November 6, 2018
We’ve had a visit from the editor of Otago University Students’ Association magazine, Joel Macmanus. His magazine, Critic (est 1925,) has broken camp for the year along with Joel’s editorship, ready for the new kids of 2019.
Joel’s major and most public contribution as editor was a puerile cover story on menstruation back in May. This led to confiscated magazines, protests, and controversy concerning free expression. A neat dodge from any responsibility or moral defence of Critic’s unchivalrous artistic choice to profane women for attention.
Didn’t know that when we had this conversation about the Andersons Bay Parihaka Prisoners Myth. Joel is learned about this issue of Dunedin local history and corrected me for mistaking Parihaka prisoners for Maori War prisoners. In the spirit of student magazines then, here’s a lazy way to create a post….
Joel MacManus Hundreds were imprisoned without trial and they were sent to Port Chalmers and Dunedin. That’s all true. The only part that is untrue is the caves.
Anarchist History of New Zealand Not at all. It’s not true there was no investigation, not true they were sent to Anderson’s bay, not true prisoners died of exposure. In fact, the Parihaka men were very popular and welcome in the city. They were supplied clothing and a ride home in the Government steamer along with a celebratory civic send-off! Now this is cleared up, let’s cut out the lies about Parihaka as a ‘rape invasion’. We’re getting somewhere at last!
Joel MacManus 18 Parakohe prisoners and 3 Parihaka prisoners died in Dunedin. And it absolute is true they were held without trial – parliament passed laws specifically allowing them to do so. But you’ve once again mixed up the two groups – it was the Parakohe who were given clothes, not the Parihaka
Anarchist History of New Zealand They did not die of exposure due to cave-living or otherwise but to common causes of death, tuberculosis I believe. Investigation and efforts not to have to capture the prisoners of war was lengthy. Far from ‘no investigation’, habeas corpus was suspended a full year prior to the police action concerning the self-proclaimed rebel army. That’s totally legitimate. Remember that the cultists were separatists. There were no trials in the Maori Wars either; It was a war. I didn’t know that the Parihaka men were not also gifted clothing during the send-off. Why would they be treated differently?
Joel MacManus The clothes weren’t gifted by the government, they were a donation from Dunedin people. The Parakohe were 10 years prior and a far more visible presence around the city – they did two years labour’s vs two months. And as for the deaths, the jail conditions were awful and damp, hence the tuberculosis
Anarchist History of New Zealand Yes, awful and damp indiscriminant of race or crime. That’s not a Parihaka thing, that’s an 1880s jail thing. Go tell John Howard to sort that out for everyone. I think you’re right that the big send-off was a different group from the 1870s. I don’t know what the Dunedin public’s esteem was for the Parihaka POWs or how things wound up. But local korero has it that their assignment was the creation of the Botanical Gardens. Thanks for correcting me.
Joel MacManus well it is a race thing in that they were wrongfully imprisoned due to their race
Anarchist History of New Zealand Except that Rolleston and Bryce didn’t assemble an army in order to imprison Maoris did they? They went after the cultists and outlaws and the domestic terrorists specifically for what they said and did. And they did so legally and methodically and made every attempt to avoid having to do so; Bending over backwards and taking personal risks. If they’d had the agenda to just arrest people of a particular race they could have done that without going on a long march or striking a camp or calling an early parliament or passing legislation or shuffling the Ministry or exhaustive diplomacy
Joel MacManus you’re deliberately obfuscating the issue. Of course they didn’t arrest all Maori, they arrested those who resisted. It’s still a racially motivated war crime.
Anarchist History of New Zealand In what sense is it a war crime? Certainly not legally speaking. Do you mean it’s a moral crime to take prisoners rather than…kill them? Or let them go? Because they did let them go the first time around.
Nothing racial about it. Or how do you explain why all this bother was gone to. If the Ministers wanted to target Maoris for being Maori they could have just rounded them up closer to base and not gone out on this lengthy and expensive expedition. Could have found some much cleaner less sickly prisoners too.
How about this: Being Maori wasn’t the crime. Being wayward Culture Shocked separatist domestic terrorist criminals was what drew the Crown’s attention.
Anarchist History of New Zealand “they didn’t arrest all Maori, they arrested those who resisted.” That’s certainly wrong. If there’s one thing everyone agrees to concerning Parihaka is that nobody resisted. Everyone came quietly, some were arrested. Most got humanitarian aid and were free to disperse. The main propaganda line about Parihaka revolves around the so-called ‘passive resistance.’ If you concede they resisted the law why look past that fact and say it’s racial?
The State doesn’t smoosh people for being this or that race, they do it because people resist. Consider, perhaps for the first time, that maybe it was something Te Whiti as a man rather than the mere fact he was black that called down this thunder.
Thanks for the yarn. TTFN