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2nd Angus Gillies Book On Ruatoria Rastafarians

"No Dreadlocks No Cry"

2nd Angus Gillies Book On Ruatoria Rastafarians Published

Press release
Angus Gillies

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- Buy The Book @ Trademe

A new book that looks at one of the strangest chapters in modern New Zealand history has just been released.

No Dreadlocks No Cry is the second in author Angus Gillies’ series, Ngati Dread, about the Ruatoria Rastafarians, who terrorised the East Coast town from 1985 to 1990.

The Rastas had a mission to return local land to the original Ngati Porou owners and in that period more than 30 buildings were burned, including houses, a police station, a fire station, businesses, a school, churches and a marae.

The first book in the series, Footsteps of Fire, covered the philosophies and roots of the Rastas and the early crimes that cemented their fearsome reputation, such as “beating the devil out” of an acquaintance, the beheading of Lance Kupenga, the dragging of a horse which later died, and the kidnapping of a police officer.

No Dreadlocks No Cry covers most of the major fires and revisits the famous trial of five detectives for the kidnap and assault of Rasta Dick Maxwell, who claimed police had cut off his dreadlocks. It also includes a fascinating interview with Dion Hutana, the man convicted of escaping from prison,and burning down Ngati Porou Marae.

Author Angus Gillies

Gillies talks to the major players to reveal what he calls “the real stories behind the headlines”.

He is currently putting the finishing touches on the third and final book in the series, under the working title, The Gospel According to Luke, which charts the fatal collision course between “vigilante Luke Donnelly and Rasta leader Chris Campbell.

Gillies is a news producer at 3 News. His previous books include a hard-boiled crime novella, The Lizard Song, set in his hometown of Gisborne, and biographies on sports stars Matthew Ridge, Adam Parore and Justin Marshall.

While those books were released by mainstream publishers, he has self-published the Ngati Dread books under the imprint Rogue Monster Books. He was not surprised that other publishers wouldn’t touch the controversial subject matter, but is pleased to report that Footsteps of Fire has almost sold out and he is considering printing a second edition.

“When you boil it right down, a publisher is just someone who believes in a book enough to put their money where their mouth is,” Gillies says. “I believe in this project. Every writer who thinks their work deserves to be published should be prepared to take the same risks they expect a publisher to take on it.”

The books can be ordered through bookshops, but Gillies has had just as much success selling them through the Trademe website, on which he always has copies listed.


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