new zealand day

We know little about our New Zealand wars. Should we?


For much of the 20th century Pakeha New Zealanders remembered a heavily mythologised version of the New Zealand Wars, full of stories of mutual heroism and chivalry (such as the tale of “Rewi’s last stand”). But when darker, more truthful accounts began to emerge from the 1970s on, the backlash was swift. Just ask James Belich. Or Tainui and other iwi.

They have never forgotten. And they have carried this history for too long on their own. It is time for other New Zealanders to embrace these difficult aspects of our nation’s past.

It would be genuinely concerning if young people were fleeing from New Zealand history as Belgrave alleges. Instead, led by students from Otorohanga College, Gisborne and elsewhere, many are pleading with education officials to be taught it warts and all. Perhaps it is time their elders listened.

Agreed. ? No more whitewashing of New Zealand history. ? However, the fear is that the brownmail will hit overdrive once activist Maori have another bit of leverage on the nation’s collective guilt. ? Read more »