Described by Maori Television as a book that's making waves, Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History is being called a comprehensive, one-volume history of Maori.

It includes numerous stories relevant to the Rotorua region and Te Arawa.

This book was published by Bridget Williams Books and follows the footsteps of Maori from Asia and the Pacific to the present day in Aotearoa.

The widely respected authors, Atholl Anderson, Aroha Harris and the late Judith Binney, set out to create a book for all New Zealanders, addressing a gap they saw in the country's written history.


Working with a team of historians and researchers, they have drawn from a wide range of stories and perspectives.

They tell the story of tangata whenua from scholarship in history, archaeology, traditional narratives and oral histories, grounded in specific localities in New Zealand.

The book has attracted praise from leading New Zealanders, including Ta Tipene O'Regan who said it was "one of the most significant books on the Maori world ever written and is the sort of generous canvas on which we can paint our future".

Former Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples said the publication marked a turning point New Zealand's national identity.

New Zealand historian James Belich said the book had no rivals.

"It's a first for the country and tells the whole story of Maori history, using the latest scholarship, but speaking to a wide audience ... it's important for all New Zealanders."

Some of the stories and pictures in the book include:

-Te Kooti and Te Arawa. Among those who fought against Te Kooti and his followers were some of the Te Arawa Flying Squad. They are pictured in the book at Kaiteriria Bay (Green Lake).


-Stories of women involved in the Komiti Wahine and suffrage movement, including an early photograph of Maori women voting at the Rotorua Court House about 1900.

-Royal visitors received by Maori at Arawa Park and Whakarewarewa.

-Tourism flourishing in Rotorua, bringing some prosperity to Maori communities.

-Tarawera eruption and Pink and White Terraces.

-High achievers, Te Arawa soprano Ana Hato and tennis player Ruia Morrison.