The first editorial of Aotearoa (1892) states that the newspaper is published exclusively for the benefit of Maori people and Pakeha will have no part in its organisation: ‘Ko Aotearoa hei taonga tupu mo nga Maori, kaore he Pakeha e whai hia ki roto. Ka whakahaerea motuhaketia hei painga mo te Iwi Maori anake’ (4 June 1892: 1).
Aotearoa was published to organise Maori tribes; to be their eyes and ears to events happening in their land and overseas. The editor was assisted by the sons of seven chiefs and it was to be funded through setting aside a portion of Maori land in each district to support the newspaper, as well as by sales and advertising by shopkeepers, the government, Road Boards and County Councils.
Aotearoa was probably superseded by Huia Tangata Kotahi, the newspaper of Te Kotahitanga. This was a political grouping of all tribes under the Treaty of Waitangi.
For further information about the newspaper, see P Parkinson and P Griffith, Books in Maori (Auckland: Reed, 2004), S32, pp. 801; J Curnow, ‘A Brief History of Maori-Language Newspapers’, in Rere Atu, Taku Manu! edited by J Curnow, N Hopa and J McRae (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2002), pp. 17–41 (p. 28).
The National Library would like to thank Gail Dallimore for providing information used in essays about Maori newspapers.
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