Bruce Biggs died in Auckland on 18 October 2000, aged 79. He was the most influential figure in academic Māori studies in the 20th Century and the man behind the efflorescence of Polynesian linguistics in the 1960s and 70s.
Biggs had a distinguished career as a scholar. But he was also that rarer thing, an exceptional builder of academic institutions. He developed, at Auckland, the first university programme in the study of Māori language, culture and literature, and trained the people who later went on to head Māori Studies Departments at other New Zealand universities. He also initiated the first programme in modern linguistics in a New Zealand university, and instigated the study of ethnomusicology at Auckland. Internationally, he is best known as one of the founders of modern Oceanic descriptive and historical linguistics.
50 years ago, few would have predicted a career in academia for him. He and his wife, with three small children, were teaching at a small Māori school in the remote East Coast. He was nearly 30, and doing a BA by extra-mural studies. Then out of the blue came an opening at the University College of Auckland. Late in 1950 Ralph Piddington, the newly appointed Foundation Professor of Anthropology, advertised for a part-time lecturer in Māori language and a friend sent the advertisement to Bruce. There were more highly qualified applicants and Bruce was amazed when he was offered the job. Evidently he was the only one who had formulated a coherent plan for creating a syllabus.
Bruce Biggs was born at Auckland on 4 September 1921, the only son of Mary (nee Grandison) and Thomas Herbert Biggs, who ran a hardware shop in Queen Street. Through his father, Bruce had Ngati Maniapoto blood. He attended New Lynn Primary School and then Mt Albert Grammar, where Rob Muldoon and Bruce’s close friend, Keith Sinclair, were contemporaries, and he went on to Auckland Teachers’ College. During school holidays spent in Rotorua, he gained an interest in Māori culture but he did not become a fluent speaker of Māori until after the Second World War. His lifelong interest in jazz and popular music was already evident at high school where he played trumpet and formed the Boom Bah Boys dance band, popular around New Lynn in the late 1930s.
From 1942 to 1945 Bruce served in Fiji as a sergeant in the New Zealand army. His job in communications gave him freedom to move around Viti Levu and to meet freely with Fijians. He used the opportunity to become fluent in Standard Fijian and to collect word lists, grammar notes and folklore in non-standard dialects. His long association with the Polynesian Society began during the War, when he met the then editor of its journal, Clyde Taylor. Taylor assisted Bruce in his amateur ethnological studies in Fiji by lending him many books from his personal library. Bruce’s first publication, an account of the Ba dialects of the Western Fijian language, appeared in the Society’s journal in 1948.
At the end of the war Bruce married Joy Hetet, of Te Kuiti, a niece of the eminent Māori scholar, Pei Te Hurinui Jones. The couple went teaching at Te Kao, in the far north, then moved in 1946 to Ruatoria, in the heart of Ngati Porou territory. For five years Bruce headed a small Education Department Native School at Wairongomai, near Hikurangi Mountain, studied part-time for a BA, played rugby, and became a serious student of Māoritanga.
During his first few years in Piddington’s Department, Bruce combined teaching with study, adding an Anthropology major to his Education major before doing an MA in Anthropology. But the conservative Old Guard in the Faculty of Arts blocked his plan to to extend the programme in Māori Studies beyond Stage I. Several senior academics in the Classics, English and French Departments viewed this idea with disdain. Māori was, they said, the uncultivated language of a primitive society, without the literature needed to give distinction and substance to its study. A proposal to introduce second-year Māori courses was defeated. The following year Bruce and his colleagues were better prepared. They lobbied colleagues, pointing out that the Māori people had one of the great oral epic literatures of the world, published as Nga Mahi a Nga Tupuna, and Bruce cunningly brought to the Faculty meeting all the books he could find in the library to do with Māori language and culture and decanted them onto the table. Enough votes were mustered to get Māori II established.
This was an early sign of Biggs’ political acumen. To create new institutions and make them work, in a university as elsewhere, you need to combine vision with political skills, ambition with organisational ability and hard work, and cleverness with common sense. Bruce brought most of these ingredients with him; the others he soon acquired under pressure in the not-so-gentle world of academic politics.
