Te Tiriti: Te Whanganui-a-Tara, 29 April 1840

Te Tiriti books pictured against a backdrop of Te Whanganui-a-Tara

184 years ago, in early April 1840, Henry Williams arrived at Te Whanganui-a-Tara aboard the Ariel with sheet 8 of Te Tiriti to be signed by mana whenua. It took him 10 days to convince 34 Rangatira at ‘Port Nicholson’ to add their marks/signatures to the document.

Here are listed eight of the Rangatira and signatories who resided at Pipitea Pā: Te Rira Porutu, Tamati Te Matoha (Napuna), Wi Kingi Wairarapa, Te Ropiha Moturoa, Takata Ingo, Hohepa Kopiri, Reihana Reweti/Te Kamo, Te Kahu/Hone Te Iwikau/Matoha).

Te Wharepouri and Rawiri Matangi resided at Ngauranga; Ngatata-i-te-rangi at Kumutoto; Taringakuri, Te Whakakeko, Hore Pakihi – probably at Kaiwharawhara; Honiana Te Puni, Kopeka (Te Puni’s uncle), Rerewha-i-te-rangi (father of Honiana Te Puni), Pamariki Paaka at Pito One; Te Puakawe and Hirini Te Tute at Waiwhetū.

Eight or more local Rangatira eventually signed Sheet no. 8 at Queen Charlotte Sound and Manawatū. Te Manu Toheroa and Tu-te-rangi-pouri of Queen Charlotte Sound had close whānau links to Pipitea and Waiwhetū and Ngakirikiri was also closely associated with Waiwhetū Pā.

Wi Hape Pakau (Pipitea and Waiwhetū) signed the sheet at Manawatū.

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100 Kaituhi Māori 2024: Alice Te Punga Somerville and Kōtuku Titihuia Nuttall

Māori Literature Trust has embarked  on a Project of 100 Kaituhi Māori, and has recently highlighted two gifted Te Āti Awa writers.

Read Maori Literature Trust’s author spotlight on Alice Te Punga Somerville here, and a bibliography of her writing here, via komako.org.nz. Below are the pukapuka by Alice that we have in our libraries:

Once were Pacific : Māori connections to Oceania / Te Punga Somerville, Alice
“Native identity is usually associated with a particular place. But what if that place is the ocean? Once Were Pacific explores this question as it considers how Māori and other Pacific peoples frame their connection to the ocean, to New Zealand, and to each other through various creative works. . In this sustained treatment of the Māori diaspora, Te Punga Somerville provides the first critical analysis of relationships between Indigenous and migrant communities in New Zealand.”–Back cover.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Two hundred and fifty ways to start an essay about Captain Cook / Te Punga Somerville, Alice
“Alice Te Punga Somerville employs her deep research and dark humour to skilfully channel her response to Cook’s global colonial legacy”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)



Always italicise : how to write while colonised / Te Punga Somerville, Alice
“‘Always italicise foreign words’, a friend of the author was advised. In her first book of poetry, Māori scholar and poet Alice Te Punga Somerville does just that. In wit and anger, sadness and aroha, she reflects on ‘how to write while colonised’ – how to write in English as a Māori writer; how to trace links between Aotearoa and wider Pacific, Indigenous and colonial worlds; how to be the only Māori person in a workplace; and how – and why – to do the mahi anyway.” – Publisher’s information.” (Catalogue)

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Congratulations Huia Publishers

It was a delight to read that Huia Publishers have been announced as winners of the Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s  Publishers of the Year, Oceania, at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy. It does not seem like 30 years since the Huia Publishers appeared on the landscape of New Zealand publishing, and I well remember those early days of the deeply dedicated mahi of Robyn and Brian Bargh, and later, Brian Morris, as well as their (as always) deeply committed staff.

Read about their big win over on The Spinoff, and find out more about Huia here.

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui – (always) be strong, be brave, be steadfast in your mahi  (now and forever!)

Ngā Pukapuka Hou: Recent Picks from our Kohikohinga Māori

Our latest batch of recent picks lean heavily into the arts, suggesting skills to be developed as the days grow shorter and the nights cooler, while also giving a selection of titles you can use to enhance your reo, and gain a greater understanding of Te Tiriti.

Understanding Te Tiriti : a handbook of basic facts about Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Smail, Roimata
Understanding Te Tiriti: A Handbook of Basic Facts about Te Tiriti o Waitangi by Roimata Smail distills essential information for every individual in Aotearoa. Leveraging her two-decades of legal expertise in Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Smail presents the facts in this short book in a way that is easy to digest. The handbook uses accessible language and beautiful design to make it easy to understand, leaving room for the reader to absorb these basic facts. Suitable for adults and younger readers.” (Catalogue)

Māori prosperity and development / Clydesdale, Greg
“Twenty years ago, the Ngāi Tahu Development Corp contracted Dr Clydesdale to write a strategy to enhance the prosperity of its members. This triggered a life-long motive to raise Māori welfare. For decades, government policy has failed to close the gap between Māori and Pākehā. Several reasons exist for this including a failure to understand the drivers of economic prosperity and a vision of history that stops at 1840. Clydesdale argues that the policies have failed because they have placed mana of a few above the prosperity of a people.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Reo ora : a Māori language course for intermediate learners. Ko te weu level three / Wiri, Kingi Robert J
“Take your Māori language learning to the next level. This intermediate course teaches twenty key sentence patterns in te reo Māori to extend beginners’ language skills. Dr Rāpata Wiri is a Māori language expert who has developed this course to teach people to speak, read and write te reo Māori confidently. Step through the modules and complete the exercises, and see your Māori language grow.” (adapted from Catalogue)

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Te Tiriti o Waitangi: 6 Huitanguru 2024

Kia Tūpato: let’s begin this kōrero (in somewhat turbulent times) with a waiata from Morvin Simon:

And as we pause — kia maumaharatia anō Te Tiriti o Waitangi, me hora te aroha engari anō te rirhau, spread love not anger — ngā kupu mōhio nō ō tātou rangatira:

Here are some resources for Te Rā o Waitangi, gathered from ngā hau e whā…

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Author and playwright Renée dies, aged 94

We at the library were deeply saddened to hear of the recent passing of Aotearoa author Renée, born in 1929 in Napier of Ngāti Kahungunu and Irish-English-Scots ancestry. After a hard start “she left school at twelve and worked in various jobs” before she found her true vocation in life as a writer, gaining a BA at the University of Auckland in 1979.

Much of her work championed the oppressed and the disenfranchised; humanising working-class people and often having women in leading roles. She wrote over twenty highly acclaimed plays and published many fiction works including The Wild Card, which was shortlisted for the 2020 Ngaio Marsh Awards.

Her last book, “one of her recent forays into the crime genre,” was Blood Matters, published in 2022.

She documented her own amazing life in her autobiography These Two Hands.

She was a driven author, writing and creating work well into her nineties and beyond, and was as passionate about the things that interested her in those later years as ever.

She has described herself as a ‘lesbian feminist with socialist working-class ideas’ and expressed these convictions strongly and clearly in many of her powerful works.

We at the library were proud, honoured and privileged to do several library events with Renée, some of the recordings of which can be viewed on the library YouTube channel. You can find an extensive range of her wonderful work in our library collection.

We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to her family at this time.