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  • Writer's pictureBrent Kerehona Pukepuke-Ahitapu

Hongi's Hikoi storybook launched!

Purakau Productions are proud to announce the book-launch of their new historical storybook, which focuses on the 1820 journey to England, by Hongi Hika, Waikato and Thomas Kendall, and tells of their experiences in England, Australia and at sea.

Written and illustrated by Brent Kerehona Pukepuke-Ahitapu, and translated by renowned Ngapuhi mita (dialect) expert Quinton Hita, this set of books is ideal for use in both Kura Kaupapa (Maori immersion) or mainstream school settings.

Click the link to listen to Quinton Hita read the first page of this book, in Te Reo Maori:

The author/illustrator, Brent Kerehona Pukepuke-Ahitapu, with Te Reo Maori expert and translator, Quinton Hita, in Te Tai Tokerau in July 2022.

The author gifting copies of the storybooks to the actors/actresses from the historical short film, whose images also appear as illustrations within the books; Tane johnson receives his copies, as he plays the role of Sir John Mortlock. From right to left: Nevaeh Brown, Joelle Walsh, Elijah Warner, Tane Johnson, Jasmine Straga, and Paul Van Coevorden.

Elijah Warner receiving a copy of Hongi's Hikoi: A Trio of Travellers, in which he plays the role of a sailor.

Paul Van Coevorden receiving a copy of the storybook, as he plays the role of The right Reverend Bathurst. Bisop of Norwich.

The purpose of the book is to provide our rangatahi (youth) with an additional engaging, bilingual, learning option (in both Te Reo Maori and English), focusing on genuine, researched whakapapa (history).

This is also intended to promote Maori history through an interesting, culturally and age-appropriate platform. A section dedicated to how we view unfortunate events/incidents and address them in appropriate, inoffensive ways, is included at the end of the story.

The book is aimed at Secondary School and adult level, with discussions underway with the New Zealand Ministry of Education, in regard to how this resource may be distributed to schools across the country.

Publication date was 18 June 2022.

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