Showing posts from January, 2019

Raupatu and Remembrance: The New Zealand Settlements Act

When dates were being considered for the first Rā Maumahara commemorating the New Zealand Wars one suggestion that was floated was 3 December. It does not mark the anniversary of any particular battle or conflict. Instead, on this day in 1863 Governor George Grey signed into law the New Zealand Settlements Act, an innocuous-sounding piece of legislation that was to have devastating consequences for many Māori communities. The Settlements Act provided the primary legislative mechanism for raupatu – sweeping land confiscations that were supposedly intended to punish acts of ‘rebellion’ while also recouping the costs involving in fighting the wars. It declared that where ‘any Native Tribe or Section of a Tribe or any considerable number thereof’ had committed acts of ‘rebellion against Her Majesty’s authority’ since 1 January 1863 their lands could be declared subject to the Act and seized for the purposes of settlement. It was part of a package of measures passed by the all-Pākeh