Mikaere Worthington

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  • "Back To The Mat." Te Ao Hou 40 (1962): 11-15.
  • This story, written in the first person, traces Jim MacLaren’s journey of discovery as a Māori. The story begins with Jim being jilted by his girlfriend after she discovers that he is part-Māori and his decision to leave home and ‘lose himself in the crowd’ of Auckland. The city, however, turns out to be a lonely place full of strangers and his only friends are the Islanders who also feel alienated and home-sick in the city. As a result of a traffic accident Jim is hospitalised and lies bedridden in a depressed state. In hospital a fellow patient called Rua befriends Jim and begins to teach him te reo Māori. Rua is dying of leukaemia and on his deathbed he asks Jim to visit Rua’s kuia in Urewera. With a new will to live, Jim makes a rapid recovery and works his way to Urewera where he is adopted by Rua’s kuia, renamed Heemi Ihaka and finds a whole new life and purpose through living with the Tuhoe people.