Dame Whina Cooper (1895 - 1994)
Where can I find information about Dame Whina Cooper and the land march of 1975?
Image: Whina Cooper addressing Māori land march at Hamilton, 25 September 1975 by Christian Heinegg via Wikimedia Commons
Entry last updated: 13/01/21
Dame Whina Cooper, of Te Rarawa descent, was born in 1895 in northern Hokianga. She is best known for leading the famous 1975 land march (also called a hīkoi) from Te Hapua (in the far north) to Parliament in Wellington. The land march was a protest about Māori land loss and a nation wide reminder of the strength of Māori identity.
Dame Whina Cooper is an important figure in New Zealand history. Below are some reliable websites with lots of information for you to investigate.
Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.
- To find an overview of Dame Whina Cooper's life and activities, select the Biographies tab
- then select 'C'
- and find Cooper, Whina in the alphabetical list.
- To find more specific information about events that Whina Cooper was involved in, use keywords in the search box to explore further, for example land protests.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.
NZHistory is another great site for information on New Zealand, and like Te Ara above, belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage.
- Use the search box and type in Whina Cooper to find some good information.
- By selecting Images & media, after our search above, we found a short video of Te Roopu o te Matakite march on parliament, 1975.
Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.
EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.
This database has an extensive range of current and historical biographies of notable people from around the World.
- Use the search box to search for 'Whina Cooper'.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.
This is a great site for finding magazine and newspaper articles on your subject.
- As above, use the search box to search for 'Whina Cooper'.
NZ On Screen is the online showcase of NZ television, film, music video and web series. Documentaries here are an excellent source of information.
- Use the search box to find part one and part two of an in-depth documentary on Dame Whina Cooper.
- You can also use different keywords to find footage of events that Whina Cooper was involved in, For example The Māori Land March.
TVNZ is a website showing programmes that are/have been on some national television channels, such as TV1 and TV2 - which includes documentaries.
- By using the keywords 'land march', we found a 45 minute documentary made in 2015, called Hikoi - the land march.
Tips: you will need to set up a free account with TV1 to view this documentary.
Books and DVDs
Your local or school library may also have books and DVDs about Dame Whina Cooper and the land march. Some recommended titles are :
- Whina Cooper by Kevin Boon
- Whina te whaea o te motu = mother of the nation (DVD) written, produced and directed by Bryan Bruce.
Tips: when searching for people on a library catalogue, you can leave out their titles such as Dame, Sir or Mr. In this case just search for the keywords 'Whina Cooper'.
SCIS no: 1888759