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The Maoris of the South Island


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I have written this book at the request of many friends whose opinion I value.

I made my first contact with the Maori people in my youth. I arrived in New Zealand with my parents and we lived near a Maori settlement in the area now known as Berhampore, Wellington. It was here that my attention was first drawn to the Maori people and their way of life. Later, we moved to Masterton and my interest was maintained in these attractive folk living at their Pa at Te Ore Ore. In after years, during my appointment as Christian minister, I was closely associated with the Maori people of Otakou and I valued their friendship.

It has been my privilege to meet and know several European missionaries who were expert in their knowledge of the Maori race. I refer to the Revs. W. Gittos, W. Rowse and T. G. Hammond, since deceased. I also knew and conversed with the Rev. Tahupotiki Haddon, a gentleman of high and chiefly standing among his own people. In later years I have met and consulted the Revs. E. Te Tuhi, Matarae Tuakau Tauroa and Rakena P. Rakena.

Dr. D. J. Sinclair, a descendant of the chief Horomona Pohio, has assisted me in many ways and allowed me access to his valuable manuscripts regarding the South Island Maoris. I desire to acknowledge my indebtedness to the volumes written by Dr. A. J. Harrop, Dr. E. Shortland, Dr. Peter Buck, Dr. R. McNab, Mr. Herries Beattie, and others whose names are mentioned in these pages. I tender my thanks to the staff of the McNab, Hocken, University and Athenaeum Libraries, also to Miss M. M. Pryde, secretary of the Early Settlers Association, for her help in so many ways. I am particularly and deeply indebted to Mr. Alfred Eccles (since deceased) for reading my manuscript and for making con- page 8 structive suggestions regarding the arrangement of certain historical data; to my friend and guide Mr. A. H. Reed for his valuable judgement, including his practical assistance in many directions. To Mr. A. W. Reed of Wellington for help in preparing the MS. for the press. If I have omitted any name I offer my sincerest regret.

It is my desire that this little book may awaken a deeper interest in our Maori people and in their remarkable history. Their first contact with the South Island Europeans was for the most part unfortunate, but the coming of the Revs. Watkin and Creed with their Gospel of peace and good will, their schools, educational and medical facilities, helped to bring in the dawn of a new day. Now they are loyal, reputable “law abiding citizens of high aspirations and a valuable part of our Commonwealth of nations.”

T. A. Pybus

June, 1954