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Màori Scholars' Works And Taonga Housed

28 June 2004

Màori Scholars' Works And Taonga To Be Housed Together
At Waikato University Library

Two highly respected sons of Tainui, the late scholars Pei Te Hurinui Jones and Emeritus Professor Bruce Biggs, were individually brilliant.

Pei Jones was a noted Ngàti Maniapoto leader, writer and interpreter who, for example, translated Shakespeare into Màori. Professor Biggs, also of Ngàti Maniapoto descent, has been described as "the most influential figure in academic Màori studies in the 20th century".

Together they were also brilliant, with Professor Biggs completing Nga Iwi o Tainui, a Màori-language traditional history of the Tainui tribes, which Pei Jones begun compiling in the 1920s. The book was published in 1995 to national acclaim.

Now a new room, Mahi Màreikura, at Waikato University's library will house a joint collection of their works and taonga, including manuscripts, whakapapa scrolls, patu and kakahu. The room will be open for students, scholars and the public. Pei Jones' works and taonga have been donated to the university on behalf of the Jones family by his son Brian, while Waikato University has itself purchased works of Professor Biggs.

The official opening of Mahi Màreikura, at 10.30am Monday 5 July on the library's level three, will be attended by the Màori Queen, Dame Te Atirangikahu, whànau and iwi representatives.

Tom Roa, a senior lecturer in the university Màori department, says: "Mahi Màreikura will be an important new resource for students and scholars. It will also be a monument to the personal and professional relationship between these two Tainui giants."


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