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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 2nd Edition run is planned for publication in early 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 kura kaupapa and mainstream schools.

School distribution details and dates will be available soon (early 2024), as will general sale details.

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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


Hongi's Kakahu: Rangatira to Royalty

PhD-style Research Paper, with an expected publication date of June, 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 June, 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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Moka, Muskets & Mayhem!

The envisaged publication and production date for this major project is July 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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Waikato's Tupara: A Technical & Historical Report

Envisaged publication date of July 2023


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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Warbrick's cloak: A Technical & Historical Report

Envisaged publication date of August 2023


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

Envisaged publication date September 2023


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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