Story: Fiction

Maori girl

Maori girl

Noel Hilliard was a Pākehā writer of some importance in the 1960s, and his fiction was commercially successful in New Zealand. Relationships between Māori and Pākehā and entrenched racism were abiding concerns in his work. Hilliard's best-known book, Maori girl (1960), is the story of Netta Samuel, who moves from rural Taranaki to Wellington in search of better material prospects, as did so many of her peers in the post-war period. Life in the city is hard and Netta drifts from boarding house to boarding house, forging relationships with those she meets in similar circumstances, sometimes to her detriment. She gets pregnant and settles down with Arthur, a Pākehā man, in a slum, along with numerous other couples. When Arthur finds out the child is not his, he leaves Netta. Her story was continued in Maori woman (1974) and The glory and the dream (1978).

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Penguin New Zealand
Reference: Noel Hilliard, Maori girl. London: Heinemann, 1960.

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How to cite this page:

Lydia Wevers, 'Fiction - Māori and Pacific writers and writing about Māori', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/document/41952/maori-girl (accessed 23 September 2019)

Story by Lydia Wevers, published 22 Oct 2014, updated 19 Aug 2015