The great war for New Zealand, Waikato 1800-2000 / Vincent O’Malley
Ref: Sketch map of the North Island of New Zealand, shewing approximately the loyal and rebel districts, 1869, Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections, Map 2563a.
Vincent O’Malley’s latest work The great war for New Zealand: Waikato 1800-2000 provides a vast repository of research to support his view that the Waikato war, the epicentre of the New Zealand land wars, was the defining conflict in the history of Aotearoa New Zealand. He believes that the war had a greater impact on this country than the world wars of the twentieth century. O’Malley argues that the Waikato war was ultimately a battle by the Colonial government attempting to assert its power and supreme control over Māori, a conflict which resulted in Māori being marginalised in their own land. The author is a noted researcher and has published a number of books on Māori history. This book is based on the author’s research for the Waitangi Tribunal.
The great war for New Zealand is essentially the story of the Tainui people who trace their ancestry back to the arrival of the first Tainui waka in Aotearoa New Zealand. The author’s research contributes significantly to the increasing body of knowledge which provides alternative scripts to the official colonial government version of the history of the land wars. The colonial version dominated New Zealand history books for over 100 years and placed key responsibility for the war on Māori. The great war for New Zealand does not hesitate to ask the important questions which challenge the validity of accepted notions on, for example, the outcome of key battles such as Rangiriri and Ōrākau.
Ref: Charles Henry Monkton, 1840-1890. Wiremu Tamihana Tarapipipi Te Waharoa with a double barreled shot-gun. Ref: 1/2-005322-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
The book contains much original source material and includes extensive endnotes to corroborate the text. The comprehensive bibliography is, in itself, a work of art: a scarily vast repository of sources on the land wars. The many illustrations provide an alternative visual narrative of their own. Of special interest are the evocative early photographs and Lindauer’s Maori portraits.
Ref: Leonard Cornwall Mitchell, 1901-1971. Rewi Maniapoto, chief of the Ngati-Maniapoto tribe, and heroic defender of Orakau in 1864. [1930s or 1940s?]. Ref: E-204-q-016. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
|Ref: Hanna Studio, Portrait of Sir George Grey, Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections, 346-A13113
|Ref: Unknown photographer. King Tawhiao. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections, 258-1.|
The great war for New Zealand, Waikato 1800-2000 is a ground-breaking book which confirms Vincent O’Malley as not only one of our most authoritative research historians but also a great storyteller. This book is taonga.
Author: Beth Ringer, Central Auckland Research Centre