Printer Friendly

Print culture and the collective Maori consciousness.

Before Europeans arrived in Aotearoa, Maori did not comprehend of humanity except as beings physically and culturally the same as themselves. The word "maori" means normal, and tangata maori, "maori" people, meant normal human beings who shared a language and culture in common. The most important divisions within Maori society were tribal, based on genealogical links. (1) The advent of Europeans complicated the Maori world-view that had to accommodate the concept of different peoples with different languages and cultures. (2) Maori may well, on first sight, have considered the strange visitors of the late eighteenth century the pale-skinned supernatural being they called "Pakehakeha". (3) This supernaturality, although not the differences, soon slipped away from Pakeha, although the terra persisted for people of European descent. However, while the physical and cultural characteristics were sufficiently apparent for Maori to see themselves as culturally or racially different to Pakeha, they did not initially "imagine" themselves as a nation or people, bur rather continued to fie identity to tribal groupings. (4) The development of a Maori "national" or collective consciousness, always partial and mitigated by tribal identities, was a response to Pakcha settlement and colonialism in New Zealand and, as with emerging nationalisms in other societies, this was shaped by print culture, in particular newspapers.

This essay seeks to explicate the role of print culture in the growth of Maori identity in the nineteenth century. The impact of print on society has long been acknowledged, and indeed anticipated by the early Pakeha purveyors of printed material to Maori. (5) Scholars globally have also recognized the transformative power of print. (6) However, within New Zealand, academics have been less comfortable in imagining Maori as a "nation", and when Maori "nationalism" is acknowledged, have shied away from theorizing on its nature and origins. (7) Within the Maori world loyalties and self-identification still lean heavily towards whanau, hapa and iwi, perhaps more so in the present due to the effect of the Waitangi Tribunal. It is outside, in the pragmatic struggle with the challenges of the Pakeha world, that a "Maori" self-identity has more relevance. As John Rangihau stated, 'My being Maori is absolutely dependent on my history as a Tuhoe person as against being a Maori person'. (8) However, both the nature of colonialism and Maori aspirations possess a dynamism that affect their relationship with each other, and thus the ongoing forms of Maori self-identification.

Benedict Anderson, in Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, explicitly linked print, coupled with capitalism, as instrumental in the formation of forms of "national consciousness", (9) and this essay utilizes relevant parts of his thesis as points of comparison in considering the relationship in nineteenth-century Maori society. Although there has been some critique of his concepts and model, Anderson may nevertheless have provided a 'systematic comparative approach [that] has made a contribution to our understanding that is quite independent of the validity of its specific conclusions', (10) Indeed his work has proved influential, with scholars still prepared to engage with his ideas. (11) This essay does not seek to slavishly compare Maori society to all the various theoretical components of Anderson's model but to investigate the nature of Maori collective identity using several core elements of his thesis: first that nationalism developed as the importance of religion and monarchy decreased; (12) second that the advent of capitalism, in particular one of its first manifestations, printing, facilitated the development of national identities. (13) Capitalism increasingly required wider levels of literacy and education. (14) Printing was eventually undertaken in vernacular languages, particularly after the Reformation, creating 'monoglot mass reading publics', reading, and increasingly speaking, the same language. (15) The very act of reading print, say a newspaper, allowed an individual to imagine him or herself as part of a larger population, all reading the newspaper at the same time. People became more aware of commonalities of the group whilst its members effectively remained strangers. (16) Thus one's sense of belonging was not primarily centred on a small group of people all of whom you knew, but a larger, 'imagined' population, such as the nation.

To what extent did this apply in New Zealand? The mere presence of newspapers did not, in itself, necessarily engender national sentiment. The colonial newspapers read by Pakeha concerned themselves with local affairs or international news, with 'national' news a low priority, leading Tony Ballantyne to suggest that 'between 1850 and 1900, no [New Zealand] newspaper could claim to be national'. (17) In contrast, Maori-language newspapers, even when produced by particular tribal groupings, looked out beyond the local to wider Maori issues. (18) The significant and rapid cultural and economic change (due to the introduction of such things as guns, potatoes, Christianity and disease) impacted on all Maori communities. (19) This was followed by a formal colonisation in 1840 bringing all Maori together, albeit nominally at first, under the British Crown. The desire for Pakeha goods encouraged Maori to become proactive in exploring new opportunities for trade with Pakeha. (20) However while it would be difficult to argue that Maori society, at least in the early colonial period, was fully integrated within capitalist structures, as Paul Monin states, 'Maori economic activity" existed within, and its prospects were ultimately determined by, a developing world economic system'. (21) Despite most Maori organizing tribally rather than as individuals, they engaged in agricultural trade for profit, and invested in assets such as flourmills and sailing ships with the intention of making money. (22) Although the missionaries feared ah excessive interest in commerce might divert Maori from higher pursuits, (23) they nevertheless strove to make Maori useful and productive. (24) The government also encouraged economic activity in its early newspapers, printing financial forecasts, produce prices and shipping intelligence. (25) Although Maori were not yet the homogenous yet individualized proletariat considered ideal for the growth of national consciousness as suggested by Anderson, capitalism nevertheless impacted on Maori society in the early nineteenth century and as colonization progressed through the colonial period, Maori became increasingly enmeshed in the cash-based economy. (26)

