Moving out of shadows

LETTER

The latest online Gisborne Herald poll result showing 68 percent oppose the proposal from Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri to commemorate a Tairawhiti land wars day comes as no surprise. Many Gisborne Herald readers are middle income to semi-retired Pakeha with little or no knowledge of our local Turanga and Tairawhiti histories, which in itself is a major issue for our community.

As the Greek philosopher Socrates said, “an unexamined life is not worth living”. So what does that mean for the 68 percent opposed to embracing the events of the past? Putting it bluntly, it means you need to wake up and get your head examined.

Yes, 71 defenders of Waerenga a Hika were killed. Yes, many local Maori were unjustly imprisoned on the Chathams in the aftermath. Yes, thousands of acres of prime Maori land were illegally taken by the government. Yes, one of the direct outcomes was the Matawhero killings. Yes, the land wars here in Turanga had a major roll-on effect for local iwi where the shadow of racism, bigotry and inequality continue to linger.

Yet only through a shared desire to know our past, by way of respectful dialogue and curriculum-based teachings, can we move out of the shadows and allow our children and their kids to enjoy the warmth of pride in knowing who they are.

Joe Pihema

The latest online Gisborne Herald poll result showing 68 percent oppose the proposal from Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri to commemorate a Tairawhiti land wars day comes as no surprise. Many Gisborne Herald readers are middle income to semi-retired Pakeha with little or no knowledge of our local Turanga and Tairawhiti histories, which in itself is a major issue for our community.

As the Greek philosopher Socrates said, “an unexamined life is not worth living”. So what does that mean for the 68 percent opposed to embracing the events of the past? Putting it bluntly, it means you need to wake up and get your head examined.

Yes, 71 defenders of Waerenga a Hika were killed. Yes, many local Maori were unjustly imprisoned on the Chathams in the aftermath. Yes, thousands of acres of prime Maori land were illegally taken by the government. Yes, one of the direct outcomes was the Matawhero killings. Yes, the land wars here in Turanga had a major roll-on effect for local iwi where the shadow of racism, bigotry and inequality continue to linger.

Yet only through a shared desire to know our past, by way of respectful dialogue and curriculum-based teachings, can we move out of the shadows and allow our children and their kids to enjoy the warmth of pride in knowing who they are.

Joe Pihema

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Poll

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    ​Do you think Gladstone Road Bridge should have its concrete parapet walls converted to steel railings on one or both of its sides as part of the upgrade and widening under way?

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