Sport 40: 2012
An Englishman, an Irishman and a Welshman walk into Pä
This is the way of it. Before I have memorised her in a way that will last forever, my mother is gone. If someone asks me to recite my ﬁrst memory, which consists of chickens in a yard and an old farmhouse and an outside toilet, it will contain this absence. For the rest of my childhood, I don’t think it matters.
When I was small I was provided for, though most of the time I found it necessary to keep my head down. I didn’t walk out of my childhood bruised or broken in body, but when I was reminded of this by someone who was there I wondered why I should be grateful. I want to believe a protected childhood is a thing that can be taken for granted. Films featuring children sometimes worry me. It’s a delicate balance—they could go either way. In the next scene, the mother might look away or the father might lose control and the childhood could be ruined. There are no guarantees.
There are some things bestowed on me by my upbringing that others might ﬁnd unacceptable, or at least distasteful. From the earliest I learnt that people come in categories—separate shades of colour that all represent aberrations from the norm of culture and behaviour. Poor people are inherently better than rich. Men have no restraint. Women are slippery untrustworthy witches. I rather like the idea of that, but can never quite get over the man-thing, even when experience suggests otherwise.
I ﬁnd I disagree with most of this inheritance, but it is inherited just the same.
I became one of those girls who take great inspiration and comfort from the stories of grandmothers and great-grandmothers. These stories were missing when I was very young so, while I did not think I was much in need of a mother, I thought the world a bland and frustrated sort of a thing. Something was missing, I knew. It was as if I had access only to a watered-down version of things—washed-out pastels and black-and-white surfaces.
As a teenager I became reacquainted with the mother I had never known and a heritage that was richer than I had imagined. Mothers brought with them whole tribes, I discovered. Aunts and uncles! A grandmother! And stories about the people who had gone before. There was the one about the great-grandmother who taught her son to pig hunt in the bush because her husband was too busy with the drink; the one about the great-great-grandmother who bestowed her land to the hapü and took my own grandmother to look after when her mother died. We have a sepia photo of this kuia from a ﬁlm she was in—ﬁerce brow, sharp but nearly blind eyes, strong chin jutting forth a challenge. I named my ﬁrst daughter after her simply for the staunchness that emanated from her image. You needed that kind of kaha, I believed, to get by in this world. My grandmother, of course, followed in her footsteps. Having been whangaied by others, she looked after everyone, her own and not her own, spending lifetimes between marae and courts and social workers, until her heart gave way.
There were countless ancestors like them, these immediate grand- mothers: providers all, warriors some, women who spent their days in service and survival, leadership and sacriﬁce. They were extraordinary women to look up to. My life has always been too soft and comfortable to make me their equal. This inheritance, though, has been even stronger than the stilted upbringing. These grandmothers brought me a world shot through with bold colour. They suggested origins that ranged from earth, sea and mountain, to the vastness of space: te pö, they whispered, te korekore. Sometimes they gave me access to te ao marama—the world of light, where one can see clearly.
Nature and nurture tugged at each other and came to a sort of page 7 uneasy truce. I’m learning to live with the disagreements between one inheritance and the other. ‘Harmony is the acceptance of contradictory things,’ says Shekhar Kapur, and ‘ultimately the universe is a contradiction’.1 My universe certainly is.
What will be remembered
Every day and night I’m in Auckland, I walk past a woman who lies and sometimes sits on a Hello Kitty™ duvet on the street. She is usually in the same doorway: quiet, innocuous, staring. Occasionally she asks for change. I walk past without looking too hard, and offer her nothing. She looks reasonably healthy and sane from the corner of my vision. Apparently this is something I can tell by looking. I think she must be incredibly tough. I think she must have other options. I wonder where she pees and what she eats. I wonder where the rest of her stuff is.
We stay at a very fancy hotel. I am surprised that, while a novelty, the opulence of the place does not disturb me as much as I might have predicted. Perhaps poor people aren’t inherently better than rich. Perhaps it is okay to play at richness since this is not part of our real life. I make jokes about the sumptuous furniture in the lobbies, which is rarely touched—ornate couches and ﬁnely crafted sets of drawers that will never hold anything. We could set up our living room there, I suggest, no one’s using it.