Print culture had a profound effect on nineteenth-century Maori society, but its existence and development were not driven by commercial imperatives. In Anderson's model capitalism and print combine in modern Europe, promoting vernacular print cultures accessible to wider segments of more local populations. Printing was a business. A vernacular (of mutually comprehensible dialects) existed for Maori that allowed, first the missionaries and then government officials, to disseminate the same printed texts around New Zealand. (27) Although they may have 'shared a commitment to Brirish capitalist interests' (28) and promoted commercial activity, seeking a financial return for printing Maori-language material was rare and almost never achieved in the nineteenth century. Their agenda was to change Maori thought and behaviour. Although at times missionaries exchanged scriptural works for goods or money, the intent was to subsidize the printing costs or to engender a sense of value in the product, rather than seeking to make a profit. (29) Similarly, newspapers were either given away free, or a charge levied with the hope of mitigating some or all of the production costs. (30) Walter Buller, editor of Te Karere o Poneke, even published the names of defaulting subscribers as a means of gaining funds for his faltering newspaper. (31) With little opportunity for Maori-language print to develop into a commercial success, it does not quite meet the definition of Anderson's print-capitalism, and may be more correctly described as print-colonialism. It is true that colonialism of the modern era was predicated on capitalist endeavour; that both missionaries and government officials sought to make Maori more economically useful; and that Maori themselves initiated commercial undertakings. However, the Maori-language print trade itself was unsustainable without underwriting from missionaries, government, or Maori themselves. The actual printing was more often performed by Pakeha, and the motives of the Maori producers of print, like their Pakeha counterparts, were ideological rather than commercial in nature.

Although the texts available to Maori were less extensive in number and scope than to many other societies, they nevertheless were instrumental in broadening concepts of belonging to larger groupings beyond those of hapu or iwi, as discussed in Michael Steven's article in this volume. At first, literature was largely limited to scriptural works, but this should not be underestimated. For example, scholars have long noted the indirect impact of Luther's translation of the Bible on German national consciousness. (32) Maori embraced literacy and Bible ownership as a means to gaining access to new knowledge, (33) and in the 1830s large numbers of Maori were reading, and were influenced by the Bible and missionary teaching. This included notions of Christian brotherhood, which led some converts to attempt to carry the message to traditional enemies in the 1830s and 1840s, sometimes with fatal results. (34) From 1842 Maori were exposed to Maori-language newspapers, the first, Te Karere o Nui Tireni, printed by the newly established colonial government. These newspapers also assisted in creating a self-conscious reading community, which connected the scattered Maori population. Compared to modern newspapers, news was often old as niupepa appeared fortnightly or monthly rather than daily. Generally small print runs were produced. Anderson's daily 'ceremony ... being replicated simultaneously by thousands (or millions)' reading the same text does not really apply to nineteenth-century Maori society, (35) although Maori, like Anderson's readers, were aware of the wider reading community. Maori wrote many letters to newspapers with the express purpose of reaching as wide an audience as possible. (36) Newspapers were also shared and consumed multiple times, read out at meetings and discussed publically, (37) and in the 1840s Maori travelled to Auckland when Te Karere o Nui Tireni appeared to meet and discuss its contents. (38) The first two decades of niupepa, produced by the government, some missionary churches and a few Pakeha evangelic philanthropists unwittingly helped foster a Maori consciousness: subsequent niupepa initiated by Maori organizations which had formed in response to colonization, were more deliberate in their attempts to construct identity.

The colonial project in New Zealand was not about creating a separate Maori national consciousness, but drawing Maori into the settler world. At the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, Hobson had greeted each dignitary with 'He iwi tahi tatou'--we are one people, reflecting that Treaty endowed Maori with the rights and privileges of British subjects. Subsequently the government followed a policy of 'amalgamation' primarily designed to bring Maori within the framework of, and under the control of the state, but also to assimilate Maori into Pakeha ways. This was translated as 'he iwi kotahi'--the one people policy. (39) The government produced the first Maori-language newspaper, Ko te Karere o Nui Tireni in 1842 to encourage Maori to strive for modernity and to adopt Western cultural norms, including recognition of the primacy of English Law and supremacy of the government. The missionaries followed a very similar agenda. There was no hidden agenda about the Pakeha desire to pass on knowledge to Maori and to tutor them into the modern world. For example in 1843, Ko te Karere explained its mission, which proved a consistent theme for Pakeha-run niupepa through much of the colonial period.
   People ask us, for what purpose is your newspaper
   printed? And we say, our newspaper is printed so that
   the Maori can advance, so that he understands our
   customs, and so that each tribe knows which tribes are
   progressing and the things through which they
   progress. (40)

Charles Davis, who produced niupepa both for the Native Department and independently for evangelical purposes, reproduced a similar message in his paper, Te Waka o te Iwi, in 1857, in which can be seen the Pakeha vision of newspapers as not only a conduit of knowledge, but an instrument of civilization itself.
   One of my current projects is the printing press for you,
   the Maori people. Friends, this idea is very proper
   because this is a treasure that enlightens the ignorant,
   that shows up fault, and points out what is right. This is
   the treasure by which the Pakeha became great, and
   came by their many amazing ideas. So I say to you to
   embrace this initiative which will civilize [ennoble] you,
   so you can achieve your desires, because it is right. (41)

The Pakeha-run Maori-language newspapers thus promulgated Western culture, sometimes translated as 'the good customs of the Pakeha', to Maori. This was presented from a position of cultural superiority, and sometimes in a rather aggressive and hectoring manner, as can be seen in this appeal to Maori to aspire to education.
   Where is your planked house, or house of stone and
   brick? Where is your ship? Where was it built? You like
   the things of the Pakeha, the gun, clothes, [???], books
   but some of you won't know how to make these things.
   How many of you knew how to sail a ship? Where is the
   person who knows about the many islands of the ocean
   and the foreigners living in the world? Who is the person
   who understands many foreign languages? Listen here
   my friends, it is the Pakeha who knows all these
   things ... (42)

Although many Maori, particularly in the first two decades of colonization, did aspire to modernity, this sort of message may well have alienated Maori rather than motivated them to become more like Pakeha. Discourses that proclaim that you are not like us only reinforce existing notions of difference.

