Remembering and Forgetting Difficult Histories: The New Zealand Wars

In October 2021, Professor Joanna Kidman and I gave a talk at City Gallery, Wellington, on ‘Remembering and Forgetting Difficult Histories: The New Zealand Wars’. 

 City Gallery Talk (photo: Story is King Media)

The talk, delivered in conjunction with Brett Graham’s extraordinary Tai Moana Tai Tangata exhibition, draws on research conducted for our Marsden Fund project on how the New Zealand Wars are remembered and forgotten.


Brett Graham, Vincent O'Malley and Joanna Kidman pictured in front of Cease Tide of Wrong-Doing, part of Brett Graham: Tai Moana Tai Tangata, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth

As we noted in the abstract for the event, si
tes of enormous violence can be places of memory embedded in the land, but also of silence and forgetting. The ‘difficult histories’ of the New Zealand Wars are remembered by Māori through many forms – including art and sculpture, while ignored, or at best, mythologised by many Pākehā.

The talk took place in front of Brett Graham’s O’Pioneer sculpture, which is modelled on the gun turrets used on the Pioneer gunship deployed during the 1863 invasion of Waikato.


O'Pioneer sculpture, Govett-Brewster Galley, New Plymouth

Recorded by Story is King Media for Bridget Williams Books, the full talk is available to view on the BWB YouTube channel or watch here:



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