Story: Cultural go-betweens

Thomas Kendall

Thomas Kendall

One of the most controversial missionary go-betweens was Thomas Kendall (right), seen here during a trip to London in 1820 with the Ngāpuhi chiefs Waikato (left) and Hongi Hika. Kendall was one of the first missionaries to become fluent in Māori, and pioneered the written form of the language. However his desire to understand Māori religious and other concepts as fully as possible, and adultery with a young Māori woman, caused him to be dismissed from the mission in 1823.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: G-618
Oil painting by James Barry

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Cultural go-betweens - Missionaries', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 June 2024)

Story by Mark Derby, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 22 May 2018