Saturday, August 30, 2014

Controversy, a media storm and a meeting.

Below is a chapter from 'Journey to a Hanging' that I decided to edit out. I'm putting it on the blog as I believe it raises some interesting questions about political correctness/political interference in Creative New Zealand grants and the nature of intellectual freedom in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Originally this chapter was in the first third of the Volkner part of the book. 

The conclusion of Wittgenstein's Tracatus: 'What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.'

I had underestimated how controversial anything to do with Kereopa Te Rau was. I found this out when I had my first media interview about this book.  
This is what happened. 
I was doing a telephone interview with a stringer for the Dom. Post. He was struggling to understand what was the area of my subject. (I hadn’t managed the sound bite then.) I suddenly had what seemed like a bright idea. I thought I could animate the ‘deadness’ of a past historical issue by paralleling the search for Kereopa Te Rau and his being brought to Napier with the-then recent feelings of Americans when they captured and killed Osama Bin Laden. (Fresh in my mind were television images of Americans who had spontaneously gathered outside the White House at night to – bizarrely, it seemed to me – celebrate eliminating a terrorist. It looked eery as Halloween or those hangings in the Deep South.) 

When I opened the following morning’s paper in a café, I saw – to my horror - the headline ‘Writer on trail of historic Maori ‘Osama Bin Laden’. There was my photo alongside the only known existing photograph of Kereopa Te Rau – a particularly plaintive image. I let out a small gasp of shock, closed the page quickly, as if trying to slam shut a Pandora box. I went on and read the rest of the newspaper quietly, in an attempt to calm down (surely I didn’t see that?) 
I returned to the page.
Yes, there it was, for all time.

I thought I could hear doors slamming all over the country. Doors into Maoridom. It was a disaster.

That evening I become caught up in a small media storm. Maori radio and television were ringing me for ‘clarification’ and I was deeply aware of the tenuousness of my situation. I was introduced on National Radio as ‘the biographer of Kereopa Te Rau.’ It didn’t matter that I said I wasn’t his biographer at all. I decided I needed to do something so the following morning I composed a letter to the Dom.Post –-

Dear Sir, 
I would like to make it clear that I wish to disassociate myself from the headline - as I am sure any reader who persevered and read the article in its entirety would understand. I am not looking for an historic Maori 'Osama Bin Laden.’ I am on the trail of empathy, understanding and insight.’

The letter wasn’t printed.  The fact was the situation was so fraught I had only been given the Michael King Fellowship to write the book on signing a Treaty-inflected document which asked for ‘an outline on your approach to working with local iwi or hapu on the project’. I went back and checked my application again and decided to answer in this way. 

‘Naturally I am very interested in the oral history of people close to Kereopa Te Rau (Ngati Rangiwewehi of Te Arawa) as oral histories held within hapu and iwi are often the repository of fascinating insights. But I do think the panel needs to acknowledge the project is what is today called creative nonfiction. Ie it is not an attempt to create a kind of eloquent Dame Judith Binney-type history in which I attempt to right historical wrongs. To quote from my application notes ‘I do not want to write about Kereopa Te Rau, the justice or injustice of his hanging or the political events which led to his trial. What I want to write about is virtually everything apart from that (accepting at the same time that everything is inflected with its proximity to this key highly politicised  event.)  I propose a voyage round the subject, looking at all sorts of ways to contextualise, to place in parallel, to open surprising windows into the past and hence understanding.’

 ‘The heart of the project is actually an essay about the nature of intellectual freedom which Colenso wrote called Fiat Justitia. Colenso’s essay, in which he looked at Kereopa Te Rau’s capture and imprisonment, was written within the tight confines of a society which had its own form of political correctness, its own attempts to curtain intellectual freedom by insisting on a portrayal of only ‘acceptable’ sides of truth. 
   The project is actually about the slipperyness of truth and the way two Pakeha people, Sister Aubert and William Colenso, went against the current orthodoxies to present their own entirely human - and humane - response to a situation which contrasted with the accepted ideas of their time.’

I did not add something I believe in, a quote from the remarkable nonfiction writer Janet Malcolm,  ‘The pose of fairmindedness, the charade of evenhandedness, the striking of an attitude of detachment can never be more than rhetorical ruses.’p176
 I knew this was asking for trouble.

