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In her recent book Ko Taranaki Te Maunga (Taranaki Is The Mountain) Rachel Buchanan revisits the brutal 1881 invasion by 1,500 colonial troops of the large and prosperous Maori pa (fortified village) of Parihaka in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The Maori lands in Taranaki were confiscated by colonial fiat, contrary to commitments in the Treaty of Waitangi signed in 1840.
Since the sacking of Parihaka, several apologies and settlements have been made. In her book, Rachel asks, do these settlements constitute a continuation of earlier forms of colonial violence, seeking redemption on the Crown’s terms rather than those of Taranaki iwi? A powerful part of this story tracks the deployment by Taranaki iwi of creative forms of non-violent resistance first to white settlers who lobbied the colonial government to confiscate land; and then more recently to any state imposition of final closure.
Building on the arguments in Ko Taranaki Te Maunga, Rachel Buchanan (Taranaki and Te Atiawa) will join panellists Kirsty Gover and Tim Neale to explore the diverse histories of Parihaka and to ask what forms of apology and redress might reflect the perspectives of the direct descendants of those who have experienced extreme injustice, and might help to ameliorate enduring psychological hurt associated with colonial brutality.Back to top