In 1955, Bruce made the most important decision of his career. He took leave for two years to do a PhD in linguistics at the Bloomington campus of the University of Indiana, at that time arguably the world’s leading centre in structural linguistics. Bruce believed that a training in linguistics would give him a cutting edge to develop both research and teaching in Māori language. It was hard work, cramming 18 months of coursework, summer fieldwork in an Indian community in Arizona, and writing a thesis in just two years, but the investment paid off in a big way. His 1957 PhD thesis on Māori phonology and grammar introduced the notion of a fully explicit and predictive description, demonstrated that the phonological phrase, rather than the word, is the most important structural unit below the clause in Māori, and used rigorous formal criteria to arrive at a new classification of parts of speech. The thesis provided the model for most descriptive work done in Polynesian linguistics for the next decade.
On his return to New Zealand in 1958 he set about extending the stock of published works suitable for use in teaching Māori language and literature (he knew the critics had been partly right). His many books on Māori topics include The Structure of New Zealand Māori, Let’s Learn Māori, Māori Marriage, The Complete English-Māori Dictionary, and (with Pei Te Hurinui Jones) and a number of other edited works on Māori writings, songs and poetry. As convenor of a national committee, he also contributed countless hours to revising H. W. Williams’ Dictionary of the Māori Language.
But Bruce soon began to expand his research and teaching in other directions. In 1958, Jim Hollyman and he founded the Linguistic Society of New Zealand and its journal, Te Reo. The next year he offered a new course, "Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics", as a second-year paper in Anthropology. One of his students was a callow youth of 17, myself, who was also taking Māori I. Bruce’s lecturing manner in those days was austere and slow, and his course content dry and scholarly. Students recall the pauses of a minute or more (uncomfortable to them but apparently not to Bruce) while he carefully considered a question or problem. Yet I was fascinated by his lucid demonstration of the techniques of linguistic data collection and analysis, using a Rotuman speaker as informant. By the end of the course I knew that I wanted to be a linguist. Bruce helped me revise my course essay (on Samoan phonology) and arranged for its publication in Te Reo.
In 1960 he made the first of two field trips to the New Guinea Highlands. Ralph Bulmer, a social anthropologist who had recently joined the Department, had persuaded Bruce to join him in an interdisciplinary research project on the language, culture and environmental knowledge of a newly contacted people, the Kalam, living in the Schrader Range. The innovative phonemic analysis and orthography of Kalam which Bruce published in 1963 startled a good many linguists. He treated the very frequent, short central vowels of Kalam as a feature of consonant release, a predictable segment within consonant clusters that need not be written. Later work has shown that this feature is a characteristic of a number of other New Guinea languages. But after starting work on a dictionary of Kalam with Bulmer and me, Bruce realised he had taken on too many commitments and eased himself out of the project. During the early 1960s he was editor of the Journal of the Polynesian Society, ran the day-to-day administration of the Anthropology Department (Piddington’s health had declined), was engaged in the national politics of Māori language teaching, and was busy with a basketful of teaching and research projects.
It was in Polynesian linguistics in the 1960s that Bruce really made things happen. An archaeologist colleague, Roger Green, got him interested in comparative historical linguistics, which Green felt could be a powerful instrument for reconstructing Polynesian prehistory. The die was cast in 1964, when Bruce spent 10 months at the East West Center at the University of Hawai’i and met a number of Pacific linguists, including George Grace. He learned much about historical linguistics from Grace and by the end of the year had written a paper, "Direct and indirect inheritance in Rotuman", that soon became highly imfluential. This work contained the first large body of early Oceanic reconstructions and provided for the first time a reliable procedure for distinguishing the two main historical strata in the lexicon of Rotuman, and showed which stratum was original and which was borrowed from a sister language. Bruce later applied the same principles successfully to other languages that exhibit extensive borrowing, such as East Uvean.
In 1965, Green and Biggs obtained NSF funding for a large-scale interdisciplinary research project on Polynesian culture history. Back in Auckland Bruce recruited a small team to help him compile Proto Polynesian lexical reconstructions by comparing the best documented of the 30 or so Polynesian languages. Bruce continued to work on the Proto Polynesian lexicon project for the next 35 years. Early findings were published in hard copy. In later years Bruce chose to make the file (of over 4,000 reconstructions with supporting cognate sets) available in electronic form. From the NSF grant he funded graduate students from Auckland and Hawai’i to do fieldwork on several of the lesser-known Polynesian languages. Within a few years students supervised by Bruce or by his assistants (Pat Hohepa and me) had produced grammars of Samoan, Sikaianan, Luangiuan, Nanumean, Tokelauan, Tongarevan, Aitutakian and Niuean. Between 1967 and 1990 Bruce himself did field research on several Polynesian languages besides Māori: Marquesan, East Futunan, Mele-Fila (in Vanuatu) and Cook Islands Māori, as well as on Cikobia Fijian. His work on East Futunan led him to make an important discovery about the syntax of verbs in Western Polynesian languages, published in a 1974 paper "Some problems of Polynesian grammar".
