Joan Metge was born in 1930 in Auckland, New Zealand. She is an anthropologist by training. She is well known for her groundbreaking research in Maori communities and the so-called urban drift of the mid twentieth century. She attended Auckland University College, where she studied Geography, French and German, completed an MA thesis on Maori population movements and, in 1958, completed a PhD in Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics. She published her thesis as her first book, A New Maori Migration: Urban and Rural Relations in Northern New Zealand. Since then she has published a number of important books on Maori history and society and on cross-cultural communication, including The Maoris of New Zealand (1967/1976), Talking Past Each Other (1978/1984 ), New Growth From Old and Korero Tahi (AUP). Her famous work Rautahi: The Maoris of New Zealand was republished by Routledge in 2004. Joan Metge was awarded the nonfiction prize in the 2015 New Zealand Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement.