We seek to understand the past by determining and ordering ‘facts’; and from these narratives we hope to explain the decisions and processes which shape our existence. —Francesca Morphakis, PhD Candidate in History at the University of Leeds

In this issue

  • Reflections on John McLean’s March talk on Parihaka.
  • The upcoming April session – Roger Childs on Gallipoli: Myth and RealityTuesday, 20 April 
  • Local History news
  • Other talks coming up. 

Thanks to our March speaker: John McLean

John spoke to an audience of 50 about what happened at Parihaka based on the thorough research he did for his book Parihaka The Facts.  His overall conclusion is that the government needed to occupy the South Taranaki village in 1881 because prophets Te Whiti and Toru would not accept the sovereignty of the British Crown.Most people welcomed the new insights John provided, but not everyone agreed. Consequently a lively discussion followed the talk. Some people commented that the Society could look at getting a different point of view on Parihaka. Our monthly slots are taken for the rest of the year, however if someone can suggest a speaker for next year, let us know.

Our April Speaker – Roger Childs

 Roger Childs will be speaking on Gallipoli: Myth and Reality. He will cover the origins and nature of Anzac Day; why the Gallipoli campaign was a failure; whether the New Zealand experience at Gallipoli was the key element in building New Zealand national identity; and how the bond developed between Turkey and New Zealand.

All welcome – bring your friends.

  • Tuesday 20 April at 7.30pm
  • Kapiti Uniting Church, 10 Weka Road, Raumati Beach.
  • Gold coin koha. Thanks. 
  • A light supper will be served following the talk.

Local history news

 From Mark Holland. The Kapiti Coast Museum in Elizabeth Street Waikanae is currently rearranging the layout of the museum, including the addition of new display cabinets and objects. New exhibitions of military communication equipment and personal cameras are in the development stage.

From Anthony Dreaver. When ground is turned over for development of expressways, bridges or subdivisions, archaeologists are called in to identify and save information that has been exposed by the diggers. In this fleeting moment they must record what they can before the evidence is gone forever. 

Kevin Jones is one of New Zealand’s best-known archaeologists and the author of the Penguin Guide to Field Archaeology. A feature of his work has been to interpret aerial photographs to reveal what lies below the surface. 

As part of New Zealand Heritage Month, Kevin will speak in the meeting room of Paraparaumu Library at 6.30 pm on Wednesday 28 April. Doors open at 6 pm and his talk will commence at 6.30 pm.

His coverage of the latest results about pre-European settlement will be of keen interest to many Kapiti people.

Coming up later in the year – exact dates and topics to be confirmed

An interesting mix. Negotiations are on-going to fill the October slot.

  • May – Glenda Robb on Queen Elizabeth Park and the Kapiti Biodiversity Project.
  • June – Larry Keim on the Marines impact on Kapiti.
  • July – Desiree Jury on History and Myth in the Modern English Historical Novel.
  • August – John Robinson on the colourful Northland chief Hone Heke.
  • September – Mark Dickson on the changing Kapiti coastline.
  • November – David Hadfield on his father Barry Hadfield first mayor of the Kapiti District.

We are always happy to get suggestions for talks and possible speakers.

Best wishes,

Roger Childs and John Robinson