Politics Professor Richard Shaw was 55 before he discovered that his great-grandfather, Andrew Gilhooly, was one of the 1600 Armed Constabulary and volunteers who invaded, sacked and occupied the pacifist settlement of Parihaka on November 5, 1881.
And that the landless Irish immigrant had returned to Taranaki soon after to run three family farms, all on land confiscated – stolen – from Māori, who were forced to leave their land, homes and possessions to seek refuge elsewhere.
Prof Shaw has written about what he calls “historic amnesia,” which has allowed families like his to ignore the advantages given them by colonisation, both in media commentary and in his 2021 book “The Forgotten Coast”.
His Catalyst Conversation will connect the erased ‘small stories’ of colonial settler families to the ‘big story’ of colonisation and discuss his attempt at “ending the forgetting”.
It’s a process that should be repeated across the country, Prof Shaw says, “because in a decolonising world, Pākehā New Zealanders must urgently wrestle with, and own, the privilege of our colonial pasts.”
Thursday, March 30, 6 -7.30pm at The Rees Hotel Queenstown’s conference room. Registration required via Eventbrite as seats are limited. Please bring cash for your koha, which will be given to Te Tapu o Tane for Whakatipu community environmental projects.
About the speaker…
Richard Shaw is Professor of politics at Massey University, Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa. Among his specialities are New Zealand and comparative politics, the roles of political advisers, and identity and belonging in Aotearoa New Zealand. He is also an author.