Bruce proved to be a good spotter and nurturer of talent. He gave encouragement and wonderfully shrewd advice to many students. The list of his students who went on to make their mark in the academic world is remarkable. They include Pat Hohepa, Hirini Mead, Rangi Walker, Sir Robert Mahuta, Koro Dewes, Roger Oppenheim, Richard Benton, Wharehuia Milroy, Bernie Kernot, Merimeri Penfold, Tamati Reedy, Dame Anne Salmond, David Simmons, David Walsh, Peter Ranby, Pita Sharples, Parehuia Hopa, Margaret Orbell, Bill Tawhai, Bill Nepia and Margaret Mutu, among others. The success of the Aucklandprogramme opened the way for Māori Studies programmes in other New Zealand universities.
Even so, Bruce remained the only full-time lecturer at the University of Auckland in either Māori Studies or Linguistics until the mid 1960s, when lectureships were obtained by three of his students: Andrew Pawley (Linguistics); Patrick Hohepa (Māori Studies and Linguistics); and Hirini Mead (Māori Studies). By then Auckland was recognised as the world’s leader in Polynesian linguistics and the University of Hawai’i was trying hard to recruit Bruce. In 1967 and 1968 he took extended leave to take an appointment as a Full Professor at Hawai’i. Auckland responded by offering him a Personal Chair in Māori Studies and Oceanic Linguistics.
Bruce used his Hawai’i position as leverage to achieve another goal: the establishment of an Archive of Māori and Pacific Island Music at Auckland. He made it a condition of his acceptance of the Chair that the University appoint Mervyn McLean, the leading ethnomusicologist specialising in Māori music, to a tenured post from which he could set up and supervise the archive. Bruce returned to New Zealand for good in 1969 and headed the Department of Anthropology from 1969 to 1973.
There were two sharply different sides to Bruce’s character. In the classroom and office he was reserved, sometimes to the point of dourness (though less so in later years when he became more the urbane kaumatua). He did not suffer foolishness gladly and his comments could be trenchant. He and I had the occasional fierce row over matters of principle or theory and just a few years ago, exasperated by my heresies, he said "You’ve forgotten everything I ever taught you!". Yet in relaxed settings, at home, in the pub, or out fishing, he was the best of company, full of stories and jokes. His students and colleagues were amazed at the transformation. On a fine summer’s afternoon he would sometimes come into my office and say "It’s too good a day to waste working. Want to come and help me get my boat in the water?" and two or three of us would go fishing in the harbour. Bruce’s conversation was laced with dry humour, often humorously self-deprecating, and frequently powerful and memorable. His way of speaking derived its vigor partly from the bottomless well of indignation which he possessed and drew on in commenting on the faults of society at large. (In the 1960s he marched with the protestors against the Vietnam War.) It also derived partly from the fact that, unlike many highly educated people his conversational language was Colloquial and not Bookish.
There was one considerable paradox. Bruce described himself as a natural conservative, incapable of following fashion. Thus every new idea was treated with the greatest suspicion. His political instincts told him that ground that has been hard won should not lightly be put at risk or discarded. (He also referred to himself as "simple-minded", that is, uncomfortable with complex ideas. His analytical instincts distrusted the complex solution and impelled him to seek a simpler way.) How could a person so distrustful of novelty be such a considerable innovator? I think the answer lay in his combining a good imagination with analytic rigour and complete intellectual honesty. If, after carefully evaluating all the possibilities, the best solution is a radical one, then so be it.
Sensing that many of his senior staff wanted to take Māori Studies in new directions Bruce retired three years early, in 1983. He did not approve of some of the new directions but did not want to stand in the way. The first 10 years after his retirement were, he told me, among the most enjoyable of his life. He was able to pursue some long-postponed scholarly projects as well as to spend more time with his family and friends. He devoted most of his research time to his first love, Māori language, oral literature and tradition, and continued to do some teaching at the University at the request of his successors. Perhaps his most satisfying accomplishment in this period was to complete Nga Iwi o Tainui, the traditional history of the Tainui tribes, which Pei Jones had begun to compile in the 1920s. Bruce translated the 67 narratives and the songs collected by Jones, and added editorial commentary. The book was published in 1995, to national acclaim.
