New Zealand Land Wars and what we teach

It seems like a no brainer. If we teach the next generation the history of our country and give them some context for how we got to the present uneasy state of cultural confusion, we can hope to build better relationships in the future. Can’t we? After all, a petition calling for the Land Wars to be remembered in a national day was presented to Parliament by some young women from Ōtorohanga College last week. They had been educated and they want to remember and to share that knowledge.

Hekia Parata said “no” to this being required in the Curriculum, she said it is up to individual schools to decide. I say that approach to teaching our history has already failed, with many kids growing up not knowing the context of local land struggles. People don’t know about Rangiowhia or Ngatapa, or Ōrākau or Wairau. They don’t know what happened at Gate Pā, let alone what Tītokowaru fought for or against. They don’t know about Waerenga a Hika or Ruakituri either, let alone Ruapekapeka. But they all know about Gallipoli and the Somme. And it is not their fault.

I did some research by visiting some Wellington schools asking how Te Tiriti was taught. It was a mixed bag and a worry. Our schools need to teach what happened after Te Tiriti was signed, and how the Crown dishonoured its promises. Unless students comprehend how the articles of the Treaty were upheld or breached by the Land Wars, the Treaty itself makes little sense.

History is not a core topic any more. So are we doomed to repeat it? In social studies, some schools are doing great but lots of them teach more about the civil rights movement in USA than the indigenous struggle in Aotearoa. This might seem safer but in the long run, it really isn’t. Those white marble statues of some pretty dodgy players in the land wars need reinterpretation and every student needs that education, how about some national leadership on this kaupapa?

3 Comments Posted

  1. NZ education system still has a base of public schools and a required curriculum.
    Not too many decades ago all NZ primary schools taught history from a set of text books called ” Our Nations Story”, which were printed as a series for Std 3 to Std 6.

    This was systematised indoctrination of our nation supporting the British Colonial Empire expansion and subverted the home truths well known from local experience. The profiteers of this propaganda had to be those manipulating the minds of the young to support continuation and strengthening of rule by a foreign elite and their capital holders in our political system.

    Hekia Parata is a shill.

    The power of honest portrayal of what took place in our history is feared by many who will not face the unscrupulous connivance of Colonial slaughter, brutalising of communities, theft of land and corruption of those wielding power to fill their own pockets with the devastating cost to families.

    Those perpetrators include missionaries and churches who actively paved the way destroying local tribal cohesion and beliefs and colluded with corrupt politicians and greed driven traders allowed to ply goods that splintered alliances, promoted inter-tribal war and decimated the Maori. European disease was wilfully used to annihilate resistance to land grabbing and a cone of silence about the planned devastation and ridding the land of Maori occupation, is still not publicly understood today.

    The contact between Maori and Europeans is not a comprehensive understanding in the younger generation today.

    We have an established mainly European and often foreign elite running this country who dispel discussion towards a healthier and fairer understanding of our rapacious European incursion into these antipodean islands. We remain a county divided by wealth, inequality of opportunity and growing entrenchment of a class system similar to that of old Europe and other places colonised by agents of power and wealth gathering. The race card becomes the Joker.

    Today the dispossessed grow in number in NZ while the wealthy have fear of any change to their position. Human misery is the ongoing cost resulting in bitterness, loss of hope and alienation of parts of our population from the mainstream. Our prisons tell a story.

    Hekia Parata whether brown or any other shade, can be judged by her actions showing recognition of public good for all, not just those who posses.

    When Lange took a personal grievance about his daughter’s teacher ( justified or not ) as a catalyst to work with a private schooler Picot , to demolish our education system and divide schools into stand alone governance, we lost a valuable robust collective responsibility for children’s education with a system that was world renown.
    Lange was egotistic and weak. Easily manipulated as Roger Douglas demonstrated. Labour needs to admit its folly and the hijacked direction away from public good during that Govt.

    We were moved to the more independent American model where schools are governed by local political interests.
    An incremental shift away from our collective strength as a nation.

    Lange admitted he did not understand the consequences at the time as his personal anger clouded his judgement. Picot took the opportunity to push the private agenda. Parata is following suit.

    Prior to Lange’s folly, area Education Boards elected by School committees ( who were elected by parents), and managed all aspects of schools, gave collective strength and support to schools at many many levels including teacher grading, a fair appointments process and overall management of professional growth within each Board area. The Education boards also lobbied Govt for funds on behalf of schools. Curriculum changes were submitted from local Education Board consensus, with parent representatives involved.
    The School Committees Federation gave a parallel and parent driven voice on Educational matters.

    The School Trustees Association was created at the change to “Tomorrows School” and the School Committees Federal was demolished. The School Trustees Association is funded by Govt and is largely a Govt mouthpiece.
    Parents again have lost a collective voice.

    Any child born in NZ should stand equally. One of our major problems is that a divided society based on race and wealth polarises.

    Cultures can be share as can understanding.

  2. Just finished a book by the EXCELENT author JAMES COWAN called TALES OF THE MAORI BORDER. An INFORMATIVE book for ALL NZers. HERES a INTERESTING excerpt. —- The eastern slope of the Fairy Mountain [Pirongia] broke suddenly at Cannels feet. Here on the edge of the bush the solitary climber,hot from his walk up through the tall fern from the WAIPA Valley, shook of the flax leaf straps of his swag,and laying down his double barrelled gun and heaved a sigh of relief. Cannels vision swept over the expanse of the Waipa Valley. The spires of CHURCHES, once MAORI OWNED,rose in their pencil points from among the distant orchards of the DISPOSSESSED TRIBES. Cannel was quite well aware of the risk he ran exploring Pirongia, the Tapu mountain of the King Country border.His life in TRUTH was worth no more than the two shots from his double barrelled muzzle loader if he was found trespassing in the Nehenehinui. He had pitched his tent just outside the border line and so far the Maoris in their spirit of fair play had not tomahawked him.

  3. Mihimihi, thanks for keeping this issue active. Lately the Greens seem to be focusing well on general corruption, all ties in, smart politics. Big leaks coming internationally at the moment, so progress at home on NZ’s history also seems realistic, as masses are slowly forced to wake-up!

    “Corruption and International Fraud via Panama”

    “IMF Financial Attack on Greece”

    “NZ’s Anti-Corruption Record Slipping”

    But lots of positive stuff too; I got a variety of indigenous wetland plants here for our drains and pond… respect to diversity.

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