Whetu o te Tau masthead

1857-1858


Available issues

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Background

Region National
Available online 1857-1858
Alternative title(s) Te Whetu o te Tau; Te Waka o te Iwi

Te Waka o Te Iwi (1857) ceased after two or three issues, and was continued by Te Whetu o Te Tau (Star of the Year, 1858).

Te Waka o Te Iwi was edited by Hare Reweti (Charles Davis), a Church Missionary Society missionary and fluent Maori speaker. Wiremu Tamihana of Ngati Haua (Waikato) assisted him. Tamihana, who was instrumental in establishing Potatau Te Wherowhero as the first Maori King, appears to have gathered local Waikato support for the newspaper (October 1857: 1).

The first newspaper began with an editorial by Davis in which he suggested that a printing press be established for Maori people:

‘Ko tetahi o aku tikanga ka mea atu nei ko te perehi ta pukapuka mo koutou mo nga iwi Maori. Nui atu e hoa ma te tika o tenei whakaaro no te mea he taonga whakamohio tenei i te hunga e kuare ana, he kai whakaatu i te he, he kai tohutohu i te tika’(ibid.) (One of our ways has been to establish a printing press for you, for Maori people. Many people think that this idea is a good one because it is something that gives information to those in ignorance; it is a means of redress for those wronged, an instructor in just ways).

Like Te Waka o Te Iwi, Te Whetu o Te Tau was edited by Charles Davis. Maori people continued to forward donations to support publication of the newspaper and to establish a Maori press. Te Waka o Te Iwi contains mostly letters, Te Whetu o Te Tau mostly articles, probably written by Davis.

After only three issues the paper ceased publication, in September 1858.

For further information about the newspaper, see P Parkinson and P Griffith, Books in Maori (Auckland: Reed, 2004), S8, p. 753. 

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

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