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Book & Print in New Zealand : A Guide to Print Culture in Aotearoa


The languages used in New Zealand were all brought here from overseas. The history of their use, and associated print cultures, is that of the people who came, and stayed. Māori, the language of the tangata whenua and the oldest such language, has been considered in the preceding chapters, as has New Zealand English, the language of wider communication.

This section covers the print culture of all languages other than Māori and English with a New Zealand connection, and incorporates all the perspectives of the preceding sections. For example, the publishing records of newspapers in Chinese are recorded here (not under 'Publishing') as are bibliographies for Pacific Island material (not under 'Access tools' in the 'Readers and Reading' chapter). This chapter is therefore something of a microcosm.

The patterns of immigration, geographic context, government and other (e.g. religious) administration, together with the nature of the languages themselves suggested two quite distinct groupings within the chapter:

  • Pacific Island languages, where the sudden impact of an imported print culture can be traced in ways similar to the impact on Māori oral culture, and since when there has been an ongoing New Zealand-based print culture connection
  • All other languages which have developed their own print culture within the predominant Māori/English culture (including print culture), or languages to which New Zealand has initiated a print culture response

These groupings are presented in more detail in the two following sections, each of which has its own introduction.