Title: Henry Lawson Among Maoris

Author: William H. Pearson

Publication details: Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd, 1968, Wellington

Digital publication kindly authorised by: Paul Millar

Part of: New Zealand Texts Collection

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Henry Lawson Among Maoris


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It is hardly conceivable that a second edition of my book Henry Lawson Among Maoris (Australian National University Press, Canberra, and Reed, Wellington, 1968) will ever be needed, but it is necessary to make available corrections of a number of inaccuracies of which I became aware after the book had been published. Two corrections were made in the course of a discussion between me and Rollo Arnold in Austraiian Literary Studies, May 1969, pp. 68–79 (to which I refer scholars who are interested) but the need for further corrections became apparent after comments from the historian of the Kaikoura district, the late J.M. Sherrard, who had advised me throughout the writing of the book, and information received from a Ngai-Tahu elder who knew the relationships of the Maori people of Mangamaunu.

When the book was going to press there was a prolonged postal strike in Australia which prevented me from submitting the maps and photographs to J.M. Sherrard for comment. Consequently, mistakes in the map of Mangamaunu and in the captions to two photographs were not picked up in time. They are corrected in this revision.

The other changes concern family relationships in the Maori community at Mangamaunu. The advice of the Ngai-Tahu elder, Syd Cormack of Tuatapere, Southland, was very helpful. He provided a whakapapa (genealogy) of the descendants of the chief Wahaaruhe and directed me to succession orders of the Christchurch Maori Land Court, held then at the Maori Affairs Department, Christchurch, which enabled me to verify variants of the names of Ratima Jacob and his daughters Mary, Irihapeti and Okeroa and trace their death certificates (for example a partition order dated 15 September 1927 in File Marlborough 33/62 and a succession order in the South Island Minute Book 42/304 following the death of Ratima Ihaia Waruhe on 15 July 1929).

Those unfamiliar may at first be confused by the fact that the people of Mangamaunu could have several names. Thus Mary Jacob's father could be known by by an inherited baptismal name which functioned as a surname, as Ratima Jacob or Hakopa; he could also be known by his father's name as Ratima Ihaia, by his grandfather's name as Ratima Ihaia Parau, and his great-grandfather's name as Wahaaruhe (which came to be simplified to Waruhe and treated as a surname). It was also common for a person to take on a familiar name such as Maud for Irihapeti (or Elizabeth) and October for Okeroa.

It is unlikely that the changes made in this revision will be of much interest to Australian scholars, since none of them concern the biography of Henry Lawson himself, and there has been no attempt to update the book in the light of Lawson scholarship since 1968. But the current interest in the history of education of Maoris means that the corrections page breakmay be of interest to New Zealand researchers. The motive for preparing this list of revisions has been simply to put right the details which I learned were wrong, and to make them available in a select number of research libraries.

I have also revisited the files of Mangamaunu Native School, now held at National Archives, Auckland.

This revision is designed to be used in conjunction with a copy of the original edition of Henry Lawson Among Maoris.

Copies of the revision are being sent to these libraries:
National Library of Australia
Mitchell Library, Sydney
Australian National University Library

National Library of New Zealand
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington
University of Auckland Library
Auckland Institute and Museum Library
University of Waikato Library
Massey University Library
Victoria University of Wellington Library
University of Canterbury Library
University of Otago Library

W. H. Pearson

5 April 1993