Various academic and civic honours were bestowed on Bruce, especially in his later years. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1969. On his 60th birthday he was presented with a festchrift volume containing papers by 30 linguists from around the world. He was President of the Polynesian Society from 1979 to 1993 and in 1985 received the Society’s Elsdon Best Memorial Medal. In the 1990s he was awarded a CBE and an OBE for services to education and the Māori people. He is survived by his wife, Joy, and children Mary, Garth, Susan and John.
1. Māori Language and Culture
2. Polynesian Comparative Linguistics
3. Polynesian Languages and Literature
4. Fiji and Rotuman
5. Other Pacific Areas
6. Other Topics
7. Māori Language Phonodiscs
1952 "The Translation and Publishing of Māori Material in the Auckland Public Library." 61: 177191.
1952 – 3 (Editor and commentator) "He Waiata Haka Oriori." Te Ao Hou 3: 56 – 57.
1953 (Editor and commentator) "He Koorero Pakiwaitara." Te Ao Hou 5: 52 – 53.
1954 (Editor and commentator) "Ko Te Mahi Kai Moana" (English title:"Māori for Children." Te Ao Hou 8: 19.
1955 "The Compound Possessives in Māori" 64: 341 – 348.
1957 (Editor and translator)"The Story of Kupe, as Written Down by Himiona Kaamira" Journal of the Polynesian Society 66: 217 – 248.
 The Sound System of Māori. Paper read at a Refresher Course for Teachers of Māori Language. Mimeo. University of Auckland.
1959a "Two Letters from Ngaati-Toa to Sir George Grey" : 263 – 276.
1959b Review of S. M. Mead We Speak Māori: First Lessons in the Māori Language.: 254.
1960a Māori Marriage: An Essay in Reconstruction. Auckland, A. H. & A. W. Reed for the Polynesian Society. (Repr. 1970, Wellington, Polynesian Society Monograph No. 1.)
1960b "Morphology – Syntax in a Polynesian Language" 69: 376 – 379.
1960c "Some Aspects of Māori Education." In Report of Northland Young Māori Leaders’ Conference, Kaitaia, 2124 October 1960. Council of Adult Education, University of Auckland.
1961a "Māori Affairs and the Hunn Report." 70: 361 – 364.
1961b English-Māori Finder List. Auckland, The Author.
1961c The Structure of New Zealand Māori. Archives of Languages of the World. Bloomington, University of Indiana.
1962a (With John Asher) Review of Pei Te Hurinui Jones Puhiwahine, Māori Poetess. Journal of the Polynesian Society 71: 290 – 291.
1962b Review of David P. Ausubel Māori Youth.American Anthropologist 64: 1329.
1963 (With S. M. Mead & P. Hohepa, eds) Selected Readings in Māori.Anthropology Department, University of Auckland.Reprint Wellington, Reed, 1967.)
1964a (With S. M. Mead, eds) He Kohikohinga Aronui: Selected Readings in Māori.. Anthropology Department, University of Auckland.
1964b "The Māori Language." In: New Zealand Department of Māori Affairs The Māori Today. Wellington, Government Printer.
1965a (With R. C. Green) "Māori History." In: John Pascoe (ed.) Oxford Junior Encyclopaedia. London. Oxford University Press.
1965b "Māori Religion and Mythology." In: John Pascoe (ed.) Oxford Junior Encyclopaedia. London. Oxford University Press.
1965c "Māori Language. Literature and Music." In: John Pascoe (ed.) Oxford Junior Encyclopaedia. London. Oxford University Press.
1966a EnglishMāori Dictionary. Wellington, Reed.
1966b "Māori Myths and Traditions." In: A.H. McLintock (ed.) An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand447 – 454. Wellington, Government Printer.
1967 Review of E. Schwimmer, The World of the Māori. 76: 252 – 254.
1968a "The Māori Language Past and Present." In: Erik Schwimmer (ed.) The Māori People in the Nineteen-sixties, 65 – 84. Auckland, Blackwood and Janet Paul.
1968b Māori Reflexes of Proto-Polynesian. TS. Anthropology Department, University of Auckland.
