Author(s): Tania Simpson
The incredible, moving story of Wiremu Maopo, the last of his line in an eminent South Island family, who joined the second Maori 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.
The Last Maopo is a lovely piece of work. I recall memories of the Maopo whanau 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
Tania Simpson (Tainui, Ngapuhi, Ngai Tahu) is CEO of Maori development company Kowhai Consulting, Deputy Chair of Landcare Research New Zealand, and a member of the Waitangi Tribunal. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Maori from Waikato University and a Master Matauranga Maori from Te Wananga o Raukawa. She has written several works of tribal history. Tania lives with her family in Hamilton.