Proverbs (or whakatauki) express the wisdom, wit and commonsense of the Maori people. They are of great value and inspiration to writers, story-tellers and anyone speaking in a Maori setting. Several hundred proverbs are contained in The Raupo Book of Maori Proverbs, categorised under a large number of diverse headings, with translations and explanations in English. This comprehensive and dependable book serves as both a useful reference and an insight into values of the Maori.
Born in Auckland in 1908, A.W. Reed (Alexander Wyclif) was educated at Mt Albert Grammar School. In 1932, he helped to found a book-publishing business, A.H. A.W. Reed, one of New Zealand's leading publishing houses of the time with an enduring list of local books. Reed wrote more than 200 books himself, with a range of reference works and popular accounts of Maori culture. He died in 1979.