History expert queried
History professor Alexander Gillespie of Waikato University is very selective with reportage of the Land Wars. Some facts he chose not to mention. Fatalities in the entire period, 4000, were less than 10 per cent of those killed in the Musket Wars, Maori by Maori and considerably fewer than Hongi’s and Te Rauparaha’s violent raids.
Were he aware of colonial history he would realise how inappropriate were his comments on the suitability of the date the Declaration of Independence for annual remembrance.
The request of the Northern Tribes, Ngapuhi, for aid from Britain was because of their fear that other tribes, having obtained muskets, might seek ‘utu’ for the thousands that Hongi Hika, had slaughtered in his southern rampages.
The Declaration of Independence,apart from appropriating a British mercantile flag as their emblem, came to naught.
The subsequent confederation with other tribes never occurred. There were no further meetings. Michael King in his Penguin History called it a ‘contrived ceremony’ with no constitutional significance.
The Treaty settlements he claimed as verification of the injustices of the colonial government were simply politically motivated largesse by Christopher Finlayson for the National Party to gratify their Maori parliamentary partners and the rubber stamp approval given by the Waitangi Tribunal to all Maori claims.
Bryan Johnson, Omokoroa.