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Trail of blood from day Cook arrived

Opinion Piece

Tiwhatiwha te po, ko te pakerewha, Ko Arikirangi tenei ra te haere nei. (The night is gloomily dark, there is contact from the sea drift cast upon the shore, and Arikirangi yet to come).

Before the dark times, before the empire, in the month of Matahi o te tau, three years BC (Before Cook), these ominous words of warning predicted the coming of the dark times and the response by Arikirangi. It is a tale of compounding injustice, and a trail of blood from the first day Cook arrived.

In 1769 the meteor banner of Mighty England fluttered from the pinnace as Te Maro was shot. The next day Te Rakau and several others were shot, then Rongowhakaata children were killed and others abducted.

The Union Jack was thrust into the ground in the name of God, king and the country of England. Eventually, by the ballot or the bullet, the land would be taken and anyone who got in the way would be killed.

The violence of Cook during those two and a half days was ingrained into the minds of the Turanga people. Heni Materoa's grandfather Kahutia said that Cook was remembered as “Te Paia”, not because of Tupaia the priest but because the old people of Rongowhakaata remembered one word he kept shouting, “Fire!”

The Cook collision was a lightning flash in a brewing storm. Two and a half days in Turanga provided the abstract for the next 250 years. Disregard for sovereignty, stealing land, executions, abduction of Māori children and offering them alcohol, racial profiling, theft, and the dispensation of retributive justice.

In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was intended to be a sincere attempt to colonise with kindness and although it was supposed to bring balance to the force of Māori rights, and colonisation, it instead left them in darkness for more than a century. Where limited governance was consented, there was big government; where traditional chiefly rights were retained; they were obliterated. Where there was equality under the law; a double standard that privileged its creator. Coercion replaced consent. We told them to stop and they kept going. There was no safe word because their words were not safe. What the Treaty meant in 1840 didn't matter; what did was who had the power to interpret the Treaty and the law.

The foundations of Parliament are built with the bricks of anti-Māori sentiment. It has kept politicians in power since the inception of the settlers-government.

Parliament was stacked with old, rich white men, most of whom did not care about “savages”. Thomas Grace, a missionary, observed the injustice of subjugating the largest class to the control of a “hostile body of men” whose interests are opposed to Māori. They projected paternalism and the unrelenting and persisting belief they knew what was best for Māori, better than we knew for ourselves, and that their lifestyles were “civilised” and “superior”.

There are groups within our society that are so traumatised by these historical and persisting Crown actions that they believe conspiracy theories, because all they have known is injustice, and absurd lies make more sense for the truth.

Over the next week we will revisit the dark times as injustice was met with injustice until Ngatapa, where Crown forces were sanctioned by Whitmore to commit crimes against humanity. J.P. Ward describes that people were “shot like dogs, shot in cold blood without a word of a trial, or explanation, and their starved bodies left to rot in the summer sun!” . . . . This was done beneath the aegis of the meteor flag of England.

Tanith Te Waitohioterangi

  1. Peter Jones says:

    Fee fi fo fum I smell the blood of an Englishman. LOL.
    Congratulations on your superb control of the English language.
    Have you ever considered becoming an English teacher?

    1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

      Have you considered doing a PhD in Advanced Conspiracy Theory?

  2. H Hannam says:

    Great piece Tanith, just thinking . . . if Captain Cook hadn’t claimed Aotearoa for the English, the French would have been in like Flynn. I don’t think the French do treaties. The whole Maori population might have been wiped out, so potentially you and I wouldn’t be here today without Captain Cook!

    1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

      The question was asked in 1867 whether to ‘civilise by Hugh Carleton MP ‘it is necessary either to exterminate; the Natives or to civilize them.’

    2. Richard O'Neill says:

      I’d have preferred the French colonising because they have far better food and style.

  3. Lloyd Gretton, Auckland says:

    I am reminded of Keynes’ saying: “Madmen . . . who hear voices in the air are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.” At Ngatapa, it was Major Ropata who ordered his tribesmen to do this massacre. Governor Grey a few years before had quietly allowed the Hauhau imprisoned on a ship to escape.

    1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

      Oh you just wait till you see my Ngatapa column.

      1. G Webb says:

        Can you chuck in Matawhereo as well? Or does that touch a raw nerve?

        1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

          Don’t worry. Matawhero will be done with in due course my good sir.

      2. Graeme Faulkner, Tauranga says:

        Tanith you really should study some history
        You confuse it with fantasy

        1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

          God save the Queen.

          History is less of a corroboration today than it was when you went to school. Why study secondary and tertiary sources disseminated within a flawed curriculum when I have gone back to the source material – the journals and diaries of the oppressors and retrieved their words. There are some skeletons which will be hauled out of the closet.

          As Ngakohu Pera said at Te Muriwai long ago ‘Enei kupu, no Hawaiki, koinei te mauri o Hawaiki ma te Maori e mau ana, ka tikina atu enei kupu ka utaina ki runga i a koe i tenei ra. (These words are of Hawaiki, it is the life force of Hawaiki retained by our people. They will be retrieved and bestowed upon you today).

  4. Laura says:

    Very well written piece, Tanith …. For every defensive/ passive aggressive comment from those who choose to be ignorant about the reality of the history of this country, there are many of us from varying backgrounds who welcome open discussion.

    1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

      Tena koe mo ou whakaaro Laura! (Thank you for your thoughts!)

  5. Louis Kelvin O'Hara, Te Puke says:

    Great opening – I DON”T THINK! The usual failure to recognise the great trail of blood BEFORE HE ARRIVED. Not to mention the slavery, cannibalism and occupation/taking of others’ land. WHEN will we get some balance instead of a heap of biased, emotive tripe?

    1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

      Yes Louis – your argument is ‘the usual failure to recognise the great trail of blood BEFORE HE ARRIVED. Not to mention the slavery, cannibalism and occupation/taking of others’ land because Europe boasts the world’s most ancient fossil record of cannibalism, cruellest and savage conflicts, witch burnings and extractive capitalism. ‘WHEN will we get some balance instead of a heap of biased, emotive tripe?’

      1. Gordon Webb says:

        The problem with your argument is that none of those things happened in NZ. You can’t impute some guilt by association just because the second wave to arrive here came from the northern hemisphere where these things apparently happened many centuries before.

        1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

          You’re the lawyer Gordon. I’m quite sure you know that the moment English laws were applied here – Magna Carta and the bill of rights including common law which precludes state sanctioned murder and arbitrary excesses of state force are ultra vires and to pretend that the law is nullified by social norms or customs is laughable.

    2. Tony says:

      The clear difference is that before Cook, Maori controlled their own destiny. After Cook, not so much.

      Please stop using this as an argument for the decimation of a people. It is both illogical and obscene.

      1. G Webb says:

        Who the hell is trying to justify decimation of a people ?

  6. Roger Handford says:

    In reply to Mr Te Waitohioterangi’s piece on Cook etc – he and his supporters need psychological help.
    These embittered and hostile utterances offer nothing positive.
    These words offer no incentive for the peoples of this land to work towards harmony and brotherhood.
    He seems to be carrying a huge and unbalanced chip on his shoulder.
    I advise him to seek help.
    To the editor – I ask that you stop printing such unhelpful, nasty-spirited, unbalanced, emotive statements – to reject correspondents who clearly have twisted, negative points of view.
    Continuing this kind of one-sided diatribe is a dangerous path to tread.

    1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

      Face the truth, embrace it Roger. If you want to move forward – accept the truth that you are not a high and great emperor to be carried upon a litter.

      ‘Brotherhood’ does not mean that your sins are absolved, take accountability for your participation and the benefits you’ve received.

      1. G R Webb says:

        And Tanith come down off your pedestal and acknowledge the benefits you and your people have received

        1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

          Benefits? What – pestilence, subjugation and death? A permanent underclass persisting into the present? Syphilitic blankets and flour laced with arsenic? Where Land-Sméagol Grey liberated the ‘precious’ land from its oppressive and as James Douglas the Lord Morton said ‘natural’ owners?

          There is no pedestal here. I’m just telling it as it is. Not my fault the truth does not agree with your emotional connections to a Disney-fied past in which Pocahontas chose the coloniser and lived happily ever after.

          Aroha mai e te Kawana.

          1. G R Webb says:

            There’s none so blind than those who won’t look. Tanith, you really are a sad sack.

        2. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

          Easy there stone cold Sgt. George Baker.

  7. Marianne Hepple, Auckland says:

    A couple of questions which I can never get militant Maori activists like yourself to answer.
    1. Would you prefer all NZ citizens (including those who were born here) who have no Maori ancestry to leave? Many are leaving already, voluntarily.
    2. Have you completely disowned your clearly part ‘pakeha’ ancestry?
    And shame on The Gisborne Herald for printing what is clearly HATE SPEECH towards non-Maori.

    1. Aimee Milne says:

      Marianne there is no hate speech in Tanith’s column. I found it interesting. It’s not offensive to tell a historical story.

      1. G Webb says:

        The trail of blood bit is offensive. When did you last see such blood?

    2. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

      Militant? I’m a pacifist.
      But how typical of a coloniser to believe that every non white person is violent.

      Being a pacifist doesn’t mean that I won’t fight injustice with the greatest weapon I possess – my words. As my ancestors said ‘He tao rākau e taea te karo, he tao kupu e kore e taea te Karol’ (The thrust of a spear can be avoided, but not the thrust of words.)

      1. Marianne Hepple says:

        You haven’t answered my perfectly valid questions Tanith. And I note that my comment on the ‘benefits’ of colonisation hasn’t been printed. I happen to know someone in the UK whose ancestors came to NZ mid-19th C. Nursemaid of the family’s child was kidnapped and eaten by Maori. My friend’s ancestors sensibly returned to the UK early 20th C. I wish now my English parents had never set foot in NZ – they had, they thought, a legitimate right at the time 1950/60s. I guess that as an Auckland-born daughter of settler-colonists, I should get out of here a.s.a.p. I was born in a democracy – I sure as hell don’t intend to die in a Maori-ruled ethnostate.

        1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

          Marianne your points are delusion at best. Don’t give yourself too much credit – if I wanted to knock down your sandcastle laced with fallacies, I would have done so.

        2. Ivan says:

          Go on Tanith humour us with an answer to Marianne’s simple questions, what is it you want?

      2. Graeme Faulkner says:

        Tanith
        Constantly peering in the rear view mirror, cherry picking what is seen there, is not a positive way forward in the long term – even if lucrative in the short term by the grace of a well meaning people trying to be accommodating.
        Where is your shining example of a way forward for the future?

        1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

          Learn from the past and accept it Graeme – why are you so concerned about insulating yourself within padded echo chambers? Do you not feel comfortable?

          Can’t move forward until this is addressed because for 254 years it has been pushed aside, and even then – why so much emphasis on the future – is the past too much for you?

  8. Tama Wright, Wellington says:

    Are you embarrassed that our people were overrun by what was – in sporting terms – a third division British Army? Why is there so much hate? In Europe, countries were fighting each other all the time, in New Zealand the tribes were constantly at war. We know atrocities happened both in Europe and here. It’s time to move on from the savagery of both cultures. Those of us with blood from both should know better. We are lucky to live here. The British culture has become the entire world’s dominant culture. We are lucky to put our own spin on it.

    1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

      God Save the Queen!

  9. John Hurley, Christchurch says:

    The late historian Michael King’s speech “Allegiance to One’s Origins” is recorded here. He says his Tierney grandmother used to say that the Irish had much more reason to hate the English (with 400 years of oppression), than the decidedly mild colonisation of New Zealand.
    He also refers to the Chatham’s invasion saying that one should beware as a historian:: “on one thing only history is certain and that is that we all have skeletons in the cupboard”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78OWUyZ-4Eg&t=2632s

  10. Lloyd Gretton, Auckland says:

    In 1984, a very apt year, the Lange Government made it lucrative to hold a collective historical grievance. I knew at the time that would be a disaster. It is parallel to men invading women’s spaces because of academic scribblers decades before.

    1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

      Interesting – NZ Settlements Act was pretty lucrative too. Strange how the 1970s is remembered so well, but the 1870s is forgotten. It’s almost like NZ has something to hide.

  11. John Porter says:

    He Waka Hiringa offers a degree course – Master of Applied Indigenous Knowledge.
    Tanith wouldn’t need to undertake much study to pass!

    1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

      Brilliant – please feel free to protest them on the matter so I can cut straight to writing my PhD.

      1. John Porter says:

        Tanith, your blindness is astounding. There is absolutely zero amount of objectivity in your argument and responses.
        If you chose to accept there are 2 sides to every story you may garner a modicum of credibility.
        There are none so blind as those who do not want to see!

        1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

          Only two sides? Seems a bit two-dimensional. I’m assuming that must be the highest number you can count to. I see through the lies of the Jedi and Sith There are more than fifty shades of grey.

          I’m here to tell it as it is, not a disneyfied version which sanitises, vindicates and absolves war criminals.

  12. John Butler, Rotorua says:

    Of course Maori never practised revenge, or killed members of other tribes in cold blood (often heating them up later to eat), or used force to drive other tribes out of land, land possession being frequently changed through violence. And of course the Europeans never brought anything positive to Maori such as about 50 years additional life on average, a system of land ownership based on law rather than temporarily greater might, a national system of law and order, technology including written language and the wheel. No, no, the evil colonists brought nothing but bad and destroyed the wonderful civilisation enjoyed by pre-European Maori. And the chiefs who signed te Tiriti were all forced to do so against their will. And te Tiriti actually means all kinds of things that weren’t in it and were not referred to by any of the recorded speakers at the time. And it’s perfectly OK to make racist comments and generalisations disparaging ‘old white rich men’ but never about Maori because racism only applies when it’s not against white people. Yeah, yeah.

    1. Gail FitzGerald, Auckland says:

      From a person of Irish ancestry, I agree with comments that the Irish have suffered many atrocities, for example, Google “The Irish Slave Trade – The Forgotten White Slaves”. “Oliver Cromwell and the Seige of Drogheda”. “The Irish Potato Famine”. To this day the population of Ireland has not fully recovered. However, I choose to live in the present and have no ill will to anyone of British ancestry. There’s nothing to be gained by stirring up a victim mentality. Be thankful for what we have in New Zealand, because most of the population on the planet do not have basic necessities such as clean running water or electricity.

    2. Don Brash says:

      John Butler is surely correct. The British settlers brought a huge range of benefits to Maori. One was putting an end to the Musket Wars – wars which killed tens of thousands of Maori by other Maori. That loss of life was many times greater than the lives lost in the so-called New Zealand wars of the 1860s, and more even that all the New Zealanders lost in both World Wars.

      Other benefits included inventions such as the wheel and steel tools, new forms of protein, and written language – and of course an end to slavery and cannibalism.

      And today Maori play leading roles in many aspects of New Zealand life. Two years ago, the Leader and Deputy Leader of National, the Deputy Leader of Labour, the Leader and Deputy Leader of New Zealand First, the Co-Leader of the Greens and the Leader of the ACT Party were all Maori. Colonisation couldn’t have been all bad.

      1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

        Who brought the muskets? What was the cause? iwi with first mover advantage sought to maximise their opportunities in the same manner as Kamehameha.

        All of your points re: technology could easily be refuted based on a number of arguments but I will not bother. Re: Slavery and cannibalism – in the same manner as the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis ‘it’s ironic’ of the hypocritical relationship between Europe and Cannibalism.

        Your second point re: positions is based upon the premise of asserting cultural dominance for eurocentric structures as a benchmark and standard by which development is measured and ‘civilisation’ attained.

      2. Maree Conaglen says:

        All hail.The leader of Hobson’s Pledge and grand master of white supremacy has arrived on the scene.