For the government, the political aspects of amalgamation--Maori and Pakeha sitting together under the rule of law-were as important as the cultural aspects, if not more so, but ironically these would have contributed to Maori feelings of collectivity separate from Pakeha. For example, the discourse of unity is clearly visible in the banner for Te Manuhin Tuarangi, a government niupepa, calling on the Maori and the Pakeha to be united. It does not call on Pakeha to unite with Ngati Porou, Ngapuhi, Tainui, or other tribal groups, despite tribal political divisions remaining very strong within Maori society. Rather the paper conflates all Maori tribes into one race, Maori, and inadvertently indicates that the Maori and Pakeha were as yet still somewhat apart. The rhetoric of "one people" was undercut by a colonial binary logic in which the colonizers and colonized were defined as Pakeha and Maori, European and native, white skin and black skin, older and younger brother, civilized and savage, you and us. The bilingual Te Manuhiri Tuarangi (Fig. 1) not only defined the desired unity as being composed as two halves, but further exposed the division by presenting its texts in parallel but separate columns.


The disjuncture between the rhetoric of unity and the binary logic of colonialism represented a clash between political ideals and cultural power, sometimes played out in the Maori press. For example, in 1856 Te Karere o Poneke printed letters from Isaac Featherstone and Edward Stafford over Maori rights to enrol as voters. Featherstone feared a large Maori voting bloc in the Wellington province but Stafford, then Premier, informed him that if Maori qualified to vote then they could register, as befitted their equal status under the Treaty. (43) However, because their systems of land tenure and the nature of their dwellings were culturally different to Pakeha, most Maori did not meet the property requirements of the franchise, and Wellington authorities subsequently moved to remove any ineligible Maori from the rolls. (44) Moreover, Pakeha administrations, whether Crown colony or representative settler governments, were reluctant to share power with Maori and passed laws that discriminated against tangata whenua. Governments used their perceptions of the low cultural state of Maori to justify their actions, arguing that Maori, as a race, were not sufficiently advanced to enjoy all the rights of citizenship. (45)

Maori did not unreservedly accept the discourses that Pakeha officials and missionaries were promulgating. While on a cultural level many Maori embraced Christianity and the concept of modernity and some even wanted settlers as neighbours, many felt uncomfortable at the thought of Pakeha political institutions intruding into their communities. (46) Although the focus for Maori was their own tribal communities, they could see what was happening to others, and were prepared pragmatically to ally themselves with like-minded tribal groups to present a common front as a means of controlling or confronting colonization. This was what motivated some Maori iwi to form the Kingitanga, and to select Potatau Te Wherowhero as the first Maori King. (47)

For Anderson, the initial movements of modern nationalisms, such as the French and American revolutions involved throwing off the shackles of monarchy, and it may seem strange that Maori might choose a king as the vehicle of their own national consciousness. However Maori looked to Europe, particularly Britain, as the fount of modernity and there, in the mid 1850s, princes, kings and emperors were the norm. Thus to nineteenth-century Maori, monarchy was part of the new world. But it was also the concept of sovereign power held by such monarchs that was attractive, as discussed by Wiremu Toetoe, who had lived for a time in Vienna, and printed in Te Hokioi, the Kingitanga's newspaper.
   I have been overseas and have seen the kings living on
   that great land, Europe. The mana of one king does not
   trespass onto another king. And so I then thought (alas!)
   what the people had decided, to establish a king for
   themselves, was indeed right. (48)

Just as monarchy reflected modernity, Biblical knowledge had also become part of the new nineteenth-century Maori worldview. When Wiremu Tamihana, the so-called Kingmaker, wrote to Governor Browne to justify the King movement, he referenced Deuteronomy 17:15 which states that 'one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not seta stranger over thee, which is not thy brother', and gave as examples a number of monarchs then reigning over their own people. To the suggestion that Maori should come under the Queen, he asked why the Americans were permitted to separate, when they were of the same ethnic background. (49) Clearly the Bible, a central component of nineteenth century Maori print culture and knowledge, was also instrumental in the construction of a collective Maori consciousness.

