A village in New Zealand has banned a replica of Captain Cook’s ship from docking there to mark 250 years since the explorer’s arrival after an outcry from the local Māori community.
The vessel is part of a flotilla circumnavigating New Zealand next month for the Tuia 250 – a NZ$13.5m (£7m) series of events that “acknowledges the first onshore encounters between Māori and Pākehā in 1769-70”. It was due to visit Mangonui, in the North Island, but the stop was cancelled by the ministry of culture and heritage after complaints from indigenous figures.
Anahera Herbert-Graves, the head of Northland’s Ngāti Kahu iwi, or tribe, told RNZ: “He [Cook] was a barbarian. Wherever he went, like most people of the time of imperial expansion, there were murders, there were abductions, there were rapes, and just a lot of bad outcomes for the indigenous people.
“He didn’t discover anything down here, and we object to Tuia 250 using euphemisms like ‘encounters’ and ‘meetings’ to disguise what were actually invasions.”
Ask the Moriori about the behaviour of the Maori.
Well, quite, you don’t get to whinge bitterly just because you lost a particular encounter.