Sir Peter Buck


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(b. 15 Dec. 1880?, d. 1 Dec. 1951).

New Zealand politician Born in Urenui as the son of a White father of Irish descent and a Maori mother. After his mother's early death, he was raised by her relatives and was given the name Te Rangi Hiroa. He was educated at Te Aute College, and graduated with a medical degree from Otago University in 1905. He soon became involved in the Young Maori movement of Ngata and Pomare. He set out to work for the improvement of Maori sanitation, hygiene, and health as a government Medical Officer for Maori Health (1905–9). He became a Member of Parliament (1909–14), and was Minister of the Maori Race and the Cook Islands (1912–14). He narrowly failed to be re‐elected to a non‐Maori seat in 1914, and embarked upon a successful military career in World War I. Thereafter, he resumed his public health work as Government Director of Hygiene (1919–27). During this time, his research into Maori anthropology established him as a leading scholar in the field, so that in 1927 he took up an appointment at the Bernice Bishop Museum of Ethnology in Honolulu (Hawaii), whose president he became.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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