Shore Whaler's Wahine

1. A Generalised Overview of the Wahine/Women and the Life they Lead

This section will give a generalised account of these women so as to provide a greater understanding of their lives. A reasonably extensive list of topics will be covered. I will draw upon selected subjects contained in the biographical collection (refer to subheading number four which follows) to provide examples of and to support these topics.

I have already collated a reasonably extensive list of topics, which I am adding to on a regular basis as further ideas and concepts crystallise.

2. A Case Study of a Shore Whaling Station

This part of my study includes the history of a specific shore whaling station (Moeraki or One Kakara, North Otago) and will examine the dynamics of the personalities that were involved.

This study is reasonably advanced. I have now researched in detail all the all known members of the whaling community and in some cases have draft biographical profiles on individual whalers. I have also completed thirteen draft profiles on their Māori partners and others are still being compiled. In total there will be 28 essays. All my research has been peer reviewed by another experienced researcher.

Additionally, I have started writing a full general history of this shore station backgrounding its operation in chronological order.

3. In Depth Case Studies of (at Least) Two Wahine

I have already chosen two subjects: Hineawhitia and Ākiri. These southern wahine were both of the Kāi Tahu Whānui. I would be happy to include other wahine if reasonably detailed and interesting examples surface. In my view a good example is one where a reasonably comprehensive account of the wahine’s life can be compiled. I know from personal experience that this is not an easy task. Even when a reasonably in depth study is possible it can take many years of research.

I have reasonably extensive notes relating to both Hineawhitia and Ākari. I commenced these in 1992 and they are still being added to as time permits.

4. A Collection of Selected Biographical Profiles on Wahine/Women that Partnered Whalers

  • I aim to collect the profiles of at least sixty wahine/women. Currently my own list (which is by no means exhaustive) contains almost fifty names. Some of these subjects’ names are yet to be “posted” on this web site.
  • A collection of this size would enable me to ensure that my generalised overview would in time be regarded as an authoritative work and one that is also truly representative of these wahine/women.
  • Whilst my research to date particularly focuses on Kāi Tahu Whānui I am also interested in wahine from other Iwi and any Pākehā women.
  • Some of the wahine that I have already profiled partnered settlers who arrived and lived in the South Island close to the whaling stations in the late 1830s. Their partners (although not involved in whaling) were contemporaries of the shore whalers. I have chosen to profile selected examples of these additional women because in my view their stories will contribute to our understanding and knowledge of the shore whalers’ partners.

  • In addition to my Moeraki profiles I am also working on other biographical research topics. These personalities lived in the geographical area that extends from Rakituma (or Preservation Inlet), Fiordland in the southwest, to Rakiura and Aparima (or Riverton) in the south to Banks Peninsula in the north.

    Many of these wahine are interesting subjects in their own right. However, my aim is to ensure that their biographical profiles are purposely written with an identifiable theme or subsidiary themes. These points of focus can then be collectively utilised to round out or support my overview of the shore whalers’ partners generally.