Both my partner and I enjoy the storied space of graveyards— how a city tells its history through its dead. One of the things we do before we leave the city is cross the street to walk through the cemetery. A man overhears us discussing where to go and launches into a strangely friendly rant about how the gravestones have been vandalised by druggies and taggers. We realise the extent of this when we see empty alcohol containers littering a grave. This cemetery has been sliced through to make room for a motorway, like Bolton Street in Wellington. We walk down and read of the bodies disinterred and placed in a mass grave. Back up by the street, we’re both curious about page 8 some very old brick cemetery buildings, but curtail any investigation when we see that people have left their belongings there, where they sleep. As we leave the graveyard and wash our hands in a public drinking fountain, I wonder what kind of story this tells: the way a city treats its living and its dead.
Ornate and empty hotel furniture can’t compare to the riches of well-worn family drawers and cabinets, and cemeteries. Sometimes people still espouse that old prejudice: the history of New Zealand is so recent, so limited. Have they looked, I always wonder, really looked? Whenever I peek over the brim of the last century to the one before I am staggered by the stories there, the cluster of voices all clamouring for attention. Most of them have never been heard, and they seem much more quirky and lively and bawdy than the accepted histories suggest.
On our last day in Auckland my partner offers the woman on the Hello Kitty™ duvet a couple of spare apples. She’ll take just one, she replies, reluctantly. Later, when I write about her, I wonder how to convey the strength and dignity in her voice, my own inability to comprehend her place in the world. I wonder what her story is, but at the time I didn’t ask.
When my ﬁrst daughter was a baby my mother made a composite photo for her, comprising photos of six generations of women in her maternal line, uninterrupted since her namesake kuia in the early 1900s, our marae in the background. A powerful legacy in the face of which the story of male ancestors held much less fascination. Until last year. I was on the trail of another great-great grandmother, on the other side of the family. I soon discovered it was not her, but her father who held the mystery, for we could discover nothing of him but the name: Haimona—a transliteration of Simon, a fairly common name. Every other line in the whakapapa travelled back much further, origins and migrations recorded in detail. We think Haimona was Moriori. The obliteration of his history seems to support this theory.
Looking for Haimona meant exploring the whakapapa around page 9 him. I discovered more ancestors, more family stories now reaching back seven generations or more. It meant just as much to learn the women’s names as the men’s, but this time it was the stories of male ancestors that claimed attention. I had come to understand the kinds of lives my grandmothers had had. Their stories had dominated my imagination for a long time. I knew little about the men: what kinds of lives did they have? Why were more of them Päkehä than I’d realised, and how did they come to earn chieﬂy wives? And why did it matter to me?
A loss early in life can be a deﬁning thing. If we want to go to the source of a person’s obsessions, it is perhaps best to take a journey through their early years. After all, some things, once taken out of a childhood, cannot be put back. For me, the picture of what a family or culture consists of was never complete. I hungered for stories of origins, and stories of how people make families. ‘Stories matter,’ says Chimamanda Adichie, ‘lots of stories matter’:
It is impossible to engage properly with a place or person without engaging with all of the stories of that place or that person. The consequence of the single story is this: it robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of an equal humanity difﬁcult. It emphasises how we are different, rather than how we are similar.2
And what if you don’t know all your own stories?
I took what I had learned about Haimona and all his in-laws, and I charted the whakapapa. I made copies of this chart and gave one to my mother for Christmas.
The ﬁrst time I encounter James Worser Heberley is in a picture in Trevor Bentley’s 1999 book, Pakeha Maori. He frowns at the camera, his hand clasped protectively over that of his wife, Te Wai, who sits on a chair beside him. Her face is blurred, though her body is not, as page 10 if she were shaking her head slightly as the shot was taken. Heberley sports impressive sideburns that grow down like a beard in the style of the time, but the front of his face is clean shaven. His nose is broad and his lips as wide and full as his wife’s. Bentley says he was one of ‘Te Rauparaha’s original Pakeha toa, [who] as a young man joined Ngati Toa in their intertribal musket battles.’3 Something about the Heberley name stays with me for a while before I realise where I have heard it. I pull out the whakapapa chart I created only weeks before and ﬁnd the Heberley name immediately, just above my great- great-great grandparents—Sarah Heberley and William (Pire) Henry Keenan. James ‘Worser’ Heberley and Maata Te Naehi e Wai (Te Wai) were Sarah’s parents. Half Mäori, half English-German, Sarah married a man who also had mixed blood, an Irish-Mäori.
