Hone Heke Ngapua (1869-1909) was one of the foremost Maori leaders of the past two centuries. He received enormous recognition as an MP, working alongside Carroll, Ngata, and Seddon, and emerged as the country's first pan-tribal Maori leader. Paul Moon's long-awaited first biography of Ngapua is as absorbing as the man himself, and fills a vital gap in the country's history - especially its Maori history - in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Against the background of a people in almost terminal crisis, Ngapua emerges as a potential saviour, but with a career plagued by powerful opponents who at times conspire to defeat him. This epic journey into the life of one the greatest Maori leaders of the last two centuries also offers what is, at times, a major reinterpretation of Maori politics. Yet, perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this account of Ngapua's career is that up until now, so much of the story has lain hidden, beyond the reach of other historians. Paul Moon's meticulous reconstruction of this extraordinary politician was possible because he was granted full use of Ngapua's personal papers, to which no other biographer has had access. In addition, a search lasting almost four years uncovered previously unknown diaries and letters, thus finally enabling this authoritative biography of Ngapua's political life to be produced.
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