November 08, 2018
NZ Wars research opens door to healing
A pair who have won Marsden funding for a study into how memories of the New Zealand Wars are passed on say they hope it will give people and communities an opportunity to heal.
Victoria University sociologist Joanna Kidman and historian Vincent O’Malley from HistoryWorks say the idea came from visiting battle sites for research into Dr O’Malley’s book on the Waikato War, and from looking at reactions to a petition by students from Otorohanga College calling for a national day of commemoration for the Wars.
The project will combine archival research, ethnography and hīkoi to examine contested memories of conflict in Māori tribal society and the wider New Zealand nation.
Associate Professor Kidman says in many cases they are stories tribal groups carried on their own bug for which there is now wider interest.
"They are difficult, they are uncomfortable, because they are talking about events where huge violence was associated with them, but by opening them up, we begin to give ourselves opportunities to heal," she says.
Joanna Kidman says she is particularly interested in how the stories shape the identities of young people in tribal groups.
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