Commemorating NZ Land Wars

Maori Television (also on Breakfast) raises the issue of commemorating the NZ Land Wars with a national holiday.

Calls for national day commemorating NZ Land Wars continue

Thousands of people gathered at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park this morning to remember those who fell in Gallipoli.

But some are still calling for a national day to commemorate the New Zealand Land Wars.

Thoughts are with the soldiers who lost their lives abroad.

But many believe those who fought here at home should also be remembered.

Awanuiarangi Black says, “We need one special day. If we don’t continue to remember, then those same mistakes might happen again.”

I think there is little chance of anything like the Land Wars happening again.

A new public holiday to mark the New Zealand Wars has been a popular topic among Māori over the last year.

Awanuiarangi Black believes iwi should administer the event.

“Iwi and hapū should each have their turn hosting this event.”

Te Ururoa Flavell has presented the idea to the Prime Minister.

John Key isn’t ruling it out but is reluctant to establish a public holiday.

Flavell says for Māori the focus isn’t on a holiday, but a chance to remember the past.

He says, “After visiting iwi throughout the country, I have found the main priority for them is to find a day of remembrance.”

Jason Ngatai says, “We should acknowledge all the wars, especially those ones that don’t get recognised. We should at least attend some sort of memorial, or attend something just to recognise them too.”

In December last year, a petition with 10,000 signatures calling for a national day to commemorate the NZ Land Wars was presented to Parliament.

I think more should be done to acknowledge the Land Wars which are a significant part of New Zealand’s history.

I’m not sure that a national holiday is necessary – and it raises the question of what else could be as worth of or more worthy of a national holiday.

But perhaps we could re-assign one of our current holidays that don’t mean as much to new Zealand any more, like Queens Birthday (not her birthday) or Labour Day (who knows what that’s about?).

What is the best way to commemorate the Land Wars and other parts of New Zealand’s history?

 

 

36 Comments

  1. Brown

     /  April 28, 2016

    It would be nice to see this dealt with in an honest manner that shows what ratbags were about on both sides and how Maori came to expand control to areas beyond what had been tribal homelands. The latter point is valid because we are still bickering over land that was conquered in a particularly brutal manner. We should not ignore this unless we are to also ignore the British acting in what was a normal manner of the times.

    I’m worried that it will be a revised history that paints a picture with pink elephants that looks to renegotiate outcomes beyond the remedies already available through the Waitangi Tribunal. At some point this needs to be put to bed as history.

    There are already good books in print about the early history of NZ and I would recommend two:
    – The Musket Wars by R D Crosby
    – Bible and Treaty by Keith Newman
    Despite the title the latter is not pushing Christianity – its history and has a wealth of detail about who did what to whom and who cleaned up the mess.

    • Gezza

       /  April 28, 2016

      I am frankly nervous about this idea. While I personally support it and understand it I fear it could turn healing sores into open wounds for some and hostility among those pakeha who consider the past should be forgotten – that we should move on. I’m not sure this is yet the right time.

      • Gezza

         /  April 28, 2016

        Before anyone responds to my comment above, could I ask if you would please read 1st my comments on the “New Zealand Land Wars” thread?

      • @ Gezza – When do you think might be “the right time”?

        Personally, I don’t think we know what condition the ‘sores’ are in. I don’t, other than what I have read. My general impression is they have been somewhat glossed-over with ‘plastic skin’?

        To heal properly, some old wounds will no doubt need to be opened. Some will be festering and better for exposure to the air and light. Some may not be as bad as we think they are?
        Some may be healed or all-but healed. And who knows who the protagonists and antagonists really were in some cases, until we hear the different viewpoints?

        I think the ‘his/herstory’ needs to be aired fully and openly in a spirit of truth and reconciliation, including, as Brown notes, the kupapa stories, although to give these the status of abberations while the British acted “in what was a normal manner of the times” would be grossly unfair (to say the least).

        Thanks for the book recommendations Brown, I will look them up? Will people (such as yourself) give the stories and waiata handed down through generations of iwi and hapu the same regard and prestige, if we are privileged enough to ever hear them?

        In just 24 years the nation’s bicentennial will be upon us. Before then we will need to create a new Constitution and a new flag. Neither of these will not be the best they can be if wounds still fester, or if pakeha hostility continues to grow, nourished largely in the soil of ignorance and prejudice.

        The “right time” in my opinion is soon, very soon, if not now.

