The Treaty of Waitangi in Tauranga: Te Tiriti o Waitangi ki Tauranga Moana by Debbie McCauley, Tamati Waaka, Whare Joseph Thompson (Mauao Publishing)
The Treaty of Waitangi in Tauranga: Te Tiriti o Waitangi ki Tauranga Moana is a non-fiction narrative picture book story about the Treaty and Tauranga's part in it. It took author Debbie McCauley three years to write the book. Along the way she consulted local iwi, found an extensive array of pictures and photographs, had Tamati Waaka translate the text into te reo Maori, and Whare Joseph Thompson illustrate the book. I'm going to mention the designer Sarah Elworthy here too, because she's done an excellent job.
The story starts in 1840 in Waitangi where the treaty was written, discussed and signed in the hope that it would bring peace to New Zealand. Nine copies were sent out. Two were sent to Tauranga; one a written copy that was never signed, and the other a copy (known as Sheet 5), the one that Tauranga Maori signed. Debbie gives the reader the context in which Sheet 5 was signed (or not, some chiefs refused to sign it), and what happened in the aftermath.
Alongside the narrative story, are numerous timelines for the period 1824 up to the present. There are also text boxes on significant incidents that happened during that period, pictures and information about artifacts, as well as images of the treaty itself. The book will be very useful to schools in the Tauranga region, but I think schools outside that region could find it informative too.
Debbie’s first book for children was Taratoa and the Code of Conduct: A Story from the Battle of Gate Pa which was a finalist in the 2015 LIANZA Children’s and Young Adult’s Book Awards. Her second children’s book, Motiti Blue and the Oil Spill: A Story from the Rena Disaster, won the Best Non-Fiction category in the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. It was chosen as a 2015 White Raven by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany. The Blind Foundation also selected Motiti Blue and the Oil Spill to be produced in braille, large print and e-text.
RRP (Hb) $39.95