Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Meanings make stolen medals irreplaceable

Meanings make stolen medals irreplaceable

Reaction to the theft of medals from the Waiouru museum has been dramatic because of their power as symbols of sacrifice and service, says a cultural researcher.

Associate Professor at Massey’s School of Visual and Material Culture, Tony Whincup calls the medals “mnemonic objects”.

“The medals are valuable because of the special meanings we attach to them. They symbolise outstanding military acts, but also our sense of who we are as New Zealanders.”

Professor Whincup says personal objects help define us, both as individuals and as a community.

“If my stereo gets stolen, I can easily replace it. But if I lost my wedding ring I would be devastated because of the memories I attach to it.”

“In the same way the loss of these medals diminishes us as a nation because we are defined by our heritage, which includes notions of bravery, sacrifice and service.”

“It’s a reciprocal arrangement, because we choose which parts of our heritage are most important to us.”

War memorial specialist and senior lecturer at the School, Kingsley Baird, asks why we are so devastated over what could be seen as objects made of cheap metal and ribbons?

“It’s because these medals are about the maintenance of memories. If we value them as objects, let’s look after them,” he says.

The School of Visual and Material Culture, part of the College of Creative Arts, is a centre of teaching and research excellence that seeks to develop new perspectives between people and things in the images and objects that shape everyday life.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Elusive Charms Of Christopher Luxon

Well, the first 36 hours of viewing the Christopher Luxon selfie were always going to be the best, before the repetitions set in. We get it, already. He’s an extroverted/big ego/high achieving/God fearing/country music lovin’/family man who is not at all averse to mansplaining to little ladies like RNZ’s Kathryn Ryan what “technical” words like “productivity” actually mean. But wait, there’s more. National is back! Mind you, that’s not the Bad National of recent experience, but the Good National of days gone by... More>>


Cancer Society: Hopes Final Pharmac Report Is Stronger

Today the delayed Interim Report was released by the Pharmac Review Panel. The performance of Pharmac and access to cancer drugs is a major concern for the Cancer Society... More>>

Defence: New Zealand Response To Assist Peace And Stability In Solomon Islands
The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.... More>>

Government: Delivers Reactivation Package As Aucklanders Reconnect For Summer
A new support package will help revive economic, social and cultural activities in our largest city over summer, and ensure those in hardship also get relief. The Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and the Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash... More>>

National Party: Bridges Appointed Finance & Infrastructure Spokesperson

Hon Simon Bridges is the National Party’s new Finance and Infrastructure spokesperson, National Leader Christopher Luxon announced today. “Simon has prodigious skills, incredible talent and the intellectual heft needed to excel as National’s Finance spokesperson,” Mr Luxon says.... More>>

Waitangi National Trust: Waitangi Week
The Waitangi National Trust has decided there will be no in-person events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Week 2022. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework it would be practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual events of Waitangi commemorations... More>>

Freedom Camping: Making Sure People Are Up To Play With Changes
People interested in finding out how the proposed improvements to freedom camping might affect them are being invited to an information-sharing webinar... More>>




InfoPages News Channels