Author's Introduction: This play is not merely a comedy of love, or an evocation of New Zealand, or the dramatization of a Maori legend; it also seeks to express what I must call a view or vision of life. ... I was looking through James Cowan's charming little Fairy Folk Tales of the Maori when I came across the chapter which Cowan calls "Whanawhana of the Bush": the legend of The Golden Lover. The whole play thereupon flashed into my mind complete.'
Introduction by Douglas Stewart. (1962: 8, 10).