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In/visible Sight: The Mixed-Descent Families of Southern New Zealand – Angela Wanhalla (2009)

Angela Wanhalla (Ngāi Tahu) has written this important history on the mixed-descent families of southern New Zealand, particularly those of the Taieri district from which she descends.

Publication details

Wanhalla, A. In/visible Sight: The Mixed-Descent Families of Southern New Zealand. Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 2009.

About the book

Wanhalla has produced this carefully written book on the mixed descent families of southern New Zealand centred on the community who lived at Maitapapa on the Taieri river. Based on her PhD thesis, Wanhalla introduces her study with her own family experiences and by doing so connects her whakapapa to the books narrative. In this way, Wanhalla plots a story through her own past as she takes the reader on an intimate and intellectual journey amongst the people and places of Maitapapa.

In/visible Sight is an exploration of a little-known part of our history: the lives of part-Māori, part-Pākehā New Zealanders in the nineteenth century. Focusing on interracial intimacy between Ngāi Tahu and Pākehā settlers, it explores how intermarriage played a key role in shaping colonial encounters. As Ngāi Tahu sought to fight the alienation of their land and protect their natural resources, marriage practices and kinship networks became an increasingly important way to control interaction with Pākehā. The book also explores the contradictions and ambiguities of mixed-descent lives, offering new insights into New Zealand’s colonial past.

Further information 


This publication is part of the series Te Takarangi: Celebrating Māori publications - a sample list of 150 non-fiction books produced by a partnership between Royal Society Te Apārangi and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.