The Kingitanga was also prepared to employ the Pakeha colonial racial discourse for its own purposes. For example, King Tawhiao, in an address printed in Te Hokioi stated 'This is my message to you, all the black-skins, whether on the Queen's side, or the King's'. (50) By adopting 'blackskins', a term that Pakeha newspapers utilized to contrast Maori and Pakeha racially and culturally, Tawhiao sought to unite all Maori, whatever their political loyalties, while maintaining the ethnic differentiation with Pakeha. (51) Te Hokioi also maintained this black/white dichotomy in its accounts of Haiti, which it used as an exemplar for anti-colonial struggle that Maori could identify with.
   Let the [Maori] councils operate, wait and perhaps the
   rangatiratanga (52) of this land will be like that of Haiti,
   with wealth, power and laws because we are striving for
   the right cause. Perhaps God will protect his black-skinned
   children living in Aotearoa. (53)

The Waikato War (1863-64) dashed any real hopes of the Kingitanga uniting Maori within a viable nation, but the movement, even after making its peace with the New Zealand government in 1881, still stressed that it represented Maori independence despite being made up, at this time, mainly of Waikato and Ngati Maniapoto. In the 1890s the Kingitanga produced another newspaper, Te Paki o Matariki, whose bilingual banner in English addressed 'the nations and Tribes' of New Zealand, proclaiming 'This Paper is published by the Independent Maori Power, of Aotearoa'. The Maori text translates as 'To the iwi and hapu ... This Press belongs to the Kingitanga of the Maori people (iwi) of Aotearoa'. (54) The word 'iwi' is used in various ways, as a plural to indicate larger tribal groupings (referred to as 'nations' in English) and in the singular, as the Maori people or race, and also potentially nation. In 1893 the newspaper published another bilingual article criticizing the government. The English text stated:
   Now friends the Maori nations who are residing on
   these Islands Aotearoa and Waipounamu. There is
   always greetings in me towards you. Our friend the
   Government must not think I am speaking to him, no
   but to ourselves the Maori nation of these Islands....
   My greatest thoughts are ourselves the image of our
   ancestors which is handed down to us their offspring[.] (55)

The English translation refers to a singular 'Maori nation of these islands', while the Maori text addresses nga iwi Maori in the plural, indicating that the messages may have been different for Maori and Pakeha audiences. Both texts nevertheless combine all Maori, not only those standing separate from the government. It is clear that the Kangitanga, despite not representing all Maori, still held the torch for a united Maori consciousness.

The Kangitanga was not the only movement that possessed pan-Maori aspirations of the post-New Zealand Wars era. Colonization impacted on all Maori, whether they had fought for or against the Crown, or had remained neutral. (56) Although some historians, such as James Belich, might suggest that the Crown did not decisively defeat Maori during the war phase, by the 1870s the position for all Maori tribes had become weaker and the need for political unity more imperative. (57) While such moves may have been pragmatic, the kotahitanga (unity) movements nevertheless produced a discourse of the political unity of te iwi Maori (the Maori people, face or nation). For example, the Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa newspaper, Te Wananga, introduced itself thus:
   ... you are perhaps wanting to know, what is Te Wananga.
   Listen, I, Te Wananga, am a Press to put out the debates
   of each waka, whether they are former rebel tribes, or
   government tribes. We are all Maori. [The purpose of]
   this, Te Wananga, is to put in plain words the afflictions
   oppressing te iwi Maori. (58)

However, political differences arising from the wars meant that cooperation between the Kingitanga and former loyalists would be unlikely, but the latter, with neutral tribal groupings, were able to work together, in large inter-tribal meetings in the 1870s which developed more formally into into Te Kotahitanga o te Tiriti o Waitangi. (59) The Kotahitanga established its own Maori Parliament at Papawai in the Wairarapa, (60) as well as a series of newspapers.


The banner of the newspaper, Huia Tangata Kotahi (fig. 2), illustrates the collective Maori consciousness espoused by the Kotahitanga. The title roughly means people combining together as one, but "huia" in the title is a pun, meaning being gathered together, but also the bird whose feathers indicate noble status. The banner also contains the image of two Maori men pulling the two islands of New Zealand together, with huia feathers in the centre. The islands are, in effect, the colonial 'map-as-logo', identified by Anderson, which could form 'a powerful emblem for the anti-colonial nationalisms being born'. (61) This idea of unity was also enunciated in the first issue of the paper: 'May all the tribes be gathered together so that actions and thoughts of the Maori tribes of the North and South Islands will be as one'. (62) The paper saw itself not just reporting news, but as an instrument of the Maori people. It did not always envisage Maori as tribal, as nga iwi Maori (Maori tribes) but in the singular, te iwi, the people, or the race. As it stated, 'it was decided to establish this treasure to benefit te iwi, that is, as a voice and ears, to show the actions and arrangements being done for te iwi.' (63) Huia Tangata Kotahi was followed by another Kotahitanga newspaper, Te Puke ki Hikurangi, which promulgated a very similar discourse to its predecessor. In particular, this newspaper continued to define the Maori people as a singular concept. For example, in 1898 the newspaper stated:
   This is something sad bubbling up in the mind about us,
   te Iwi Maori, living in the islands called New Zealand. In
   the times of our ancestors, this people, the Maori, had
   two treasures: one was people, one was land. In these
   days there are also two, one is land, the other is money.
   This people, the Maori, is a people urgently crying to
   those in the past ... (64)

The author not only discusses Maori as a people, but also projects the concept back in time, not as something imagined into being after contact with Pakeha, but existing from the distant past.

