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No. 2 (Spring 1952)
– 58 –

L.G. KELLY

L. G. Kelly (Te Putu) is one of the younger practising Maori writers with more than a dozen learned articles in the Polynesian Society Journal, and two volumes, Tainui and Marion Dufresne at the Bay of Islands, to his credit. Te Putu's mixed ancestry is probably the reason for his choice of subjects, for he was brought to the study of Dufresne through the realisation that he numbers a Frenchman among his forebears. Edward Meurant was an early trader's agent at Kawhia, and later an employee of the Wesleyan Mission. He married Kenehuru, daughter of Te Tuhi—one of the Waikato leaders of the day. Te Putu derives his Maori ancestry through his father, whose mother was a daughter of Edward Meurant and Kenehuru. He is, therefore, of the Ngati-Mahuta tribe of Waikato, and a Ngati-Maniapoto of the northern King County—part French and part Maori, and also, through his father, part Irish.

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L. G. Kelly.

Te Putu was born in 1906, educated in Auckland and, when not investigating ancient Maori Pas, or early Maori history, drives a locomotive between Frankton and Auckland. In Tainui; the story of Hoturoa and his Descendants, he traces the history of the Tainui Canoe and its people down to the selection of the first Maori King. The history of the Tainui peoples, their successes and failures, their victories and defeats, their customs and traditions are for the first time securely fixed in permanent form. There is also a foreword by Te Puea, some good maps and interesting genealogies, for Marion Dufresne at the Bay of Islands is an elaboration of an earlier work, In the Path of Marion Dufresne.