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  • Originally published 07/30/2013

    Historian bemoans 'snap-frozen' Maori culture

    Maori culture has been cheapened, the haka has become a corrupted spectacle and Maori tourism villages are degrading, according to one of the country's leading historians.Paul Moon's criticisms come in his latest book, Encounters: The Creation of New Zealand, where the Auckland University of Technology academic takes a look at the changing New Zealand identity over the last couple of centuries.Speaking on Firstline this morning, Dr Moon said it was about time someone took aim at the version of Maori culture we – and especially the tourism industry – present to the world."For a long time, we've had a snap-frozen version of Maori culture that's been around since the late 19th century," he says....

  • Originally published 07/09/2013

    Te reo a 'poor cousin', tribunal told

    Te reo is an official language of New Zealand - but it's still treated as a poor cousin of English, the Waitangi Tribunal has been told.Kaumatua Erimana Taniora addressed the Tribunal yesterday about his hapu's loss of land and language as the third week of stage two hearings into Ngapuhi's Treaty claims got underway at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri. This week Whangaroa hapu are having their say....

  • Originally published 05/14/2013

    Protection for south coast massacre site urged

    A massacre of 50 Maori on Wellington's south coast has been brought to light thanks to a lucky Google search.Historian Elsdon Best wrote a comprehensive history of Wellington Maori, The Land of Tara and They Who Settled It, in about 1919.However, an incident in which northern Maori swept into Wellington and killed 50 Ngati Ira iwi at Tarakena Bay about 1820 came to his attention only after his book was published.He told fellow historian Henry Christie, who wrote about it in 1931. Miramar military historian Allan Jenkins came across Christie's record of the massacre about 30 years ago but, despite numerous searches, was unable to find it again....