by Roger Childs

In her maiden speech in Parliament, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer spoke a lot of nonsense and most of her history references were lies. According to the Dominion Post she said she “stood as the descendant of a people who survived a holocaust, a genocide sponsored by this House. Representative of the Crown has confiscated her people’s land, imprisoned them without trial and murdered and raped their women and children.

·       Holocaust means slaughter or destruction on a mass scale. This never happened in New Zealand after 1840. The closest to a holocaust was the killing of over 40,000 Maori by other Maori during the Musket Wars from 1800 to 1840.

·       Genocide meansthe deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group. Some tribes were wiped out by other tribes during the Musket Wars, but the worst example of genocide in New Zealand was the slaughter of the Moriori on the Chatham Islands in 1835 by the Ngati Tama and Ngati Mutanga, tribes from Debbie Ngarewa-Parker’s home province of Taranaki.

·       In the Musket Wars and earlier, land was regularly confiscated from other tribes after battles. After the New Zealand Wars land was confiscated by the Crown but rebel Maori tribes had been warned that this would happen if they continued to resist. 64% of the Taranaki land confiscated was later either returned or purchased.

·       There is no evidence from the time that women and children were murdered and raped. Claims were made 40 years after the 1881 occupation of Parihaka in South Taranaki, that women were raped but no evidence was given. No-one was killed at Parihaka. After battles in the Musket Wars women were often raped, and prisoners, women and children were often killed and eaten, or taken into slavery.

·       She also referred to the politicians who had committed atrocities in Taranaki as “monsters”. No atrocities were committed. However, Maori had murdered settlers and a missionary in North Taranaki and more than 170 farms were pillaged, stock stolen and buildings burnt down.

If Ms Ngarewa-Packer spoke out of ignorance she needs to read the real history and apologise for her extravagant and patently untrue statements.