English Abstracts of the Māori Language Newspapers

English Abstracts of the Māori Language Newspapers

The English abstracts are being created by a research team at the Department of Māori Studies of the University of Auckland. This translation work began in 1999 and was funded for a three-year period by grants from the Royal Society of New Zealand's Marsden Fund and the Trustees of the National Library of New Zealand. The research team over that period comprised Professor Ngapare Hopa, Dr Jane McRae, Jenifer Curnow, and the postgraduate researchers who wrote the English abstracts - Tane Mokena, Dinah Paul, Hazel Petrie, Yvonne Sutherland, Lyn Waymouth. The team worked in association with the History of Print Culture in New Zealand, the Alexander Turnbull Library, and the Computer Science Department of the University of Waikato where Professors Mark Apperley and Ian Witten, Te Taka Keegan and others are carrying out the on-line conversion of the newspapers and English abstracts. Specific help with production of the abstracts is acknowledged from Hineira Woodard for translation queries, Stephen Innes of the University of Auckland Library's New Zealand & Pacific Collection for access to research material, and Roberta Wilson for assistance with computers. As further funding is obtained, more English abstracts will be included on the website.

Introduction & Conventions

We have created the English abstracts to facilitate use of the Māori-language newspapers by those who do not read Māori. They are designed to guide readers and researchers to particular articles or information and to give an impression of a whole newspaper issue. Every item in an issue is noted but the abstracts are not an account of the entire content. They briefly summarise the main subjects of long items, such as editorials, articles, and letters, and record, sometimes by a complete translation, small items such as notices, advertisements, short news reports. In sum the abstracts represent a very abbreviated form of a newspaper, and so to ensure a complete reading of any item you will need to refer to, or seek translation of, the Māori text. We suggest, therefore, that you do not quote from the abstracts.

The abstracts follow the order of items in the newspapers and include the titles and subtitles from them. Apart from occasional interpolations in square brackets to clarify, inform or query, the abstracts report only what is in the newspaper. Where English translation is published in the paper, this is noted after a brief statement of content. Abbreviations used are listed below.

A few Māori words remain in the abstracts, with translation in brackets. These remain either because we regard them as key words for researchers of Māori language and culture (words such as waiata, whakapapa, whakataukī), or because there is no equivalent in English for the word or the word has different meanings in different contexts (words such as mana, mākutu, tohunga, pā). We have used the Māori word 'Pakeha' in the abstracts to refer to those in New Zealand who are not Māori, because this use is common in the newspapers and in current New Zealand speech.

Māori names - personal, place and tribal - have been written according to modern spelling. Long vowels have been marked in all names, as far as these are known, on the basis of authorities such as the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, of unambiguous component words in a name, or of common usage. In the case of Pakeha whose names have been transliterated to Māori, the translators have given the original name only when it is evident who the person is; otherwise the transliterated form remains.

We hope that you will find the abstracts of value to your research and enjoyable for the window they open onto 19th and early 20th century Māori life and New Zealand society. We have made every effort to make accurate abstracts of the contents, but we remind you that these are simply summaries. We have not given them the time or research required for full and explicit translations. Given so many newspapers, the very diverse content, and the historical context, we may have overlooked some things and misjudged others. If in your reading you notice errors or omissions, we would be very grateful if you would notify us by email (to [email protected]) so that we may correct them.

The following abbreviations have been used in the abstracts:

CMSChurch Missionary Society
WMMSWesleyan Methodist Missionary Society
MHRMember of the House of Representatives
MPMember of Parliament
MLCMember of the Legislative Council

Updated in August, 2002