1969a Let’s Learn Māori: a Guide to the Study of the Māori Language. Wellington, Reed. (revised editions 1973, 1998).
1969b Development of a System of Collecting, Alphabetizing and Indexing Polynesian Pedigrees. Part 1: The Genealogical Records of the New Zealand (sic) Māori.Salt Lake City, Utah, Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
1970a (With David Simmons) "The Sources of ‘The Lore of the Whare-Wananga’". 79: 22 – 42.
1970b "Workbook to ‘Let’s Learn Māori’." Working Papers in Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistics, and Māori studies No. 1. Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.
1970c "Māori Legends: Suggestions for a Māori Studies Syllabus for Secondary Schools." Working Papers in Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistics, and Māori studies No. 5. Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.
1970d "Final Report on Māori Language Seminar Held in Conjunction with the Young Māori Leaders’ Conference at Auckland University, 25 – 28 August". Working Papers in Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistics, and Māori studies No. 12. Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.
1970e (Editor and translator) "Ngaa Tama-a-Rangi" Na Wiremu Maaihi Te Rangi-Kaheke". Working Papers in Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistics, and Māori studies No. 15. Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.
1971a "The Fish of Maaui." In: Ray Knox (ed.) New Zealand’s Heritage, 1.1, pp. 1 – 6. Wellington, Paul Hamlyn.
1971a "The Māori Language." In: Ray Knox (ed.) New Zealand’s Heritage, 1.6, pp. 160 – 164. Wellington, Paul Hamlyn.
1971c (With H. Ohia and N. J. Drayton) "The Māori Language – A Symposium of Opinions." Journal of the Tauranga Historical Society 43: 22 – 26.
1971d (With Pei Te Hurinui Jones et al., eds) H. W. Williams A Dictionary of the Māori Language. 7th edition. Wellington, Government Printer.
1973 Pause and Stress in Māori Speech. Working Papers in Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistics, and Māori studies No. 20. Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.
1978 "Te Whakaako i te Reo Māori i te Whare Waananga a Aakarana". In: S. M. Mead and Agnes Sullivan (eds) Report to the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee on the Inter-University Māori Studies Conference. Wellington, 17 – 19 August. 1978. Wellington, Victoria University.
1980a "Traditional Māori Song Texts and the ‘Rule of Eight’" In: Paanui 3 o Akarana. Māori Studies Section, University of Auckland.
1980b (Editor and translator) "Ko Maaui Tikitiki-o-Taranga". In: Paanui 3 o Akarana. Māori Studies Section, University of Auckland.
1980c (With C. Lane and H. Cullen, eds and trans) Readings from Māori Literature: A Translation of Selected Readings in Māori (Biggs, Hohepa and Mead, eds). Māori Studies Section, University of Auckland.
The Complete EnglishMāori Dictionary. Auckland, Auckland University Press/Oxford University Press.
1984 Review of David Lewis and Werner Forman Te Māori: Heirs of Tane. 93(2): 210 – 212.
1986 "Māori Spelling." In: C. Corne and A. Pawley (eds) Le coq et le cagou. Essays on French and Pacific Languages in Honour of Jim Hollyman, 119 – 129. Auckland, Linguistic Society of New Zealand.
1987 Review of F. Allan Hanson and Louise Hanson. Counterpoint in Māori Culture. Pacific Studies (3):138 – 142.
1988a "The Word ‘Pakeha’ Where It Comes from, What It Means." Te Iwi o Aotearoa 14: 9.
1988b "That Word Pakeha." Christchurch Press Editiorial.
1989a "Humpty-Dumpty and the Treaty of Waitangi.’ In: I.H. Kawharu (ed.) Waitangi: Māori and Pakeha Perspectives, 300 – 312. Auckland, Oxford University Press.
1989b "Towards the study of Māori dialects." In: R. Harlow and R. Hooper (eds), VICAL 1: Papers from the Fifth International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics, 61 – 75. Auckland, Linguistic Society of NZ.
1990a "Extraordinary eight." In: J. Davidson (ed.) Pacific Island Languages: Essays in Honour of G. B. Milner, 29 – 39. London, School of Oriental and African Studies, Univ. London.
1990b "Tomorrow’s history." Archifacts: Bulletin of the Archives and Records Association of New Zealand (April 1990): 57.
1990c English-Māori, Māori-English Dictionary. Auckland, Auckland University Press.