Heberley’s eyes are penetrating and troubled. When I look closely they seem marked by sorrow rather than anger, though I am not sure I want this man to be my ancestor. Bentley’s book is full of bloodshed and cannibalism, thieves and mercenaries. His Mäori are bloodthirsty opportunists, his Päkehä variations of disreputable anarchists. To be fair, he doesn’t demonise either group. They both, it seemed, brought with them unsavoury as well as honourable practices. But the Aotearoa he describes is not one I recognise. Bentley seems to highlight every cannibal feast, every juicy narrative. According to Pakeha Maori, Heberley would have taken part in some of Te Rauparaha’s most vicious raids on South Island tribes.
I have not read every historical account Bentley references, but of the other sources I’ve found, none asserts Heberley’s allegiance to Te Rauparaha. They tend to emphasise Heberley’s more famous pursuits: he helped Dieffenbach climb Mt Taranaki, thereby becoming the ﬁrst known man4 to gain the summit; he was Wakeﬁeld’s pilot and later the ﬁrst pilot of Wellington, bestowing his nickname on the bay where he lived and worked: ‘Worser’. The name is usually attributed to ‘his habit of warning that the weather would get “worser and worser”.’5page 11
This story may be only legend, however, since Worser’s own journal states that he was teased about living in a Mäori raised storehouse or ‘whata’ before he had built his own house. ‘Tangata Whata’ soon became Europeanised to ‘Worser’.6
Heberley’s own account is also unclear on his loyalty to the warrior chief. For the most part his early stories of life in Queen Charlotte Sound consist of making do as best he can. He describes several skirmishes, and the necessity to ﬂee from his home at Te Awaiti. He uses the term ‘we’ often, though sometimes it is unclear whether he is simply referring to himself and his family, his Päkehä cohort, which includes fellow whaler and employer, Jacky Guard, or the Mäori tribes they are living with. Perhaps at different times he means all, or different combinations of these groups. When they ﬂee attack, they often return months or weeks later to ﬁnd all their homes destroyed.
There are two revealing references to Heberley’s relationship with Te Rauparaha, aside from his matter of fact observations of ritual feasts. His obituary states:
[Heberley] well remembered his return with 500 prisoners from the famous raid to Kaiapoi 67 years ago; witnessed the murder of the prisoners, and the cannibal orgie that ensued. He afterwards owed his life to that same Rauparaha, who threw his cloak over him just in the nick of time to save him from a Waikato tomahawk upraised to brain him.7
This latter event occurred soon after they had ﬂed the Sounds for Te Rauparaha’s northern stronghold:
We took our Boats and the Natives their Canoes, the Southern Natives followed us but they could not catch us, for we could outpull them, we went across to the other island and stayed at Kapiti, the Natives were at war again . . . so I took my boat and two natives to pull with me to page 12 a place called [Waikanae] to land my wife and child among her own tribe, I came back to Kapiti . . . 8
Heberley also records that he paid Te Rauparaha with tobacco for the protection of his cloak. He seemed to have a distant allegiance to the chief, owing more to the necessity of survival than a taste for warrior life. Later he is braver in his descriptions: ‘he was very troublesome . . . we were not sorry when he took his departure . . .’9
Bentley’s narrative, often derived from Päkehä Mäori returning to ‘civilization’ who could make a good bob or two from stories of savages and feasts of human ﬂesh, makes early New Zealand seem a relentless and nightmarish world. While there is plenty of evidence of this in journals like Heberley’s, it doesn’t always reﬂect the reality of ordinary people trying to survive troubled, rapidly changing times. So many must’ve been trying to get by in their own peaceful way. Engage in commerce. Stay out of the way of that uncle or cousin who was on a rampage. Make a deal. It didn’t always work out, history tells us that. It also doesn’t make as exciting a narrative.
On balance, Heberley’s story is for the most part about trying to ﬁnd a way to live in an unforgiving world. Back in Britain, he was sent to work at the age of 11, and served for years at a time on various ships, sometimes captained by ‘tyrants’, sometimes by men who found him destitute and offered him food and shelter. He doesn’t expand on the hardships in great detail, apart from the beatings with frozen rope or dogﬁsh tail that sent him from one ship to another. It must’ve been a grim, frightening business for a boy growing up. There was some light relief when he began whaling as a young man, the rituals of cutting in being quite festive: ‘the Steward sang out Grog O—and we began to cut in the ﬁrst whale . . . we began to get pretty merry . . . they danced away, although the Decks were greasy with the Blubber, every one got drunk but not so far, as to neglect their work . . .’10
When at last he came to Queen Charlotte Sound in 1830, he was told ‘there were plenty of Houses in Te Awaite and Native Women, page 13 and that we had nothing to do but to go in our Boats and catch Fish’.11 It was not that simple, for there were no houses, and the next ten years were ﬁlled with conﬂicts between warring tribes that Heberley found difﬁcult to avoid. He must have liked the place and the people though, since he stayed amongst the tribes. He soon found himself a wife in Port Underwood, Te Wai of Te Ati Awa, who ‘clearly had important chieﬂy connections’12 and ‘reared a large family’.13 Says Bentley: ‘There is an important Maori woman in the story of every known Pakeha Maori’.14 He also quotes Markham from the time: ‘in fact it is not safe to live in the country without a chief’s daughter as a protection as they are always backed by their tribe’.15 Multiple wives were not uncommon, though Heberley seemed protective of and content with one, and of course ‘Mäori wives were rarely compliant or servile partners’.16 Like the other ancestors in this story, Worser and Te Wai have hundreds, if not thousands, of descendants.
When my mother tells me about our European ancestors, it is with the same pride that she describes our tüpuna Mäori. Her pride in being Welsh and Irish is at least equal to that of being Ngäti Tüwharetoa or Te Äti Awa. Henry Eagar and Jackson Keenan were among the ﬁrst ancestors she introduced me to. Eagar is from her mother’s whakapapa, Keenan from her father’s. She has photos of each, and speaks of them with a fondness I suspect most Päkehä families would retain only for family members they had known in their lifetime.
It should be said that in the robust Keenan line there are many family historians more knowledgeable than I. I can only touch on those elements of our original Irish ancestor’s story that correspond with the experiences of my other ancestral Päkehä Mäori. Jackson’s grandfather, William Henry Keenan (Te Puponga), was born in 1806 page 14 in Sydney, but was said to have been from County Cork, Ireland. He ﬁrst landed in Taranaki in the 1820s, and was among the group of Päkehä, including Dicky Barrett and John Love, who assisted the local Ngämotu people when Ötaka Pä was attacked by Waikato tribes:
The siege was pressed with great vigour, and the pa would have fallen before the overwhelming number of the invaders, had it not been for the heroic stand made by the whalers. Time after time the enemy succeeded in gaining an entrance, but they were in every case driven out with loss . . .17
The whalers had taken their chances inside the palisaded pä, and emerged, with their hosts, victorious. Their fates were now linked. Although they won the battle at Otaka, Taranaki tribes still faced immense pressure from other tribes, and in 1832 began to migrate south. ‘Also in the migration were the people of Ngäti Mutunga . . . and Te Puponga (William Keenan) from New Plymouth . . .’18 During their journey, ﬁghting broke out at Whanganui,
and in the feast that followed, Keenan inadvertently partook of some human ﬂesh, greatly to his disgust. The natives were highly diverted at this mistake and Keenan came in for a great deal of ‘chaff’ over it . . .19
Mäori names and wives were bestowed on most of the original group of Päkehä at Ngämotu. Tribal protection was returned to them for the efforts they had expended to protect the tribe. Keenan had the good fortune to earn the hand of Katarina Hikimapu Takuna (Catherine). Both the Keenans and the Heberleys married the Mäori way, had several children, then obtained Christian marriages and page 15 christenings for their children when a Minister passed through the area. Both settled in Queen Charlotte Sound, and, in the late 1850s, saw their families linked through marriage.
The families were, of course, also linked by whaling, and by their presence in the area prior to active colonisation. Keenan’s 1880 obituary is effusive and revealing of the time:
Another of the links has been destroyed, and the chain that binds the present with the past is becoming gradually weaker . . . With the gift of a ﬂuent tongue and retentive memory what tales he could have told about the manners and customs of olden times, before the advent of any but European adventurers in the colony; when the early comers were more Mäorised than the Natives themselves, and might, not right, ruled this fair land. . .
