This book has emerged from the experience, in Michael King's words, of 'being Pākehā' during the Māori Renaissance of the 1970s. During my childhood, my parents were both secondary school teachers, and I was privileged to accompany them on a number of live-in marae trips during the 1970s and 1980s. My early experiences triggered a lifelong interest in, and respect for, Māori language and culture, and I was fortunate enough to study the Māori language throughout my school years and my under-graduate years at Waikato University. Many thanks to Pari Kana, Kingi Turner and Aroha Yates-Smith for their teaching and support.
Heartfelt thanks also to Ralph Crane, who supervised my Master's thesis on Māori literature, and to Rod Edmond, who supervised my PhD on indigenous Pacific writing, after my initial focus on Māori literature broadened to encompass other Polynesian writers of the Pacific. Rod Edmond and Lyn Innes at the University of Kent (UK) both offered invaluable advice on earlier drafts of chapters included in this book, and Rod Edmond has also offered vital assistance in the final editing stages. Thanks also to my editors at Routledge, Liz Thompson, Kate Parker and Amrit Bangard. I also wish to express my immense gratitude to Joe Bray and Mark Houlahan, who read the manuscript in its entirety, and to Ken Arvidson, Emma Bainbridge, David Callahan, Fiona Chalamanda, Rana Dayoub, Brian Dillon, Felicity Dunworth, Corinne Fowler, Eugene McNulty, Kirstine Moffat, Lindsey Moore, Stuart Murray, Stephen Penn, James Procter, Catherine Richardson and Catherine Silverstone, who offered helpful advice on particular chapters. I'm grateful to various friends and colleagues at the University of Stirling (Bethan Benwell, John Drakakis, Adrian Hunter, Robert Miles, Mark Nixon, Angela Smith, Rory Watson) for advice and support during the editing process. Thanks also to graduate students John Masterton and Upala Sen, as well as undergraduate students at Stirling, who have offered thought-provoking perspectives on Pacific texts I have taught during the last three years. I'm very grateful to University of Waikato English Department and IT staff for vital space and support during the final stages of preparing the manuscript, and to the William Georgetti Scholarship Trust and the Commonwealth