Sorry (2)

In 1881 in a tiny rural village
on fertile volcanic land
an indigenous community went
about their daily rounds, tended
fields, gardens, animals, baked
bread, children played outside
………… in 1881 …………

White settlers fleeing dire
poverty in their home country
craved this fertile land, told
their government it should be
theirs. So their army moved
on this village, claiming false
ownership boundary disputes.

This pacifist village and their
leaders in peaceful passive
resistance stayed still as this
army approached, attacked men
and children, raped women
arrested men, took them away
to prison, drove women and
children off their traditional land.

136 years later descendants of
villagers and soldiers met again
in ceremonial gathering at the
village. The government paid
reparations, apologised.

So late, after so many years.
We hope this helps them
along the paths they seek.

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Sorry (2)

4 thoughts on “Sorry (2)

    1. This is a particularly helpful web link, https://nzhistory.govt.nz/keyword/parihaka but if you google “Parihaka” you will find many more references. There was a lot of fighting in New Zealand, mainly in the 1860’s and 1870’s, between Maori and white settlers over land, particularly in the Waikato region with all its rich silt soil from the river floods over the years, and in Taranaki with its rich volcanic soil. Many Maori villages were attacked in the same way as the village of Parihaka, but what made this attack even more horrible was the fact that the villagers had chosen to be Pacifist, and were literally like lambs to the slaughter. The incident was memorialised further in a song “Parihaka” by Tim Finn of bands Split ENZ and Crowded House, which he wrote with long established Maori band “Herbs” You could find it on google or YouTube.

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  1. Thank you so much for the references. I’ll enjoy looking at them this afternoon. I had a vague understanding that there was fighting in New Zealand between white settler and Maori i the past, but no knowledge. Thanks to your poetry and you, I can now rectify that situation. Your outline above reminds me of much that was done to native Americans by white settlers in this country. But you already knew that!

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    1. Yes the white settlers treated indigenous people badly in allt he countries they settled – invaded. There were always some who befriended the native people, but they were outnumbered and not supported.

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