The Reading

Rangatira by Paula Morris

10:45am, Monday 13 to Friday 24 August 2012

Audio is posted after broadcast and will be available until midnight Friday 7 September 2012.

Read by George Henare

Rangatira is based on the true story of fourteen high-born North Island Māori who voyaged to England from Auckland in February 1863. Rangatira is told from the viewpoint of Paratene Te Manu, a tipuna of author Paula Morris on her Ngāti Wai side.

Paratene fought with distinction alongside Hongi Hika in the musket wars of the 1820s before converting to Christianity. A widower, he is motivated to join the expedition by grief, having recently lost his younger brother and his last-surviving child. He's also flattered to be invited, and lured by the promise of an all-expenses paid trip to see the "riches and wonders" of England, and share his story with the people there.

Paula Morris is currently teaching creative writing at Stirling University in Scotland. She is the author of two novels for young adults and  award-winning short stories, Forbidden Cities (2008) and novels for adults, Queen of Beauty (2002); Hibiscus Coast (2005); Trendy by Casual and Rangatira, a finalist in the NZ Post Book Awards 2012.  She is also the editor of The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories (2008). Paula’s work has been widely published and radio versions have been broadcast in both New Zealand and the US.

George Henare (1946) CNZM, OBE, is an acclaimed actor with a distinguished career spanning more than three decades. He has played lead roles in film, television, opera and theatre as well as radio and voice work.

Produced by Prue Langbein for Radio New Zealand National  

Listen to Kathryn Ryan's interview with Paula Morris about Rangatira.