Rā 283, Rātapu 9 o Whiringa-ā-nuku

More work on the garden; we now have two veggie beds filled with soil – and a lot of garden waste that needs disposing of.

This afternoon I went to Waikato museum for the launching of a mighty tome called ‘The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800 – 2000’.

We listened to a fascinating conversation between the author, Vincent O’Malley and Tom Roa from University of Waikato and Tainui. This article from Radio NZ  gives more insight into the book

I think the key message for me was the idea that our history may be uncomfortable and often hard to face up to but that we have to own our history and listen to the stories that tell the truth of what happened.  In countries all over the world, the truth of history is masked or distorted; often the stories that are told are from one side and the truth is forgotten.

Vincent O’Malley says that “Tainui have never forgotten the atrocities that were committed against their women and children at Rangiaowhia, for example. Or what really took place at Ōrākau. Those memories have been carried on down through the generations. They’ve even been reflected in the names people are given. For example, a common name for many women in Tainui was Mamae, or pain, across many generations to carry the remembrance of those events.

On the other hand, the way that history has been remembered from the Pākeha point of view is very different. He suggests that “There was this period of myth-making followed by complete silence.”  A couple of people stood up to own that they had grown up in New Zealand, close to some of the key historical sites and never knew what had happened. They had never learned the history in school and their parents didn’t know about it either.

The point was also made that whilst we might feel ashamed about what happened, we weren’t there and so shouldn’t own the guilt of association with our tūpuna. However, we should acknowledge the truth and learn from it. 

Kuo pau ke tau maharaja

We must remember

I am looking forward to reading the stories that this book tells…