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About The Polynesian Society

The Polynesian Society was formed in New Zealand in 1892, co-founded by Stephenson Percy Smith and Edward Tregear. It counted Elsdon Best, W. H. Skinner, Sir Apirana T. Ngata as some of its earlier presidents. It is thus one of the oldest learned societies in the Southern Hemisphere. Its aim is to promote the scholarly study of past and present New Zealand Māori and other Pacific Island peoples and cultures.

To this end, it publishes a journal, the Journal of the Polynesian Society, which appears quarterly and contains articles, reviews, correspondence, shorter communications and other news. The Society also publishes a monograph series in which over the years since its foundation a wide variety of books on Māori and Pacific topics have appeared.

The Society's activities are supported by the membership dues, institutional subscriptions and sale of its publications. Its affairs and activities are administered by a Council consisting of the officers of the Society and eight elected members.




Elsdon Best and Percy Smith. 1908. Elsdon Best (left) and Percy Smith in 1908. Location and photographer unknown. By kind permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, Reference number: 1/2-028237-F


The Polynesian Society (Incorporated)
Department of Māori Studies, The University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand
t +64 9 373 7599 ext 88506 | f +64 9 373 7409 | email jps@auckland.ac.nz