Oratia Books

  • Nga Waka o Nehera

    Jeff Evans

    Finally back in print after more than twelve years, this is the essential reference work to the traditions of Maori canoes that voyaged to New Zealand - including lists of the waka, names of crew members and vessels, karakia and waiata, and maps. A must for lovers of history, students of Maori and nautical enthusiasts.

  • An insight into those who were labelled prophets in the first century of settlrs in New Zealand and the influence they had on the cultural landscape.

  • Waka Taua

    Jeff Evans

    A Maori war canoe being paddled at full speed makes an awesome sight.

    Thanks to a renaissance in canoe building, more and more New Zealanders now have the chance to witness the traditional waka taua.

    Waka Taua gives a concise introduction to the Maori war canoe: the history and recent renaissance of waka taua types and variants of the canoe, phases of building, parts of the waka, responsibilities of the crew and paddling technique. With numerous historical and contemporary photographs and drawings, Waka Taua is an easy to read tribute to this timeless expression of tribal identity and power.

  • Pukaki - a comet returns

    Paul Tapsell

    Exploring the legacy of Pukaki, the ancestral father of Ngati Whakaue, a hapu (sub-tribe) of Te Arawa of Rotorua, this text also relates the history of the carving of Pukaki that featured in the Te Maori exhibition, its origins, how it was acquired by the Crown and how Ngati Whakaue regained it from the Auckland Museum in 1997.

  • Wiremu Pere (Wi Pere) lived from 1837 to 1915, leading his tribes of Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga a Mahaki through some of the most turbulent chapters of New Zealand history. He stood resolute against colonialism and entered parliament to stand up for his East Coast people, yet was astute in his business dealings and was compromised in the views of many Pakeha and Maori. This handsome book, illustrated with numerous photographs, whakapapa and maps, sets out the many sides Wi Pere's life and times with a particular focus on his family life, parliamentary career and contributions to the East Coast.

  • The arrival of European missionaries in New Zealand had an immeasurable impact on Maori society. Like Them That Dream tells the intriguing story of early interaction between Maori and missionary, leading to the many distinctive responses to the arrival of Christianity.

  • High-school student Haki needs to find the pounamu that was stolen from him after a car crash by a mysterious old man who seems to know a lot about him. Haki's search brings him into conflict with his family, his friends and his school. In the process he must confront his fears and find a way to answer the challenge to serve his people and his land, fight a taniwha, and grow into a warrior.

  • The New Zealand Wars

    Matthew Wright

    From 1845 to 1875, New Zealand experienced a succession of conflicts that stretched from the Bay of Islands to Wellington. What they meant has been debated ever since. To some they were land wars, to others, the Maori wars; lately we are calling them the New Zealand wars. Why were they fought? Who really won them?

    In reality these wars were fought over both land and sovereignty. In the process, the British, settlers and allied Maori ended up fighting other Maori, and by the late 1860s the wars had really become a civil war. And the fighting was tough for all who fought in them. Matthew Wright outlines what happened and why.

  • Out on the Water

    Tessa Duder

    Ten short stories, and two longer historical ones, bring to life the thrills and challenges of sailing, paddling and travelling on the seas around New Zealand. Accompanied by Bruce Potter's vivid illustrations, these are the work of a world-class children's writer with an intimate knowledge of the sea. For children who love the sea and lakes, or who simply love adventure.

  • Nga Atua: Maori Gods

    Robyn Kahukiwa

    A book to treasure for young and old, internationally renowned artist Robyn Kahukiwa's Nga Atua: Maori Gods takes the reader on a beautiful visual journey while imparting simple and effective explanation of the major Maori gods.
    Robyn introduces the pantheon of Maori gods, and explains the arena in life for which each deity is responsible, for example: 'Tumatauenga is the greatest warrior atua. His powers are extreme strength and courage. He fights for truth and justice.'
    This book is a beautiful introduction to some of the unique deities that are part of Aotearoa/New Zealand's cultural story, and affirms their continued relevance today.

  • Maori Place Names

    A.W. Reed

    Pronounce and understand Maori place names with the new fourth edition of A.W. Reed's classic guide to meanings and origins of names across New Zealand. From Ahaura to Whitianga, this handily sized book is the definitive guide to the most common and notable Maori names in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
    Included are maps on the inside covers showing principal names, and also reproductions of the illustrations from the 1950 edition of the book by renowned artist James Berry.

  • Volcanoes and Earthquakes

    Get ready for a new take on New Zealand society, history and geography in one of the first two books in The NZ Series, a snappily designed and fact-packed collection for intermediate and high-school age readers.

    Here in striking and clear terms are the earth movements above and below New Zealand - with investigation into the history of volcanic and earthquake activity, leading to the present-day status for the country.

    The informative, easy-to-understand text is accompanied by numerous explanatory diagrams, historical and modern-day photographs and `Fact File' boxes. Ours is a physically small country but it packs a powerful amount of geological portraiture into its landscape, as does the keen design of Volcanoes and Earthquakes.