The Kotahitanga languished in the start of the twentieth century, and was eclipsed by the Young Maori Party, (65) a group of young Christian Maori men, who sought to reform the Maori race. Unlike the Kotahitanga, which had been concerned about rangatiratanga and land issues, the Young Maori Party was more worried about the survival and advancement of Maori as a race. Although their policies, designed to bring Maori into the modern world, have sometimes been criticized as assimilatory in nature, their focus was always on Maori as a race or ethnicity. (66) The movement, with its strong links to the Church of England, utilized the Anglican niupepa, Te Pipiwharauroa to push its ideas to Maori people through print. Although some of their discussion of Maori activity could be negative or scolding, this was balanced with positive articles on young educated Maori, and other successes that all Maori could be proud of, with the underlying concern for racial survival and progress.
   Another century begins next year. The young men of
   today will be the important people for the beginning of
   the century, and the responsibility for the life or death of
   the Maori race is upon them.

   Men, live properly and behave appropriately towards
   each other this year, so when you go into the new
   century beginning, you will be familiar with good habits,
   and the plans that we put forth for our race will be
   right. (67)

As Bernard Cohn has noted, the census was a colonial instrument that also allowed indigenous subjects to reflect on their own supposed identities. (68) Certainly, the Young Maori Party used the census as a yardstick of the condition of the Maori race. When census figures in 1901 indicated an increase in the Maori population Te Pipiwharauroa printed the figures over two successive months, and its editor, Reweti Kohere, gleefully critiqued 'Pakeha prophets', such as Sir Walter Buller, who had earlier predicted the demise of the Maori early in the twentieth century. Kohere also noted that many 'half-castes' had not been recorded as Maori and attributed its own and the Young Maori Party's efforts as contributing to the increase. (69)

Much of the Young Maori Party's discourse on Maori as a people centred on racial pride, coupled with encouragement or admonition designed to induce Maori to improve. Its leaders had been educated at Te Aute, the preeminent school for Maori boys, and no doubt had picked up many of the beliefs about racial hierarchy prevalent at the time, which emerged in some of their newspaper reporting. For example in an article on Australian Aboriginals who had murdered some whites near Sydney, it noted 'The black race of Australia is one of the lowest races of this world, and it is said that the Maori race is the most noble of all the native races'. It was prepared to concede that 'some Maori debase themselves by murdering people' although did not diminish the overall status of the Maori people as a whole. (70) The Young Maori Party thus utilized Te Pipiwharauroa in response to fears of an ethnic or racial demise to promote a collective Maori consciousness. This dovetailed neatly into its vision of a moral, modern and proud Maori people.

Benedict Anderson suggests, 'all communities larger than primordial villages of face-to-face contact (and perhaps even these) are imagined'. (71) How groups self-identify can be very dynamic, and Maori are no exception. Pre-contact Maori, as far as we can surmise, were unaware of other ethnic groups. They structured notions of human similarity and difference around genealogical links, and were unlikely to have developed an ethnic consciousness. Such an imagining could only develop after encountering an 'Other', such as Europeans. Tangata maori and Pakeha were sufficiently strange to each other, that consciousness of this difference would have been inevitable from the start. At contact, this would have been a consciousness of physical, cultural or linguistic difference. Yet the mere knowledge of other races would not have been sufficient for Maori to start imagining themselves politically beyond tribal groups and traditional alliances.

According to Anderson, capitalism and print can assist in the development of national consciousnesses, by creating a wider reading public consuming texts printed in vernacular languages, and by allowing individuals reading these texts to imagine themselves being connected to other readers. While nineteenth century Maori do not neatly fit Anderson's model, the latter does provide a theoretical framework as a starting point to comprehend the development of a collective Maori consciousness. In particular their society had not yet experienced full-blown capitalism and industrialization, yet it nevertheless underwent equally significant socio-economic change through mass conversion to Christianity, and increasing engagement with the market economy. Maori literacy parallels the spread of literacy in vernacular languages elsewhere, although not as a byproduct and agent of capitalism but rather of religious conversion. Although capital was essential to both the existence and success of New Zealand's colonization, it was the social and political aspects of colonization rather than capitalism that impacted most directly on Maori society, and contributed to the rise of a Maori national consciousness. Despite New Zealand having been founded on the Treaty of Waitangi which espoused racial equality, with a government that pursued a policy of amalgamation of 'he iwi kotahi' (one people), colonial society was undercut with a binary based both on perceived differences in face and civilization. Despite proclaiming the theoretical equality that all races shared, the government's Maori-language newspapers justified the inferior Maori position in practice on cultural difference. Maori were not yet fully civilized, and were still the younger brother to be tutored by his older brother. This binary, espoused within the early niupepa, can only have accentuated notions of Maori difference to Pakeha, which in turn helped foster a collective Maori identity.

One can perhaps argue that conscious acts by Maori to politically organize in pan-Maori movements were merely pragmatic in the face of colonization, and that tribal identity will always trump ethnic collectivity. That may be so, but colonialism was a reality Maori had to face. Both the Kingitanga and the Kotahitanga utilized print culture to espouse a Maori collectivity as a means of furthering their political aims around land, mana and rangatiratanga. The Young Maori Party did not share these political goals, but nevertheless colonialism had conditioned them to accept a racialized world. They too employed print to address their most pressing concern, the survival, rejuvenation and improvement of Maori, as a race. Print culture was a vital ingredient in the rise of a collective Maori consciousness through the nineteenth century, just as it was for other ethnicities, but is best understood not in terms of Anderson's print-capitalism, but of print-colonization.


(1) Angela Ballara, Iwi: The Dynamics of Maori Tribal Organisation from c. 1769 to c. 1945 (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1998), p. 17.

