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Printing Press and Te Paki o Matariki newspaper
Donated by the Muirhead Family
Accession No.s 129 and 1155
This printing press was discovered and salvaged from a swamp on the Muirhead’s farm at Te Miro in 1958. Made in the USA by Kelsey & Co., it was thought to have been used to print leaflets at Maungakawa Pa where a Māori Parliament had been established in 1890 under the leadership of King Tawhaio.
A Māori newspaper called “Te Paki o Matariki” or “The Girdle of the Pleiades” (Seven Sisters Constellation) was also published at the Parliament from 1891 to 1902. Very few copies of the papers now remain. A copy of the front page of one issue is on display at the Museum.
The Maungakawa settlement was vacated in the late 1890s possibly because of a devastating influenza epidemic.