Posts By: Danny Keenan

Congrats to Pikihuia winners

Congratulations to this year’s awesome winners of the Pikihuia Māori Literature Awards. The 2017 Pikihuia Awards were announced at a function featuring this year’s finalists, on Saturday 9 September 2017, at the Wharewaaka Convention Centre in Wellington. Every two years, the Pikihuia Awards are arranged to acknowldge young and exisiting Māori writers. They also encourage new and diverse Māori viewpoints and writing in both English and Māori. The Pikihuia Awards comprise six… Read more »

Te Pouhere Korero – 25 years old this year

Te Pouhere Korero – 25 years old this year In 1992, a small group of Māori interested in Māori history established Te Pouhere Korero, which functioned as a network of Māori historians, or at least, Māori interested in history. At that time, there was no dedicated organisation catering for Māori who were interested in history, be they students, academics, librarians, museum workers, iwi researchers and the like. An inaugural meeting was held in late September… Read more »

The Dead Lands

The latest movie by acclaimed New Zealand director Toa Fraser, The Dead Lands is a terrific film. The movie is totally recounted in Māori, too, appropriately since the action occurs in the days before Europe encountered New Zealand. The movie was released in New Zealand in 2014 and is now available on DVD. James Rolleston (Hongi) and Lawrence Makoare (The Warrior) are terrific in their respective roles as an aggrieved… Read more »

‘Hobson’s Pledge’? Unlikely ..

New Zealand history is fraught with myth – things that never happened, or at least, the evidence is sketchy. ‘Hobson’s pledge’ is one example. Was there ever such a thing? During the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840, we are told, Lieutenant Governor Hobson (right) shook hands with each Māori signatory, saying ‘he iwi tahi tatou – we are now one people’. But did this actually happen? Where is… Read more »

The Hunt for Willie Boy

The book ‘The Hunt for Willie Boy’ was published in 1994 and tells the story of a manhunt in Southern California in September 1929. Written by two fine ‘white’ historians (as Pākehā are called in the USA), the book’s essential point – how ‘Indian-hating has so uncritically permeated popular culture in the USA – certainly resonates here in New Zealand. The Manhunt The focus of the manhunt was a young Chemehuevi Indian named Willie Boy who, it was… Read more »

Wars Without End

The New Zealand Wars ended in 1872, at least, according to most historians. And, militarily speaking, this makes perfect sense. But for Māori, the wars never ended, with the conflicts over land and te tino rangatirantanga – or sovereignty – moving from the battle fields into the Courts and Parliament. The Native Land Court, in particular, proved to be a blunt weapon used by the Crown to acquire customary Māori… Read more »

The Words We Use

Moves to change Civil Wars monuments in the USA, and to remove them altogether, are resonating in New Zealand. In Whanganui, moves to change the language on old monuments are annoying some local Pākehā. Plans to update colonial descriptions of Māori have been mocked in the local press. Words like ‘fanaticism’ and ‘barbarism’ are due to be qualified, with an interpretation panel added. But some locals are arguing that these words should stay as they are, because Māori really were ‘fanatics’ and they really were… Read more »