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Researching and Writing


Research and Articles

Since the start of their career, Purakau Productions has been committed to producing a high standard of published work.

We have published a set of historical storybooks (in Te Reo Maori and English) for use as resources in New Zealand schools; a historical article in an international academic journal; a biography on a government online history site; as well as several technical and historical reports focusing on historical artefacts. 

We currently have a number of draft articles earmarked for academic journals, which are currently in progress, or awaiting peer review.

There is also the possibility of a PhD thesis beginning in early 2024.

Publications: Publications

Hongi's Hikoi: A Trio of Travellers (English) and Te Hikoi a Hongi: Tokotoru Ratou (Te Reo Maori).

A limited-edition set of these were published in June 2022, as a component of the Hongi's Hikoi series of bicentennial commemorative events delivered at that time. A re-formatted edition is planned for publication in 2024.

A set of beautifully illustrated bilingual historical story books produced for New Zealand Upper-Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary level students; which focus on the 1820 journey to England by Hongi Hika, Waikato, and CMS Missionary Thomas Kendall. Their role in the compilation of an English-Maori dictionary at Cambridge University, their introduction to the Peerage at the House of Lords, and their audience with King George IV.

Translated into Ngapuhi mita (dialect) by Quinton Hita, this set of books is a quality resource for use in both mainstream and kura kaupapa (Maori immersion) schools.

Release dates and purchasing details will be made available closer to the date, sometime in 2024.

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Three busts and a cape - the adventurous life of Hongi Hika

8th March 2020

Oceanic Art Society Journal Volume 25, Issue 1


This article is a combination of a public presentation and an interview, which focuses on: Hongi Hika’s 1820 journey to England, a comparison of three carved wooden busts purported to be of Hongi himself, as well as current research focusing on the woven cloak which Hongi gifted to King George IV.


Moka Te Kaingamataa - Biography

'Moka Te Kainga-mataa', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 13-Oct-2017


This is an academic biography about Ngapuhi (Māori) chief Moka Te Kaingamataa, and his role in: traditional intertribal warfare; the sanguineous Musket Wars; trade and politics; the Declaration of Independence; Hobson's proclamations; his challenging of the Treaty of Waitangi; the Northern Wars; and his activism in regard to land issues.

This is an online resource utilised by New Zealand History Online, an initiative overseen by the NZ Ministry for Culture and Heritage.


Hongi Hika: A Portrait

June 2019


This is an academic journal article focusing on the 1820 journey to England by Māori chief Hongi Hika; his role in assisting the compilation of a Māori-English dictionary at Cambridge University, his introduction to the Peerage in the House of Lords, and his audience with King George IV. 

Additionally, it contains a detailed comparison of the three carved wooden busts purported to be of Hongi himself.

Journal of Museum Ethnography, No 32 June 2019. pp. 209-224


Waikato's Tupara: A Technical & Historical Report

Envisaged publication date of June 2024


This report focuses on a double-barrelled sporting gun that was gifted to Te Hikutu Chief, Waikato, by King George IV, when they met at Carlton House, Westminster, on 13 Nov 1820.

Waikato travelled to England in 1820, with Hongi Hika, and CMS Missionary Thomas Kendall; where they assisted Prof. Lee compile an English-Maori dictionary at Cambridge University, were introduced to the Peerage in the House of Lords, and were provided an introduction to King George IV at Carlton House on 13 November 1820.

This artefact is at Te Kongahu Museum, Waitangi, New Zealand.

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Te Korowai o Warbrick: A Technical & Historical Report

Envisaged publication date of June 2024


This report focuses on the korowai (woven flax cloak) worn by Joseph 'Joe' Warbrick, Captain of the New Zealand Natives rugby union team; during their 1888-1889 tour of New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Joe led this team through a gruelling schedule of 107 matches, over more than a year (an average of 3 matches per week); achieving an amazingly high winning percentage of nearly 75%, being all the more impressive when considering they had no access to replacement players.

Joe was also a member of the earlier 1884 New Zealand Natives team (precursors to the All Blacks); who were the first New Zealand representative team to tour outside of New Zealand.

This artifact is at the Australian Museum.

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Te Taiaha o Enoka: A Technical and Historical Report

Envisaged date of publication date is November 2024


This technical and historical report focuses on a taiaha that is claimed to have belonged to the Ngai Te Rangi chief, Enoka Whanake; who gifted it to a European trader, in Tauranga, in the 1860s.

It is claimed that this taiaha was used at the Battle of Gate Pa or Pukehinahina.

Discussions are currently under way, and there is a possibility that this taiaha may return home to the people of Ngai Te Rangi; despite the taiaha being openly gifted, and with no challenge to its acquisition by the current kaitiaki (custodian).

