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Māui Pōmare

Maui Wiremu Piti Naera Pomare (1876–1930, Ngati Mutunga, Ngati Toa Rangatira) when he was on the Executive Council in William Massey's government, New Zealand
Maui Wiremu Piti Naera Pomare (1876–1930, Ngati Mutunga, Ngati Toa Rangatira) when he was on the Executive Council in William Massey's government, New Zealand 1916, Photograph by Stanley Polkinghorne Andrew (about 1879–1964), New Zealand, courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand (S P Andrew Collection, 1/1-014581-G)

Maui Pomare (1876–1930, Ngati Mutunga, Ngati Toa Rangatira) was New Zealand's first Maori doctor, Native Health Officer, and Minister of Health. He worked tirelessly for Maori health and land reform in the early 20th century.

As a young man in the late 1800s, Pomare decided to become a doctor to help his people. At the time, Maori were widely considered a 'dying race' – 100 years of contact with European settlers and diseases had taken their toll. Pomare did his medical training in the United States, returning home in 1900. That year, he was appointed Native Health Officer and worked to improve conditions in rural Maori settlements.

Pomare entered Parliament in 1911 and became Minister of Health in 1923. During his almost 20-year parliamentary career, Pomare championed Maori and maternal health, and also worked for the return of confiscated Maori land. 

Pomare was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1920 and was knighted in 1922.



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