Ngā Mōrehu

Ngā Mōrehu

The Survivors

Sorry - this book is now out of print

For much of women’s history, memory is the only way of discovering the past. Other sources simply do not exist. This is true for any history of Māori women in this century. All the women in this book have lived through times of acute social disturbance. Their voices must be heard.

Judith Binney, 1992

In eight remarkable oral histories, Ngā Mōrehu brings alive the experience of Māori women from the mid-twentieth century. Heni Brown, Reremoana Koopu, Maaka Jones, Hei Ariki Algie, Heni Sunderland, Miria Rua, Putiputi Onekawa and Te Akakura Rua talked with Judith Binney and Gillian Chaplin, sharing stories and memories. These are the women whose ‘voices must be heard’.

The title, ‘the survivors’, reflects the women’s connection with the visionary leader Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki and his followers, who adopted the name ‘Ngā Mōrehu’ during the wars of the 1860s. But these women are not only survivors: they are also the chosen ones, the leaders of their society. They speak here of richly diverse lives – of arranged marriages and whāngai adoption traditions, of working in both Māori and Pākehā communities. They pay testimony to their strong sense of a shared identity created by religious and community teachings.

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Table of contents

Heni Brown
Reremoana Koopu
Maaka Jones
Hei Ariki Algie
Heni Sunderland
Miria Rua
Putiputi Onekawa
Te Akakura Rua
He Kupu Māori: Glossary

Print publication:
Ebook publication: Dec 2018
Pages: 230
RRP: $49.99
ISBN: 9781927131312
ISTC: A022012000021253
DOI: 10.7810/9781927131312

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'Nga Morehu remains a timeless taonga (treasure) that speaks to the hearts and minds of contemporary readers.' Anne Eddy, Journal of New Zealand and Pacific Studies, 3.2, 2015

'[T]o read the life histories of these women is a rare privilege. We are swept up into a world of pain, poverty and the sheer grind of daily life in rural villages. … Throughout all the narratives there is a strong sense of taha wairua – spiritual beliefs instilled by influential whanau elders. To read these stories is to become enveloped in a brilliantly patterned cloak where all the strong threads are bound together with warmth and aroha.' Keri Kaa, NZ Listener, 30 May 1987


1st edition was a Montana Award Finalist