Dr Erihapeti (Elizabeth) Rehu Murchie

Category Three: Nationally Recognised Notable New Zealanders

Date of birth

30 December 1923


5 July 1997


Oriwia Hawea of Ngati Raukawa and John Piuraki Rehu of Ngai Tahu


Malcolm Murchie in 1946


10 children


  • Arowhenua Native School
  • Temuka District High School
  • Christchurch Teachers’ College
  • Victoria University Bachelor of Arts 1977
  • Awarded Honorary Doctorate of Law 1990
  • Appointed to Massey University Council


  • Human Rights Commissioner
  • Worked on health promotion, primary health care and the allocation and organisation of health services as a member of the Board of Health and the Health Promotion Forum.
  • Joined the Maori Women’s Welfare League in 1963 and was appointed National President in 1977 and also became the League’s research director.
  • Maori matters became her major interest with her goal the betterment of the Maori people. Dr Murchie lead the first major research into the health of Maori women which resulted in her published work ‘Rapuora:Health of Maori Women’.
  • Served on Maori Education Foundation, Marae Subsidies Committee, South Island Maori Land Advisory Committee, Maori Women’s Development Trust, Prisons Parole Board, NZ Maori Arts and Crafts Institute Board, NZ Race Relations Committee, and the NZ Drug Foundation.


  • Queens Silver Jubilee Medal 1977
  • Queen’s Service Order 1989
  • NZ 1990 Commemoration Medal
  • Companion of NZ Medal of Merit 1999

Last updated: 16 Sep 2021