The editor of Takitimu, Charles Webb, was the son of H E Webb, a former land purchase officer at Napier and co-founder of the Poverty Bay Standard in 1872. Charles Webb was also associated with Te Waka Maori. The paper is named after the ancestral waka Takitimu, which made landfall at Mahia (northern Hawke’s Bay) and other locations (Parkinson and Griffith, 2004: 790).
Takitimu was one of only two newspapers in the colony written in Maori at that time. It was aimed at bringing Maori people news of what was going on everywhere in the world on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, in the way European newspapers kept Pakeha up-to-date: ‘Puta tonu ana aua pukapuka, aua nui pepa ia ra ia ra, ia wiki ia wiki, ia marama ia marama, hei tuku ki nga wahi katoa. Hei matauranga mo nga tangata katoa; na reira i ki ia ai, he iwi mohio te Pakeha. Na ko nga nuipepa Maori o tenei karoni E RUA TONU ko te Korimako raua ko tona teina ko TAKITIMU’ (22 May 1883: 4) (Papers and newspapers are published and distributed everywhere daily, weekly, or monthly. Everyone is kept informed, and thus it is said that the Pakeha are knowledgeable. Now the Maori newspapers in this colony are only two: Te Korimako and its younger brother Takitimu).
For further information about the newspaper, see P Parkinson and P Griffith, Books in Maori (Auckland: Reed, 2004), S26, pp. 786–787.
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