Today we celebrate the start of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori as we countdown to the 150th book to be released this Friday as part of Te Takarangi. Today’s book celebrates the vitality and political energy that Professor Ranginui Walker brought as a spokesperson for Māori issues. Ngā Pepa a Ranginui is a collection of Walker’s thought-provoking views on the issues affecting Māori and Pākehā.
Walker, R. Ngā Pepa a Ranginui, The Walker Papers. Auckland: Penguin Books, 1996.
Ngā Pepa a Ranginui, is a collection of opinion pieces that were originally published through Ranginui Walker’s Listener and Metro columns from the 1970s through to the 1990s. Ngā Pepa a Ranginui was an expansion of Walkers earlier publication of Ngā Tau Tohetohe: Years of Anger (1987) that brought together 15 years of Walkers column writings from the Listener.
Walker was an important and at times controversial spokesperson for an urban intellectual strand of Māori opinion. His early Listener columns, with their unrelenting condemnation of Pākehā colonialism, were very much a new voice in the otherwise Pākehā dominated media coverage of Māori issues. In his introduction Walker states that he equipped himself with a PhD, so that “my view of reality would be accorded the same respect that was given to Pākehā commentators and ‘experts’ who made pronouncements and wrote authoritative books, dissertations, and reports on Māori failings”.
Professor Walker’s columns were a weekly reminder to Pākehā New Zealand that there was another perception of reality in the land. Walker’s columns asserted Māori language had equal standing with English, Māori culture had the right to evolve and be defined by Māori and that Māori had a right to sovereignty or tino rangatiratanga under the Treaty of Waitangi.
This publication is part of the series Te Takarangi: Celebrating Māori publications - a sample list of 150 non-fiction books produced by a partnership between Royal Society Te Apārangi and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.