Recently we brought you an article about the ongoing campaign to remove the statue of Captain John Fane Hamilton. Apparently Mr Maipi’s vandalism of the statue is serving as a call to arms for the left. Hamilton mayor Andrew King’s previous proposal of changing the name of the city has been refloated in the media - and only in the media, despite their claims that the protest has ‘sparked debate’.
A poll from March with more than seven thousand votes had only 15% preferring the name ‘Kirikiriroa’, and a more recent one with almost five thousand votes has only 19% wanting the city to use only the Maori name. Unfortunately for the people of Hamilton this will probably not make any difference to the establishment, which arbitrarily added an ‘h’ into the name of Wanganui, despite only 23% of locals supporting such a move.
Certain Maori have been raising ‘questions about the process in which the statue was erected’; apparently the fact that the statue was gifted to the city without ‘consulting’ the tribes is some grave offense. As we all know, it’s illegal to do anything without express written permission of the local iwi, signed in triplicate, and stamped by a representative of the Maori king.
One Maori, Wiremu Puke, said ‘People shouldn’t be afraid to speak of the painful history and how Hamilton started. There was a name that existed before. It was Kirikiriroa’. Historian Vincent O’Malley thinks that ‘restoring Hamilton’s name to Kirikiriroa should be part of the conversation again’.
In the words of city councillor Dave Macpherson, ‘The guy never visited. He never had a damned thing to do with Hamilton.’ Perhaps Mr Macpherson doesn’t understand chronology; the city was named after Captain Hamilton after his heroic death as a memorial, and thus he could never have visited.
In any case it’s a stupid argument - did the Duke of Wellington ever visit his namesake? Did Lord Auckland? Oliver Cromwell certainly never visited the southern town. British Prime Minister Gladstone wasn’t a settler in the Wairarapa village that bears his name (although a Danish one was in the Manawatu) and Princess Alexandra had no connections to Otago.
The Alfred in Alfredton, the Hawke in Hawke’s Bay, General Raglan, Admiral Nelson, Generals Hastings, Picton, Napier and Clive, Prime Minister Palmerston, Sir William Hutt… None of them ever visited New Zealand, and many of them were long dead when their namesakes were founded. Should their names be changed too? The ethno-masochists would probably say yes, and invent some twelve-syllable Maori name for each town.
Dr O’Malley also gives the names of a few figures he thinks are more deserving than Captain Hamilton of being commemorated as statues: ‘Te Wherowhero, Tawhiao, Wiremu Tamihana, Rewi Maniapoto… the list goes on and on’. This very brief list is still a true rogue’s gallery.
Potatoe Te Wherowhero was a power-hungry warmonger who lead the slaughter of weaker tribes during the Musket Wars, encouraged European settlement and then declared himself king, but didn’t quite live long enough to cause any real trouble in the Land Wars.
Tawhiao was the second Maori king, a leader of the violent Hau-hau cult (and later a Mormon), was head of the Maori forces during several wars against the British government and was thus liable for the deaths of numerous soldiers and settlers. Why we should commemorate an enemy rather than one of our martyrs is rather bewildering.
Rewi Maniapoto was a rebel warlord, a terrorist, and a murderer. He had also first fought in the inter-tribal Musket Wars. Later, he personally led the native warriors in their attacks on British forces fighting in the Taranaki and Waikato Wars, and attempted to assassinate Governor Sir George Grey. He destroyed government property, kidnapped settlers’ wives and children, and refused to surrender his forces at Orakau, which lead to their pointless deaths while he himself escaped.
Wiremu Tamihana (aka William Thompson) is the only semi-worthy Maori on this list. He established several Maori Christian communes, lived peacefully, encouraged and cooperated with settlers and intended on having the Maori king allied to the British Queen Victoria. He was open to negotiation with British forces and campaigned for his people’s rights after the wars. Unfortunately he did still strongly support the king movement and Maori separatism, if not an active member of their war parties.
Certainly none of these four should be commemorated through a statue in the middle of a European settlement, and even more certainly they shouldn’t be commemorated in the name of said city.
Seemingly unrelated to anything else in the article, O’Malley states the obvious that ‘in the 1840s and the 1850s, Maori were the drivers of the New Zealand economy’. In 1840 the Maori population was between forty and seventy thousand, while the European was only one or two thousand. In 1850 there were perhaps fifty thousand Maoris, and only twenty thousand Europeans, and in 1860 there were maybe sixty thousand Maoris, with a roughly equal number of whites.
Is it really a surprise that the majority should be the bulk of the labour? Apparently it is something to brag about - we silly pakeha don’t know that this country was built by the hard working Maori! That’s what they want you to think, anyway. In reality, this economy was primitive, trading Europeans flax, timber and shrunken heads (aka mokomokai) in exchange for weapons. Other staples included taxing the European whalers and sealers who visited these shores, and the inter-tribal slave trade.
This country was built by Europeans. There is a reason that the historic Kirikiriroa was a simple village surrounded by the bush and filled with half-naked savages, while the modern Hamilton is a true city, with all of the industries and amenities that go with such a status. Roads, hospitals, schools, office buildings, warehouses, statues - almost everything you see in Hamilton and every other town in New Zealand is a product of our people’s civilisation. We should take immense pride in that fact.
Just as the name of Hamilton city tells the story of a brave soldier, other place names tell other stories, and together they tell the story of our people. Our story is one of brave pioneers, noble soldiers, heroic explorers, pious missionaries and the steady, hard-working European settlers who built this country from the ground up.
Sadly, we can no longer be Europeans. The establishment would have us all be ‘New Zealanders’ (or perhaps ‘Aotearoans’). The only time we are ever even acknowledged as white is through the hateful Maori lens of ‘Pakeha’. They would have us forget that British (or French, or Danish, etc.) blood runs in our veins. They want us to think that we are somehow separate from our kin in Europe just because our forefathers moved to a new land.
Blood will out. Google your surname. Where does it originate? Do some family history. Where do you come from? You are a European - your ancestors didn’t pop up out of a hole the day the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.
Our ancestors knew this. They knew who they were, that is why the place names of our land also tell the story of our European heritage before 1840. This is a history that you won’t learn about in schools - certainly not as the history of our people.
Why else would we have named Cromwell and Naseby to commemorate the English Civil War, which was fought before our land was even discovered? Why is Blenheim named after a battle won by British troops in 1704, long before New Zealand was settled? Why are Wellington, Nelson, Ponsonby and Picton named after heroes of the Napoleonic Wars, fought before the Treaty of Waitangi was signed? Why do Napier, Hastings, Clive and Outram commemorate British generals who fought to consolidate control over India, and not New Zealand? Why do Wyndham and Raglan commemorate officers of the Crimean War, and not Hone Heke’s terror campaign?
The West-Country pioneers in the Taranaki proudly named their settlement New Plymouth in honour of their home. The Scots looked back to the ancient Brythonic name for Edinburgh, Dun Edin, when deciding on a name for one of their settlements. The Scandinavian settlers of the Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay brought their own names and one of their towns; ‘Dannevirke’ means ‘Danes’ work’ - they were proud of what they had built. In Marlborough, German settlers founded villages with names like Rosental, Ranzau and Neu-Hannover. They were Germans, even in this strange new land.
Our ancestors knew who they were, and they were not ashamed.
We have already lost many battles in the war to preserve their work; many of our stories have already been rewritten. The German village of Sarau is now Upper Moutere and what our ancestors called Port Daniel is now the southern village of Otakou. The Scandinavian Wairarapa townships of Eketahuna and Kopuaranga were once Mellemskov and Dreyerton, and another village in the area - Taueru - was once called Wardell. Timaru was previously known as Rhodestown. Rakaia was once Cholmondeley. Petone was Britannia. Waitaki used to be called Molesworth, Ngaruawahia Newcastle and Waimakariri Courtenay. There used to be two Alexandras in New Zealand, but now one is called Pirongia.
At one point in time, Wairoa was named Clyde, Waihao was Stafford and Waiheke Island was the Isle of Wight. Matakitaki used to be called Aglionby, Waipawa used to be Abbotsford. Wanganui was founded as Petre and Tiromoana as Brighton. Hokianga Harbour was known to the early settlers as the Gambier River and Mapua was once called Seaton. Te Aroha used to be the European settlement of Herriesville. In Wellington, the suburb of Hataitai was originally Jenkins Estate, Maupuia was Crawford, Ngaio was Crofton.
Elsewhere in the country, Rangiahua was once called Mount Isabel, after Charles de Thierry’s daughter; Waikouaiti was Hawksbury, Parapara was Ventnor, Patea was Carlyle, Waitara was Raleigh, Takahue was Victoria Valley, Kaeo was Wesleydale and Pakanae was Newark.
I’m sure I’m missing many, this list was just the result of some brief research, and there are numerous smaller geographic features that have been renamed. Only last month, as part of a treaty settlement several coastal features in Hawkes Bay were renamed, including Cape Kidnappers (now Te Kauwae a Maui), Mount Erin (now Kohinurakau), Capstan Rock (now Muhuaka) and Flat Rock (now Puapua).
This process of rewriting our history - or more correctly writing out our history and replacing it with someone else’s - has happened before in other countries. It is a typical stage in the post-colonial state’s history between independence from the coloniser and kicking out the colonists. There is no Salisbury in what is now Zimbabwe, there is no Stanleyville in what is now the Congo, and there is no Bombay in what is now India.
If we continue to appease the Maori and let him destroy whatever he wants, there will come a day when they remove Captain Hamilton’s statue, and there will come a day when they rename Captain Hamilton’s town. And after that..?
As the song Roots by the Sheringham Shantymen goes, ‘Without our stories and our songs, how will we know where we come from?’. Next time you see a map of our great country, remember that behind each name is a story - and our enemies want to see all of those stories forgotten. We must remember our past and defend our heritage. Don’t let the list of Maori names grow any longer, and don’t let the toil of your fathers be in vain. Our people built this country - our dominion - lets keep it.