(2) Ballara, p. 42; James Belich, Making Peoples: A History of the New Zealanders: From Polynesian Settlement to the End of the Nineteenth Century (Auckland: Penguin Books, 2007), p. 233.

(3) Various possible derivations of the word "pakeha" exist, including a sea deity, a pale-skinned supernatural being (also known as turehu or patupaiarehe), or part of a rowing chant by Captain Cook's men. Hoani Nahe, 'The Origins of the Words "Pakeha" and "Kaipuke'", transl, by Elson Best, Journal of the Polynesian Society, 3 (1894), pp. 235-6; S. Percy Smith, Maori Wars of the Nineteenth Century, (Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs Limited, 1910), p. 10; Mohi Turei: Ana Tuhinga i Roto i Te Reo Maori, ed. by Wiremu Kaa and Te Ohorere Kaa (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1996), p. 106.

(4) Ballara, p. 42.

(5) For example, see The Missionary Register, (1835), p. 471, Early New Zealand Books,; G.J. Turner, The Pioneer missionary: Life of the Rev. Nathaniel Turner, Missionary in New Zealand, Tonga, and Australia, (Melbourne: Wesleyan Conference Office, 1872); Te Karere o Nui Tireni, (1 January 1842), p. 1; Te Waka o te Iwi, (1 October 1857), p. 1.

(6) For example, Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change: Communications and Cultural Transformations in Early-modern Europe, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979).

(7) An exception perhaps is Ranginui Walker who analyses contemporary Maori acticism in Freirean terms. R.J. Walker, 'The Genesis of Maori Activism', Journal of the Polynesian Society, 93, 3 (1984), p. 275.

(8) John Rangihau, 'Being Maori' in Te Ao Hurihuri: The World Moves on, ed. by Michael King (Wellington: Methuen, 1977), p. 174.

(9) Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, 2nd edn (London: Verso, 1991).

(10) Michiel Baud, 'Beyond Benedict Anderson: Nation-Building and Popular Democracy in Latin America', International Review of Social History, No 50, (2005), p. 486.

(11) Jonathon Culler & Pheng Cheah, eds., Grounds of Comparison: Around the Work of Benedict Anderson, (New York: Routledge, 2003).

(12) Anderson, pp. 12-22.

(13) Anderson, pp. 37-8.

(14) Anderson, p. 77.

(15) Anderson, p. 43.

(16) Anderson, pp. 35-36.

(17) Tony Ballantyne, Talking Listening, Writing, Reading: Communication and Colonisation, The Allan Martin Lecture, (Canberra: ANU, 2009), p. 22.

(18) For example see Lyn Waymouth, 'Parliamentary Representation for Maori: Debate and Ideology in Te Wananga and Te Waka Maori o Niu Tirani, 1874-8' in Rere Atu, taku Manu!: Discovering History, Language and Politics in the Maori-Language Newspapers, ed. by Jenifer Curnow, Ngapare Hopa and Jane McRae (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2002), pp. 158-173; Jane McRae, '"Ki nga pito e wha o te Ao nei" (To the Four Comers of the World): Maori Publishing and Writing for Nineteenth-Century Maori-Language Newspapers' in Agent of Change: Print Culture Studies after Elizabeth L Eisenstein ed. by Sabrina Alcorn Baron, Eric N. Lindquist and Eleanor F. Shevlin (Amherst & Boston: University of Massachysetts Press, 2007), pp. 294-5.

(19) Belich, Making Peoples, pp. 145-6, 149-152, 159, 164-9.

(20) M.P.K. Sorrenson, 'Maori and Pakeha' in The Oxford History of New Zealand, 2nd edn ed. by. G. W. Rice (Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 145.

(21) Paul Monin, 'Maori Economies and Colonial Capitalism', in The New Oxford History of New Zealand, ed. by Giselle Byrnes (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 126.

(22) Hazel Petrie, Chiefs of Industry: Maori Tribal Enterprise in Early Colonial New Zealand (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2006), passim. Some Maori at this rime were engaged in more individualistic commercial activity. See Belich, Making Peoples, pp. 214-5.

(23) John Owens, 'The Unexpected Impact: Missionaries and Society in Early 19th Century New Zealand' in Religion in New Zealand, ed. by Christopher Nicol and James Veitch (Wellington: Religious Studies Department, Victoria University, 1983), p. 21.

(24) Samuel Marsden began training Maori in useful trades in Sydney even before missionary activity began in New Zealand. Petrie, p. 44.

(25) Lachy Paterson, Colonial Discourses: Niupepa Maori 1855-1863 (Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2006), pp. 122-134.

(26) Monin, pp. 140-142, 145.

(27) The one exception may be southem Ngai Tahu. According to Tahu Potiki, Maori at Karitane claimed to be unable to understand the preaching of the missionary Rev Watkin who was basing his sermons on Maori-language texts from the North Island. See; Jane McRae, 'From Maori Oral Traditions to Print' in Book & Print in New Zealand: A Guide to Print Culture in Aotearoa, ed. by Penny Griffith, Ross Harvey and Keith Maslen (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1997), p. 19. However, Maori from this region later purchased and sent letters to Maori-language newspapers, suggesting that there may have been other issues at play for Watkins, other than purely linguistic differences.

