What does Parihaka teach us about nationhood?

Parihaka settlement by George Clarendon Beale c. 1881 (Puke Ariki)





The Crown may have apologised for historic atrocities against Māori at Parihaka in Taranaki, but the process of reconciliation is ongoing.

This year’s annual Vaughan Park, Sir Paul Reeves Memorial Lecture at Massey University tackles the issues of restoration, redress and reconciliation with two speakers steeped in these difficult processes.

Judge Sarah Reeves (Te Atiawa), the daughter of Sir Paul Reeves, is a judge with the Māori Land Court and a presiding officer of the Waitangi Tribunal. Puna Wano-Bryant (Taranaki, Te Atiawa, Ngāti Awa) is an iwi development advisor for Te Kāhui o Taranaki and was chairperson for the Parihaka Papakainga Trust throughout the recent Parihaka reconciliation process with the Crown.

Massey University Senior Māori Advisor, Margaret Kawharu (Ngāti Whātua) says the lecture gives people an opportunity to hear from those intimately involved with the process of reconciliation. “I think the public often hear of settlements and think when the cheque is handed over that’s it. But it’s really only the beginning and I think people need to be better informed about what’s happening so communities can move on together.”

In his later years, Sir Paul Reeves, a former New Zealand Governor General and Anglican bishop, focused on the quality of the relationship between Māori and the Crown and questioned whether settlement processes could provide a true basis for reconciliation.

The lecture, which is being held on Wednesday night at Massey Business School on the Auckland campus, will look at the experiences of the Parihaka community as they rose to the challenge of negotiating a framework for reconciliation with the Crown.

Full details of the event can be found here


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