My new history of early Māori travel has been released today as part of the BWB Texts series. Here is some information on it from the publisher's press release:
Acclaimed historian Vincent O’Malley has written the latest addition to Bridget Williams Books’ Texts series, Haerenga: Early Māori Journeys Across the Globe.
O’Malley’s book tells the stories of early Māori voyagers who, from the eighteenth century on, left New Zealand to travel overseas in search of adventure, commercial opportunities and political recognition.
‘Europeans began to visit New Zealand from 1642 and in earnest after 1769,’ says O’Malley, commenting that while this fact is generally well known, what is less well known is that many Māori took advantage of these new links with the rest of the world to join European ships and make their own voyages of discovery. According to O’Malley, ‘an almost insatiable appetite to travel, explore and discover the rest of the world was unleashed, and over the coming centuries, Māori travelled to Australia, to Europe, and many destinations between them.’
‘I wanted to cast fresh light on an absorbing aspect of early New Zealand history,’ says O’Malley, pointing out that it is not widely known that the first New Zealander to sight Antarctica was the Māori sailor Tuati, in 1840.
In Haerenga, O’Malley collects for the first time the stories of Tuati and other Māori travellers in an accessible short work that will engage both general and specialist readers.