What is Māori history?

‘Māori history’ can be defined in many different ways – it depends on which historian you are talking to, and whether that historian is Māori or not. But it doesn’t end there. Over the next short while, many of the earlier articles and opinion pieces thus far published on this interesting topic will be posted here, with some comment.

‘NZ Wars Day’ on the way

Bridge fashioned as a whale's backbone, across Waiwakaiho River, New Plymouth.

The government has announced a New Zealand Land Wars Day will soon be introduced, to commemorate the wars fought on New Zealand soil between 1843 and 1872. Constabulary actions though continued until 1916, one whole year after Gallipoli where, and when, we supposedly ‘came of age’ as a nation. Heaps of Māori political figures are now pronouncing loudly in support, all new adherents to the cause; and good thing too. Some historians… Read more »

Parihaka Peace Walk

From 15 to 17 June, the Mayor of New Plymouth, Andrew Judd, led a peace walk of hundreds of supporters from New Plymouth to Parihaka, a distance of about 25 miles. The walk took place over 3 days, with stops at Oakura and Okato. The walk happened because of Pākehā resistance in New Plymouth to the creation of a Māori Ward; 83% of the electorate there recently overturned a Council decision… Read more »

Remembering all of our sites

There is a really stunning epitaph inscribed on the memorial to the Japanese soldiers who died during a prison riot just outside of Featherston, in the Wairarapa – ‘Behold the summer grass, all that remains of the dreams of warriors’. The memorial commemorates the 64 Japanese prisoners who were shot during a prison riot on 22 February 1943, along with 94 who were wounded (of the 275 prisoners). # Remembering Our… Read more »

Teaching the Wars

Prominent Māori historians like Dr Malcolm Mulholland of Massey University are calling for the New Zealand Wars to be taught in schools as a compulsory subject. You can read Malcolm’s comments on the issue here – Malcolm’s Comments. We think the idea makes really good sense. Those of us who used to teach the New Zealand Lands paper at Massey in the 1990s to about 2005 remember well the responses… Read more »

A New Zealand Land Wars Day?

The government is calling for submissions on whether we should set up a new Land Wars Day, to remember those 3500 or so people, Māori and Pākehā, who tragically died during the conflicts. Students from Otorohanga have been pressing the case for such a commemorative day, especially  Rhiannon Magee, Tai Jones and Leah Bell who organised a Land Wars petition signed by 13,000 people. Here is an article covering their… Read more »

Danny’s New Book

Danny’s new book – Te Whiti O Rongomai and the Resistance of Parihaka – will be available in early December; advance copies have just been received. Please contact Huia Publishers for queries – see advertisement bottom right of this home page.

Featured Battle Site: Ruapekapeka

Young Jaydn standing on Ruapekapeka battle site, Northland – photo by our website photographer (and Jaydn’s Dad), Bryn Thomas. To see more of Bryn’s amazing photo’s, click here – Bryn’s photos. The battle of Ruapekapeka was fought between northern Māori and the British Army during January, 1846, with the British assaulting the Pā on 11 January 1846. The Pā however was largely empty, with Māori having already retreated out the… Read more »

Our New Ngāmotu Marae

Our new marae is gradually taking shape, on Ngāmotu beach, New Plymouth. Here is the drawing of the awesome new wharenui. Site inspection and landscape repair are now underway, made necessary by possible despoliation from early settlers drilling for oil.  Building proper begins next year, says project manager Shaun Keenan. # See photo of Ngāmotu beach below showing marae site, which will sit behind a long stand of native tress… Read more »