Pride in ancestry
Like Vaughn Humberstone (Letters, May 27), I’m very proud of my ancestors.
In fact, I’ve just finished a long account of their three-month sail here in 1863.
He claims his forebears ‘‘worked very hard . . . for the benefit of all New Zealanders’’ when in reality they worked very hard for their survival and to make Aotearoa into a mirror image of their own homeland.
My ancestors, tenant farmers from Scotland, were told they could buy a farm here, but forgot to ask the provenance of the land they were being offered.
I am still mighty proud of them. But that doesn’t stop me from understanding the means by which they gained a foothold in this place and prospered.
I can’t rectify their misunderstandings, but I can know what they were, and who suffered because of them.
Perhaps Europeans did have no taste for cannibalism, but we certainly understood genocide. Think the hundreds of years of European tribal wars, or Auschwitz 75 years back. Michael Keir-Morrissey,