Academic sparks outcry for comparing Britain's colonisation of New Zealand to HolocaustHistorians in the News
A leading academic has sparked outrage after comparing the Holocaust that killed six million Jews to Britain's colonisation of New Zealand.
Language lecturer Keri Opai claimed that New Zealand's native indigenous Maori were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder following the 'holocaust' of British rule.
But last night the President of the New Zealand Jewish Council slammed the Maori academic for 'trivialising state sponsored genocide'.
During the New Zealand Wars of 1845-1872, which saw the Maori defended their tribal lands from British colonial forces, 20,000 Maori were killed while hundreds of thousands more were driven from their homes.
Lecturer Opai told the Radio New Zealand programme what had happened to Maori during colonisation could be forgiven - but not forgotten.
He said: 'If you really knew what went on, all the awful stuff, that really does break down to a holocaust....
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