Author(s): Michael King
New edition. Te Puea Herangi, whom Professor John Pocock identified as 'possibly the most influential woman in our political history', wanted an honest biography of her turbulent life. Michael King has written such a book. He did so with the full support of Te Puea's tribe, Tainui, and of her surviving family and proteges. When this book first appeared in 1977 it was hailed as the best book written by or about a New Zealander. The Oxford History of New Zealand Literature said it was so far in advance on anything published previously that it was without precedent. It remains so.
The late Michael King was one of New Zealand's leading historians. Over three decades he wrote or edited more than 30 books, most of them New Zealand history or biography. He won a wide range of awards for this work, including the New Zealand Book Award for Non-fiction, the Wattie Book of the Year (twice), the Montana Medal for Non-fiction and, in 2003, an inaugural Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement. He was a contributor to the prestigious Oxford History of New Zealand and wrote for all five volumes of The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Dr King taught or held fellowships at seven universities in New Zealand and other countries, including Georgetown University in Washington DC, where he was Visiting Professor of New Zealand Studies. He was tragically killed in a car accident in 2004.