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Showing posts from November, 2016

The Great War for New Zealand - A Book for all New Zealanders

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The arrival of a landmark book for all New Zealanders

Me maumahara tātou – we must remember. Not lest we forget. We must remember...It has to be that we go forward from a position of enlightenment, of māramatanga.

Rahui Papa, Chairman, Te Arataura, Waikato-Tainui, at the Wellington launch of The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 19 October 2016

Hailed as the first single-volume history of the Waikato War since 1879, the publication of The Great War for New Zealand by Vincent O’Malley has been met with a nationwide response.

The first official copy was presented to King Tuheitia and endorsed by tribal leaders at the Kīngitanga’s annual Waahi Poukai on 8 October 2016. It was only fitting that the people of Waikato-Tainui received the book first. As Vincent O’Malley said during his speech at the Waahi Poukai, it was time New Zealanders learned about the history that Tainui and other iwi carried alone for so many generations. The long …

What a nation chooses to remember and forget: the war for New Zealand's history

Early in 2014 a group of school students from a small town in rural New Zealand took a trip to some nearby historical sites. Guided by local Māori elders, the students from Otorohanga College encountered a history that was all but unknown to them. As Leah Bell later recalled, “It’s shocking to hear that there were massacres half an hour from where you live, not that long along.”

Ōrākau and Rangiaowhia, where the school party visited, saw two of the bloodiest confrontations of the Waikato war – a conflict between British imperial troops and the local Tainui tribes that had been fought exactly 150 years earlier (1863-64). It was the largest and most significant in a wider series of clashes that took place in New Zealand between 1845 and 1872 as Māori communities resisted colonial conquest and expansion.

For a time in the 1860s there were more British troops in New Zealand than almost anywhere else in the empire outside India. And the Waikato war was the defining conflict in Ne…