Two Great New Zealanders; The Wisdom of Tamati Waka Nene and Apirana Ngata
Pages: 328 (+ 8 photos)
Inter-tribal warfare was a central feature of Maori culture but, as the carnage grew with the coming of the musket, many northern chiefs became disillusioned with the constant demands of utu and moved away from their old habits to the ways of peace as advocated by the missionaries.
Tamati Waka Nene was one of them and he made the keynote speech at Waitangi, urging the chiefs to sign the Treaty as a way of ending the killing.
Apirana Ngata grew up in two cultures and, as an M. P. and Government minister, became a spokesman for Maori, seeking to preserve their worthwhile traditions while rejecting the more harmful like witchcraft.
The examples of these two men show a way ahead for 21st century New Zealand - away from separatism and the glorification of the deeds of long dead warrior chiefs, and towards the one nation that was envisaged in the Treaty of Waitangi.
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