Timoti Ropatini

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  • "A Māori Point of View: To The Editor of the Wananga." Te Wananga 5 (1878): 306-307. Rpt. in The Māori Population. Victorian New Zealand Reprint Ser. No. 3. Dunedin, N.Z.: Hocken Library, U of Otago, 1977. 9-10.
  • In this letter Ropatini responds to a question in the New Zealand Herald seeking an explanation for the declining Māori population. Ropatini states simply that ‘[t]he Europeans are the cause of the death of [the Māori]’ and he notes that before European settlement, Māori died as a result of warfare, makutu, drowning, murder or simply of extreme old age. By contrast, Ropatini observes that in his generation, since the arrival of Europeans, Māori have become weak and many die before adulthood. He likens this decline in health to the effects on Māori who ignore the instructions of tohunga, and states that the decline of the Māori population must be due to Māori eating European foods while not following the prescribed European customs associated with the food. This letter is dated 13 Maehe [March] 1878.