The super-narrative effect. The resonance of written letters for whānau in the historical record.


  • Paerau Warbrick



In March 1988, my late aunt Onehou Phillis (1926-2012) and I visited the National Archives (as it was called then) and the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington. Onehou was our Māori language teacher at Edgecumbe College in the Eastern Bay of Plenty and was accompanying our seventh-form English class to Wellington as our kaumatua. We stayed at Bruce Stewart’s marae, Tapu Te Ranga, at Island Bay, and during the course of the week there was ample time to take in our capital’s highlights. One afternoon, Onehou and I took the opportunity to see what information was held at the archives concerning our Ngāti Awa and Tūhourangi tipuna Maata Te Taiawātea Te Rangitūkehu (c.1849-1929). My father and Onehou were first cousins and Maata was their grandmother.



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