Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Mike Butler: Lest we forget our murderous past

When New Plymouth’s Govett-Brewster Art Gallery planned to exhibit the $1.5-million painting titled A view of Mount Egmont taken from New Plymouth with the Maoris driving off settlers’ cattle, a former treaty claims negotiator kicked up a fuss over the depiction of his Taranaki forebears as thieves.

Factual depictions of 19th-century New Zealand history, like that painting, have become shocking to some because information that show Maori in poor light has been steadily dropped from official accounts.

Blood and tears – the great untold story of New Zealand sets out to correct this imbalance by telling the stories of around 550 murders carried out by Maoris, civilian deaths, in 34 incidents, from Tasman’s visit in 1642 until 1880.

This excludes the 50,000 killed during the inter-tribal musket wars from 1800 to 1842, and the 2899 killed in the sporadic armed tribal rebellions from 1845 to 1879.

The method of killing involved stone clubs used against the heads of hapless seafarers and later, when iron tools became available, tomahawks were the weapon of choice, again against skulls.

Early victims were cooked and eaten; later victims were not often cooked but were often beheaded and left naked.

Deceit often featured in the lead-up to the killings, and robbery followed, with all possessions of the victims being looted, according to author Adam Plover.

The history of the murders follows the historical chronology from the first contact by white explorers, past the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, through 20 years of settlers being harassed by Maori, and through to the end of the 1860s fighting.

Te Kooti, a religious zealout and guerrilla leader, was responsible for the greatest number and worst murders, by killing 33 settlers and 37 Maori at Matawhero on the night of November 9-10, 1868, 20 Maori at Mangaturanga on April 9, 1869, and seven settlers and 58 Maori at Mohaka the next day.

Te Kooti’s followers perpetrated some of the worst atrocities, such as killing settler children at Mohaka by tossing them in the air and impaling them on bayonets.

Plover is outraged that in 2013, Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson and the National-led Government apologised to and made a series of payments to the descendents of Te Kooti for prejudicial treatment by the Crown.

A large number of arsons accompanied the history of murder, with an appendix listing the names of 160 people who had their houses burned to the ground during armed conflict in Taranaki from 1860-1861.

Sources used include early 20th-century historian James Cowan’s The New Zealand Wars and the Pioneering Period plus works by Lindsay Buick, and the journals of Tobias Furneaux, Abel Tasman, Edward Jerningham Wakefield, as well as contemporary writers such as Paul Moon, John Robinson, Ron Crosby and others.

Plover would reserve a special place in Hell for revisionist historians such as James Belich who he said had a “cavalier disregard of facts” and for being “devoid of any sympathy for the victims”.

No recognition has been given for those who lost their property and lives during the settlement of New Zealand although more than $3-billion has been paid to some with Maori ancestry to atone for alleged misdeeds by “the Crown”.

Blood and tears introduces a whole host of brave but forgotten people to the modern reader as a memorial to civilians who lost their lives in the course of creating the New Zealand that we have today, with law and order, property rights, personal safety and individual freedom.

Blood and tears – the great untold story of New Zealand, Adam Plover, Tross Publishing, 164 pages, illustrated, $30.


Auntie Podes said...
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How does one comment on these attrocities while having respect for the perpetrators?

Anonymous said...
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Thanks Mike for your timely reminder of the sacrifices made by our forebears. It would appear that of the four bastions of western culture which have come to us at such a tragic price ie. “law and order, property rights, personal safety and individual freedom” .... our Maori brothers struggle most with understanding the responsibility that is attached to “individual freedom”. In terms of “law and order” and “property rights” as well as “person safety” (their own and others) .... little has changed in the last 200 years.

