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EARLY AUCKLAND JOURNALISM VAT-ED KEIICS IS MITCHELL ÜBRAItT. (By ERIC RAMSDEN.) The riehl- endowed Mitchell Library holds much 'that is peculiarly associated with the early history of New Zealand. When wandering through its spacious and well-appointed rooms, one cannot repress the wish that many a picture, document, or book, so carefully guarded there had found a permanent resting place on the opposite side of the turbulent Tasman. But this, of course, is merely the New Zealandcr's viewpoint. To my mind there is perhaps no more intimate link with the pioneering days of my country, and a better example of its early journalism, than the records contained in the rare and faded little -ellow sheets of "Te Karere O Isu Tireni," to quote one of its several titles, which repose in this the treasure house of New South Wales. IM collation of "The Maori Messenger, which made its initial appearance in Auckland in 1842, printed entirely in tlie native language, has been ft matter of extreme difficult.-. Its changes of name has made the of the newspaper no light task; at least I was informed so by an obliging librarian. The majority of copies of the different issues in the Mitchell Library bear the Mature of the late Dr. Hocken, and were obtained from his valuable collection. The first section, which ran until 1845, was edited by Dr. Edward Shortland. Publication ceased in December of that year, owing to the «mtmiiattce of the war iv the North but was resumed in January of 1849. Governor Grey was blamed by Ihe Niw Zealander," it will be recalled for -neglecting the issue of ao "»K-*»J and valuable a paper " "Ko To Karere Maori" was printed alternately in Maori and English. The paper was used very largely for purposes of propaganda. Short leaders commenting on current affairs, with important descriptions of historical happenings, including the travels of Sir George Grey among the natives, were contained in this qua.n little newspaper, the forerunner of Auckland's dailies. It was edited by David Burn, who came from Tasmania and died about 1870. He was connected at different times with Zealander," "The Southern Crocs," and The _> T ew Zealand Herald." "The Maori Messenger," or "Te Karere Maori," eventually apeared in a new shape, with a brightly coloured wrapping. The budding Northcliffe of the day possibly aspired to catch the native eye by this meani. The paper was a monthly until 1858, after which it appeared fortnightly. C. O Davis was tho first and principal editor on this occasion, being followed by Mr. Burn, while for a time its destinies were raided by Sir Walter Buller. After its February issue, "Tc Karere Maori ceased publication in IS6I. being superseded by "Te Manuhiri Tuarangi and Maori Intelligencer." It Is interesting to note that with the January issue of ISfil, tbe type presented to tho Maoris hy the Emperor Franz Joeef was used. .It is easily recognised by peculiarities. At the demise of "Te Karere" this type found its way to Tauranga, where it appeared in the early numbers of the local paper. The Emperor*! gift, it will •he remembered, was intended as a small return for the attention paid by the natives to the officers ol the Novara expedition. These faded sheets, some of the leaves of which have remained uncut all these years, contain much of human interest, but nothing more pathetic than this message from a Kaipara chieftain to Governor Browne: — "Sir, the Governor," it was addressed, "Tena ra ko koe. Great le my love for you. Friend, harken! I»m sitting in darkness at this time. My wife has slept in the grave. This ia all my word to you. —From Paikea Te Kekere to Governor Browne." A simple obituary notice in the same issue relating to his wife, says: "Her name was Mai." A curious "karakia" or incantation, described as a "Tara" to make the day fine, is forwarded to th» editor from — Bo mild above, • '.*"'. Bo tnlld below. That nt tho dawn of day It wight be fine and calm and clear. This was said to cause tbe wind and rain to cease. A chief from the same district wrote asking for "the picture of my late friend Kiwi, so that I might cry over it." Not only was "Te Karere" used for purposes of propaganda, for at times a little moral advice was tendered to the native readers.' A band of prominent chieftains signed a "round robin," which among other things pointed out the dangers that would attend .listening to false hearers. ° "Witchcraft is a faleehood," they said. _ "Do not sanction it» or allow it to ta said that it is right." "Do not lay wagers. "Nor get drunk. "Do not ask payment for a bride- if •she is allowed to marry the parents must not go and ask payment of the "Is it right, do you think, to purchase a human being as you do wheat, or potatoes, or flour, or even a pig? Great is your wrong if you thui sell your daughter; cease from this for ever. Do not allow cursing. . . The Serin turcs say that curses are evil words." The signatures of fifteen ran-atiras were appended; "from whom tte*e words come . ... and many more!" In Maori literature a gem of its kind perhaps long forgotten, U print edin 0 „e of these little sheets. It was a lament composed by.Kuini Te Ro_u, daughter of Tanr,n am Tj e U Heu Tukino, ° &'- and , t . h6 , Widow of Maniapoto Te Moanw, a chief who died In that district r»n T th ?? that Knbli - » n w »°se veins says-.-_r._rts; A^ c .v snn ls radiant m e e,Wrle r n d r mrtho,lehtß fountain waves that "set foaming On Tanpo's lake. ?eIL,d h e°^\?i'S-K g atlwhatua Hearken C Si?. _r_mV™. ,IC - llr , UB stl »- hlito' bai oerturnw the up_eavln ß *• ** o. Win,

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Bibliographic details

Auckland Star, Auckland Star, Volume LV, Issue 272, 15 November 1924

Word Count

"TE KARERE MAORI." Auckland Star, Volume LV, Issue 272, 15 November 1924