July 11, 2022
Māori culture and rights highlighted in anniverary list
The half centuries of the Māori Land March and the first novel by a Māori author are among the anniversaries which will be officially commemorated over the next five years.
Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni say the programme will give all New Zealanders the opportunity to learn, be immersed in and meaningfully engage with events that have shaped Aotearoa New Zealand’s history.
It starts with next year’s centenary of the establishment of the Ross Dependency in Antarctica.
Heinemann published Tangi by Witi Ihimaera in 1973, a year after his short story collection Pounamu Pounamu.
In 1974 the Accident Compensation scheme was launched, and that year also marked the start of the Dawn Raids mainly targeting Polynesian workers.
Also in 2024, there will be an acknowledgement of the 75th anniversary of Ruru Karaitianga’s Blue Smoke, the first record to be both recorded and pressed in New Zealand.
In 2025 there will be activities to commemorate the 1975 Māori Land March from Te Hāpua to Wellington by Dame Whina Cooper, and the following year is the 75h anniversary of the start of the 1951 Waterfront Lockout.
Minister Seuloni says the national commemoration policy has been changed to group anniversaries by common threads, with the themes for the next five years including cultural identity, Māori rights and representation, creating a social safety net and our relationship with Pacific countries.