Kia ora. Nga mihi aroha ki a koe.
I hope you are coping with the turmoil covid has sent our way. It arrived soon after I wrote my last book. A hard task but a necessary one. Beyond the Boundaries of Time shares where my people came from and the historical events that shaped my life. And everything that made writing Song of Waitaha so difficult.
Beyond the Boundaries allowed me to lift aside some of the darkness cast over the last 30 years. My mantra has been… while the truth cannot change the past, it can heal it. So, my last book helped set the record straight, revealing much that has been hidden. It’s a very personal account that also encompasses a broad sweep of world history.
Studying the past and has been my life. So, I am thrilled that at last we are going to begin teaching the truth of our nation’s story. Exploring the history of the NZ Land wars and the colonial days is vital. And we have good teachers to do it.
However, I feel we will fall short when teaching the history of Maori settlement. I still fear academics will dismiss the Maori histories that go back 1800 years to the arrival of the Waitaha and Rapuwai tribes. They add another 1000 years to human habitation of this land and wonderful lore and wisdom.
Because I wrote Song of Waitaha, people tended to attribute those histories to me, but they are wrong. I was just the messenger. I loved writing the old histories and bringing them to life. Those histories came from the leading Maori Elders of that time. To reinforce that point I sent a 12page submission to the Minister of Education and the History Curriculum Committee last year. I placed some of the names of the key Elders there.
Our western-trained academics tend to dismiss what the Waitaha tribal Elders say. Yet, I found their knowledge, integrity and humility inspiring.
While we are taking some big steps towards the truth, we seem to lack the courage to go where we should. So, being in my 85th year, I leave the younger generations to light the way. The Elders said to me in 1990 that it might be 50 years before the nation understands, and accepts, what they shared in Song of Waitaha. I am running out of years.
If you wish to go deeper into our past I have attached my submission to the Minister to this newsletter. It’s a summary of what I have been writing for 30 years.
By the way. The 7th reprint of Wisdom of the Four Winds is underway in Taiwan. When the shipment actually arrives is covid dependent. It will help us heaps if you do not order ahead as that creates another layer of admin we do not need. When the ship reaches our shores, we will let you know.
Be well! Be safe!
Arohanui from Barry and Cushla.