History

The Moriori myth and why it’s still with us

Keri Mills

Firstly, the myth. You’ve heard it before. There were a pre-Māori people in New Zealand, called the Moriori. When Māori arrived in the country they set about obliterating these peaceful Moriori inhabitants until not a single Moriori remained alive. This story is completely wrong. But it is astonishingly pervasive. You
 

War remembrance: Acting out or working through?

Nicholas Haig

The way we go about remembering the past matters. Trump’s pledge to “Make America Great Again,” and the pro-Brexit visions of Imperial Britain are urgent reminders that our narratives about the past can have a strong effect on the present. The convulsions currently sweeping the globe are rooted in economic
 

Unequal Health In New Zealand: Always Like This?

Alistair Woodward & Tony Blakely

There are large inequalities in health in New Zealand. This much is well-known, as is the fact that health care interventions and public health efforts often fail to make things better, and indeed may entrench disadvantage. Was it always like this? In fact, no. We are not suggesting there was
 

An Egalitarian Society?

Brian Easton

Once upon a time New Zealand identified itself as egalitarian. Phrases like ‘a classless society’, ‘jack’s as good as his master; ‘a working man’s democracy’ were bandied around, often without much critical thought. A distinction was made between ‘egalitarian’ and ‘equalitarian’. Certainly the aim was that New Zealanders were equal