Monday 9 August 2010

Too little context in two-part Tuhoe report [updated]

Part Two of the Waitangi Tribunal’s report into the history of government actions against Tuhoe has just been released.

_Quote At 1000 pages, it … is weighty reading…. The report … describes … sweeping confiscations, … and how … land was removed by fraudulent methods. And it describes unjust war too, highlighting a series of engagements from the end of 1865 to May 1866.”

But there’s something missing, as one local commentator mentioned on Friday What the Waitangi Tribunal’s sanitisers historians “neglect to do,” said that commentator, “is set those dreadful deeds in the context of the equally dreadful deeds that preceded them.”

That writer is Chris Trotter, who I’m both pleased and astonished to see has joined me in helping to indicate some of that context, and some of those dreadful deeds, without which any judgement about “injustices” committed by the government are moot.  “Tuhoe picked the wrong side in the war to decide what sort of country New Zealand would become,” concludes Chris.  And so they did.


UPDATE:  “Conveniently one-eyed” Lew at KiwiPolitico calls this insistence on context-keeping--by insisting on knowledge of the full context of Tuhoe’s history, he says, both Chris and I “seem to be of the view that the Crown would have been entirely justified in leaving not one stone upon another, not one man, woman or child alive.”  Go figure. I wonder what he’d say about the bomb that ended the War in the Pacific.

1 comment:

Lew said...

Well, no, PC. It's not the insistence on full context to which I object: that is well and good. It's the assertion that, because of some missing context, the whole thing is a sham -- and attendant implication that they don't have any real rights anyway, because of some (terrible) things their ancestors did generations ago, and "we" won, they lost.

It's ahistorical.