December 07, 2020
Archive reveals fight against land loss
The winner of a Judith Binney writing award says it’s a chance to bring to light the contribution of one of his Ngāti Kahungunu tūpuna to New Zealand history.
The trust set up by the late historian has made four awards for next year, including one for Professor David Tipene-Leach and archivist Waitangi Teepa to delve into an archive of more than 1000 letters and petitions sent between 1860 and 1890 to Henare Matua of Pōrangahau.
Dr Tipene-Leach, who is professor of Māori and indigenous research at Eastern Institute of Technology in Napier, says the collection was entrusted to him by elders about 20 years ago.
They’re from rangatira protesting about the way they were losing their land.
"So Henare Matua was one who was busy taking things to court, taking things back to parliament. He was the founder of what's called in Ngāti Kahungunu the Repudiation Movement. Some people went to war. Some people went to court. Henare Matua went to court to repudiate land sales," Professor Tipene-Leach says.
The other three Judith Binney awards, worth $25,000 each, went to Christchurch researchers.
Kirsty Dunn intend to make a book out of her PhD thesis on the ways various animal species are represented in Māori writing in English.
Sarah Johnston will further research and write about the output of the National Broadcasting Service Mobile Recording Units which accompanied New Zealand forces in action during World War Two, producing a collection of 1600 fragile lacquer discs that brought the war home to radio listeners.
Madi Williams, who has worked on bringing iwi, hapū, and whānau perspectives to New Zealand history, will convert her PhD thesis on Ngāti Kuia histories into a book focussed on the pūrākau of Ngāti Kuia.
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