Turi Carroll


Alfred (Turi) Carroll (1890–1975) was born at Wairoa, in northern Hawke's Bay. He was of Irish and Ngati Kahungunu descent. His uncle was Sir James Carroll, the long-serving Member of Parliament for Eastern Maori.

At an early age he became known as Turi, after his ancestor Turipareta. He was educated at Te Aute College. During World War I he was active in recruiting for the Maori Contingent. Even though he had lost the sight in his left eye he went overseas with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in 1917. He reached the rank of sergeant and was wounded.

During the 1920s and 1930s Carroll ran the Huramua station, and was very involved in local Wairoa farming organisations. He also devoted much attention to Māori welfare and economic development in the Wairoa region. In 1945 Carroll became a member of the Kahungunu Tribal Executive, and immediately after World War II his main focus was on rehabilitating Māori servicemen. In 1954 he helped set up the East Coast Maori Trust Council, which returned land formerly held in trust to its Māori owners.

Carroll was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 1952, and received a knighthood in 1962. From around this time he put much of his energy into national Māori organisations. He was a member of the Maori Education Foundation, and President of the New Zealand Maori Council between 1963 and 1967. Increasingly, his rural and conservative values conflicted with the emerging younger generation of more radical urban Māori leaders. Sir Turi Carroll died at Huramua station in 1975.

Adapted from the DNZB biography by Jinty Rorke

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