        • Conspiratoor

           /  April 28, 2016

          Parti boy, in my experience there are only two ways to deal with a ‘wound still festering’. Either clean it and dress it or blast it with antibiotic bomb. In the absence of either of these treatments we find the prognosis usually terminal.
          So my point is let’s call a halt to this nonsense and turn our attention to the near future and our role as one of china’s colonies

          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  April 28, 2016

            PZ: Neither of these will not be the best they can be if wounds still fester, or if pakeha hostility continues to grow, nourished largely in the soil of ignorance and prejudice.

            Your ‘ignorance and prejudice’ is clear to see in just that one sentence……..

          • Gezza

             /  April 28, 2016

            @ Gezza – When do you think might be “the right time”?

            Good question PZ. One I will ponder for a bit. I note our e hoa (friend) Possum indicated here recently that she would like to let go of a long held anger at another iwi – if I understood her correctly.

          • Gezza

             /  April 28, 2016

            @Conspiratoor
            “let’s call a halt to this nonsense and turn our attention to the near future and our role as one of china’s colonies”

            Sorry C, this an aside I know. But I haven’t known you long enough here to be able to pick when your comments are meant ironically. Are you for or against increasing economic and social ties (like immigration, user-pays education, foreign investment) with PRC?

            • Conspiratoor

               /  April 28, 2016

              G I’m starting to warm to you my dear old thing. At the rate my old mates are signing off I’m in need of a new best friend. Are you on grown ups?

              Actually I could bore you for hours with my views on immigration and foreign investment but an attempt to do so would drive our fellow commenters to suicide. On education the ‘user’ who can afford to, should be allowed to pay for the very best his hard earned dollar can buy

            • Gezza

               /  April 28, 2016

              “Are you on grown ups?”
              Apparently not.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  April 28, 2016

              G, then you should be. One further question if I may. When you fly, do you sit up the pointy end?

          • Gezza

             /  April 28, 2016

            What do you think?

            • Conspiratoor

               /  April 28, 2016

              I think the direction you turn when you enter an aircraft reflects your politics 😉

            • Gezza

               /  April 28, 2016

              Next election, it may not. 😕

            • Gezza

               /  April 28, 2016

              My irreverance for any of them shouldn’t be taken as an indication of whether or not I will vote for them.

            • Can I have some of whatever you guys are on tonight? 😉

            • Gezza

               /  April 28, 2016

              Apparently not.

            • Gezza

               /  April 28, 2016

              😉

            • Conspiratoor

               /  April 28, 2016

              It’s called God’s Champagne P. You should try it

            • Gezza

               /  April 28, 2016

              And certainly not at the pointy end of the aircraft. 😉

          • @ Conspiratoor – No, there are other ways of dealing with sores. With ‘infection’ metaphorically speaking. Natural and Herbal remedies, Oriental medicine and well documented Maori medicine – http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/rongoa-medicinal-use-of-plants

            “let’s call a halt to this nonsense and turn our attention to the near future”.

            Thank God there’s been leaders in the past who thought beyond this, like the founding fathers of the USA, although their foresight still never really helped many Native Americans or slaves/black Americans for the best part of 200 years.

            Yeah, let’s just leave it … http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/iwi-am04.pdf

            “Avril Bell has this to say about the Päkehä claim to indigeneity: [5]

            ‘If Pakeha are to be indigenous they are cut off from their history as the
            descendants and inheritors of the privileges of the colonisers of Aotearoa.
            This history is discarded as Pakeha are ‘born’ post-colonisation out of the New
            Zealand soil. Such a move represents a desire to be ‘born again’ New
            Zealanders, disowning their parents and imagining themselves adopted’ . . .”

            [5] Bell, A “We’re Just New Zealanders: Pakeha Identity Politics” in Spoonley, P et al Nga Patai: Racism and Ethnic Relations in Aotearoa/New Zealand (Palmerston North: Dunmore Press, 1996) 144, at 156.

            http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/american-indian-heritage-day

            • Conspiratoor

               /  April 28, 2016

              For you P..

            • Pathetic C … pathetic. These are the polar opposites you see I guess? Metaphorically, hide the festering sore or amputate the limb? Nothing exists inbetween fearful, fiercesome defensiveness or grovelling apology?

