Aotearoa, or the Maori Recorder  masthead


Available issues


Region National
Available online 1861-1862
Alternative title(s) Ko Aotearoa; The Recorder

Ko Aotearoa or The Maori Recorder was published in Auckland from 1861 to 1862 (only two issues have been seen). This paper was edited by Charles O B Davis. He notes that his greetings were formerly sent through other channels (Te Waka o Te Iwi and Te Whetu o Te Tau):’...but now I communicate directly with you through your own Printing Press 'Aotearoa' - I mua ake nei i haere taku mihi ki a koutou i runga i te taonga tangata: i naianei e haere atu ana i runga i to koutou taonga tupu, to koutou taonga ake i a 'Aotearoa'…’ (January, 1861: 21-22). The imprint on the title page reads, ‘He mea ta i te Perehi o nga Iwi Maori’ [Printed by the Press of the Maori People].

In the second issue pages 1-16 are all in English under the title The Recorder; pages 17-32 are all in Māori under the title Ko Aotearoa. Some but not all of the contents of each section are translated.

‘I te tau 1857 ka puta te karanga, "Hapainga a Aotearoa te Perehi ta pukapuka mo nga iwi Maori". Taringa rahirahi tonu nga tini iwi ki taua karanga, a takoto ana nga moni. Na Ngatitipa ki mua. Whakataua mai ana a muri e Ngatipaoa, e Ngatitamatera, e te Whakatohea, e Whaingaroa, e Aotea, e Kawhia, e Waikato katoa, e Mokau, e Taupo, e Whanganui, e Heretaunga, e Wairarapa, e Turanga, e Waiapu, e Whangaruru, e Kaipara, haunga te whakaaetanga o nga iwi kahore ano i kohikohi. Ko nga iwi i rere ki waho ko Ahuriri, ko te Wairoa, ko te Rarawa, ko tetahi taha o Ngapuhi’ (ibid. : 3) [In 1857 the call went out, "Support the printing press Aotearoa for the Maori people". Many tribes heard that call and put down money. Ngati Tipa was first. After them came Ngati Paoa, Ngati Tama-te-ra, Whakatohea, then the people of Whaingaroa, Aotea, Kawhia, all of Waikato, and Mokau, Taupo, Whanganui, Heretaunga, Wairarapa, Turanga, Waiapu, Whangaruru, and Kaipara, and not counting the tribes in support who had not yet collected for it. Those who took no part are at Ahuriri, Te Wairoa, Te Rarawa and some Nga Puhi].

Ko nga taonga mo te tinana, kua oti;- nga mira, nga kaipuke, nga parau, nga kaata, nga hoiho, nga kau, nga hipi; a, i tenei takiwa i te tau 1860 ka oti te taonga mo te hinengaro - TE PEREHI (ibid. : 3) [The physical needs have been attained - mills, ships, ploughs, carts, horses, cattle, sheep; and now at this time, in 1860, for the mind we have - THE PRESS].

The response to the press is indicated in this letter written by Tomairangi Papahia of Te Rarawa at Hokianga: ‘Kua kite au i te Perehi e rongo nei tatou, hari ana toku ngakau, me whakaaro tatou na tatou hoki tenei’ (ibid. : 21) [I have seen the printing press about which we have heard and my heart rejoices. We must make a contribution, for this is our own press].

The newspaper strongly criticises the Government's actions in initiating war over land in Taranaki. 

For further information, see P Parkinson and P Griffith, Books in Māori (Auckland: Reed, 2004), S10, pp.754-755. 

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

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