Tangata Whenua: A History

Book Author Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney, Aroha Harris
Rights Available World Excl NZ

Tangata Whenua: A History presents a rich narrative of the Māori past from ancient origins in South China to the twenty-first century, in a handy paperback format. The authoritative text is drawn directly from the award-winning Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History; the full text of the big hardback is available in a reader-friendly edition, ideal for students and for bedtime reading, and a perfect gift for those whose budgets do not stretch to the illustrated edition. Maps and diagrams complement the text, along with a full set of references and the important statistical appendix.

Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History was published to widespread acclaim in late 2014. This magnificent history has featured regularly in the award lists: winner of the 2015 Royal Society Science Book Prize, shortlisted for the international Ernest Scott Prize, winner of the Te Kōrero o Mua (History) Award at the Ngā Kupu ora Aotearoa Māori Book Awards, and Gold in the Pride in Print Awards.

The importance of this history to New Zealand cannot be overstated. Māori leaders emphatically endorsed the book, as have reviewers and younger commentators. They speak of the way Tangata Whenua draws together different strands of knowledge – from historical research through archaeology and science to oral tradition. They remark on the contribution this book makes to evolving knowledge, describing it as ‘a canvas to paint the future on’. And many comment on the contribution it makes to the growth of understanding between the people of this country.

Illustrated non-fiction category in 2016 Ockham NZ Book Awards
Copyright Licensing NZ Best Resource in Secondary Award
Te Kōrero o Mua (History) Award 2015
Ngā Kupu Ora Aotearoa Māori Book Awards 2015
Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize
Gold Winner Pride in Print Awards 2015.

About the Author
Atholl Anderson CNZM, FRSNZ, FAHA, FSA (Ngāi Tahu) has the experience of many years’ research throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans. He has directed numerous archaeological excavations, published prolifically, and been the recipient of many awards and distinctions. Working with tradition, he has made a significant contribution to tribal history in southern New Zealand, with books such as The Welcome of Strangers (1998) and Ngāi Tahu: A Migration History, edited with Te Maire Tau (2008). He is an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University, Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Canterbury and Honorary Professor of Anthropology at the University of Otago. Judith Binney, DCNZM, FRSNZ, FNZAH, was born in Australia in 1940 and educated at Auckland University, where she became Emeritus Professor of History. She was the author of numerous books of New Zealand history, many with a focus on Māori individuals and communities. She died at her home in Auckland in 2011.

Judith Binney was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1998. She was awarded a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to historical research in New Zealand in 1997, and made a Distinguished Companion in 2006. She received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement the same year. She was elected a Fellow of the New Zealand Academy of the Humanities in 2007.

Aroha Harris (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi) is a member of the Waitangi Tribunal and a Lecturer in History at the University of Auckland. Her PhD reflects her interest in Māori histories of the twentieth century. Aroha Harris also has a background in both historical and social research for various government agencies and iwi. Her writing has appeared in a number of articles, and in anthologies of short fiction and poetry. The author of a book on political protest in the late twentieth century, Hīkoi (2004), she worked alongside others to establish Te Pouhere Kōrero, the national collective of Māori historians and researchers.


Bridget Williams Books


240 x 172mm


Non Fiction


Age range
Young Adult & Upwards

Publication Date
November 2015

Rights Available:
World (ex NZ)

Rights Agents:


Tom Rennie, Bridget Williams Books

Contact Bridget Williams Books about this book

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This history alerts us to what has been imagined, created and fostered – to all that ensures a robust Māori future.

Tracey McIntosh, Director, Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga

A compelling insight into Māori life from its ancient origins to the twenty-first century.

Ripeka Evans, Ministry for Culture and Heritage