Brian said...
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Less we remember that....
The basis of these claims and the outcome are instituted not by the “white” concerned politicians on basking in the sunlight of the U.N. Indigenous Committees. Or even rest of those who have been indoctrinated since school into the never ending Maori grievances and demands.
The sinister hand of neo Marxist and its agenda and doctrine that “To establish Communism in a country one must first destroy that country”. The failure to achieve this goal by military means came into focus when the Berlin Wall came down and Russian Communism collapsed curtsey t of Western consumerism. As Niall Fergusson so ably put it in his book “Civilisation”, Communism took on a pair of Jeans and lost!
The result was to set too and gain control of education, a long term strategy which involved corrupting the young, the impressible, the naive into a formation believing that Capitalism is evil, and neo Marxism the vanguard of Communism the only hope for the World.
Into that mix came along another emotive ideology “The Greens”, and the mixture grew stronger with the addition of a primeval force such as Human Climate Change namely ingenerating a “Fear” component.
What is amazing is that our so called right wing parties have succumbed to the unproven human effect theory on our climate. Needless to say the media as a whole backed this.
WHY? As a subject grabbing attention “The world is going to die because we humans have destroyed it” is a far better bet commercially than a headline “Weather predicted to indicate similar conditions”.
Get use to it Maori demands will continue, we will be lucky if they are moderate; and our children’s children will still learn about those wicked colonists who destroyed an idyllic civilisation in the South Pacific.
“pugnare aut mori”

Denis Waters said...
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Well written , Mike. I will purchase a copy of the book and be further edified about the truth of our bloody history.

Unknown said...
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Off topic a bit but I was just reading RNZ's Annual Report 2017. They cheered themselves fully. Will be interesting to see how the decolonisation project goes down?
What we need are the sort of quality webcasts we see from Black Pigeon and Iconoclast.

Unknown said...
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Some readers may remember the TV series on the New Zealand wars as described by James Belich. He regarded the Matawhero massacre as a 'cleverly planned guerilla raid" and had no sympathy whatsoever for the victims (Europeans and friendly Maoris). A guerilla raid is one carried out on a military target in a battle situation. When Belich described the Matawhero massacre on TV he stood on the grass strip between the northbound and southbound lanes of the main highway outside the Makaraka cemetery but did not show us the memorial (which is on the cover of Plover's book).The reason is simple. Because the memorial contained the names and ages of the women and small children who were murdered in cold blood by the Hau Haus. Murdering women and small children in their homes at night is not a guerilla operation - it is a massacre. One of many examples showing that Belich is a dishonest historian.

Paul J. said...
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Maori have become well established experts at over looking their gruesome past with the assistance of the likes of Chris Finnlayson who appears either blind or punch drunk to reality. He is also the kind of person who is deaf to any argument that may challenge his objectives. We must all stand idly by while the cunning Maori leaders and activists, thrust their culture down our throats on TV and in our schools, so they remain firmly ensconced in the media spotlight with the focus on their alleged needs, whilst a few very clever Iwi are hoarding massive sums of money, running into the billions of dollars. At the same time they choose to ignore their own kind who subsist in far poorer Iwi's. For reasons that elude me, the struggling ones apparently don't matter a jot to the wealthier Iwi. It's as though they exist on another planet and are therefore completely irrelevant.
It seems to me the clever groups have no genuine desire to actually settle, as to do so would mean the cash cow would dry up. The rort will surely continue unabated indefinitely, remember Helen Clark wanted a "living" document. As long as our politicians elect to roll over and chase the disloyal Maori vote nothing will ever change. The Maori have also become adept masters at pulling out the race card whenever it suits them, even when race has nothing whatsoever to do with the conversation in question. We Europeans have become conditioned to accepting this ploy and are now terrified of being labelled a racist so we say nothing. For the life of me I can't see how and when will this end? The end in reality sadly is nowhere in sight and because things have got so far out of kilter, IMO it will take the dedication of an organisation such Hobsons Choice, to start fielding candidates who will inject some rational thinking into the settlement process like Don Brash attempted to do and re-establish some balance before we slide so far into the abyss of the treaty industry that there is no way back. At the same time, I feel considerable empathy for the poorer Iwi who have hitherto been largely ignored and really could use a hand-up.

Anonymous said...
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I recently visited Pataka ,the local Porirua Museum to see the Te Rauparah exhibition. The fact that this Chief is a local hero was displayed ,and no mention that He was one of the worst criminals this country has ever seen. A mass Murderer, Rapist, Cannibal [They did not take picnic lunches on the bloodthirsty raids of neighbouring tribes and down South to destroy Ngai Tahu] enslaver and infanticide. A completely sanitized display.

Laurent Hastie said...
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I read that a person commented on an exhibition at the Porirua Museum. Te Raurapra was kicked out of Kawhia and came down the West Coast killing and eating people until he arrived in Porirua where two other tribes fled for their lives. Early this year his tribe was awarded $70 million and land for his efforts. Nice aye. If a lie is repeated and for long enough it becomes the NEW truth. Laurent Hastie.

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