the consolidation of Māori land, and with the development of Māori land in the King Country. He was awarded an honorary degree by Waikato University in 1968 to recognise his major contribution to Waikato Tainui literature and development.[8]

In the 1961 Queen's Birthday Honours, Jones was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to the Māori people.[9]


  1. Biggs, Bruce. "Pei Te Hurinui Jones". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved December 2011. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. Being Pakeha Now. M. King. Penguin. 2004.P 130
  3. Te Puea. M. King. Reed, 2003
  4. Being Pakeha Now. Penguin 2004 P 142.
  5. "To-Day's Polls". The Evening Post. CX (86). 8 October 1930. p. 13. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  6. "The General Election, 1938". National Library. 1939. p. 6. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  7. "291 Candidates: Nomination features". The Evening Post/Papers Past. 10 September 1943.
  8. Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. p. 370. ISBN 0-474-00177-6.
  9. "No. 42372". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 June 1961. p. 4184.

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