Portrait of Lady Pomare

Portrait of Lady Pomare
Pomare: Lady
Shore Bennett: Beverley
Oil on canvas
710 x 580mm

Mildred (Miria) Pomare (1877–1971)

Miria Pomare, the daughter of James Woodbine Johnson of Maraetaha, Hawkes Bay, a wealthy runholder and orchardist, and Mere Hape (Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki iwi), learned Māori to retain contact with her tribal kin while also receiving a Pakeha education. In January 1903 she married Maui Pomare (Ngāti Mutunga & Ngāti Toa), a medical officer, Māori health reformer and politician whom she assisted by playing an active role in community organisations. From 1911 she worked hard to further her husband’s political career. During the First World she threw herself into helping form the Māori Soldiers’ Fund, which raised funds for the preparation of food parcels that were sent to Māori soldiers and Rarotongans in France and Egypt. After her husband died in 1930, Miria Pomare remained active in welfare and community organisations until her death at Lower Hutt in 1971.