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Historian Wades Into Auckland Treaty Controversy

Historian Wades Into Auckland Treaty Claim Controversy

A new book on Auckland's Maori past threatens to ignite fresh debate as Ngati Whatua negotiate with the Crown their claim to parts of Auckland city.

'The Struggle for Tamaki Makaurau' details the 1741 Auckland invasion by Ngati Whatua ancestors who almost completely wiped out the existing Te Waiohua population, a branch of Tainui.

The book is likely to be controversial says its author, AUT University historian Professor Paul Moon.

"In 1840, Ngati Whatua chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi as the tribal representatives of Auckland," he says.

"The fact that Ngati Whatua had only been in the area for 99 years when they signed the Treaty has led other iwi to challenge the tribe's tangata whenua status."

The professor adds, however, that Ngati Whatua did dominate Auckland during that 99-year period and by 1840 were its exclusive occupants.

"This makes their claim for tangata whenua status reasonably strong," he says.

Tamaki Makaurau is the Maori name for Auckland. Professor Moon's latest book surveys the region's history prior to European involvement.

'The Struggle for Tamaki Makaurau' begins with the first Polynesian arrivals through to the growth of the isthmus under the Tainui tribes such as Te Waiohua. It then follows the devastating invasion led by the Ngati Whatua hapu of Te Taou that altered the region's entire political make-up in the mid-1700s.

Professor Moon believes his book was a necessary undertaking and he hopes it will cause New Zealanders to see the nation's largest city in a new light.

"It reveals how so many of Auckland's suburbs have a strong connection with important historical events, some of them going back several centuries."

For more information, please contact:

Professor Paul Moon
MPhil, MA, PhD, FRHistS
Professor of History
AUT University
P: 09 921-9999 ext. 6838
P: 09 416 4117



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