Title: The Last Maopo
Author: Tania Simpson
Specs: 240 x 170 mm portrait, PB + flaps, 160 pp, b&w
Published: April 2014
The moving story of Wiremu Maopo, the last of his line in a large South Island family, who joined the second Māori Contingent and went off to fight in the First World War. Wiremu writes regularly to his friend Virgie, and the story of Wiremu’s life is woven around 40 letters that he penned during the war.
All of Wiremu’s siblings died of illness either in childhood or later in life and when he returns from the war
ironically he is the only surviving member of the once large family. Wiremu was unaware during and after the war
that his girlfriend Phoebe had given birth to a daughter who would carry on his line. The Last Maopo also follows Phoebe’s story and reconnects the Maopo line with the author, Wiremu’s great-granddaughter.
Praise for The Last Maopo
‘This is not only a moving personal story but also one of very few books to tell the experience of the First World War first-hand from a Māori viewpoint.’
– Christopher Pugsley, military historian
‘The Last Maopo is a lovely piece of work. I recall memories of the Maopo whānau being shared around Taumutu back in the 1960s; Tania Simpson’s book brings the story of Wiremu Maopo back to life for new generations.’
– Sir Tipene O’Regan