COOPER -WILLIAM TURAKIUTA -1885 --- 1932
edmondsallan - hello - Many of us , have heard or read about " Whina Cooper " . What a woman she was . I would never be able to express the capabilities of this very proud unassumming woman . The story I am about to tell is the other relatively unknown side of this great woman . In doing so I hope I don't tread on any one's pride or ancestral family 's toes . If I should , I apologize now. I have put into this journal only what is well known for many years , and never mentioned . This Journal is mostly about " Willam Turakiuta Cooper " a high ranking leader of the " Ngati Kahungunu " who eventually married " Whina Cooper ". To start our story ,we travel to ' Muriwai , Gisborne - Poverty Bay . NZ '
William Turakiuta Cooper (sometimes known as Wiremu Te Apatu Cooper) was born at Muriwai, Poverty Bay, probably in 1885 or 1886, one of twin sons of Robert Cooper and Mere Morera (or Christie). Both parents were of Ngati Kahungunu and European descent. His mother was the daughter of Rawinia Te Apatu and grand-daughter of Te Apatu-o-te-rangi, an important chief of Ngati Rakaipaaka of Ngati Kahungunu. She was descended from the important Ngati Kahungunu ancestors Te Huki and Tapuwae.
In 1908 William Cooper became a first-class licensed interpreter and worked in Nuhaka. He may also have worked for a time as a farmer and contractor. He and Koparepare Matiu of Te Whakatohea had a son, Matiu Te Auripo Te Hau, in 1912. In Gisborne on 24 July 1918 Cooper married Margaret (Maggie) Te Uira Paewai. By this stage he was living in Gisborne, where he was a leader of the Kahungunu Welfare Association. In October 1925 Apirana Ngata wrote to Prime Minister Gordon Coates saying Cooper 'was for very many years with Messrs Nolan & Skeet, Solicitors of Gisborne, and there showed a complete knowledge of the Native Land laws and practice, as well as of Maori history and custom'. In 1927 Cooper was native associate to the royal commission of inquiry into confiscated Maori lands that was chaired by Sir William Sim. In the same year he was involved in an inquiry into the sale of the Nuhaka lands of Ngati Rakaipaaka in 1865.
Cooper was placed in charge of land consolidation schemes in North Auckland. In 1930 Cooper represented Nga Puhi at a meeting at Waiomatatini and in 1932 he attended the Whakarewarewa land development conference at Rotorua.At the Rotorua land development conference in 1932 William Cooper had met Hohepine (Whina) Gilbert, née Te Wake. Till we meet again -Regards -edmondsallan