< April 2021 newsletter

Another Media Council Fail

Recently a member sent a letter of complaint to Stuff regarding a comment made by Labour MP Arena Williams as guest columnist in newspapers published throughout New Zealand during February. The Williams commentary trotted out the oft-repeated lie about the Rangiaowhia affray - saying that “Colonel Nixon… was famous for razing unfortified Rangiaowhia while men, women and children burnt in their church.”

The member writes: 

“That would certainly be a callous act if it were true. But it is not. 

After receiving an unsatisfactory response, including a misguided history lesson courtesy of Carmen Parahi at Stuff, the same complaint was submitted to the NZ Media Council. I pointed out that there is plenty of evidence to support that the claim made by Williams never happened, and that I wasn’t looking to argue who’s right. I simply wanted Stuff to amend the article to state that the claim made by Williams was contentious, and that there were multiple versions of this story in circulation - some had facts to back them up, others were based on oral history (such as the William’s version). I believe it is in the public interest to make plain this distinction.

The Media Council, after providing a further history lesson, agreed the claim by Williams was contentious, and because of this, there were no grounds to proceed".

“So, the Media Council, instead of doing their job of promoting accuracy, fairness and balance, have taken a side on this issue. I would say that is contrary to their principles”.

The media’s collusion in the promulgation of false versions of our history without challenge has emboldened political activists such as Leah Bell, a history student at Victoria University, to present a grossly distorted account of the incident at Rangiaowhia to a Fairfield College Assembly a few days ago. This assembly included students from seven local high schools – Fairfield College, Waikato Diocesan School, St Paul's Collegiate, Fraser High School, Rototuna High School, Sacred Heart and Hamilton Girls' High School. 

The report of Ms Bell's speech by Stuff reveals an emotionally manipulative diatribe, in danger of inflaming anger and hatred in young minds.  

In response, Bruce Moon has sent letters to the Principals of the schools concerned, pointing out that the Bell presentation was a based on a grossly distorted version of events on that day, and attaching an account of what actually occurred - based on the words of some who took part - with extensive references.

For well documented accounts of the incident at Rangiaowhia, 21 February 1864, please see:

What you can do

Please take every opportunity to challenge false history whenever it arises. If you would like to follow Bruce Moon's example and send messages to each of the schools whose students attended the Fairfield College Assembly in question, please see  the email addresses listed below:

<[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>



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Start From Scratch: The New Zealand Histories Curriculum

Sean Plunket recently asked one of our top historians, Dr Paul Moon, Professor of History at Auckland University of Technology, for his view on the new history curriculum to be taught in New Zealand schools. His answer? Start from scratch. Continue reading

More on our highly unsatisfactory new NZ history curriculum

Haka performed in front of the Ōhinemutu pā, which withstood the assault by Te Waharoa in 1836. PUBL-0014-53, Angas, George French, 1822–1886: War dance before the Pah of Oinemutu, near Rotorua Lake. J.W. Giles lith., 1847. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. Following the comments we made last month about the inexplicable decision by the Ministry of Education not to release for public viewing submissions made on the proposed new history curriculum, look at what noted  historian Dr Paul Moon says about how the exercise was handled.  Continue reading

No real changes to the radical draft New Zealand ‘histories’ curriculum

A recently released report on the draft curriculum content for teaching New Zealand’s ‘histories’ in our schools points to a determination to continue down the path of foisting upon our children an ideologically driven lop-sided version of our history. This is despite much criticism about the lack of balance in the draft content from historians, educationalists, parents/family, and community members. Continue reading

New history curriculum - thumbs down from some

The Government has recently released their draft New Zealand history curriculum, which has been circulated for public feedback. The main themes include the arrival of Māori, early colonial history, the Treaty of Waitangi, the New Zealand wars, and New Zealand's role in the Pacific. Continue reading

The indoctrination of our children through fake history

Many of us have grave reservations about the content the new, soon-to-be-compulsory history curriculum. As political commentator Chris Trotter writes in Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story:  “If Maori nationalist historians can seize control of the new, soon-to-be-compulsory, history curriculum, then the necessary ideological preparations can be made for a radical constitutional transformation”. We have a right to expect a fair view of our history that it will be taught in a factual and unbiased manner. However, our hopes are already being dashed - the indoctrination of children through fake history is already being realised. Continue reading

Event to commemorate Governor Hobson

Auckland City Early Heritage Group seeks to revive the tradition of showing respect to the founder of Auckland and father of modern New Zealand, Governor William Hobson. This month marks 177 years since he died of stroke complications in the city he created. Today his remains are buried in Grafton Cemetery. Continue reading

Recommended reading

Navigators and Naturalists – French exploration of New Zealand and the South Seas (1769 - 1824), by Michael Lee. Married and Gone to New Zealand, edited by Alison Drummond. Anyone interested in the truth about NZ history should read these books. Continue reading