Tuesday, November 10, 2009

what European colonisers had done

“[I] should have instead referred to what European colonisers had done.”

So said Hone Harawira today. As Hone was speaking, I was reading Buddy Mikaere, Te Maihora and the promised land, (Reed 1998). Here’s some statistics from the book, which throw some light on “European colonisers” in the South Island.

– In the 1840’s, Maori sold to the European all the land from Kaiapoi to Otago, 8 million hectares, stretching from one coast of New Zealand to the other.
– They were paid 2000 pounds. For 8 million hectares!
– In exchange, they were promised “large” reserves. However the size of these reserves was not undefined. It ended up being 2.5 hectares per Maori, about 3,500 hectares. That’s quite a reduction when you used to have 8 million!
– The deal also promised schools and hospitals. Those never really materialised.
– When they complained to Parliament, the so-called highest law courts, they realised that was by vote, and Pakeha outvoted Maori!

I wonder how I would feel if that happened to my ancestors?

I’ve already blogged a bit about the apology. But I end up admiring a guy who can say this publicly:

Mr Harawira said his wife saw the email shortly after it was sent and told him that he should not have sent it. “What I should have done is ask her to look at it first before I sent it,” he said. Asked if she was angry, Mr Harawira said: “love conquers all”. Here

Posted by steve at 11:25 PM

1 Comment

  1. Hi Steve,

    Don’t know if you have heard of Alastair Reese, he was one of my lecturers at Faith Bible College. He has written a book called Naboths Vineyard: Towards Truth And Reconciliation In Aotearoa New Zealand. I think you may find it an interesting read

    Comment by Aaron — November 11, 2009 @ 10:39 am

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