Story: Translation and interpreting – te whakamāori ā-tuhi, ā-waha hoki

Dicky Barrett

Dicky Barrett

English-born Richard (Dicky) Barrett learned to speak Māori by trading in the Pacific and marrying into the Te Āti Awa tribe. In 1839 the New Zealand Company engaged him as a translator to help them negotiate the sale of land for settlement at Port Nicholson (later Wellington), Queen Charlotte Sound and Taranaki. However, the legality of these land claims, and Barrett's translating abilities, were later questioned. In 1843 he was challenged in the Court of Lands Claims by 20-year-old George Clarke Junior, who had learned Māori as a child. 

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Puke Ariki – Taranaki Museum & Library
Reference: A66.286
Watercolour by A. H. Massey

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Translation and interpreting – te whakamāori ā-tuhi, ā-waha hoki - First English–Māori translations', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 June 2024)

Story by Mark Derby, published 22 Oct 2014