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Paul Meredith And Philip Simpson Win Grants

For immediate release 25 November 2008

Paul Meredith And Philip Simpson Win Research Grants

The Friends of the Turnbull Library have this year awarded research grants to two people for different projects.

Paul Meredith, with the guidance of Tainui kaumatua Dr Tui Adams, will edit a book based on the journey to England of the Māori King, Te Rata, in 1914 to meet King Edward V11 at a time when World War I was about to be declared. The Alexander Turnbull Library holds a diary kept by King Te Rata’s private secretary, which will be the basis of Paul Meredith’s research.

Paul says “The book will give an insight into Māori activities in the early twentieth century.”

Of Ngāti Maniapoto lineage, Mr Meredith is a speaker of te reo and has written extensively on Māori law and institutions. He has won a number of awards for his scholarship, including the Sir Peter Buck Memorial Prize and the Ngarimu VC Award.

Philip Simpson is the author of Pohutukawa and Ti Kouka, prizewinning books with comprehensive coverage of all aspects of these widely known native trees, from their growth and habitat to their significance in Māori lore and European settlement. His research grant is for his new book, Totara: Te Mahi a Rauru, an extensive treatment of the tree valued so highly for its fine timber and strong growth.

This book will be a comprehensive natural and cultural history on the iconic New Zealand tree, totara. Chapters will cover the evolution, taxonomy and ecology of totara, the uses and status of totara in both Māori and European cultures and the conservation of totara. The book will be published by Auckland University Press and will be highly visual, with many colour photos and black and white historical images. Experiences with growing totara as a future timber supply will also be reviewed.

The Friends of the Turnbull have decided to make these two grants of $10,000 each in 2009 and will not be offering the grant for 2010 when there will be extensive remodelling work on the National Library building.

Previous grants have been awarded to Philip Norman for a biography of Douglas Lilburn; Tim Beaglehole for a biography of his father, the late historian JC Beaglehole; Alex Bremner to complete a study of colonial Anglican architecture; Paul Diamond for his photo-biography of Makareti (Maggie Papakura), and to Jennifer Shennan for her biography of dancer Poul Gnatt.


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