James Hēnare (1911–1989) was born at Mōtatau in the Bay of Islands. He was descended from a number of famous northern warrior chiefs, including Hōne Heke and Kawiti. His father Taurekareka Hēnare, elected Member of Parliament representing Northern Māori in 1914, was of Ngā Puhi and Ngāti Whātua. His mother, Hera Paerata, was of Te Rārawa, Ngāti Kuri and Te Aupōuri.
Whina Cooper, of Te Rārawa, was born in northern Hokianga in 1895. She took part in local affairs and by the 1930s had become a leader of the northern Hokianga people. In 1932 she played an active role, with Āpirana Ngata, in setting up Maori land development schemes in the region. Eleven schemes (comprising 98,000 acres, or 40,000 hectares) were set up in the Hokianga district, and Whina supervised several. The schemes made rapid progress, although several later proved uneconomic.
Meri Te Tai Mangakahia (1868–1920), of Te Rarawa, was born in the Hokianga district. Her husband, Hamiora Mangakahia of Hauraki, was elected Premier of the Māori Kotahitanga Parliament in 1892. At a meeting of the Parliament in Hawke’s Bay in 1893 Meri Te Tai presented a motion requesting that women participate in the selection of members.