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Nga Iwi o Tainui: The Traditional History of the Tainui People; Nga Koorero Tuku Iho a nga Tuupuna—Pei Te Hurinui Jones and Bruce Biggs (1995)

Tainui is currently celebrating the 160th anniversary of the Kingitanga and today we feature Ngā Iwi o Tainui a classic tribal historical work by respected Tainui leader, Dr Pei Te Hurinui Jones.

Publication details

Jones, P. Te H. and B. Biggs. Ngā Iwi o Tainui: The Traditional History of the Tainui People; Ngā Koorero Tuku Iho a ngā Tuupuna. Auckland: Auckland University Press; Tainui Māori Trust Board, 1995 (republished in 2004).

About the book

Pei Te Hurinui Jones (1898-1976; Ngāti Maniapoto) was a Māori leader and scholar. Among his many roles he was the first chairman of the Tainui Māori Trust Board, the President of the New Zealand Māori Council in 1970, a member of the New Zealand Geographic Board and a member of the Ngāti Maniapoto District Māori Council. He was awarded an OBE in 1961 and in 1968 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Literature from the University of Waikato.

Pei Te Hurinui Jones’ primary interest and life long passion was in the recording of Tainui genealogies and tradition. His main involvement was with the King Movement, a role that would occupy a large part of this life. In the 1920s he observed the efforts of his cousin, Te Puea Hērangi to impove the Kingitanga’s fortunes and in the 1930s he and his brother, Michael Rotohiko, became influential advisors to Te Puea. Pei later became an advisor to King Koroki and to King Koroki’s daughter and successor, Te Arikinui Te Ātairangikaahu.

Thus, Ngā Iwi o Tainui is the culmination of the life work of Pei Te Hurinui Jones. It is a bilingual collection of the histories, genealogies, songs and chants of the Tainui tribe. Māori text is matched on facing pages by Dr Bruce Biggs’s English translations, a layout that facilitates a close study of the Māori language, making this publication valuable for scholars and students alike.

Ngā Iwi o Tainui was published posthumously in 1995 and received an Honour Award in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 1996.

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.