1991 "Rua-pu-tahanga." In: C. MacDonald, M. Penfold and B. Williams (eds) The Book of New Zealand Women: Ko Kui Ma Te Kaupapa, 581 – 582. Wellington, Bridget Williams Books.
1994 "Knowledge as Allegory." Science of Pacific Island Peoples vol. 4, Education, Language and Policy, 1 – 11. Suva: Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific.
1995 (Pei Te Hurinui Jones, compiler, Bruce Biggs translator and editor) Nga Iwi o Tainui: The Traditional History of the Tainui People. Auckland, Auckland University Press.
1997 He Whiriwhiringa: Selected Readings in Māori. Auckland: Auckland University Press.
n. d. The Pronunciation of Māori: A Guide for Radio Announcers. Mimeo. Wellington. New Zealand Broadcasting Service.
1965 "Comparative Linguistic Research in the Pacific." In: World Archaeology Surveys and Biblographies: Pacific Islands: Area 21, No. III.
1966 (With D. S. Walsh) ProtoPolynesian Word List I. Te Reo Monograph. Auckland, Linguistic Society of New Zealand.
1967 "The Past Twenty Years in Polynesian Linguistics." In: Genevieve A. Highland et al. (eds) Polynesian Culture History. B. P. Bishop Museum Special Publication 56. Honolulu, B. P. Bishop Museum.
 Comparative Linguistics and Polynesian Languages. Mimeo. University of Auckland.
1970 (With D. S. Walsh and J. Waqa) Proto-Polynesian Reconstructions with English to Proto-Polynesian Finder List, Interim Listing January 1970. Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.
1971 "The Languages of Polynesia." In: Thomas A. Sebeok (ed.) Current Trends in Linguistics, vol. 8, Linguistics in Oceania. The Hague, Mouton.
1972 "Implications of Linguistic Subgrouping with Special Reference to Polynesia." In: R. C. Green and M. Kelly (eds) Studies in Oceanic Culture History, vol. 3, 142 – 152. Pacific Anthropological Records No. 13. Honolulu, B. P. Bishop Museum.
1974 "Some Problems of Polynesian Grammar." 83:401426.
 Proto-Polynesian Listing with Daughter Languages. Computer printout from the files of the Comparative Polynesian Lexicon Project. Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.
1978 "The History of Polynesian Phonology." 2nd International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics:Proceedings. Fascicle 2, Eastern Austronesian. Pacific Linguistics Series C, No. 61. Canberra, Australian National University.
1979 Proto-Polynesian Word List II. Working Papers in Anthropology, Archaeology, linguistics, and Maori Studies No. 53. Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.
1980 "The Position of East ‘Uvean and Anutan in the Polynesian Language Family." Te Reo, 23: 115 – 134.
1991 "A linguist visits the New Zealand bush." In: A. Pawley (ed.) Man and a Half: Essays in Pacific Anthropology and Ethnobiology in Honour of Ralph Bulmer, 67 – 72. Auckland. Polynesian Society.
1994a "New words for a new world." In: A. Pawley and M. Ross (eds) Austronesian Terminologies: Continuity and Change, 21 – 29. Canberra, Pacific Linguistics.
1994b "Does Maori have a closest relative?" In D. Sutton (ed.) The Origins of the First New Zealanders. Auckland, 96 – 105. Auckland University Press.
n.d. The Passive Voice in Polynesian Languages. Mimeo. Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.
n.d. The Subject in Polynesian Languages. Mimeo. Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.
n.d. Pacific Languages and Polynesian Origins. Mimeo. Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.
1959 Review of Mary Kawena Pukui and S.H. Elbert: Hawaian English Dictionary. Journal of the Polynesian Society 68: 52 – 53.
1964 "The Oral Literature of the Maoris." Te Ao Hou 49: 23 – 25.
1965 Review of Frank J. Stimson with the collaboration of D. S. Marshall: A Dictionary of some Tuamotuan Dialects of the Polynesian Language. Journal of the Polynesian Society 74: 375 – 377.
1968 Review of G. B. Milner: Samoan Dictionary. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 31:186 – 7.
1970 Polynesian Literature. Working Papers in Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistics, and Maori Studies No. 7. Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.
1972 (Compiler) Maori, Other Polynesian, and Race Relations Theses. Working Papers in Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguisitcs, and Maori studies No. 24. Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.
