Redemption Songs

Redemption Songs

A Life of Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki

Out of print – digital edition now available

A long-awaited reprint of a book that has remained in steady demand since publication in 1995.

Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki was one of the nineteenth century’s most significant leaders. In both war and peace, he sought to redeem his people and the land. Yet his reputation as a feared opponent of colonial forces obscured his achievements for generations. The causes of Te Kooti’s struggles are larger than personal injustice: he fought a war against land confiscation and illegal land purchases. This award-winning biography, published in 1995, shifted public perceptions of this remarkable man.

Dame Judith Binney was honoured widely for her contribution to New Zealand history. Her particular place in the writing of Urewera history was recognised by Tūhoe leaders when she was given the name Te Tomairangi o Te Aroha. A Fellow of the Royal Society, she received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Non-Fiction in 2006.

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Table of contents


1. The Shadow of Prediction
2. The Hinge of Fate
3. Exile (June 1866–July 1868)
4. The Return (July–November 1868)
5. And Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho (November 1868–January 1869)
6. Covenants and a King (January–August 1869)
7. The Return to Babylon (August 1869–February 1870)
8. He Manu Tute Au kei te Ngahere (February–August 1870)
9. The Shelter of Tuhoe (August 1870–May 1872)
10. The Shelter of Maniapoto (May 1872–February 1883)
11. Hopes and Journeys (March 1883–June 1886)
12. Where Does the Freedom Lie? (February 1886–March 1889)
13. Hapainga Taku Rongo Rite Rawa i te Whenua (February 1889–February 1893)
14. The Journey to Meet Death
15. Epilogue

Appendix A. The Diaries of Te Kooti
Appendix B. Songs for Te Kooti
Appendix C. Faction, Fiction and Images
Appendix D. An Index of Waiata by Te Kooti

Print publication:
Ebook publication: Jul 2020
Pages: 666
RRP: $89.99
ISBN: 9781927131480
ISTC: A0220120000212B5
DOI: 10.7810/9781927131480

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'[Redemption Songs] is written with love and mastery, it presents and explores the life of a charismatic, enigmatic and debatable man and the history he acted in and did much to shape, it magnificently assaults the problems of uniting biography and history set in a culture which is not the historian' marks an immense step forward in the interpretation of history in a multiplicity of cultures.' J. G. A. Pocock, New Zealand Books, October 1996

‘I had Redemption Songs in the house for seven days before I had the courage to read it. I circled it warily, watching the way the sunlight glowed on the cover and the moonlight surrounded it with a halo. It was only on the eighth morning that I decided the time was propitious. I opened the cover, and the prophet Te Kooti Arikirangi came into the house...’ Witi Ihimaera, New Zealand Listener, 16 December 1995


Montana Book of the Year Award 1996