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.

Piki Ake, Kake Ake! Bill Oliver Prize 2023

The Bill Oliver Prize is a bi-ennial award for the best book on any aspect of New Zealand history, and the 2023 winners were announced at the New Zealand Historians conference in Christchurch recently. Huge congratulations to:

  • Paul Diamond (Ngāti Haua, Te Rarawa, Ngapuhi) for Downfall: the destruction of Charles Mackay.

    Downfall: the destruction of Charles Mackay / Diamond, Paul
    “In 1920 New Zealanders were shocked by the news that the brilliant, well-connected mayor of Whanganui had shot a young gay poet, D’Arcy Cresswell, who was blackmailing him. They were then riveted by the trial that followed. Mackay was sentenced to hard labour and later left the country, only to be shot by a police sniper during street unrest in Berlin during the rise of the Nazis. The outcome of years of digging by historian Paul Diamond, ‘Downfall: The destruction of Charles Mackay’ shines a clear light on the vengeful impulses behind the blackmail and Mackay’s ruination.” (Adapted from catalogue) Also available as an eBook – Downfall, by Paul Diamond.

    Read reviews of Downfall from RNZ and The SpinOff.

  • Rachel Buchanan (Ngāti Haumia, Taranaki, Te Atiawa) for Te Motunui epa

    Te Motunui Epa / Buchanan, Rachel
    “‘This is a story about the power of art to help us find a way through the darkness. It is about how art can bring out the best in us, and the worst. The artworks in question are five wooden panels carved in the late 1700s by relatives in Taranaki.’ This stunning book examines how five interconnected archival records, Te Motunui Epa, have journeyed across the world and changed international law, practices and understanding on the protection and repatriation of stolen cultural treasures.” (Adapted from catalogue)

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He Pukapuka Hou: New Items in Our Māori Collection

A selection of recent additions to our Māori Collection, including timely works on Parihaka and the New Zealand Wars, a compilation of writings from modern Māori authors, a tribute to the well-loved Moana Jackson, and more!

Te Kooti’s last foray : the extraordinary story of Te Kooti’s 1870 abduction of two Whakatōhea communities into the Waioeka Gorge and how Whanganui’s pursuit won the day but never the credit / Crosby, R. D.
“On 7 March 1870 the prophet and rebel Te Kooti swept out of Te Urewera to Ōpape, in what would be his last major action of the New Zealand Wars. His forces abducted 218 Whakatōhea and marched them into the bush to build a pa called Waipuna. Before long the government sent troops in pursuit – almost exclusively Māori. In this captivating book, historian Ron Crosby draws on his decades of experience in Te Urewera and recently discovered diaries to recount this overlooked yet crucial episode in the New Zealand Wars – for the first time locating precisely where the events occurred, and telling what really happened.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The forgotten prophet : Tāmati Te Ito and his Kaingārara movement / Sissons, Jeffrey
“Tāmati Te Ito Ngāmoke led the prophetic Kaingārara movement in Taranaki from 1856. Te Ito was revered by tribal leaders as a prophetic tohunga matakite; but others, including many settlers and officials, viewed him as an ‘imposter’. By the time war broke out in 1860, Te Ito and his followers had established a school and a court system in Taranaki. Te Ito was a visionary adviser to Te Ātiawa chief Wiremu Kīngi Te Rangitāke, and played a crucial role in the conflicted region, both before and after the wars of the 1860s. Initially perceived as a rival to the Parihaka leaders, Tohu Kākahi and Te Whiti o Rongomai, he eventually joined the Parihaka community.”  (adapted from Bridget Williams Books)

Ngā kupu wero : a powerful new collection of non-fiction by contemporary Māori writers
“Ngā Kupu Wero brings together a bounty of essays, articles, commentary, and creative non-fiction on the political, cultural, and social issues that challenge us today. From colonisation to identity, from creativity to mātauranga Māori, over 60 writers explore the power of the word. Ngā Kupu Wero is a companion volume to Te Awa o Kupu, which presents recent poetry and fiction. Together these two passionate and vibrant anthologies reveal that the irrepressible river of words flowing from Māori writers today shows us who and what we are.” (adapted from Catalogue)

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Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2023: Whakanuia te mahi tā Morvin Simon: kia kaha te reo Māori

Morvin Simon MNZM
Morvin Simon MNZM, 1944-2014. CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons and the Governor-General/Government House website

Morvin Simon, 1944-2014
Te Āti-Haunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Tuwharetoa
b. Kaiwhaiki Marae, Whanganui River
Composer, kapa haka leader, choirmaster and historian

In this Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, let’s remember the special team of Morvin and Kura Simon, who gave a life’s partnership to sustaining Te Reo Māori and enhancing Māori performing arts:

Morvin composed many waiata including our workplace favourite: (Te Aroha 1983) – so simple and yet so beautiful but he composed many other waiata such as:

His wife Kura was his pou for the last seven years of Morvin’s chronic ill-health. Kapa haka is a wonderful way of promoting te reo and they brought aroha and whanaungatanga to the lives of rōpū such as Te Matapihi, and Te Taikura o te Awa Tupua.

Together, in 2013, they were awarded Queen’s Birthday honours – Morvin as Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and Kura as Queen’s Service Medal , for their services to Māori.

In the previous year, 2012, Morvin received an honorary Bachelor of Arts (Māori Performing Arts) from Te Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

Our library has copies of Morvin’s history of pā of Whanganui – Taku Whare e! but his tuhituhinga included:

Te Kohanga reo, he ahurewa mana = A language nursery, seedbed of dignity (1990)

1946-1996 Hui Aranga : “Te Aranga Ake” = “The Resurrection” (1996)

A century of Maori song : a collection of words and music for 56 traditional and contemporary Maori songs of the 20the century. Volume one (2002)

He whakaaro hei korero (1991)

and a section of Te Wharekura. 46: Te Taonga nei o te tikanga.

Morvin exhorted his learners to be always prepared for any occasion:

You never know when you just might have to step up to the plate and get your reo on:
Moea to taiaha ; Moea to patu ; Moea to poi

Sleep wth your taiaha, sleep with your patu, sleep with your poi / Be prepared for the unexpected.

Learn more: