Lest we forget them all

Each year Anzac Day rightly reminds us of the sacrifice soldiers made, and of the senseless waste of life and futility of war.

Yet one must ask why there is no commemoration reminding us to weep for those who fell in the country's darkest days when Maori slaughtered the peaceful Patupaiarehe, the Turehu, Moriori, and the now extinct Ngati Kapupungapunga. The latter being people who occupied the Waikato before Tainui Maori swept them from the land.

Why are there no monuments to this incredible tragedy? Why is the massacre of this country's first settlers all but absent from our popular and accepted history books?

Arguably 100,000 descendants of the earliest settlers lost their lives in the bloody conquests that followed – many times more than the 18,000 New Zealanders who perished in WWI or the 12,000 who died in WWII.

Why won't New Zealand's politicians and academics recognise and honour the original inhabitants of New Zealand as they honour those that perished in two world wars? They must learn the truth from Pope Francis when he said, “Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it”.

I Brougham, Wanganui.



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Sunset over Tauranga Bridge Marina. Photo: Linda Howe.

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