Few residents in this part but can call to mind the tall upright ﬁgure that was conspicuous, especially on regatta days, his curt sentences, as if he was afraid to use two words when one would answer the purpose, and his curiosity in inquiring into the use and meaning of anything new or strange. . .20
It must have been this combination of irrepressible curiosity and reserve that allowed Keenan to succeed in his new home. I can imagine his horror at the scene in Whanganui, his desire to ﬁt in with his hosts almost undermining his European sensibilities. But there must have been immense, sinewy toughness too. Both Keenan and Heberley lived long lives, despite, or perhaps because of, the challenges faced. Although I don’t know about the ﬁrst Keenan’s appearance, his son William Henry (Pire) was said to have had red hair, twenty children, and been ‘dogged by misfortune’.21 These were men who lived by the fortunes the sea bestowed on them, and the fortunes bestowed on them by the tribes they married into. It is difﬁcult to tell whether the red hair or the many children contributed to William Jnr’s misfortune, though it is known that his second wife Piki Love saved him from drowning when all others had failed. Perhaps he was lucky after all, in marriage.
The photo my mother has of Henry Francis Eagar shows a thin and well-dressed man with a long straight beard that reaches to his chest. His pocket watch is prominent, his back straight. He stares into the distance with an expression that gives nothing away. With him are his daughter Riria and his grandson Keremete.
The day I look for Koro Eagar at the cemetery of Rangiätea Church, it is windy and cold, but not raining. It has been stormy for days, frequent thunder and lightning sending the dog spinning on her heels, barking madly as if to scare off her tormenter, hackles raised. As soon as we arrive, a light rain begins. We look at all the older headstones, especially the ones with clasping hands, of which there are many. According to my mother, Koro Eagar has this image carved on his headstone. A Rangiätea historian might be able to tell us the exact signiﬁcance of the relief carved handshakes, though the symbolism is fairly self-evident. Ötaki is a place where Mäori and Päkehä worked hard to establish community together.
We don’t ﬁnd my ancestor immediately, and the rain rapidly becomes heavy. My family take shelter while I continue my search. I go up the hill when I think I have exhausted other possibilities. The downpour becomes wild, sending biting rain at my skin. As the squall whips up around me I wonder whether I am being told to leave, but I am determined to look. I quickly survey all the stones on the hill and then begin my descent, looking at the last few headstones on the way. ‘Well, I give up,’ I say, when I reach my family. The rain has lightened. ‘Have you looked at that one?’ my partner asks, pointing to a monument behind me. I doubt it is Koro Eagar’s. We look towards the large freestanding obelisk-shaped memorial, separate but not too far from the other headstones. There are two hands clasped in a high relief handshake at the centre of the stone pillar. Better take another look. I jog over, see the words in Mäori ﬁrst: H.F. IKA. Then I know. It’s him.
I am surprised at how grand his memorial is. Perhaps this was why I didn’t look at ﬁrst. Sometimes a large headstone can suggest ostentatious wealth. But many things about Eagar’s stone suggest his memorial is indicative of high esteem, rather than pretentiousness. It reads:page 17
LOVING MEMORY OF
H F EAGAR
TENA KOE PAKEHA
E TAPU ANA TENEI HEI W HAKAMAHARATANGA MO
H F IKA
I MATE IA I TE 13 O AKUHATA 1911
On the plinth at the base of the memorial are the words:
HE TANGATA WHAKAPONO, AROHA HOKI KI TE IWI MAORI ME NGA PAKEHA TAE NOA KI TONA MATENGA HAERE R A KI TO MATUA I TE RANGI
There are two things that strike me immediately about this inscription. One, there has been much effort expended to tell this particular story about Eagar. He was ‘a man of faith’ and also had ‘love22 for the Mäori people and the Päkehä until his death’. Secondly, with the exception of the ﬁrst part of the inscription, the memorial is completely written in Mäori. Particularly affecting is the engraving of his habitual saying ‘Tena koe Pakeha’ inscribed above the handshake, which is almost three-dimensional and stands out in white stone.
Ofﬁcial records do not detail Eagar’s involvement with Mäori communities, apart from his status as secretary of the Ötaki Mäori Racing Club: ‘the only Mäori racing club in New Zealand, and possibly one of a few truly indigenous horse racing clubs in the world. . .’ He was ‘the most important individual in the early years’.23 He was also secretary to the early Ötaki Library, and:
Harry Eagar was the clerk to both [Te Horo and Otaki Road] boards, also secretary of many different concerns. Dust inside and on the page 18 papers of the shelves did not impair the efﬁciency of the clerk, nor dull the greeting of ‘Tenakoe, Pakeha’, which was usually accorded a local visitor. Eagar’s funeral, which took place on August 16, 1911, was very largely attended.24
Says A.J. Dreaver in Horowhenua County and its People: A Centennial History:25 ‘The Cyclopaedia (1896) called him “the veritable Pooh- bah” of Otaki.’
