Tekau mā rua manu huia hei mihi ke te rā hou …
First published in a hardback edition in 2016, this beautifully illustrated story about the huia and its tragic extinction is out in bookstores tomorrow in a bilingual (English and Māori) paperback.
Translated by Lois McIver with Kanapu Rangitauira, the rhyming text starts with 12 huia birds living in the forest as they always have — until one day a waka appears on the horizon.
Māori settlers bring their weapons, rats and dogs, and European settlers who follow centuries later add to the pressure on the poor huia. One by one they start to disappear — what will remain?
Through its gentle rhyme and colourful imagery, 12 Huia Birds / 12 Manu Huia shares an environmental message – and includes links to an app, educational resources and games.