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"This is a history, taken from his own words, of one of New Zealand's most important Maori leaders.
It is the most complete collection of sources and commentary surrounding the life of Wiremu Tamihana Te Waharoa Tarapipipi, rangatira of the Ngati Haua iwi, commonly referred to as 'The Kingmaker' for his role in the institution of the Maori King Movement.
Wiremu Tamihana Tarapipipi stood at the interface of nineteenth-century encounter, culture contact and conflict between Maori and Pakeha in New Zealand. He was a peacemaker, but he was labelled a rebel, and his influence was systematically undermined by government agency. His vision is still valid: that of a Maori society in control of its own destiny, under a system of Maori law, working in partnership with Pakeha law, and participating in the benefits of Pakeha settlement.
The author, Evelyn Stokes, a professor of geography and a knighted member of the Waitangi Tribunal, undertook the work with the blessing and acceptance of Ngati Haua, for whom she preserves the words of Wiremu Tamihana Tarapipipi without prejudice."