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Panguru and the City: Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua; An Urban Migration History—Melissa Matutina Williams (2015)

Melissa Matutina Williams (Te Rarawa, Ngāti Maru) has written from the heart of two communities Pangaru and Auckland City. The daughter of a Panguru family growing up in Auckland, Williams has written a perceptive account of urban migration through the stories of the Panguru migrants.

Publication details

Matutina Williams, M. Panguru and the City: Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua; An Urban Migration History. Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 2015.

About the book

Travelling from Hokianga to Auckland in the middle decades of the twentieth century, the people of Panguru established themselves in the workplaces, suburbs, churches and schools of the city. Through the use of oral narratives, Pangaru and the City is an insightful account of the history of Māori urban migration. For the people of Panguru, migration was seldom viewed as a one-way journey of new beginnings; it was experienced as a lifelong process of developing a ‘coexistent home-place’ for themselves and future generations. Dreams of a brighter future drew on the cultural foundations of a tribal homeland and past.

Panguru and the City: Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua traces their negotiations with people and places, from Auckland’s inner-city boarding houses, places of worship and dance halls to workplaces and Maori Affairs’ homes in the suburbs. It is a history that will resonate with Māori from all tribal areas who shared in the quiet task of working against state policies of assimilation, the economic challenges of the 1970s and neoliberal policies of the 1980s in order to develop dynamic Māori community sites and networks which often remained invisible in the cities of Aotearoa New Zealand.


  •  The E H McCormick Award for General Non-Fiction (Best First Book) at 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards
  • Shortlisted for W. H. Oliver Prize for the Best Book on New Zealand History 2015
  • Nga Kupu Ora History Book Award 2015

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.