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Reviews

In July TE KARAKA staff were privileged to attend the launch of this pukapuka at Te Rau Aroha Marae in Awarua. This was a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the partnership between the Whenua Hou Komiti and the Department of Conservation that brought this book to life.

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Reviews

Whiria te tāngata — Weave the people together. Guardians of Aotearoa does just this, crafting a korowai of diverse narratives. From activists, to ecologists, to te reo Māori advocates, Knox shines a light on the people who call this place home, and their passions.

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Roger Blackley’s Galleries of Maoriland is an important new book that focuses on the art of the colonial period in New Zealand and the cultures of Maoriland. Maoriland is, Blackley says, as much a period as it is a place

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Books

When I heard that Andrew Crowe was the author of a new book about Polynesian voyaging, I must admit that I was both surprised and intrigued. I am a fan of many of his books about New Zealand plants and birds, and therefore I immediately connected the reference to birds in the title of this book with his previous works. With keen interest I embarked on the journey of reading this well-presented book, drawn in by the image of a modern waka hourua on the cover, and backed up by the fantastic and helpful reference map of the Pacific on the inside sleeve.

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Rob Tipa artfully weaves together mātauranga (knowledge) from an array of sources in Treasures of Tāne. He displays a true knack for research, with references from early settler records, Pākehā anthropologists’ observations of Māori life, and the scant (and therefore all the more precious) pieces of oral history some Ngāi Tahu whānau preserved through the past century.

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Tātai Whetū: Seven Māori Women Poets in Translation is a bilingual collection of poetry, and a literary delicacy not to be missed.

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Books

This splendid book came from an agreement between the publishers in early 2017 to produce a book of Ngāi Tahu biographies to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the tribe’s Te Tiriti settlement. The editors acknowledge it was a difficult task to select the 50 people whose stories would feature in the first volume, leading to some omissions that will no doubt be rectified by subsequent volumes.

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The book covers the events of the exile of Tāwhiao, the second Māori King, following the final defeat of the Land Wars at Ōrākau, when the King and his supporters were forced into armed isolation, and operated for 20 years as an independent state. The narrative maintains a central focus on the actions of Tāwhiao and the Kīngitanga, whilst weaving in the other related historical figures and events of the time.

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In the short introduction to this collection, the editors vow to “go beyond the edges of what is expected from Oceanic writing” – the boundaries of where (all over the Pacific), what (endlessly diverse), and how (gender-bending and experimental amongst other styles) we write.

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This book came from a “Treaty on the Ground” conference held in 2016 at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Museum. It is a sometimes awkward attempt to cover the wide-ranging offerings of some of the participants. The phrase “Treaty on the Ground” is from Pākehā historian Ruth Ross’ 1972 piece attacking the “woolly-mindedness” that had allowed the Treaty to become all things to all people. The conference covered developments from 1945 to the present – although David Williams also traces links to Te Tiriti back to the Magna Carta – with a broad variety of offerings.

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