The Bell Bird
Published: October, 1913 - July, 1921. Gisborne.
230 x 140mm., 8 pages until January 1915, then 12 pages, single column,
all Maori, issued monthly, no illustrations, advertisements for Biblical
tracts and "Wood's Great Peppermint Cure", various coloured card
wrappers with the title printed on the front, and a subscription cost of 5
shillings per year. A monthly calendar and rules of the newspaper were
printed on the inside front cover. The imprint on the back wrapper reads,
"Printed and published by H. W. Williams at Te Rau Printing Works,
Berry Street, Gisborne, New Zealand". The last issue, No. 89 was
published in July 1921.
For further details see Sommerville 1119.
This paper is written in Maori.
Nama 1. Gisborne. Oketopa 1913. "Iti te Kopara, kai takirikiri ana
i runga i te Kahikatea".
Number 1. Gisborne. October 1913. "Though small, the bellbird
nibbles constantly on the white pine."].
Te Kopara continues Te Pipiwharauroa but is concerned
mostly with Church activities. Te Kopara was superseded by Te Toa
The opening editorial acknowledged Te Pipiwharauroa
- He tangi atu tena, he maimai aroha ki ta koutou manu, ki te
Pipiwharauroa, ka mutu nei tona hokihoki ki te toro mai i ngä wahi
katoa o Aotearoa nei, o Te Waipounamu, o Rangiura, o Wharekauri. Ka maha
nei ona tau i rere mai ai i tona whenua tawhiti me te puta tonu o tana
karanga, 'Kui, kui, kui, whiti, whitiora' (October, 1913: 1)
- [This is a lament, a token of affection for your bird, Te
Pipiwharauroa, who no longer returns to visit the North and South
Islands, Stewart Island and the Chathams. For so many years she has flown
here from her distant home calling continually, 'Kui, kui, kui, whiti,
When Te Pipiwharauroa folded due to financial difficulties, the
Waiapu Diocese of the Church of England established Te Kopara. It
was edited by Wi Paraire Rangihuna of Ngati Porou.
Through two whakatauki the editor suggested that the smaller
newspaper, Te Kopara would carry only the most essential items:
- Tera pea koutou e haku ki te iti o taku rourou, me te mea ko 'te
rourou iti a Haere'. Otira he hinu anake te kai o taku rourou. ....
- Tetahi ki ano a mua, 'Ruia taitea, kia tu ko taikaka anake' (ibid. :
- [You may complain of my smallbasket - for it is like the 'small
basket of the constant traveller'. Take note that my basket holds only
the best food (birds preserved in their own fat)....
- There is another saying of old, 'Strip the sapwood, so that only the
The intention of the newspaper was summed up in the same editorial:
- Aku he kohi ai ki taku rourou, ko nga mea pakari, ko nga mea e tupu
pai ai te tangata i runga i te whakaaro ki te Atua e whakawhiwhi nei i a
tatou ki nga mea katoa e ora ai wairua me te tinana (ibid.)
- [What I shall gather in my food basket are those things that will
strengthen people in their belief of God who gives us everything for our
spiritual and physical well-being].
The subjects covered mostly concern Anglican Church activities and
explanations of tracts of scripture. There are also:
- reports of districts throughout New Zealand
- obituaries of J. Thornton, Headmaster of Te Aute College, and the
Reverend Mohi Turei of Ngati Porou
- letters to the editor
- overseas news particularly of the war (World War I) and the Maori
soldiers fighting there
- local news mostly of the Tai Rawhiti region
- historical accounts such as the siege of Whetumatarau Pa in the
- longer articles on health by Te Rangihiroa (Sir Peter Buck) and on
Parliament by Apirana T. Ngata and Reweti T. Kohere.
Copies of the paper are held at:
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington:
|1913||Oct. - Dec.|
|1914||Jan. - Dec.|
|1915||Jan. - Dec.|
|1916||Jan. - Dec.|
|1917||Jan. - Dec.|
|1918||Jan. - Dec.|
|1919||Jan. - Dec.|
|1920||Jan. - Dec.|
|1921||Jan. - July|