Pipiwharauroa  masthead


Available issues


Region National
Available online 1898-1913
Alternative title(s) He Kupu Whakamarama; Te Pipiwharauroa : he Kupu Whakamarama

He Kupu Whakamarama (Words of Enlightenment) was published from March 1898 to December 1898. The editor, Reverend Peneti [Bennett] was a Māori minister in the Church of England. He Kupu was initiated by Bennett and subsidised by the Church of England. The paper was published to assist people in interpreting the scriptures, especially those without ready access to ministers.

The reason for publishing this paper was given by Reverend Frederick Bennett as: ‘No te mea he nui nga tikanga o te whakapono kaore i te ata marama ki te nuinga o te tangata, 'ko te kotinga hoki e nui ana, ko nga kai-mahi e ruarua ana, (Matiu 9.37)' (March, 1898: 2) [Because there are a great many religious practices that are not readily understood by the majority of the people, 'the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few' (Matthew 9.37)].

Koia tenei te tukuna atu nei te Kupu Whakamarama, ki nga marae o o koutou takiwa takoto ai, hei titiro ma koutou, hei whakaaro ma koutou, hei awhina i a koutou i runga i nga tikanga e rapua nei e te ngakau, kia marama ai ta tatou hikoi i runga i te huarahi whaiti o to tatou whakapono (ibid. ). [Te Kupu Whakamarama is being sent to all marae and districts, for you to read and ponder over; to help you come to a clear understanding of the Faith, so that we may willingly tread its (straight and) narrow path].

The last issue published under the title He Kupu Whakamarama was December 1898; the newspaper then became Te Pipiwharauroa (1899-1913).

People were asked to provide a new name for the paper and suggestions flooded in from throughout New Zealand. The name sent in by Nikora Tautau of Te Pourewa, Waikato, Te Pipiwharauroa (Shining Cuckoo) was chosen (January, 1899: 4). He Kupu Whakamarama was retained for the first few issues to show the link with that paper (ibid. : 1). The format was the same but there were more items on worldly rather than religious issues.

From December 1899 a subscription of 5 shillings per year was charged. Nos. 16 - 17 (June and July 1899) contain a 2 page supplement printed in Gisborne by H W Williams at the Te Rau Press. From No. 18 (August 1899) onward the paper moved to Gisborne, and the full issue was printed by H W Williams at the Te Rau Press.

Reverend Frederick Bennett continued as the editor. Nos. 16 and 17 were edited jointly by Reverend F A Bennett and Reverend Reweti Tūhorouta Kōhere (Ngāti Porou), the son of the chief Mokena Kōhere and nephew of Te Kakatarau who signed the Treaty of Waitangi at Waiapu. From No. 18 onward the newspaper was edited solely by Kōhere. Under his editorship the subjects covered broader scope.

The paper (usually referred to as Te Pipi), ran for some fourteen years and then, due to problems associated with the cost of printing and distribution, Te Pipiwharauroa ceased (Te Pipiwharauroa, July 1913: 1).

Another smaller newspaper Te Kopara was organised by the Church of England (Te Kopara October, 1913: 1).

This paper is written in Māori.        

For further information,  see May the People Live by Raeburn Lange (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1999), Rere atu, taku manu! edited by J Curnow, N Hopa and J McRae (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2002), and Books in Māori by P Parkinson and P Griffith (Auckland: Reed, 2004), S41 and S42, pp.813-816.

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