Au­thor in ‘se­ri­ous’ con­di­tion

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Carly Tawhiao

AU­THOR and his­to­rian Dame Ju­dith Bin­ney, renowned for un­cov­er­ing some of New Zealand’s most hor­rific tales, has be­come in­volved in her own.

Fam­ily and friends are pray­ing for the Mt Eden res­i­dent’s re­cov­ery af­ter she was hit by a truck on Princes St in the city on Fri­day while on her way to an Auck­land Uni­ver­sity Press func­tion.

The 69-year-old’s con­di­tion at Auck­land Hospi­tal re­mains se­ri­ous but sta­ble af­ter she suf­fered ma­jor head in­juries in the ac­ci­dent.

Dame Ju­dith had spent the week launch­ing her lat­est book En­cir­cled Lands: Te Urew­era, 1820 – 1921.

It is a doc­u­mented ac­count of how fraud and force chipped away the Tuhoe tribe’s self-gov­ern­ing ter­ri­tory of the Urew­eras more than 130 years ago.

Dur­ing an in­ter­view with the Cen­tral Leader at her home last Wed­nes­day, Dame Ju­dith re­layed the grand re­cep­tion she re­ceived dur­ing the bless­ing of her book at Waikirikiri Marae in Ru­a­toki.

What started as a small event turned into a huge af­fair well-re­ceived by the Tuhoe peo­ple, who hon­oured the au­thor by be­stow­ing her with a Maori name, To­mairangi o te Aroha, and pre­sent­ing her with an adze.

En­cir­cled Lands ex­pands on a Wai­tangi Tri­bunal re­port she was com­mis­sioned to re­search and write in 2002.

How­ever it had to be put on hold for two years while Dame Ju­dith was di­ag­nosed, treated and re­cov­ered from breast can­cer.

“I al­ways in­tended to come back to it. I wanted to get it out there for Tuhoe and the com­mu­nity at large,” she said.

“It has brought me a very great deal of sat­is­fac­tion. Any­one who has any in­ter­est in a buried past would ap­pre­ci­ate this book. It is a hor­rific story. The bru­tal­ity in­volved re­lated to the fear that was largely in the minds of those that looked in from the out­side – which is still hap­pen­ing to­day.

“Al­though it was very well doc­u­mented it was hard to find.

“But I did find it and it de­serves to be read and it de­serves to be known.”

The re­tired Auck­land Uni­ver­sity his­tory pro­fes­sor and for­mer ed­i­tor of the New Zealand Jour­nal of His­tory has al­ways been in­ter­ested in “odd­ball peo­ple who are will­ing to stand out­side the re­ceived frame of so­ci­ety”.

Re­la­tion­ships be­tween Maori and Pakeha pro­vide many ex­am­ples of this, which is why it is a com­mon theme in her writ­ing, she said.

Turn to P2

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Tragic ac­ci­dent: Dame Ju­dith Bin­ney is in a se­ri­ous but sta­ble con­di­tion at Auck­land Hospi­tal af­ter be­ing hit by a truck just days af­ter the launch of her lat­est book En­cir­cled Lands: Te Urew­era, 1820 – 1921.

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