This long poem is a welcome addition to the New Zealand sub-species of the form. Its literary type includes Fairburn’s Dominion (1938), Curnow’s Island and Time (1941) and my own Archipelago (1991). I name these three particularly because they all claim a territory, a geography that is oceanic as well as terrestrial and has geophysical as well as human and social dimensions. Oliver’s poem also contains the social, the historical, the ecological. It is ocean-dependent and details the evolving aspects of our cultural identity. All the above works are written by Pakeha, but that does not preclude their being at times very strongly affected by the mythos of Maori, and of Polynesia.