This taonga is currently in a private family collection.

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Hongi's Kakahu: Rangatira to Royalty

PhD-style Research Paper, with an expected publication date of July, 2024.


This PhD-style research paper originates from a doctoral thesis proposal; which focuses on the meeting between Maori chief Hongi Hika and King George IV, who met at Carlton House on 13th November 1820. 

This article encompasses three aspects of this meeting, these being: a) the practice of 'tuku' or reciprocal gifting and its importance within Maori society, b) a never-before-published description of the gifts exchanged between the two leaders, and c) a detailed study, focusing on the woven flax kakahu (cloak); which Hongi gifted the King, and which is now in the collection of The British Museum.

It is envisaged that this will be published by June 2024, which is dependent on the author being able to re-examine the kakahu (cloak) at The British Museum.

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Te Hani o Hongi: A Technical & Historical Report

Envisaged publication date is November, 2024


A research paper/journal article focusing on the locating, identifying, and examination of a hani or taiaha (Maori fighting staff) which is believed to have belonged to Hongi Hika. 

In 1820, Hongi, Waikato, and Thomas Kendall travelled to England, where they assisted Prof. Lee to compile an English-Maori dictionary at Cambridge University; were introduced to the Peerage in the House of Lords; and were provided with an introduction with King George IV.

During his time in England, Hongi gifted a kakahu (cloak) to the King, and a pounamu hei-tiki to Rev. Basil Woodd, but to whom did Hongi gift his hani/taiaha?

A research trip is planned to the UK, to undertake an examination of this taiaha, in January 2024.

The expected publication date is June 2024.

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Te Kaitaka o te Rangatira no Opotiki: A Technical and Historical Report

Envisaged publication date January 2025


This report focuses on a finely woven, elaborately decorated kaitaka (woven flax cloak) which evidence suggests belonged to a Te Whakatohea rangatira (chief) from Opotiki.

This kaitaka is unique, bearing several taniko borders across its kaupapa (body). 

This kaitaka is part of the Fowler Museum collections at the University of California (UCLA).

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Nga kakahu o te Kuini Wikitoria: A Technical and Historical Report

Envisaged publication date July 2025.


This report focuses on a set of kaitaka and a korowai (two types of finely woven flax cloaks); which were gifted to Queen Victoria, by a delegation of Maori chiefs, who were granted an audience with her whilst in England in 1863. 

The Maori delegation included several chiefs from around Aotearoa New Zealand, but it is the continuing link between the Royal family and Ngapuhi that has sparked an interest with the author.

The korowai is currently in Te Kongahu Museum at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds (as part of a long term loan), and the kaitaka is in the Swiss Cotton Museum, Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight; where the Maori delegation met Queen Victoria.

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Kaitaka huaki - Te kakahu o te Ariki: A Technical and Historical Report

July 2026

A research paper/journal article focusing on the identification and examination of a unique, rare, kaitaka huaki (finely woven flax cloak with three decorative borders); which was woven for a person of the highest mana (status).

Part of the collection at the National Gallery of Australia since 2007, this kaitaka was acquired from the Hooper Collection; which originally belonged to renowned Pasifika collector James T Hooper in the United Kingdom. 

It is hoped that a team of kairaranga (weavers) and kairangahau (researchers) can collaborate on this taonga, under the direction of the NGA, bringing to light additional information regarding this kaitaka

The expected publication date is June 2025.

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Moka, Muskets & Mayhem!

The envisaged publication and production date for this major project is January 2026


An interactive historical novel seen through the eyes of influential Maori chief Moka Te Kaingamataa; focusing on the events in Aotearoa New Zealand from 1800 through to the 1860s, including intertribal warfare, European contact, trade, politics, the Musket Wars, the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Waitangi, the Northern Wars, and the New Zealand Land Wars.

Moka refused to sign the Treaty on principle, and is most likely the first Maori activist.

The novel itself is expected to be completed by December 2024, with the accompanying video content (re-enactments, interviews, waiata, etc) to be completed by January 2026.

The project as a package, is expected to be released by July 2026.

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Te Korowai o te Pakanga no te Tai Tokerau - Technical & Historical Report

July 2024

A research paper/journal article focusing on the identification and examination of a korowai (woven flax cloak; that was acquired by Lieutenant George Phillpotts, before his death in the Battle of Ohaeawai on July 1, 1845, during the Northern Wars campaign. 

Part of the collection at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, this korowai was donated to this institution by Rev. Henry Phillpotts, who was George's father.

This Historical & Technical Report is expected to be published by July 2024.

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