Title: Toby Curtis
Unfinished business: Ki hea āpōpō
Author: Sir Toby Curtis, with Lorraine Berridge McLeod
Specs: 234 x 153 mm portrait, PB, 180 pp
Published: 17 November 2022
Born into poverty in 1939, Toby Curtis rose to the peak of achievement in Māoridom. His long history of leadership in education, broadcasting and the powerful Te Arawa confederation of iwi belied the challenges he had to overcome, and the legacy of colonisation that still overshadow the fields in which he contributed.
In this thoughtful and lively memoir, Sir Toby looks back frankly on his life and career — interspersing memoir with text boxes that address policy and academic issues in education, language and indigenous rights.
He reflects on a teaching career spent creating connection to tikanga and te reo for his students; leadership in broadcasting, where he helped chart the path to creating an independent voice for Māori; and his 16 years as the leader of Rotorua’s influential Te Arawa Lakes Trust.
Toby was knighted in 2014 for his services to Māori education and yet, as this book’s subtitle and contents assert, he saw a lot more work to be done.