(28) David Pearson, A Dream Deferred: The origins of Ethnic Conflict in New Zealand (Wellington: Allen & Unwin, Port Nicholson Press, 1990), p. 42.

(29) For example, Missionary Register, (1835), p. 310; (1844), pp. 451, 452.

(30) For example see Te Karere o Poneke, (29 March 1858), pp. 2-3; Te Haeata, (1 January 1860), p. 1; Te Waka Maori o Ahuriri, (8 August 1863), p. 4.

(31) Te Karere o Poneke, (15 August 1858), p. 2.

(32) Hans Kohn, The Idea of Nationalism: A Study of Its Origins and Background. First published 1944, (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2005), p. 143; Anderson, p. 39.

(33) It is difficult to assess accurately the true extent of Maori literacy in the nineteenth century, with different scholars using different methodologies to arrive at different conclusions. For example, C.J. Parr, 'Maori Literacy', Journal of the Polynesian Society, 72 (1963), pp. 219, 220; D.F. McKenzie, Oral Culture, Lateracy & print in Early New Zealand (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1985), p. 34n; Keith Sinclair, Kinds of Peace: Maori people after the Wars, 1870-85 (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1991), p. 34. It was likely that Maori literacy was relatively high compared to the Pakeha population, and that due to the tribal nature of Maori society, literates passed knowledge gleaned from reading on to non-literates. Paterson, Colonial Discourses, pp. 38-9.

(34) Hawke's Bay Herald, (25 April 1888), p. 3; George I. Laurenson, Te Hahi Weteriana: Three Half Centuries of the Methodist Maori Missions, 1822-1972 (Auckland: Wesley Historical Society of New Zealand, 1972), p. 47.

(35) Anderson, p. 35.

(36) Paterson, Colonial Discourses, pp. 44-5.

(37) Paterson, Colonial Discourses, pp. 38-9.

(38) Walter Brodie, Remarks on the Past and Present State of New Zealand: Its Government, Capabilities and Prospects (London: Whittaker, 1845), p. 110.

(39) Joan Metge argues that "tahi" means "together" so Maori would have understood Hobson's "he ii tahi tatou" in terms of peoples together rather than denoting one people, which would be "he iwi kotahi tatou". See Joan Metge, Tuamaka: The Challenge of Difference in Aotearoa New Zealand (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2010) p. 17 cited in The Treaty of Waitangi Companion: Maori and Pakeha from Tasman to Today, ed. by Vincent O'Malley, Bruce Stirling and Wally Penetito (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2010), pp. 408-9. That the government policy was translated as "he iwi kotahi" clearly demonstrates the govemment's intent of "amalgamation".

(40) Ko te Karere o Nui Tireni, (1 June 1843), p. 22. 'E mea mai te tangata ki a matou. Hei aha ta koutou Nuipepa i taia ai? Na ka mea atu matou, I taia ai ta matou Muipepa Ida kake ai te tangata maori, kia mohio ai ia Id a matou tikanga, kia mohiotia ai ano hoki e tera iwi, e tera iwi, nga iwi e kake ana, me nga mea hoid i kake ai.'

(41) Te Waka o te Iwi, (October 1857), p. 1. 'Ko tetahi o aku tikanga ka mea atu nei ko te perehi ta pukapuka mo koutou mo nga iwi Maori. Nui atu e hoa ma te tika o tenei whakaaro no te mea he taonga whakamohio tenei i te hunga e kuare ana, he kai whakaatu i te he, he kai tohutohu i te tika ko te taonga tenei i nui ai te pakeha, i whiwhi ai ki te tini o ana whakaaro whakamiharo. Na ka mea atu ahau ki a koutou Ida maia Id tenei tikanga whakarangatira mo koutou, kia tutuki to koutou hiahia, no te mea ko te tika tenei.'

(42) Ko te Karere o Nui Tireni, (1 September 1843), p. 35. 'Kei hea ta koutou whare papa, whare kowhatu, pereki ranei? Kei hea ta koutou kaipuke? I hanga ki hea? E wakapai ana koutou Id nga mea a te pakeha, te pu, nga kakahu, nga titaha, nga puka, e kore etahi o koutou e matau ana ki te hanga i enei mea; e hia o koutou e matau ki te wakatere kaipuke? kei hea te tangata e mohio ana ki nga tini motu o te moana, me nga tauiwi e noho anai te ao nei? kowai te tangata i mohio ki nga tini reo o nga tauiwi. Kia rongo mai e hoa ma ko te pakeha e mohio ana ki enei mea katoa ...'

(43) Te Karere o Poneke, (26 April 1858), pp. 2-3.

(44) Te Karere o Poneke, (5 August 1859), p. 2.

(45) For example, see Alan Ward, A Show of Justice: Racial 'Amalgamation' in Nineteenth Century New Zealand (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1995), p. 98.

(46) Belich, Making Peoples, pp. 224-5.

(47) Ranginui Walker, Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou: Struggle Without End, rev.ed., (Auckland: Penguin, 2004), pp. 111-2.

(48) Te Hokioi, (10 November 1862), p. 1.

(49) Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives, (1865), E-11, pp. 4, 6.

(50) Te Hokioi, (1 January 1863), p. 1.

(51) Lachy Paterson, 'Kiri Ma, Kiri Mangu: The Terminology of Race and Civilisation in the Mid-Nineteenth-Century Maori-Language Newspapers' in Rere Atu, Taku Manu! Discovenng History, Language & Politics in the Maon-Language Newspapers, ed. by Jenifer Curnow, Ngapare Hopa and Jane McRae (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2002), pp. 86-7.

