Post-Colonialism and the Reinterpretation of New Zealand’s Colonial Narrative: Heke’s War

Andrew K. S. Piper

Abstract


Post-colonialism has provided a useful mindset by which contemporary historians can challenge previously held notions of national history, or see better how the national narrative can be considered from a perspective other than that of a grand imperial story of nation building. This paper reveals how post-colonialism enriches, and can often provide, a more accurate, balanced and nuanced comprehension of the accepted version of past events. It specifically demonstrates how post-colonialism has also opened a window whereby the Māori’s own story of the New Zealand Wars challenges the imperial version. The imperial vision, one which glorified and exaggerated British military prowess, had downplayed Māori strategic thinking and falsified the historic record. This is evident in the way in which the first of the New Zealand Wars, Heke’s War or the Northern War of 1845-46, has usually been interpreted. In this case, and generally, post-colonialism can create a new collective understanding of the past, one that contributes to improving the race relations between different peoples and the lands they inhabit.


Keywords


Post-Colonialism; New Zealand Wars; Māori; Ngāpuhi; Hōne Heke;

Full Text:

PDF

References


Belich, James, The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian Interpretation of Racial Conflict (Auckland: Penguin Books, 1986).

Belich, James, ‘I Shall Not Die’ Titokowaru’s War New Zealand, 1868-9 (Wellington: Allen & Unwin New Zealand in association with the Port Nicholson Press, 1989).

Belich, James, Making Peoples: A History of New Zealanders From Polynisian Settlement to the End of the Nineteenth Century (Auckland: Penguin Books, 1996).

Belich, James, ‘The war that Britain lost’, episode 1, The New Zealand Wars, DVD, directed by Tainui Stephens (Auckland: Landmark Productions, 1998).

Byrnes, Giselle, The Waitangi Tribunal and New Zealand History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

Byrnes, Giselle, ‘Past the last post? Time, causation and treaty claims history’, Law Text Culture, vol. 7, no. 1, 2003, pp. 252-276.

Condliffe, J.B., and W.T. Airey, A Short History of New Zealand, 7th edn, (Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1954).

Duara, Prasentjit, ‘Postcolonial history’, in A Companion to Western Historical Thought, Lloyd Kramer and Sarah Maza (eds) (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2007).

Cowan, James, The New Zealand wars: a history of the Maori campaigns and the pioneering period. Vol. 1. (Wellington: Government Printer, 1922).

Douglas, Arthur P., The Dominion of New Zealand (London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1909).

Holt, Edgar, The Strangest War: The Story of the Māori Wars 1860-1872 (London: Putnam and Company, 1962).

Hopkins-Weise, Jeff, Blood Brothers: The ANZAC Genesis (Kent Town, South Australia, Wakefield Press, 2009).

Kawharu, I.H. (ed.), Waitangi: Maori and Pakeha Perspectives of the Treaty of Waitangi (Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1989).

Miller, Harold, New Zealand (London: Hutchinson’s University Library, 1950).

Morris, Ewan, ‘History never repeats? The Waitangi Tribunal and New Zealand history’, History Compass, vol. 1, 2003, pp. 1-13.

Orange, Claudia, The Treaty of Waitangi (Wellington: Allen & Unwin, 1987).

Piper, Andrew, ‘Post-colonialism and the reinterpretation of New Zealand’s colonial narrative: The Wairua massacre’, Australian Folklore, no. 28, Nov. 2013, pp. 80-92.

Reed, A.H., The Story of New Zealand, 2nd edn, (Wellington: A.H. & A.W. Reed, 1946).

Said, Edward, Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient (London: Penguin, 1995).

Shrimpton, A.W. ‘The Crown Colony Period (1840-1853)’, in Maori and Pakeha: A History of New Zealand, A.W. Shrimpton and Alan E. Mulgan (eds) (Auckland: Whitcombe and Tombs, c.1921).

Smith, Philippa Mein, A Concise History of New Zealand (Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Ward, Alan, An Unsettled History: Treaty Claims in New Zealand Today (Wellington, Bridget Williams, 1999).

Wright, Matthew, Two Peoples, One Land: The New Zealand Wars (Auckland: Reed Publishing, 2006).


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2016