About the Project

The management, conservation, care and display of Māori information in institutions, libraries, archives and museums has been a long debated issue and the digitisation of indigenous material and Mātauranga Māori continues to be an extremely complex one. With the convergence of archival and digital material in recent years, ethical issues regarding access, display, intellectual and cultural rights and ownership and copyright, custodial practices, policy development and consultation, poses a critical challenge for individuals and organisations interested in developing and displaying Māori material in a digital context.

Research Team

Over the years, Dr. Pei te Hurinui Jones amassed a significant collection of books, manuscripts and taonga. In 2004, the University of Waikato Library unveiled Mahi Māreikura, a room in the University of Waikato library that is dedicated primarily to the display and conservation of the collected taonga and works of the late Pei te Hurinui Jones and a collection of the work of his colleague and close relative, Professor Bruce Biggs.

Pei occupied many pivotal roles including being the first chairman of the Tainui Māori Trust Board, the President of the New Zealand Māori Council in 1970 and the Chairman of the Māori Dictionary Revision Committee for the 7th Edition of William’s Māori Dictionary. Pei’s primary interest and passion was in the recording of Tainui genealogies and tradition. Pei was a prolific writer in Māori and English. His works include the Ngā Mōteatea series, a definitive work on Māori song in which Pei completed the majority of editing and translation, King Pōtatau, Mahinarangi, Puhiwahine, translations of Shakespeare’s works into Māori, such as Huria Hiha (Julius Caesar), Owhiro (Othello), and Tangata Whai Rawa o Weniti (The Merchant of Venice), Ngā Iwi o Tainui, a Māori-language version of the history of the Tainui tribes, published posthumously in 1995, and He Tuhi Marei-kura, an unpublished manuscript on the Māori account of the creation based on priestly lore of the Tainui people.

Pei also translated into Māori Edward Fitzgerald’s translation of Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Ngā Rūpai’ana a Ōmā Kai’ama), a collection of poems (of which there are about a thousand) attributed to the Persian mathematician and astronomer Omar Khayyám (1048-1123). Pei contributed numerous articles and reviews on a range of topics to Te Ao Hou, the Journal of the Polynesian Society and various symposia, societies, and other publications, in addition to writing many booklets to commemorate the opening of meeting houses in the Tainui and Ngāti Tūwharetoa areas.

The aim of this research project is to research, collate and develop ethical processes and appropriately display, in a digital format, the manuscripts, works and collected taonga of one of Maoridom’s prominent scholars the late Dr. Pei te Hurinui Jones. The project also aims to produce an accessible digital library in a form that is practical and searchable by the general public.