(52) There has been considerable academic debate on the term, rangatiratanga, which represents Maori rights protected in the Maori version of the Treaty of Waitangi. It can represent chiefly rights, autonomy, and independence but was also used in the nineteenth century to translate concepts such as wealth and civilisation.

(53) Te Hokioi, (2 April 1863), p. 2. 'Waiho marire ki a mahi nga runanga, taihoa pea ka rite te Rangatiratanga o te motu nei ki to Haiti, whai taonga, whai mana, whai ture, tatemea e tohe ana matou ki te taha tika, tera pea te Atua e tiaki i ona tamariki kiri mangu, e noho ana ki Aotearoa.'

(54) Te Paki o Matariki, (8 May 1893), p. 1. 'Ki nga Iwi, ki nga Hapu ... Ko tenei Perehi, na Te Kingitanga, o te Iwi Maori, o Aotearoa'.

(55) Te Paki o Matariki, (8 May 1893), pp. 4-5. 'Na e hoa ma e nga Iwi Maori e noho nei i Aotearoa me te Waipounamu, He aumihi tonu kei roto i ahau mo koutou kei whakaaro mai ra, to tatou hoa te Kawanatanga, e korero atu ana ahau kia ia, kaore. Engari kia tatou ki nga Iwi Maori, o te Motu nei ... Heoi ra ko taku whakaaro ia ko tatou ano, i runga i te ahua o tatou Tupuna, tuku iho ana Ida tatou ki nga Uri e ora nei.'

(56) Belich, Making Peoples, pp. 257-68.

(57) James Belich, The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian Interpretation of Racial Conflict (Auckland: Penguin Books, 1988), pp. 311-16

(58) Te Wanaga, (4 September 1874), p. 9. '... e kimikimi ana pea koutou, he aha ra a Te Wananga, whakarongo mai, he Perehi ahau a Te Wananga hei whakaatu i nga korero a ia Waka, a ia Waka, ahakoa iwi hauhau, iwi Kawanatanga, he Maori katoa tatou, tenei Te Wananga hei whakamarama i nga mamae e peehi nei i te iwi maori ...'

(59) Belich, Making Peoples, p. 267

(60) Walker, Ka Whawhai Tonu, pp. 153-6, 165-6

(61) Anderson, p. 175.

(62) Huia Tangata Kotahi, (8 February 1893), p. 3. 'Kia huia nga iwi kotoa kia kotahi te haere mete whakaro onga iwi maori, o Aotearoa mete waipounamu.'

(63) Huia Tangata Kotahi, (25 November 1893), p. 1. '... ka whakarotia nei kia whakaarahia tenei taonga hei pai mo te iwi, ara hei Reo, hei Taringa, hei whakaatu inga mahi me nga tikanga e mahia nei mo te iwi ...'

(64) Te Puke ki Hikurangi, (2 August 1898), p.1. 'Tenei te ngakau aroha te pupu ake nei i roto i te hinengaro, mo tatau mo te iwi Maori, e noho nei i runga i nga motu e kiia nei Niu Tireni, e rua nga taonga nui o tenei iwi o te Maori i te takiwa i o tatau Tipuna, he Tangata tetahi, he Whenua tetahi, i eneira, e rua hoki, he Whenua tetahi, he moni tetahi, ko tenei Iwi ko te Maori, he Iwi tangi nonoi kia ratau i mua ...'

(65) This was originally known as Te Aute College Students Association as many of its members had attended that school.

(66) Lachy Paterson, 'Reweti Kohere's Model Village', New Zealand Journal of History,, 41:1 (2007), pp. 27-8.

(67) Te Pipiwharauroa, (1 January 1900), p. 5. 'ka timata he rau tau ke a tera tau. Ko nga tamariki taane o naianei nga tino tangata mo te wahi timatanga o tera rau tau, a kei runga i a ratou te ora te mate ranei mo te Iwi Maori. E tama ma, kia pai te noho, kia tika te mahi a tetahi ki tetahi i tenei tau, kia uru rawa ake ai tarou ki te rau tau mea ake nei ka timata, kua waia tatou ki nga tikanga pai, ka tika hoki a tatou tikanga e whakatakoto ai mo to tatou Iwi.'

(68) Bernard Cohn, 'The Census, Social Structure and Objectification in South Asia' in Cohn, An Anthropologist among the Historians and Other Essays (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1987), pp. 249-50.

(69) Te Pipiwharauroa, (1 May 1901), p. 1; (1 June 1901), p. 5.

(70) Te Pipiwharauroa, (1 August 1900), p. 11. 'Ko te iwi mangumangu o Ahitereiria tetahi o nga iwi whakamutunga mai i te ao nei, a e kiia ana ko te iwi Maori te iwi rangatira atu o nga iwi maori katoa, otita e whakataurekareka ana ano etahi Maori i a ratou ki te kohuru tangata.'

(71) Anderson, p. 6.
COPYRIGHT 2010 University of Waikato
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Paterson, Lachy
Publication:JNZL: Journal of New Zealand Literature
Date:Nov 1, 2010
Previous Article:Placing literary culture: books and civic culture in Milton.
Next Article:Kai Tahu writing and cross-cultural communication.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters