Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.

PAIKEA, Paraire Karaka

(1897–1943).

Minister of the Crown.

A new biography of Paikea, Paraire Karaka appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.

Paraire Karaka Paikea was born in 1897 at Otamatea, Kaipara, and was descended from Paikea te Hekeua, a noted chief of the Ngati Whatua tribe. He was educated at St. Stephen's College, Auckland (1906–08), and, afterwards, at Wesley College, Paerata (1909–14), where he was dux in his final year. He served as a minister in the Methodist Church from 1915 until 1925 when he became a Koata (executive) in the Ratana movement. In the following year he was appointed private secretary to T. W. Ratana, and he also edited the movement's official paper, Whetu-marama.

In order to carry out the founder's wish that the movement be represented in Parliament, Paikea unsuccessfully contested the Northern Maori seat at the 1928, 1931, and the 1935 general elections. Early in 1936 he was appointed secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party's Maori Advisory Council, which post he retained until 1938, when he won the Northern Maori constituency. On 21 June 1941 Paikea was appointed Member of the Executive Council representing the Maori race. Although this position had long been regarded as an honorary one and the duties purely consultative, Fraser, then Prime Minister, was greatly impressed by the administrative ability Paikea displayed and by the alacrity with which he could grasp the essential points of any question. Accordingly, when the War Administration was set up, Paikea became Minister in Charge of the Maori War Effort. After discussions with Ngata and other Maori leaders, he set about coordinating the war effort of the separate tribes. Local tribal committees were set up throughout the country – 121 being initiated in the Northern Maori Electorate alone. These kept up the flow of recruits to the Maori Battalion and also arranged for Maori labour to be available for essential industries. After 2 October 1942, when the War Administration was dissolved, Paikea continued to administer this portfolio. He died unexpectedly on 6 April 1943 at Wanganui, while on his way to visit Ratana Pa.

In 1918 Paikea married Hinerute Korekore Paraone. After his death his son, Tapihana Paraire Paikea (1920–63), succeeded him as member for Northern Maori.

by Bernard John Foster, M.A., Research Officer, Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington.

  • N.Z.P.D. Vol. 262, 19 May 1943 (Obit)
  • Standard, 15 Apr 1943 (Obit)
  • New Zealand Herald, 7 Apr 1943 (Obit).


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This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

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