Te Hokioi o Niu Tireni, e rere atu na 1862-1863

The Hokioi of New Zealand who flies out

Bibliographic Details    Background    Subject Matter    Availability

Bibliographic Details

Published: Ngaruawahia, June 15, 1862 - May 21, 1863.

300 x 230mm., 4 pages, but the length and size vary, produced on very thin paper, mostly 3 columns, all Maori, issued monthly, no illustrations or decorative masthead, no advertisements, the cost was 3 pence per copy. The imprint at the end of June 15, 1862, reads: "Te perehi, aroha noa o te Kingi O Atiria" [The press given with affection by the King of Austria]. There is no imprint on the other issues.

Patara Te Tuhi, a cousin of King Tawhiao, and according to Gorst, "one of the best men in Waikato" (Gorst, op. cit.), was the editor of Te Hokioi. He wrote the pro-King Movement articles, and was assisted with the press by his younger brother, Honana Maioha (Cowan, 1922 Vol. I: 238). Patara Te Tuhi was also a master carver.

The newspaper ceased publication with the outbreak of the Land Wars between the Government and Waikato people - "Ko ta te Maori nupepa... i mate tahi i te takiwa o te whawhai" (Aotearoa June 4, 1892: 1). The last issue was printed on May 21, 1863.

In 1922 McDonnell, a fluent Maori speaker and former militia captain who fought against Waikato during the Land Wars, reprinted Te Hokioi on "the Free Press Printing Works" in Auckland. The format, capitalisation, and arrangement of this reprint is quite different from the original, and several of the letters are not reprinted.

For further physical details refer to Herbert W. Williams, A Bibliography of Printed Maori to 1900, Items 337 340, 340a and 340b and Sommerville, 1947 Item 1161.

This paper is written in Maori.


Te Hokioi was a spirit bird of ancient times. It was never seen but its cry was known as an omen of war or disaster (Gorst, 1864: 336).

In 1857 two Waikato chiefs, Wiremu Toetoe Tumohe of Rangiaowhia and Te Hemara Te Rerehau Paraone of Ngati Maniapoto, went to Austria on board the frigate "Novara". From their account published in Te Ao Hou (1958: 42-3) it appears likely that they went to Vienna with the express purpose of learning the art of printing. The Emperor of Austria presented them with a "printing press and types" (ibid. ) which they brought back to Mangere, New Zealand, where Potatau, the first Maori King, resided. The press was used to print the Maori King's proclamations.

The very first documents printed by Te Hokioi were single paged letters by Tamati Ngapora and Te Hira Te Kawau notifying people of the deaths of Kahukoti and Wi Koihoho. Tamati Ngapora's letter was published on September 2, 1861 and Te Hira Te Kawau's on September 21, 1861. They both bear the imprint, "Mangere. I taia tenei ki te Hokioi o Nui Tireni" [This was printed at Mangere at Te Hokioi of New Zealand].

In Aotearoa and Hokioi the press and the newspaper were known by the same name.

When the Maori King shifted to Ngaruawahia the press went too, and in 1862 the four page long newspaper Te Hokioi was published. Kote perehi kua tae mai ki Ngaruawahia ka puta i a ia nga Nuipepa...ko te pai o enei perehi hei kawe i a tatou whakaro, ki nga iwi o te Ao; no te mea hoki e takoto ana nga kupu o te timatanga ko te whakapono, ko te aroha; ko te ture (June 15, 1862: 1) [The press has arrived at Ngaruawahia, and newspapers are being produced from it...this press is ideal for carrying our thoughts abroad for it was founded on the words: faith, love and law].

These words come from Potatau's saying, "Heoi ano taku, ko te whakapono, ko te aroha, ko te ture. I have nothing, or mean nothing, or wish nothing, but Faith, Love and the Law" (Buddle, 1860: 23).

Subject Matter

Content and subjects include:

  • letters from Maori people throughout Aotearoa supporting the Maori King's stand against selling land
  • reports of meetings held to discuss the King Movement
  • letters to Governor Grey from Potatau Te Wherowhero
  • an account of collecting money at Puketapapa, Manukau on Christmas Day to build a church at Ngaruawahia
  • an appeal by Governor Grey to King Tawhiao for peace
  • proclamations by the Maori King, such as the fee to be paid for crossing the Waikato River at Taupiri
  • letters complaining about the difficulty in purchasing Te Hokioi in Wellington
  • overseas news
  • waiata.


This newspaper is on microfilm and microfiche. Original copies are held at:

Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington:

1862June 15, Oct. 9, Dec. 8
1863Jan. 15, Feb. 15, March 24, April 26, May 21

Auckland Institute and Museum Library:

1863Feb. 15

Auckland Public Library:

1862June 15, Oct. 9, Nov. 10, Dec. 8
1863Jan. 15, Feb. 15, March 24, April 26, May 21

Auckland University Library:

1862June 15, Oct. 9, Nov. 19, Dec. 8
1863Jan. 15, Feb. 15, March 24, April 26, May 21 (all on microfilm)

Hocken Library, Dunedin:

1862June 15, Dec. 8
1863Jan. 15, Feb. 2, March 24

The Parliamentary Library, Wellington:

1863April 26