Te Ha ‘will tell all the stories, warts and all’

VIEWERS of last night’s edition of television’s Q and A current affairs programme learned Gisborne’s Te Ha commemorations in October will not be a ‘‘hero worship’’ of James Cook.

Dame Anne Salmond, noted historian and a trustee of Te Ha 1769-2019 Sestercentennial Trust, said on the programme that organisers were aiming for a more balanced event in October compared to the Cook Bicentenary in 1969.

Those commemorations were “quite an insult to local Maori, just being asked to come and do the haka”.

Commemorations this year would “try to tell all the stories — warts and all — on all sides”.

Tina Ngata, an environmental, indigenous and human rights activist, of Ngati Porou, spoke of “a death ship” and re-traumatisation”.

On the date of Cook’s death (February 14, 1781), ‘‘we have a party’’, she said.

“That’s the day business was taken care of.”

John Robson, the Hamilton-based head of the Captain Cook Society, said the word celebration in reference to Cook was “to a certain extent’’ the correct term.

“Most of what Cook did and achieved was positive,’’ he said.

Nick Tupara, of Ngati Oneone and a descendant of Te Maro, killed by Cook’s men in 1769, said Gisborne had been “a Cook town’’.

“He does cast a shadow over our community.

“We knew who we were, but none of that seemed to count for much.’’

Dame Anne Salmond said it was important to commemorate the events of 1769.

‘‘A society that didn’t commemorate a moment as important as that would be an odd society — it would be a society cultivating amnesia.

“Parts of our history are uncomfortable, but they help to shape us.’’

Meanwhile, Lower Hutt resident Peter Bacos, who is linked to Hobson’s Pledge - a lobby group that opposes alleged Maori favouritism - says a stand needs to be made against Maori attacks on Captain Cook in the year of the 250th anniversary.

In a media release, he says Gisborne District Council has “caved in to complaints from a local tribe”.

“Accusations are a tissue of lies and it is appalling Gisborne District Council has agreed to remove the Cook statue (from Kaiti Hill).

“I fear this is only the beginning of the removal of memorials to colonial heroes with no justification whatsoever.”

Former National Party leader Don Brash, a spokesman for Hobson’s Pledge, will speak in west Auckland on Saturday about the Treaty of Waitangi.

“Maori and the Crown are not partners in any sense of the word yet an ideology of Treaty partnership has hijacked the Treaty of Waitangi,’’ he said.

VIEWERS of last night’s edition of television’s Q and A current affairs programme learned Gisborne’s Te Ha commemorations in October will not be a ‘‘hero worship’’ of James Cook.

Dame Anne Salmond, noted historian and a trustee of Te Ha 1769-2019 Sestercentennial Trust, said on the programme that organisers were aiming for a more balanced event in October compared to the Cook Bicentenary in 1969.

Those commemorations were “quite an insult to local Maori, just being asked to come and do the haka”.

Commemorations this year would “try to tell all the stories — warts and all — on all sides”.

Tina Ngata, an environmental, indigenous and human rights activist, of Ngati Porou, spoke of “a death ship” and re-traumatisation”.

On the date of Cook’s death (February 14, 1781), ‘‘we have a party’’, she said.

“That’s the day business was taken care of.”

John Robson, the Hamilton-based head of the Captain Cook Society, said the word celebration in reference to Cook was “to a certain extent’’ the correct term.

“Most of what Cook did and achieved was positive,’’ he said.

Nick Tupara, of Ngati Oneone and a descendant of Te Maro, killed by Cook’s men in 1769, said Gisborne had been “a Cook town’’.

“He does cast a shadow over our community.

“We knew who we were, but none of that seemed to count for much.’’

Dame Anne Salmond said it was important to commemorate the events of 1769.

‘‘A society that didn’t commemorate a moment as important as that would be an odd society — it would be a society cultivating amnesia.

“Parts of our history are uncomfortable, but they help to shape us.’’

Meanwhile, Lower Hutt resident Peter Bacos, who is linked to Hobson’s Pledge - a lobby group that opposes alleged Maori favouritism - says a stand needs to be made against Maori attacks on Captain Cook in the year of the 250th anniversary.

In a media release, he says Gisborne District Council has “caved in to complaints from a local tribe”.

“Accusations are a tissue of lies and it is appalling Gisborne District Council has agreed to remove the Cook statue (from Kaiti Hill).

“I fear this is only the beginning of the removal of memorials to colonial heroes with no justification whatsoever.”

Former National Party leader Don Brash, a spokesman for Hobson’s Pledge, will speak in west Auckland on Saturday about the Treaty of Waitangi.

“Maori and the Crown are not partners in any sense of the word yet an ideology of Treaty partnership has hijacked the Treaty of Waitangi,’’ he said.

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G R Webb - 1 month ago
Three comments. Are the reported comments of Tina Ngata about Cook's death any less an example of institutionalised racism than those levelled last year against one of our councillors? Dame Anne Salmond might be well advised to read some of the back pages of your paper from 1969 just to see what role Maori had in the bi-centennial celebrations. I think she will find it was considerably more than just doing the haka. This year's celebrations will be truly representative when some of Cook's descendants are invited over from Whitby, our pipe band is allowed to play a reel, and there is Morris dancing in the streets.

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