Hirini Moko Mead, Te Onehou Phillis, Layne Harvey, Pouroto Ngaropo
LONGLIST, Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, Illustrated Non-fiction, 2019
Mataatua wharenui is the most travelled Māori meeting house in the country. Built in 1875, it was taken to Australia, London and Otago before being returned to Whakatāne after more than a century away.
The history of Mataatua is part of the story of the desecration of Ngāti Awa by the Crown and the fight of the people to regain their sovereignty. Following the confiscation of Ngāti Awa land in the 1860s and the devastation of Ngāti Awa, building a wharenui was proposed as a way to reunite the iwi. The result was Mataatua, a magnificent wharenui that established a living marae and honored the people, their history and whakapapa and the skills of the craftspeople.
Shortly after it was opened, the government requested that Mataatua be an exhibit at the Sydney International Exhibition, and from there, it travelled across the globe until ending as an exhibit in Otago Museum. By this time, the government had claimed ownership of Mataatua, and it took more than fifty years of perseverance by Ngāti Awa to have Mataatua returned to Whakatāne to again become a living wharenui in the care of its people. In words and photographs, the book describes the history and construction of Mataatua, its appropriation, work undertaken by generations to have it returned and the detail of its rebuild and opening in 2011.
January 1, 2018
210 x 270 mm
ISBN (Hard Cover)
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