September 25, 2019
Making Cook invisible no path forward
Te Rarawa chair Haami Piripi says the far north iwi is keen to welcome the Endeavour and other vessels of the Tuia 250 flotilla, even if like their ancestors they have to paddle out to meet them.
The neighbouring Ngāti Kahu Rūnanga has vetoed the replica of Captain Cook's ship from calling in to Mangonui, but iwi at Mangonui and Houhora with a connection to Cook's first voyage say they're also keen to be part of the commemoration.
Mr Piripi says the controversy is not about Captain Cook but about the whole psyche of colonisation.
"We're in a small world, a much smaller world than it was in 1769 and it's a very difficult thing to pass judgement on the past. The characters, the events and even the outcomes are all interpretive and who really knows. If you make your history invisible by turning your back on it, how does that take you forward?" he says.
Mr Piripi says attending the Oceania exhibition in London and Paris, which featured an ancient Te Rarawa lintel, he was struck by the respect the British and French had for the Māori they encountered.
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