Haare Williams: Words of a Kaumātua

Haare Williams, Edited and introduced by Witi Ihimaera

A kaumātua reflects in poetry and prose on his journey from te ao Māori on the East Coast to contemporary Auckland.

Ko te kōpara anake e tārere ki te tihi o te makauri. Oti rawa! Kia oti rawa, e!

Haare Williams grew up with his Tūhoe grandparents on the shores of Ōhiwa Harbour in a te reo world of Tāne and Tangaroa, Te Kooti and the old testament, of Nani Wai and curried cockle stew – a world that Haare left behind when he learnt English at school and moved to Auckland.

Over the last half-century, through the Māori arts movement, waves of protest and the rise of Māori broadcasting, Haare Williams has witnessed and played a part in the changing shape of Māoridom. And in his poetry and prose, in te reo Māori and English, Haare has a unique ability to capture both the wisdom of te ao Māori and the transformation of that world.

This book, edited and introduced by Witi Ihimaera, brings together the poetry and prose of Haare Williams to produce a work that is a biography of the man and his times, a celebration of a kaumātua and an exemplar of his wisdom.


About the authors

Haare Williams MNZM has been dean of Māori education and Māori advisor to the chief executive at Unitec. He was general manager of Aotearoa Radio and set up a joint venture with the South Seas Film and Television School to train te reo speakers as producers and operators in film and television. He has worked closely with iwi claimant communities and was responsible for waka construction and assembly at Waitangi for the 1990 commemorations as executive director of the 1990 Commission. He has published poetry, exhibited paintings, and written for film and television. He was a cultural advisor for mayors of Auckland, a senior vice president of the Labour Party, and is amorangi at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Witi Ihimaera was the first Māori to publish both a book of short stories and a novel, and since then has published many notable novels and collections of short stories. His best-known novel is The Whale Rider, which was made into a hugely, internationally successful film in 2002. He has also had careers in diplomacy, teaching, theatre, opera, film and television. In 2004 he became a Distinguished Companion of the Order of New Zealand (the equivalent of a knighthood).



November 2019, 230 x 170 mm, 260 pages
Hardback, ebook, ISBN 9781869409043, $49.99