Then out of the blue I received what felt like a reprieve. This was a phone call from a young man who identified himself as Benedict Taylor from the Office of Treaty Settlements. He was an historian, he introduced himself, and he talked about the ‘unfortunate’ publicity for my new project. I burst out laughing. ‘You could say that.’ He kindly said if I found myself in Wellington on such and such a date it could be good timing. Ngati Rangiwewehi, Kereopa’s iwi, were signing off a Treaty document and they would be in a receptive mood.
Gratefully I accepted the olive branch. 

The meeting was timed for 2pm. And here I reproduce a letter I sent immediately afterwards to an Australian friend much interested, if bemused, by the contradicitons and vociferousness of New Zealand’s racial politics.
‘I entered a vast building - every floor identical and hence confusing. A name tag. Then into a conference room.
Eventually the small deputation arrived, four men and two women, all of middle to late middle age. All in black, dignified and happy (some had been to the pub.) The men hongi-ed me (I was relaxed, somehow channeling Colenso and my brother who had been solicitor for the Maori Affairs Department in the 1980s and an able speaker of te reo.) I in my naivety went to hongi the women, who ducked around and presented a cheek to kiss. (Oh dear…ok, got that…)
Then the Treaty people entered, fresh as newly minted dollar bills, two in their late twenties, one of Asian origin. They asked to 'minute' the meeting. 
A formal opening speech by a younger man, large, humorous, human. Of course I understand one word in every thousand but gathered it wasn't abusive or horrid.
I somehow summoned the ghosts of my Napier grandparents to stand behind me, and then my brother who had been so active early in Treaty politics before it became a gold plated chariot…
I stood up to reply, but they ushered me downwards. 
So I talked about how Colenso had led me to the project (how he did a brilliant defence of Kereopa)…and then I read out my letter to the Dom Post. This seemed to move them.
I felt them listening.
Then the discussion broadened with the elder woman speaking, Mrs Te Rangikaheke Bidois. I heard things I had never heard before: the Kereopa name was shrouded in so much shame – whakama - that there was an unusual degree of mayhem and suicide among the young men descendants. It was a surname that was rarely used these days.
They also said that the cannibalism was contextual to the times. (Well, of course…but then again…)
They said if I wanted to take it further I would need to come to the marae and consult the elders but as far as they were concerned they would like me to go further with the story.
I immediately said it would be wonderful if Benedict could accompany me (to his visible surprise.) They liked that idea. He is obviously a favourite son (and can speak Maori.) 
Anyway at the last moment a glam model appeared, female, a sequinned bag and I thought 'here's trouble'. It turned out to Donna Hall, one of the highest paid legal minds in the country. Anyway she was sweet and gave me her number and said to come to dinner.
So….all terribly surprising, my dear.
I know from ‘X’  they lull you in and then freak you out.
But it ended with them virtually thinking they had commissioned me to tell their story.
This made me a little uncomfortable as I cannot do that. I can certainly tell their side of the story - but as I said to them I want to tell 'all the stories'.
So, Ian, I found myself, this semi-elderly Pakeha mandarin, knocking fists and exchanging bro handshakes with the men, and kissing the women on the cheeks. One of the men (an ex teacher…) said I had performed 11 out of ten. 
One thing I noted in the midst of the glitter though. My nametag came off and fell on the floor. I was stooping down to retrieve it but it had glued itself to the sole of young Asian woman's foot and she walked off. I prayed it wasn't a presentiment….
It was left that I was to contact Mrs Te Rangikaheke Bidois in the near future and ‘present myself.’
We went down in the lift together…then separated at the bottom and went out diametrically opposed doors.

(I will follow this up with what happened eventually.....)


  1. Online acquirement has become actual simple nowadays and you can accomplish a acquirement whenever you want.Your admired replica Burberry is gucci replica now just a bang abroad from you.You will get the superior replicas online and you can aswell yield advantage of their chargeless home supply worldwide.Fashion is what anybody brand to follow.Be fashionable is appeal of this fast alteration world.Anybody try to chase the new appearance trends.Appearance makes your personality better.New and latest things are chanel replica consistently demandable in appearance industry.The new abstraction in appearance can be a acumen for new appearance trend.There are actually bags of fashionable Replica Hublot Watches sellers commercial their articles on the internet.Some even action 60% discount.China has become a watch supplier in this filed.In fact,some of replica watches uk Hublot Replica Watches are so acceptable that even watches experts cannot acquaint the difference.These manufacturers are acceptable at authoritative apery replica watches.The material,the adroitness and the account is so acceptable that it is actual difficult to differentiate amid a 18-carat fashionable watch omega replica and the replica.

  2. omega replica, grew up in the 1800's and was amidst by French ability which he acclimated to
    his advantage to accomplish and architecture appearance accessories for the wealthy.The cast name and near accomplishment of his superior craftsmenship was accepted and accepted by his flush and affluent account of clientele.So, this hasn't changed, even down until today. The operation is getting run by Daniel Lalund, the admiral and CEO of
    breitling replica North America division. Does Louis Vuitton replica handbags Go On Sale? This catechism would never be asked by the flush and affluent. As a amount of fact, if these luxury, louis vuitton replicaartist handbags were too bargain it would not address to them and they would abode a lower amount on these items.Wealthy humans for the a lot of allotment enjoy cogent others how abundant they've spent on affluence items because it makes them feel good,important and rich.Okay, I'll stop acrimonious on the flush or affluent. lol. Seriously, we accept been in a affectionate of recession for the accomplished brace of years and I can candidly say, I accept not noticed a drop in the amount of LV's accepted archive to date.According to Daniel Lalund, "replica shoes" With that said, it could be safe to accept the affluence banker will not accept any sales or bead in they're retail abundance prices or online catalog. So, if you absolutely will not
    the best, I assumption you'll accept to pay for it.

  3. Peter, this is a fascinating and moving story, and underlines the nightmare of wanting publicity but not bad publicity, and of the complexity of interaction with the Maori world. Your marvellous "Journey to a Hanging" is so rich without this chapter, but please do contin ue the story!

  4. I am 100% at your back for this road safety forum you are having. It's a great way of instilling to the people the value of safety when on the road and thus, preventing any accidents from happening. In our country, the rate of minor road accidents seems to rise so this forum would be helpful especially if attended by people mainly using the road for

  5. merchandise a retailer Replica Watches must stock, how it is displayed and which other brands may or may not be shown alongside them — Replica watches UK Mr. Linca had grown tired of the politicking and dedicated his store to displaying only the creations of independent makers. Rolex Daytona “I’d rather deal with real people,” he said. “When you purchase an MB&F, a Claret, a Devon, you’re handbagreplica actually helping that creator come up with his next piece, versus the others, Replica handbags .

  6. Great! Thanks for sharing the information. That is very helpful for increasing my knowledge in this field.
    Click jogos

  7. تعتمد شركة الحرمين على احدث الاجهزة وافضل الخدمات الاساسية التى تساعد فى التعرف على مكان التسرب والتعرف على الاسباب التى ادتت الى حدوثها فلا تتردد فى التعاون مع
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالاحساء

    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالاحساء

    شركة كشف تسربات المياه براس تنورة


  8. I'm happy to find so many useful info here in the post.I really like it when people get together and share ideas. Great blog, keep it up!
    Female Escorts Services in Gurgaon

  9. Nice! thank you so much! Thank you for sharing. Your blog posts are more interesting and impressive.
    Independent Escorts in Gurgaon

  10. Thanks for your page! Your share information it helped me alot! I pray for you to be happy and successful in your life.
    slither io

  11. Well composed articles like yours renews my faith in today’s writers. You’ve written information I can ultimately agree with as well as make use of.

    Independent Call Girls in Gurgaon

  12. I am a Bangalore Escorts, but I can journey with you in a variety of meetings and parties anyplace in this world. I can have close relations in a place at your option, whether it is a hotel or your own apartment house.
    Independent Bangalore Escorts

  13. Our beautiful ladies are mind blowing, although they are living in Bangalore, they will give out never less to any international escort. This makes you experience like you are spending your time with an global escort. 
    Bangalore Escorts

  14. There are the broad range of the sources made accessible in the modern day market places and online to assist you go for the relaxation of your tired body and brain.
    Mumbai Escorts Service

  15. You can be continually certain that we set up the redesigned data that can provide you a possibility to pick a rightful young lady as your assistant
    Mumbai Escorts

  16. We proposal you tired drawer allies who have admiration for the enjoyable that the designing scene become the easiness of a genial and considerately originate incall loft. All solicitations are achieve in a practiced and good-looking system and we are repeatedly smiling to offer direction if obligatory so we can build convinced of produce your time perfect with the correct partner
    Mumbai Escorts

  17. Sexy body and good-looking personalities of Riya Dubey will make you think naughty and vulgar. These girls have each single thing in their character that all men in this world have ever appreciated for. They possess perfect body – total toned up and seductively curved.
    Powai Escorts
    Andheri Escorts
    vashi Escorts
    Bandra Escorts
    Dadar Escorts

  18. Most gorgeous Girls come and join this Business, for their pocket money, but as the Company is prospering in a big way, people are willing to take this as the livelihood. To be one of the VIP Escorts, you have to concentrate only on one thing, and that is the customers’ Enjoyment.
    Thane Escorts
    Juhu Escorts
    Chembur Escorts
    Nerul Escorts

  19. These services are also agreed by our sexy girls to our patrons. You can make sure the list of services on our page of services. Our escorts have won the spirit of thousands of gentlemen.
    Andheri Escorts
    Vashi Escorts
    Thane Escorts
    Juhu Escorts
    Powai Escorts

  20. The are associated with many customers. They brought to completion of fun moving out with people. They wholly surround themselves to clients and cuddle them strongly to forget rest of world.
    Ahmedabad Escorts
    Gandhinagar Escorts
    Vadodara Escorts
    Surat Escorts
    Nashik Escorts

  21. All the erotic female adult entertainer of our association has a completely dissimilar move toward behind amalgamation the career of escorting. Physical enjoyment
    Nagpur Escorts
    Jamnagar Escorts
    Female Escorts Bangalore

  22. I am very much pleased with the contents you have mentioned. I wanted to thank you for this great blog.
    Female Gurgaon Escort Services

  23. Rajjo Rani is most popular MTV Model in Dubai. Indian Escorts in Abu Dhabi is provided by Rajjorani at low cost. She is the best option for those person who want to enjoy life and fun with playful services. She is Open minded and Crazy girls. She always ready for new and funny things in her life. Her specialty is client satisfaction; she never disappointed her guys during meeting. She want to make long term relationship with good nature person. Her age is 21 and came from Delhi Indian City."CLICK HERE" if you want to know more.

  24. Hi, My name is Hina Sharma, I am independent Model in Dubai.I am serving my clients from last 2 years. If you want some luxury experience then contact me. We provide services in Diera Escorts , JBR , Bur Dubai & Tecom Escorts.

  25. Hi, Our Indian Angels main policy is the customer satisfaction and we have no extra charges like that go to outside to the clients or regarding venue. We are very clear that we show in site is the same girl provide you not like on site is that is differ is actuality. This quality make differ to others which are belongs to this fields. Indian Angels provide service to the customers 24/7.

  26. Thanks for mentioning to information, I really like your all publish. I can help you to protect your blog website web website for upcoming up-dates.
    Gurgaon Escorts | Escorts in Gurgaon | Gurgaon Escorts | Independent Escorts in Gurgaon | Model Escorts in Gurgaon | Female Escorts in Gurgaon

  27. Thanks for talk about about publish and this is amazing i like that and i i do wish you will again talk about about outstanding the best top great quality information.
    Blog Escort | Content Blog | Escort Blogs | Escort Contents | Escort Texts | Free Classified Ads Site


  28. I like your all post. You have done really good work. Thank you for the information you provide, it helped me a lot.
    I hope to have many more entries or so from you.
    Poker online uang asli

    Judi poker terpercaya

    promo bonus new member

    jackpot terbesar

    situs poker online

  29. Nhờ thành phần dưỡng chất và dược chất đa dạng như vậy mà công dụng của nhân sâm hàn quốc tại hcm cũng vô cùng phong phú giúp con người bồi bổ sức khỏe và ngăn ngừa, điều trị nhiều thể bệnh khác nhau.

  30. Nhờ thành phần dưỡng chất và dược chất đa dạng như vậy mà công dụng của nhân sâm hàn quốc tại tphcm cũng vô cùng phong phú giúp con người bồi bổ sức khỏe và ngăn ngừa, điều trị nhiều thể bệnh khác nhau.

  31. Very Good, nice website and this post is really superb please keep posting like this and share with us. Gurgaon Call Girl

  32. Nước hồng sâm bio là thức uống được rất nhiều người yêu thích và sử dụng trong cuộc sống hiện đại ngày nay vì không chỉ thơm ngon, bổ dưỡng mà còn rất tiện dụng. Ngoài ra với mẫu mã đẹp và sang trọng nó còn là món quà ý nghĩa mà bạn có thể dành tặng cho ông bà, cha mẹ, sếp, bạn bè vào những dịp đặc biệt.

  33. hồng sâm linh chi hàn quốc với thành phần gồm các loại dược liệu quý hiếm như hồng sâm, linh chi và các loại thảo quả…chứa nhiều axit amin và khoáng chất vi lượng, được xem làm một loại nước giải khát lý tưởng cho sức khỏe của bạn mỗi ngày.

  34. Welcome to High Class Rajkot Escorts Agency, the luxurious Rajkot Escort Agency where you can find the most beautiful Escorts girls in Rajkot.

    Rajkot Escorts, Rajkot Call Girl

    Call Girl in Rajkot, Rajkot Escorts

    Rajkot Escorts, Rajkot Escort Service

    Rajkot Escorts Service, Rajkot Escort

    Rajkot Escorts Service, Rajkot Escorts

    Rajkot escorts service become your girlfriend after that you imagine that which type of fun you find with her because any anyone pass time with her girlfriend that is best moment of life..

  35. Welcome to High Class Surat Escorts Service, the luxurious Surat Escort Services where you can find the most beautiful Escort Sexy and Hot Call girls in Surat and Other Citys Best Escort Services in India.

    Surat Call Girl, Surat Escorts Service

    Surat Call Girls, Surat Escorts

    Call Girls in Surat, Surat Escort

    Surat Escorts, Call Girl in Surat

    Surat Escorts, Surat Escort Service

  36. Outstanding, This is very awesome and awesome brief material. when I just analysis these details. Get more details. So I like it. Thank you for developing up up kinds of with us. Independent Female Escort Service in Gurgaon, Gurgaon Escort Service | Beautiful Escort in Gurgaon, Gurgaon Escorts Service | Independent Gurgaon Escort Service, Model Escort in Gurgaon | Independent Escort in Gurgaon

  37. Welcome to High Class Chennai Escorts Agency, the luxurious Channai Escort Agency where you can find the most beautiful escort girls in Chennai.

    Visit The Site For More Details -:

    Chennai Escorts, Chennai Call Girls

    Chennai Call Girl, Chennai Escorts Service

    Call Girls Chennai, Chennai Escort

    Chennai Escorts, Chennai Escorts Service

    Call Girls in Chennai, Chennai Escort

  38. Mumbai Escorts Do not be shy, tell your wish to me, experience-your objectives and should be to the really ecstasy that's me, the usually, the one, for you in here I will be a little, table beauty with awesome perspective, prolonged black smooth locks and interest that is hypnotic.
    Mumbai Escorts, Independent Mumbai Escorts
    Mumbai Escorts Service, Mumbai Escort
    Mumbai Call Girl, Call Girls in Mumbai
    Call Girl in Mumbai, Mumbai Call Girls
    Mumbai Escorts, Mumbai Call Girl Service
    Mumbai Escorts, Mumbai Call Girls
    Call Girl in Mumbai, Call Girls Service in Mumbai
    Mumbai Escorts, Call Girls in Mumbai

  39. Nice And Informative Website. Please Keep Continue Such Kind Of Effort. I Shared Your Post With My Friends Also. I Run My Independent Mumbai Escorts Service. I Provide You High Class Mumbai Models And Beautiful Mumbai Call Girls. We Are Available To Serve You 24 X 7. For Booking Contact With Priya Singh Ph- 09987215552
    Wensite :
    mumbai escorts service
    mumbai escorts
    mumbai escort service
    escort service in Mumbai
    mumbai call girls
    Andheri escorts
    Bandra escorts

  40. mumbai escort provided beautiful modal,college girls for you.we have Independent Models, college girls for your Beautiful night
    mumbai escort service
    mumbai escort agency
    high profile model
    mumbai call girls

  41. very helpful information, thank you very much this can be very useful for us all
    cara mengatasi kulit gatal akibat alergi getah pohon dan tanaman

  42. very interesting information, I really like it because it can add insight for me more broadly, thank you very much for this extraordinary information
    cara mengatasi maag yang sering kambuh saat bangun tidur

  43. You can ask that closeness fulfillment what you lack from any woman yet. Each one of the three holes of her is reliably start for you with totally satisfying closeness delight. Typically consider any sex-related accepted and recognize it with our eye-getting Chandigarh Escorts.

    Chandigarh Escorts
    Chandigarh Escorts Service
    Escorts in Chandigarh

  44. Your Website Is Nice And Informative. Please Keep Continue Such Kind Of Good Effort. My Name Is Ritu Sharma. I Run My Own Independent Mumbai Escorts Service. I Provide You VIP And Independent Escort Service In Low Cost. You Can Avail My Mumbai Escort Service At Your Own Place Or In Hotel. I Am Available To Serve You 24 X 7. If You Want To Test Me, Visit- Please Call Me- +91 9OO4OO9481
    Independent Mumbai Escorts Service
    mumbai escorts
    mumbai escort service
    escort service in mumbai
    independent mumbai escorts
    Independent escorts service
    independent escorts

  45. It is an extensive variety of data brings you towards the best one that would assistance be able to you satisfy your dreams. Albeit, numerous are there to have enough enthusiasm for meeting every one of your desires however certainly everybody has diverse.

    Noida Escorts
    Noida Escorts Services
    Escorts in Noida

  46. This is additionally not a testing procedure; simply keeping up a couple of things on mind performs well to locate the best woman you are searching for. It is the minor unobtrusive points of interest, for instance, this that has lead us to happen to the most trusted and settled in escort organizations.

    Agra Escorts
    Agra Escorts Service
    Agra Escort

  47. To get the best in session and premium Chandigarh Escorts Service on ask for, you should just call us or email us and our young ladies will be gone to you and will satisfy you with the Chandigarh Escorts Service basically like you need and you can call us at whatever point of day at whatever thought you oblige, that is genuinely extraordinary and the most loved things about our Chandigarh Escorts Service by our clients.

    Chandigarh Escorts
    Chandigarh Escorts Service
    Escort Service in Chandigarh

  48. High class escorts in Chandigarh cherish working separately and going by to their customers all alone level and getting the administration charges straightforwardly from their customers to keep their full procuring. Along these lines, plainly free escorts are living better life in contrast with the individuals.

    Chandigarh Escorts
    Chandigarh Escorts Services
    Escorts in Chandigarh

  49. We are top service provider established in Udaipur city. There are many companion girl in Udaipur. But our girls fully educated and hot they know all the needs who want to need a man with her.
    Udaipur escorts

    escorts service in udaipur
    Udaipur escorts agency
    Udaipur call girls
    independent udaipur escorts

  50. There is no absence of good bunches in different metro urban communities of the country yet when it happens upon the certification of full fulfillment, nothing can beat the administrations offered by Noida escorts girls available. The principle motivation to work behind this arrangement is that young ladies there are profoundly devoted for their activity.

  51. In you need aid greatly rich and might go through cash luxuriously then you might try after them. Clinched alongside will get to take in parts of things separated starting with enjoying erotic delight.

    escorts service in mumbai
    Call Girls Mumbai
    andheri escorts
    mumbai call girls services
    mumbai escorts
    andheri escorts service
    wadala call girls
    vashi call girls
    mumbai call girls services

  52. Take every chance you get in life, because some things only happen once
    cara menyembuhkan adenomyosis

  53. I hope your wesbite will always be the best and the more advanced. thank you for sharing this information.Please visit my website in

  54. Good and Appreciated Blog. I hope you keep continue such kind of informative blogs. My friends also read when shared by me. They got knowledge via your content. I am running Escort agency in Kolkata provide high class and gorgeous call girls. We able to satisfaction service 24/7 Contact with Neeru for Booking.
    Kolkata Escorts
    Chandighar Call Girls
    Bangalore Escorts service
    Chennai Escorts Girls
    Delhi Independent Escorts
    Escorts in Goa
    Hyderabad Escorts Service
    Call Girls in Mumbai