Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngāti Mutunga
Margaret Te Kahurangi Matangi was born in New Plymouth the second of 12 siblings to Tioro Matangi and Hinehau (nee Karena). Margaret was educated firstly at Bell Block and Fitzroy schools before enrolling at New Plymouth Girl’s High School.
Margaret was quoted “we were from a farming family, but I was schooled in town, because my parents wanted us to have every opportunity”.
Her expertise as an athlete showed up early, as a third former, Margaret entered the senior athletics championships at the New Plymouth Girl’s High School and won it, continuing that accomplishment for the next three years.
On leaving school Margaret wanted to engage in a career in teaching, and enrolled at Auckland Teachers Training College.
Meg (as she was now known) represented and captained Taranaki, Wellington, Auckland, Auckland University and NZ University, but it was in July 1938 her training was interrupted when she was selected to play for the first ever New Zealand basketball team (now known as netball) to compete in Australia, a further honour for Margaret was being named as captain of that inaugural NZ team.
Meg’s work for the Intellectually handicapped was recognized, when she was awarded the first ‘Rotary Club of Auckland Vocational Award’
In 1976 Margaret was awarded an MBE, personally presented with her decoration by Queen Elizabeth in February 1977.
New Zealand 1938
Rotary Club of Auckland
Awarded an MBE in 1976