  • Savour

    Alessandra Zecchini

    Savour is a fabulous collection of over 100 vegetarian and vegan savoury recipes featuring bread, focaccia, pizza, pastries, pies, tarts, party food and frittata. Dairy free and gluten free index included.

  • Favourite Maori Legends

    A.W. Reed

    Maori myths and legends have an important role in transmitting and regenerating traditional knowledge. Yes as Ross Calman point out in his introduction, they are also simply great stories - reflective of a time when telling and listening to stories was a key leisure activity in Maori society.
    Favourite Maori Legends is an invitation to enjoy over 30 of the most memorable legends, grouped into themes of the spirit world, patupaiarehe (ghosts), taniwha, supernatural creatures, heroes and deeds of daring. Concise and complete, these gripping stories are enlivened by the timeless illustrations of Roger Hart.

  • 'White-collar-crime' is a term that only recently came into use in New Zealand. But as Graeme Hunt illustrates in this highly readable book, sharp practice and outright cons have been part of New Zealand's society since the nation's founding - starting with the first treasurer George Cooper.



    Hustlers, Rogues and Bubble Boys profiles some of the most memorable characters who have followed Cooper's path into white-collar mischief. Along with convicted con artists and out-and-out hustlers are almost likable rogues, bubble boys brought low by share-market shifts and business people who broke the rules of corporate propriety if not the law.

  • Before the 1970s, Maori existed in New Zealand literature as figures created by Pakeha writers. The Maori renaissance of the 1970s changed all that. Fiction writers led by Ihimaera and Grace challenged earlier stereotypes and inherited literary forms, creating a new body of writing that has redefined the Maori in literature.

    Until now no single comprehensive critical work has followed this evolution. Paola Della Valle's landmark book sets that to right. From Silence to Voice portrays the early `silence' of Maori in New Zealand literature - characterised in caricature by colonial writers, then in increasingly sympathetic portraits from the likes of Frank Sargeson, Janet Frame and Noel Hilliard - through to the new and challenging works presented by Maori writers themselves. In an academically brilliant yet easily read analysis, Della Valle also stresses important links with the literature and culture of Italy.

  • I need a new bum

    Dawn Mcmillan

    I need a new bum! Mine's got a crack. I can see in the mirror a crack in the back. What to do when you need a new bum? Should you get one that's blue or yellow spotted? A Chevy bum, a rocket bum that's all fire and thrust, or a robo-bum? The options are endless - but wait, Dad's bum crack is showing too? Maybe this is contagious.

  • Bullies & Warriors

    Tim Tipene

    Going to school is a misery for Sean. Whatever he does to avoid the school bully, Mark Thomas and his mates always catch up with him. Then the students join Warrior Kids, a programme that teaches leadership and self-control. So begins a journey for Mark and Sean that has a predictable outcome for one boy and a surprise for the other.

    In this revised novel, first published as Warrior Kids in 2006, Tim Tipene depicts the reality of bullying-and strategies to address it-for children on both sides of the problem.

  • The Polynesian navigator Kupe is credited with the discovery of the land his expedition named Aotearoa, land of the long white cloud. How did he and the many canoes that followed find their way without modern navigational techniques through perilous seas in wooden canoes?
    By examining myth, star charts and contemporary Polynesian seafaring, Jeff Evans traces the methods by which the early explorers made their epic voyages in Part One. The book's second part travels with Maori canoe expert Matahi Brightwell and navigator Frances Cowan aboard the traditional canoe Hawaiki-nui following traditional navigation - with no modern aids - on its historic voyage from Tahiti down to New Zealand.

  • Warrior Kids is a pioneering programme that over the past 17 years has empowered thousands of children across New Zealand, many of them from challenged backgrounds.

    Focusing on bringing out the warrior within, the programme draws upon Maori concepts of the warrior and Eastern martial arts in a non-aggressive way designed to instil confidence, respect and self-control, leading children to become masters of their lives.

  • The Treaty of Waitangi

    Ross Calman

    The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of New Zealand, a subject of endless discussion and controversy, and is at the centre of many of this nation's major events, including the annual Waitangi Day celebrations and protests. Yet many New Zealanders lack the basic information on the details about the Treaty.

    Ross Calman's book, first published in 2003 and reprinted by Libro International, provides a brief, balanced introduction to the treaty's contents and signing, and how it has played a key role in the shaping of New Zealand/Aotearoa.

  • Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand provides a detailed description of New Zealand's parliamentary practice. It is an authoritative text for use by members of Parliament, public servants, academics, parliamentary officers and other working professionals who have an interest in Parliament, such as the legal profession.

    This fourth edition incorporates a decade of developments since the third edition in 2005, and reflects many significant changes in parliamentary law, practice and procedure, including:

    the Parliamentary Privilege Act 2014
    how the House and its committees conduct legislative and financial scrutiny
    the use of extended sittings by the House
    the increased role of the Business Committee to manage the transaction of parliamentary business
    how the work of the House and its committees is communicated to the public.
    This new edition features an attractive design and accessible structure, with extensive indexing and references.

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