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Hokioi o Nui-Tireni, e rere atuna masthead

1862-1863


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Background

Region National
Available online 1862-1863
Alternative title(s) Te Hokioi o Nui-Tireni, e rere atuna; Hokioi e rere atu na; Hokioi o Nui-Tireni, e rere atu na

Patara Te Tuhi, a cousin of King Tawhiao, was the editor of Te Hokioi (The War-Bird of New Zealand in Flight to You, 1862-1863), the first Maori-language newspaper produced entirely by Maori (Parkinson and Griffith, 2004: 759). He wrote the pro-King Movement articles, and was assisted with the press by his younger brother, Honana Maioha (Cowan, 1922 Vol. I: 238). Patara Te Tuhi was also a master carver.

In 1857 two Waikato chiefs, Wiremu Toetoe Tumohe of Rangiaowhia and Te Hemara Te Rerehau Paraone of Ngati Maniapoto, went to Austria on board the frigate Novara. From their account published in Te Ao Hou (October 1958: 42-43) it appears likely that they went to Vienna with the express purpose of learning the art of printing. The Emperor of Austria presented them with a ‘printing press and types’ (ibid. ) which they brought back to Mangere, New Zealand, where Potatau, the first Maori King, resided. The press was used to print the Maori King's proclamations.

The very first documents were single-paged letters by Tamati Ngapora and Te Hira Te Kawau notifying people of the deaths of Kahukoti and Wi Koihoho. Tamati Ngapora's letter was published on 2 September 1861 and Te Hira Te Kawau's on 21 September 1861. They both bear the imprint, ‘Mangere. I taia tenei ki te Hokioi o Nui Tireni’ (This was printed at Mangere at Te Hokioi of New Zealand).

When the Maori King shifted to Ngaruawahia the press went too, and in 1862 the four page-long newspaper Te Hokioi was published. Te Hokioi was a spirit bird of ancient times. It was never seen but its cry was known as an omen of war or disaster (Gorst, 1864: 336).

‘Kote perehi kua tae mai ki Ngarua-Wahia ka puta i a ia nga Nui-pepa...ko te pai o tenei perehi hei kawe i a tatou whakaro, ki nga iwi o te Ao; no te mea hoki e takoto maro tonu ana nga kupu o te timatanga ko te whakapono, ko te aroha; ko te ture’ (15 June 1862: 1) (The press has arrived at Ngaruawahia, and newspapers are being produced from it...this press is ideal for carrying our thoughts abroad for it was founded on the words: faith, love and law). These words come from Potatau's saying, ‘Heoi ano taku, ko te whakapono, ko te aroha, ko te ture. I have nothing, or mean nothing, or wish nothing, but Faith, Love and the Law’ (Buddle, 1860: 23).

The newspaper ceased publication with the outbreak of the Land Wars between the government and Waikato people; the last issue was printed on 21 May, 1863.

In 1922 Alexander McDonnell, a fluent Maori speaker and former militia captain who fought against Waikato during the Land Wars, reprinted Te Hokioi on ‘the Free Press Printing Works’ in Auckland. The format, capitalisation and arrangement of this reprint are quite different from the original, and several of the letters are not reprinted.

For further information about the newspaper, see P Parkinson and P Griffith, Books in Maori (Auckland: Reed, 2004), S13, pp. 758–760.

Cowan, James. The New Zealand Wars: A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period. Vol. 1, 1845–1864. (Wellington: Govt. Printer, 1922)

Buddle, Thomas. The Maori King Movement in New Zealand (Auckland: The New Zealander Office, 1860)

The National Library would like to thank Gail Dallimore for providing information used in essays about Maori newspapers.

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