Maori girl from Taupo village. © Jimmy Nelson
Margaret Pattison Thom, who was later widely known as Makereti (or Maggie) Papakura, was born at Matata, in the Bay of Plenty (New Zealand), on 20 October 1873. Her father was an Englishman, William Arthur Thom, a storekeeper who later worked in the Resident Magistrate's Court at Rotorua, and then at Wairoa. Her mother was Pia Ngarotu Te Rihi, a high-born Te Arawa (Maori tribal group) woman of Ngati Wahiao hapu of Tuhourangi, who was descended from Te Arawa chiefs Tama-te-kapua, Ngatoroirangi, Hei and Ika. Soon after her birth, Makereti was taken to the rural community of Parekarangi to be raised by her mother's paternal aunt and uncle, Marara Marotaua and Maihi Te Kakau Paraoa. It was from them that Makereti learnt the genealogies, history and customs of her tribe.