Tommy Wilson (Opinion, February 8) supports a call for the teaching of New Zealand history.
This call, it seemed to me, is only for the teaching of colonial history which can be reinterpreted and rewritten and so give Māori, in my opinion, the opportunity to pull on a new korowai of victimhood to improve their ideological and financial position.
I favour the teaching of New Zealand history, but any history syllabus must be based on verifiable fact and not misty-eyed supposition.
It must also include the parts of history Māori are reluctant to acknowledge.
For example, in 1773 the killing and eating at Wharehunga Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound of 10 men from the Adventure, the sister vessel of James Cook's Resolution; Te Rauparaha's blood-drenched rampage through the South Island; the annihilation of the Moriori by Ngati Mutunga and Ngati Tama.
Cannibalism, slavery, female infanticide must be addressed.
Leave out these and we will have a warped and incomplete view of our history which will do little more than create resentment and further divide our society.
Separateness of early days should be left behind
Much has recently been said about the Treaty of Waitangi. It should be taught in schools. We should understand its meaning(s?).
However, to fully understand the Treaty we must also know the conditions and circumstances of the times of its signing – not only the arrival of settlers but the brutal, inter-tribal warfare, slavery and cannibalism that preceded it. There was also the enlightening teaching of the missionaries encouraging Māori leaders to seek more peaceful ways.
The arguable disparity between the two versions of the Treaty – English and Māori – should not be unexpected. The oral Māori language had only just been reinterpreted in written form by the missionaries. Not all meanings from one language to another are readily and fully translatable – some may be quite unique.
What should be acknowledged is that the Treaty was the only one signed by settlers and indigenous people during the colonisation period – the only attempt to establish fair and just equality (not always implemented by both sides) in newly colonised territories.
With 179 years of living together and the mixing of races, the separateness of our early beginnings should be behind us. We can only truthfully describe ourselves as "New Zealanders" and not be digging up the past for "differences" and "separateness".
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