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Hocken exhibition marks bicentenary and launch of online Marsden archive

Clocktower clock

Wednesday 5 November 2014 12:05pm

The Whakapono; Faith and Foundations exhibition starting tomorrow will mark the bicentenary of the establishment of the Church Missionary Society in New Zealand with the arrival of Europeans at Rangihoua in the Bay of Islands in 1814.

The missionaries were invited to New Zealand by Ngāpuhi Rangatira Te Pahi, Ruatara and Hongi Hika.

The exhibition also coincides with the launch of a new online archive, developed by the University of Otago Library, that for the first time allows researchers to search and mine the Hocken’s precious Samuel Marsden journals and letters with technological online tools. The precious journals, letters and documents, detailing life on the nation’s first missions, were brought back from London more than a century ago by the library’s founder, Thomas Hocken.

Hocken Librarian Sharon Dell says for the development of the exhibition, which will display some of the original documents, the Hocken has worked closely with a range of people and organisations such as Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngāpuhi, the Alexander Turnbull Library and the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

The relationships developed have enabled taonga held in these organisations to travel south for the exhibition, bringing together a range of materials in the form of words from missionary letters and journals, images and artefacts.

“ One taonga that the Hocken Library has the privilege of hosting for this exhibition is a small carved taonga that Hongi Hika carved of himself in 1814 from a fence post while he was visiting Samuel Marsden in Port Jackson (Sydney) NSW, Australia,” she says.

“This taonga will be travelling from Auckland War Memorial Museum to Dunedin arriving at the Hocken Library on Thursday 6th of November.”

The Hongi Hika carving will be accompanied by Bernard Makoare (Auckland War Memorial Museum Taumata Board member) Hinerangi Himiona (Taitokerau Māori Heritage Consultant) and Chanel Clarke (Māori Curator – Auckland War Memorial Museum).

The Hocken will host a mihi whakatau, welcoming visitors to the Hocken and blessing the taonga in the exhibition.

New book explores foundations of NZ’s bicultural world

Pewhairangi Book Cover

Pēwhairangi/ The Bay of Islands is one of the earliest sites of Māori and Pākehā interaction and a place rich in history and mystique. Pēwhairangi: Bay of Islands Missions and Māori 1814 to 1845 is the first book to be written on this intriguing location in over twenty years and the only book to examine the first decades of missionary settlement.

‘Pēwhairangi offered the opportunity to explore the foundations of our bicultural world through archaeology and the written record,’ says author, and honorary research fellow in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Otago, Angela Middleton.

Pēwhairangi: Bay of Islands Missions and Māori 1814 to 1845 tells the story of the missions, their relationship with Maori and their development leading up to 1845 when dissatisfaction with the outcome of signing the Treaty of Waitangi led to the war in the North. The story begins in 1814 when three English families land in the bay below Rangihoua pā, under the protection of its chief and inhabitants. This small group, building their homes on the steep Hohi hillside within walking distance from the pā, marked the first permanent European settlement and the earliest church mission. Further mission communities would follow, at Kerikeri, Paihia, Te Puna and Waimate.

More than anything Pēwhairangi is a story of people: of the chiefs Te Pahi, Ruatara, Hongi Hika, Tāreha, Korokoro, of the missionaries John King, Thomas Kendall, James Kemp, John Butler, George Clarke, William Yate and Henry Williams, of the mastermind Samuel Marsden, and of the wives and children of all these men: Hongi’s wife Turikatuku and daughter Hariata, Hannah King and Hannah Butler, Hone Heke and George Clarke junior, Marianne Williams and Charlotte Kemp.

The Bay of Islands has been the focus of Middleton’s research for over twenty years. Her archaeological research in particular has given her unique insights. Many archaeological artefacts recovered during the course of digs have been photographed for the book, enlivening the historical story with rich detail. Illustrations, paintings, sketches and maps further enhance this important historical account.

The book has been launched both in Waitangi, Sunday 2 November, and will have a second launch at the Hocken Library this week, Friday 7 November.

For further information, contact

Sharon Dell
Hocken Librarian
Tel: 64 3 479 8874

Rhian Gallagher
Otago University Press
Tel 03 479 9094

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