About the book
This historical novel set in the 1860s brings a powerful new perspective to events during the New Zealand Wars and to the relationships between invade and invaded anywhere. Traditional Maori beliefs were challenged by European concepts. Maori and missionarery tragically failed to understand each other's gods. Pai Marire, the new religion brought to Opotiki by the Hauhau, was based on the wandering Jews of the Old Testament. The religion of the new settlers often seemed based on money, power and land.
About the author
Heretaunga Pat Baker was the eldest son of Pita Heretaunga Baker, an upoko ariki of the East Coast and Bay of Plenty, and hereditary chief of the Whakatohea in Opotiki. Through his mother he was closely connected to leading Maori families of Ngati Kahunguna in Hawke's Bay and Gisborne areas.
Pat Baker was the first Maori to be granted a university bursary to study journalism and went on to work on a number of papers in the South Island before returning north to Opotiki to farm. Later he went back south to enter 'the business world of the Pakeha'. Pat Baker died in 1988, leaving behind the manuscript of The Strongest God .
The Strongest God is a story of conflict between old gods and new, between old ways of the tribes and new ways of the individual, between those who belonged to the land and those who wanted to own it.
Paperback: 245 mm x 155 mm
Pages: 276 pages
Date of Publication: April 1975