  13. Lynda Trenberth says:

    This is absolute fantasy! You can’t be serious? James Cook was from Whitby in East Yorkshire, I’m from the same county. Unlike the Spanish, French or Portuguese, he didn’t order the massacre of the natives. Instead they introduced Stone Age Maoris to axes and other basic tools. Also teaching them how to grow food, which was timely, as they were cannibals, killing and eating each other. This country in 2 years, has turned into a historical fable, by so called anti racists. Inverted racism is the order of the day, if you”re white with not even an iota of Maori blood, you’re a second class citizen!

    1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

      Blah blah blah – have you bothered to read Cook or Banks endeavour journals? Because they’re pretty explicit when they said they fired on people. Cook was afraid he was going to get struck in the head by kids so he had them shot at. First shooting o Dr their heads to prove he came in peace, despite James Douglas the Earl of Morton warning about restraining the ‘wanton’ use of firearms and how ineffective firearms were amongst populations unfamiliar with them.

      Banks commented on Hikirangi, Haurangi and Marukawiti’s bravery because even after four others in the boat had been shot they continued to fight by throwing fish, anchor stones and whatever else at Cook to prevent themselves from being abducted by aliens.

      Let’s not forget that Marukawiti was about 10 and the eldest were between the age of 18 – 20.

      But this is a Turanga story – many others were shot at around Aotearoa too. It is not my place to tell their stories.

  14. Bill Campbell says:

    Check out the Maori Claims Settlement Bill – Third reading :- https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/combined/HansDeb_20211123_20211123_24
    The shortened version is Willie Jackson and the Labour Government’s admission that the Moriori were here first and, the fact is, Maori were the first colonizers of New Zealand and performed atrocities upon the Moriori, driving them out of New Zealand – to be forced to reside on the Chatham Islands.
    I believe the Treaty settlements should be paid back to every tax payer of New Zealand and the Moriori should receive some sort of compensation from the present-day Maori.
    This proves that Don Brash is right and the Treaty of Waitangi is a farce of the highest order.

    1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

      I find your lack of logic disturbing.
      Moriori are Polynesian – and there is significant scholarly debate disproving the Moriori myth framed by S Percy Smith and others both at the time and in more recent time. It is based on the Eurocentric understanding of domination and subordination and that a ‘fair skinned’ and therefore ‘superior’ group of Maori displaced an ‘inferior’ and ‘dark skinned’ Moriori people through acts of cannibalism or other alleged fantasies of what would occur in a ‘Hobbesian state of nature’ is both ridiculous and contemptuous.

      Maori are Polynesian. Te Waipounamu, Rekohu and people of the Pacific are Descendants of Maui, Toi and Rauru. We are all one family.

      Your logic is that the Validity of Don Brash is proven because Willie Jackson said something is hilarious.

      1. Olly Kissling says:

        What is the point of printing such negative narrative? All it has done is add more fuel to the fire of “hate speech”.
        It would seem that a young person with some mixed blood feels it necessary to continue to stir up unproductive opinions and for what purpose ..Moving on from the past is surely the better course to take. After all throughout history there are countless tales of barbaric action.
        It does seem sad however that the Gisborne Herald finds it necessary to print the Opinion piece when there are numerous examples of other scholars views being removed or banned from publication.

        1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

          How does the truth fuel hate speech? There is nothing hateful in my words. It’s not my fault that people don’t have the capacity to take accountability and instead try to hide white elephant or history underneath the rug.

          Acceptance is the first step to recovery.

      2. Bill Campbell says:

        You obviously did not read the content of the parliamentary Hansard recording of the third reading of the Maori Claims Settlement Bill. I think these legal reports of the past atrocities and the appropriate apologies will take precedence over the ramblings of a Maori colonizer such as yourself.

        1. Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi says:

          What a badly pronounced apology, a flawed premise and an experiment in natural groupings with fake boundaries set by Injustice Williams and at best a two cent in the dollar deal?

          1. Gordon Webb says:

            Your bitterness descending into ad hominem attacks adds nothing to the discussion.