Korimako masthead

1882-1890


Available issues

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Background

Region National
Available online 1882-1890
Alternative title(s) Te Korimako; Te Korimako Hou

Te Korimako  (The Bell Bird, 1882-1888) was edited and published by Charles Davis with the support of Americans Mr and Mrs W P Snow. Davis had previously edited Te Karere Maori, Te Waka o te Iwi, Te Whetu o te Tau, and Aotearoa.

Te Korimako was established because:

    ‘He kitenga noku i te he o tena taha, i te heke-haere o te tupu, a i te kore reo o te motu nei hei whakaatu mo tenei taonga mo te tika, mo tera taru mo te he. Ko te take tena i oho-rere ai taku whakaaro kia kimihia he tikanga e purero ake ai nga Maori; a, kitea ana e taku ngakau, he nupepa reo Maori te hanga pai, kia puta ai he kupu ki te iti, ki te rahi, ki te tane, ki te wahine, ki te tamariki.... ta te mea, mo koutou ake tenei reo - tenei nupepa. Ko taku hiahia tenei, me puta te nupepa ki a ia wahi, ki a ia wahi, i roto i te marama kotahi ra nei, i te rua wiki ra nei, i te wiki kotahi ra nei, kei i a tatou te whakaaro.’ (25 March 1882: 1)

    ‘I have seen the evil on that side (Maori side), the decadence of your manhood, nor is there any voice (newspaper) to declare the costliness of that which is right, and the worthlessness of that which is wrong. These are the reasons why my heart was suddenly moved to seek out some means of raising the Maoris, and I concluded in my mind that a newspaper in the Maori tongue would be an excellent thing, so that words could be communicated to both small and great; - to men, and women, and children....this voice, this newspaper is altogether your own. My desire is that this newspaper should be circulated in all respective places once a month, or once a fortnight, or once a week; for the matter will depend on you and myself.’ (ibid)

The proprietors wanted to assist the advancement of the Maori people by providing ‘instructive and healthful literature’, the price ‘within the reach of all’ (16 May 1882: 1). They requested European support from those ‘who have the welfare of the native race at heart’ – ‘Ki nga Pakeha e noho ana i nga takiwa Maori, A e ngakau nui ana ki nga tangata Maori’ (25 March 1882: 2).

Following Mr Snow’s death in 1885, a Maori Press Association, Komiti o Te Korimako was formed to organise the newspaper. The key people in this association were Charles Davis, Te Irimana and Raureti Mokonuiarangi. Their prime objectives were to spread the Gospel among all people, to encourage temperance, hygiene and habits of industry, and to educate their people and supply general news of current events. From January 1886, the change for the better was reflected in the publication of more letters, matters such as the landslip in which Te Heuheu was killed, the Tarawera eruption, and Te Kooti's prophecies.

The last issue of Te Korimako was published in Auckland in May 1888. Eighteen months later the newspaper was revived in Opotiki as Te Korimako Hou (1890), edited by Reverend George Maunsell. There is more local (Opotiki and Tauranga) news in the revived newspaper than in its predecessor. The last issue appears to have been number 8, which was published on 10 September, 1890.

For further information about the newspaper, see P Parkinson and P Griffith, Books in Maori (Auckland: Reed, 2004), S25, pp. 787–789; H Petrie, ‘Inculcating Habits of Industry’, in Rere Atu, Taku Manu! edited by J Curnow, N Hopa and J McRae (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2002), pp. 174–192; J McRae, ‘E Manu, Tena Koe!’ in Rere Atu, Taku Manu! edited by J Curnow, N Hopa and J McRae (Auckland, 2002), p. 42–59 (p. 45–47).

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

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