Maui's Taonga Tales: A Treasury of Stories from Aotearoa and the Pacific

Te Papa Press

Maui's Taonga Tales: A Treasury of Stories from Aotearoa and the Pacific


Join Māui as he shares stories for tamariki based on taonga from the Te Papa collection.

Aimed at children aged seven to eleven, this book’s lively stories tell the tales of some of the taonga held at Aotearoa New Zealand’s famous national museum, Te Papa, through appealing text and fantastic illustrations. 

The book’s pūkōrero, or story teller, is Māui, the great Pacific hero and trickster. The stories are from both long ago and recent times and have been chosen in consultation with Te Papa’s mātauranga Māori curators and the relevant iwi. They range from how Ruhia’s kaitaka, or cloak, saved the life of a young boy and why the band Herbs wrote a song about nuclear testing in the Pacific to Huria Matenga and the Shipwreck, Rata and the Children of Tane, Willie Apiata and the Tough Decision, Hinemoa and Tutanekai, Te Paea and the Ghost Waka, Kahe’s Epic Swim, Heni and the Battle of Gate Pa, Kupe and the Giant Wheke, and Tane and the Kete of Knowledge. Each story is told via illustrations created by young Māori artists; some have illustrated stories from their own iwi. The book is linked to the TV series He Paki Taonga i a Māui, funded by Te Mangai Paho.

The project team

This book evolved out of an animated television series, made by production company Production Shed, which started airing on Māori TV in late September. The stories were developed by former Te Papa Senior Writer and He Paki Taonga i a Māui co-producer David Brechin-Smith and Te Papa Te Reo Writer, Ranea Aperahama, with the help of writers Victoria Cleal, Matthew Grainger, Frances Samuel and Jen Craddock. The book was also translated into te reo Māori by translator Stephanie Tibble. The tales were illustrated by Munro Te Whata, Te Hana Goodyer, Izzy Joy Te Aho-White, Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho, Josh Morgan, Miriama Grace-Smith, Ariki Brightwell, and Reweti Arapere. 

Publication date: November 2019
Extent: 160 pages
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-9951136-2-6