Nga Iwi O Tainui: The Traditional History of the Tainui People/Nga Koorero Tuku Iho O Nga Tuupuna

Pei Te Hurinui Jones & Bruce Biggs

‘. . . must be ranked as one of the great Maori literary works of this [twentieth] century . . . . it is a taonga, a treasure for Tainui, for Maori and importantly for the wider field of scholarship.’ – Mason Durie, He Pukenga Korero


Nga Iwi o Tainui is a classic work of New Zealand and Māori history, first published in 1995.

A bilingual collection, in 67 chapters, of the histories, genealogies, songs and chants of the Tainui people, it represents the culmination of a life’s work by the scholar and historian Dr Pei Te Hurinui Jones. His beautiful Māori text is matched on facing pages by Dr Bruce Biggs’s English translations, a layout which facilitates a close study of the Māori language, valuable for scholars and students alike.

Genealogical tables and map references place each separate incident in its social and geographical context. Extensive footnotes provide further information and there is a complete index to all place names and personal names in the text.



Pei Te Hurinui Jones (Ngāti Matakore; 1898–1976) was brought up in the southern King Country by his maternal great-uncle Te Hurinui Te Wano and was ideally qualified to pursue his lifelong interest in oral history of his mother’s people. He was a prolific writer in te reo Māori and a leading authority on Tainui traditions.

Bruce Biggs (Ngāti Maniapoto; 1921–2000), was a renowned linguist and pioneer in the study of te reo Māori. He wrote several best-selling books on te reo Māori including Let’s Learn Maori and The Complete English–Maori Dictionary.


Honour Award, Montana New Zealand Book Awards, 1996


May 2004, 250 x 185 mm, 416 pages, maps
Paperback, ISBN 9781869403317, $59.99