New Zealand Wars Day

Want a depressing read?  Check out the submissions made to the Maori Affairs Select Committee about the petition made by Otorohanga College students Waimarama Anderson and Leah Bell and signed by 12,000 people, which put forward the idea of having an annual day to commemorate the New Zealand Wars.

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Here are some of the submissions:

Waimarama Anderson and Leah Bell [the original petitioners] tell lies about NZ history. The so-called “land wars” were in fact punishments of Maoris for repeatedly breaking the law and for rebelling in various ways against the law. This is the truth.

and

The New Zealand Land Wars were no more than a Maori rebellion against the Law of the Land. Maori had signed the Treaty of Waitangi which brought them under English law and these rebellious actions were unlawful. The English acted within the law in order to stamp out the rebellion by Maori. It is inappropriate to commemorate such unlawfulness. It would be akin to the Australians suggesting that they have a national day of commemoration for Ned Kelly or the Eureka Stockade. This has never been mooted by the Australians for very obvious reasons.

and

If NZ Government goes ahead with this outrageously undemocratic proposal all of us Maori and Pakeha will surely pay the price,again,and again.  To commemorate the “Land Wars” as such, will give the aggrieved another chance to re-write history with the verbal “myths and legends” of old. The “old and creative stories” [not of historical and recorded fact] will further alienate or embitter us all.

and

According to the early 20th century historian James Cowan 2899 lives were lost in the armed conflicts in the 19th century in NZ. This includes Maori’s on both sides of the conflicts and non Maori.
These figures compare with the 1st World War total of 18,000 killed and 12,000 killed in the 2nd World War.
A day to commemorate those who were lost in conflict is a memorial day we already have on 25 April each year.
We are totally against instituting another day.

and

If the point of the day is to celebrate the colonial troop & loyal Maori who fought to up hold law and order against the rebels and terrorists that wanted to continue the traditional culture of warfare, cannibalism, slavery, rape, murder, utu and general mayhem then I’m all for it because we should celebrate the triumph of good over evil. However, we all know this is not the case and it is really just another attempt to revise and twist our history to suit the agenda of modern day activists who make a very good living out of the Treaty industry.
Since these racist seperatists will just try to use this day to further entrench an unjustifiable sense of guilt into the national psyche, then there’s no way the government should continue to encourage and feed this divisive schism being cultivated by the radical Maori who just want to “divide and rule”.
If the Maori want a day to remember Maori lost in wars over land they should focus on the Musket wars of the early 1800s where more Maori where killed by other Maori than have been killed in any conflict since.
Or what about a day to remember the Moriori and the atrocities and ultimately, genocide waged upon them by the Maori.

I am interested in the idea that is put forward by many of these submitters that ‘we already have Anzac day, which commemorates dead people, so why do we need another one’ – but when was the last time anyone talked about the dead people of the New Zealand Wars on Anzac Day?

And of course they also say ‘why would we want to talk about the New Zealand Wars, when we all know it was all about xxx?’.  Why wouldn’t an annual day where everyone, even the ignorant, could talk about the issues that the wars raise be quite… well… helpful.

If you want a good read on the amount of money spent on commemorating the New Zealand Wars as opposed to World War One, having a look at Vincent O’Malley’s opinion piece here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/67944795/Historical-amnesia-over-New-Zealands-own-wars

If you want to see more (but don’t say I didn’t warn you) check out this link, then look at the submissions that refer to ‘Petition of Waimarama Anderson and Leah Bell’:

http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/sc/documents/evidence?Criteria.Parliament=-1&Criteria.Author=Māori%20Affairs%20Committee&Criteria.PageNumber=2

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