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  • Writer's pictureBrent Kerehona Pukepuke-Ahitapu

200 years later, and again a virus affects Hongi

In mid-late 1820, Hongi was seriously ill with influenza, and temporarily bedridden while in Cambridge, England. Whilst in Cambridge, Hongi, Waikato and Thomas Kendall had been attending Queens' College; where they were assisting Prof Samuel Lee, in compiling a Maori-English dictionary titled A Grammar and Vocabulary of the Language of New Zealand). During this time he was cared for by Mrs Lee, who made him hot soups and beverages and attended to his needs until he recovered.

Now, in 2020, Hongi is again temporarily laid low as a result of a virus (Covid19), which has seen changes (postponement or even possibly the cancellation) of his bicentennial commemorative event at Queens' College, Cambridge; as well as a number of other events in England, which were planned for late-September this year - will he be able to recover again?

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