1973 "Polynesian Literature." In: J. Buchanan-Brown (ed.) Encyclopaedia of World Literature. 2nd rev. ed. London, Cassell.
1974 (Editor and translator) "A Drift Voyage from Futuna to Cikobia." Journal of the Polynesian Society 83: 361 – 365.
1975 A Mele-Fila Vocabulary. Te Reo Monograph. Auckland. Linguistic Society of New Zealand.
1977 Review of S.H. Elbert: Dictionary of the Language of Rennell and Bellona. Journal of the Polynesian Society 86: 546 – 549.
1978 Review of Richard Feinberg The Anutan Language Reconsidered: Lexicon and Grammar of a Polynesian Outlier. Journal of the Polynesian Society 87: 353 – 355.
1985 "Contemporary Healing Practices in East Futuna." In: C. Parsons (ed.) Healing Practices in the South Pacific, 108 – 128. Honolulu: The Institute for Polynesian Studies.
1991 "The Orthography of Polynesian Place Names." Proceedings of the South Pacific Place Names Conference, 7. Wellington, November 5 – 7, 1990. Wellington, New Zealand Geographic Board.
1948a "The Mba Dialects of Viti Levu." Journal of the Polynesian Society 57: 68 – 87.
1948b (Editor and Translator) "Fijian Riddles." Journal of the Polynesian Society 57: 342 – 348.
1953a "A Vocabulary and Phrases in the Nandronga Dialect of Fijian." Journal of Austronesian Studies 1: 106 – 115.
1953b (Editor and Translator) "A Fijian Fable." Journal of Austronesian Studies 1: 116 – 117.
1953c "A Vocabulary from Nailawa, Viti Levu." Journal of Austronesian Studies 1: 118 – 121.
1958 Review of G. B. Milner: Fijian Grammar. Journal of the Polynesian Society 67: 80 – 83.
1959 "Rotuman Vowels and Their History." Te Reo 2: 24 – 26.
1965 "Direct and Indirect Inheritance in Rotuman" Lingua 13: 373 – 405.
1975 (With Mary Veremalumu Biggs) "Na Ciri Calia. Oral Traditions of Cikobiaira" Working Papers in Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistics, and Maori Studies No. 42. Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.
1957 Review of P. Voorhoeve: "Critical Survey of Studies on the Languages of Sumatra" International Journal of American Linguistics 23: 304 – 305.
1959a Review of P. A. Lanyon-Orgill (ed.) Journal of Austronesian Studies, vol. 1, Pt.2. Journal of the Polynesian Society 68: 51 – 52.
1959b Review of C. F. Kunz: An Annotated Bibliography of the Languages of the Gilbert Islands, Ellice Islands, and Nauru. Journal of the Polynesian Society 68: 161.
1960 "Anthropologists in New Guinea." University of Auckland Gazette 2(3): 5 – 7.
1961a Review of Saul H. Riesenberg and Shigeru Kaneshiro: A Caroline Islands Script. Journal of the Polynesian Society 70: 254 – 255.
1961b "Linguistics." A report on the Linguistics Section of the 10th Pacific Science Congress. Journal of the Polynesian Society 70: 481 – 482.
1963 "A Non-phonemic Vowel Type in Karam, a ‘Pygmy’ Language of the Schrader Mountains, Central New Guinea." Anthropological Linguistics 5: 13 – 17.
(197074)(With R. N. H. Bulmer and A. K. Pawley) Kalam Dictionary. Mimeo. pp 681. Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.
1957a "Testing Intelligibility among Yuman Languages." International Journal of American Linguistics 23: 57 – 62.
1957b (With John Yegerlehner, Florence M. Voegelin et al.) "Frequencies and Inventories of Phonemes from Nine Languages." International Journal of American Linguistics 23: 85 – 93.
1958 "Modern American Linguistics." Te Reo 1: 18 – 20.
1975 "Ralph O’Reilly Piddington, 190674: An Obituary." Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 103: 126 – 128.
"In Defence of UNESCO." Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies. Discussion Paper 22 of 1977, pp.1 – 2.
1982 The Descendants of Te Huetu. Te Huetu Family Reunion at Te Keeti Marae, Labour Weekend 1982. Auckland: The Author.
1969 Let’s Learn Maori. Kiwi Records LD 17 & 18. Wellington, Reed.
1972Maori For Beginners. Wellington, New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation.