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Showing posts from January, 2020

National Portrait

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The following extract comes from a portrait written by Philip Matthews and published by Stuff in May 2019.


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New Zealand is slowly emerging from its amnesia about the 19th-century New Zealand Wars – we used to call them the Māori Wars or the Land Wars – and O'Malley is at least partially responsible for that.


His monumental 2016 book about the 1863-64 war in Waikato, The Great War for New Zealand, has now been followed by a smaller, more accessible, illustrated account, The New Zealand Wars Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa. Ever wondered about the wars and why they happened? This is the ideal place to start. 


Essentially, the New Zealand Wars stretched across nearly 30 years, from 1845 to 1872, ranging from the Bay of Islands in the north to Wairau, near Blenheim, in the south, with a lot of action in Waikato and Taranaki. Some individual stories are better known than others: the messianic defiance of Te Kooti and Titokowaru​, Hone Heke and his repeated sabotage of British …