Race Relations Commissioner wants more recognition of NZ Land Wars

By Regan Paranihi

Race Relations Commissioner, Meng Foon is calling on the Government to implement a paid day of commemorations to acknowledge the New Zealand Land Wars.

He says there needs to be a set day where New Zealanders can commemorate one of the darkest decades in the country’s history.

A trying time that according to Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon, needs to be officially recognised by the nation.

Meng Foon says, “It is a day of commemoration mō ō koutou tipuna, for your people that lost their lands during those invasions. It was a terrible time in our history. I believe it needs to be acknowledged and that war needs to be remembered”.

Foon believes too many public holidays here in New Zealand have been adopted from overseas and refers specifically to Christmas, Boxing Day, Easter, Easter Monday, Queens Birthday and others. Those are all from overseas.

He says, “There is only that day and Waitangi day that are New Zealand”.

However, it’s an initiative that is not only for Māori, the overarching goal is to develop a deeper understanding for all, around what actually happened during the invasions.

There is a day set for commemorations on the 28th of October, but Foon is pushing for it to be a ‘national day’ of commemorations.

Taranaki will also commemorate their ancestors fight to maintain their mana whenua  in 1863 on the 28th of October.