Anahera Herbert-Graves regurgitates the ‘ploughmen of Parihaka’ (May 28).
The thrust of that matter was that for 14 years these Parihaka people illegally squatted on legally confiscated land (result of earlier tribal rebellion). As she admits, they wreaked havoc on neighbouring settler farms by ploughing fields. Other recorded incidences involved stealing horses, the pulling down of a newly built stockyard, placing a toll on passing travellers and harassing storekeepers.
This den of ‘pacifists’ also harboured fugitives from the law, kept company with rebel Hau Haus, and were found to have a stockpile of 250 firearms and ammunition.
Later she touches on Bastion Point. Records show that most of Auckland was sold by the tribes except for 5.3ha at Bastion Point, which was taken under the Public Works Act for military use in 1886; £1500 was paid in compensation.
In today’s money, £1500 equals approximately $282,000. The median price per hectare of New Zealand farmland in April 2015 was $28,668. This means government compensation in 1886 was approximately double the per hectare value of Bastion Point land. Ngati Whatua was more than adequately compensated for Bastion Point in 1886.
In her article she quotes that “. . . the protest and eviction led to the establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal
. . .” The facts are that the Waitangi Tribunal was established in 1975 and the Bastion Point eviction was approximately three years later, in 1978. Further, Whina Cooper’s land march arrived at Parliament three days after the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 was passed.
Need I say more? GEOFF PARKER