An ongoing journey : a memoir / by Peter Tauwhare, a Ngāi Tahu kaumatua - Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

An ongoing journey : a memoir / by Peter Tauwhare, a Ngāi Tahu kaumatua

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Author:   Peter Tauwhare
Edited: Margaret Sweet
Print publication: 2003
Pages:   164pp, Paperback

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“An Ongoing Journey” is the autobiography of Peter Tauwhare (Pita Wharepuni Tauwhare), an Anglican Priest from the South Island, who was born in 1927. It covers the greatest part of the twentieth century, through which he lived for seventy-five years.

Peter Tauwhare’s school life was cut short by the outbreak of war in 1939, which provided the means of escaping from normal home and school routines into the Navy at the age of fifteen.

Freedom from school came at a high price. For a naïve, young Māori lad, he was totally out of his depths in the Pākehā world. Eventually Peter fell prey to the curse of alcoholism and its sordid lifestyle, until in 1979 he began his recovery from this dreaded disease.

This is an autobiographical account of an interesting and varied life by an intelligent and thoughtful person. It deals with serious issues, some particular to being Māori in New Zealand society. It provides a personal view of significant periods in New Zealand history, including the Second World War, the Korean War, the prosperity of the 1960s and the recent renaissance of the Māori culture and identity. The book will be of interest to both the Māori and Pākehā reader.

Other important themes covered in contemporary New Zealand society include Māori-Pākehā relations and rural education. It also includes a balanced, thoughtful discussion of the significance of Christian faith and Māori identity in the Anglican Church. For the author it inspirationally demonstrates the possibility of turning one’s life around.