              ” … nourished largely in the soil of ignorance and prejudice”

              a festering sore …

              I rest my case.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  April 28, 2016

              “Nothing exists inbetween fearful, fiercesome defensiveness or grovelling apology”

              Actually it does P. It’s called the real world. Which reminds me, I’ve got a hard day at the coal face tomorrow so I better sign off and grab a bag full of zeds. It’s been fun tho

    • the Musket Wars is an excellent read

  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  April 28, 2016

    Labour Day-the commemoration of the 8 hour day, -Samuel Parnell. I think his name was Samuel. It’s been going for over 100 years.Let’s keep that.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 28, 2016

      Yes, he was Samuel Parnell. People who want public holidays probably don’t know what these would cost the country.I don’t, either, but I remember hearing it-and it was a huge amount.

    • Gezza

       /  April 28, 2016

      Yes, his name is Samuel Parnell. His grave is in Bolton Street Cemetery in Wellington and his headstone identifies him as the founder of the 8-hour day in New Zealand. It is a 5 minute stroll from The Terrace, a pleasant place to eat lunch among the rose bushes and the trees on a sunny day.

  3. Blazer

     /  April 28, 2016

    Maori are what make NZ unique.Anything we can do to celebrate our heritage in Aoetearoa has to be ..positive…all Kiwis need to embrace this.

    • Maori are what make Pakeha Pakeha Blazer … It is because we live in and on Maori land that we are Pakeha or non-Maori … one way or the other its a big part of how we define ourselves … I think finding a way through to celebration and embrace will involve everyone facing some difficult stuff … commemorating the Land Wars could be very positive in this regard … Let’s do it?

  4. Pantsdownbrown

     /  April 28, 2016

    In more recent times our history has been changed to suit the treaty industry and sanitised in some cases, with one side labelled the ‘baddies’ and the other the ‘goodies’ – no doubt any land war commemoration will be as one-sided.

    No doubt much to celebrate with both the Maori & European cultures, but if being true to history we must look at, and understand, the good and bad in both.

    For example here’s an article about how some people didn’t want the historic truth about Maori cannibalism to be told, some wanted Paul Moon’s book banned or censored. The author was belittled and called a racist. The human rights commission got involved and wanted the author to make concessions to the people wanting to stop him publishing his book as it didn’t fit the current ‘Maori’ narrative. Once published the same people attacked the book and gave it bad reviews due its subject matter. So much for freedom of speech in New Zealand;

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10529547

  5. Brown

     /  April 29, 2016

    “Will people (such as yourself) give the stories and waiata handed down through generations of iwi and hapu the same regard and prestige, if we are privileged enough to ever hear them?”

    Yes PZ, I think we will. Just make sure its not a load of superstitious bullshit to further an agenda. The problem with the older stuff pre European is the cultural style and lack of recording – its hard to verify yet we are expected to believe it without question.

    • Yes Brown, we must believe the cultural style and ‘type’ of recording … even if part of the motivation is to sell books …

      “Who or what exactly is the person with the issue that needs to be addressed in this discourse? Well, we know very clearly what the problem in Aotearoa is that biculturalism and multiculturalism address. The problem is… white people. White people and our cultural supremacism. So we could reframe the question as “Decolonisation or Anti-racism?”

      Not that white people are the entire problem. But the same way that feminism realised that the problem is men, and that there is an undeniable truth in that, anti-colonial activists realise that when you take the white guys out of the room, a lot of the problems go away.

      So we’ve identified that white monoculture is a problem. The question is how do we get white people to realise that we’re a problem? Indigenous people aren’t so good on this issue, so the job falls to us. Even though indigenous peoples know 99% of what you need to know about colonisation, that particular part of it’s not their strong suit. Because indigenous people have never had to work out how to be a problem.”

      http://dannybutt.net/biculturalism-as-multiculturalism/

      I found this a worthwhile read … along with many other reads … Not to be believed outright. Not the final word … just interesting …

      • Brown

         /  April 29, 2016

        Stopped reading after ”Aotearoa” and went back to reading written language in a book while watching TV and listening to the radio on a laptop while recovering from a serious accident after driving a car and being flown in a helicopter etc … I like white culture (flawed though it is like all man’s things) and would be poorer without it. Maori are vastly better off as well for having it – whether they will admit it or not. My Maori friends are quite happy with whitey in 2016 but a bit annoyed with the Maori protocols and cultural bollocks that has caused them grief and no up side.

  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  April 29, 2016

    Bizarre. There is no white monoculture any more than there is a Maori monoculture. And there is certainly no biculture in NZ. Of course that doesn’t prevent hundreds of bull artists pretending there is for various nefarious self-serving reasons.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  April 29, 2016

      That was supposed to be a reply to PZ.