Ötaki at the time was a metropolis of 836 citizens. This might not be impressive now, but back then it had promising prospects:
OTAKI, the largest township since setting out from the Capital, is well situated, and near the sea coast, and although under Maori rule, as it were, is yet destined to become an important town for . . . the town and district have many elements of prosperity . . . [and] Otaki will become a resort for invalids, globe-trotters, and people seeking relaxation from the cares of city life.26
The community at the time was emphatically bi-cultural, perhaps more Mäori than Päkehä, and still retains a strong culturally distinct personality. There were shadows in Eagar’s life, as there are in any. I do not know what to make of the absence of his wife in our knowledge of him. Apparently he had caused offence to his in-laws, but I do not have the details of that, and with regards to some whakapapa, it is best to tread lightly over unsettled ground.
From the history I can piece together, I can’t say for sure what any of this tells us about Koro Eagar. We know him as the Welsh ancestor, though he was born in Sydney and his name is Anglo-Saxon. He was obviously a hard-working community man, but I can’t tell if I would’ve been on his side around the committee table.
What I am left with is a sense that he walked between two cultures, and that he did what he could to integrate both. He wasn’t like my older Päkehä Mäori ancestors—though he married into the culture and adopted the language just as fast. His was a world that was rapidly page 19 becoming Europeanised. Those that paid attention still did well by engaging and adopting Mäori views and ideas, by nurturing Mäori friends and families. Perhaps he was one of a new kind of citizen: one who could be accountable to both Mäori and Päkehä worlds. Rangiätea urupa carries testimony to this: a pointed memorial, hands clasped in friendship, the cheery greeting Tena koe Pakeha.
We are always looking for what was lost, always trying to map connections. Once I thought I could be an archaeologist, but now I see that what I might become instead is an excavator of stories. Sometimes these stories can be dug out of family graveyards, sometimes found in the wilderness of imagination; sometimes it is tempting to pick on the living, but I can see that they won’t be happy about it and I’d prefer to go on being loved, or at least, tolerated.
I wonder whether my preoccupations are connected to that ﬁrst, primal, lost relation in my life, though I wouldn’t like to place too much weight on this conclusion. There are no straight lines. There is no clear path. Excavation is the clearing of dirt: patient brushing away of layer after layer of dust, the use of ﬁne tools. A light tap, a slow chipping away. Careful! You don’t want to damage the last remnant. Have you done the right karakia? Are the gods on your side?
‘Stories deﬁne the potentialities of our existence,’ according to Kapur.27 Tangata Whata, Te Puponga, Ika. That these Päkehä were given Mäori names, even in jest, shows the intimacy they shared with Mäori. They took a different approach to engaging with the ‘other’. These ﬁrst European settlers chose to see what was here already. They looked to the land and seas and peoples they encountered, and decided to bind themselves to the lives and customs that already existed. They didn’t try to superimpose their world on the land they came to.
Of course, like many good stories, this one touches on the challenge of prejudice, the mediating power of sex, and the triumph of mythology. From the ﬁrst I was made aware that I came from two peoples, and that these two peoples had a lot of unﬁnished business page 20 to attend to. This was done explicitly and implicitly on many levels through intimate family relationships and impersonal national media. Like many mixed-origin people, I’ve encountered racism from both sides, which is to be expected, since both feed each other. What made me interested in the stories of my Päkehä Mäori ancestors was this: if we have been intermarrying since earliest European contact, and if our earliest white ancestors in New Zealand were willing to approach their ethnic identity in a ﬂuid and adaptable way, why wasn’t the development of New Zealand culture more representative of the experiences and approaches of these men?
Perhaps a new approach lies in the convoluted mass of stories from our collective past. My heritage has only ever consisted of a multitude of messy, conﬂicting, surprising stories. The more of them I discover, the more I am content that my personal story of loss and confusion and strange beginnings is not so unusual. I’ve sought them out, these ﬁercely independent, alternative-lifestyle Päkehä grandfathers, to keep me company. To keep company with the kauri-brown ancestral wahine toa I like to visit often. I bet they like it there. They know their place, and it’s better than where they came from. They’ve paid the prices that were asked of them, adopted the reo and tikanga, earned their turf through work and war and the making of babies. Their stories represent an earlier whakapapa, an alternative form of settlement. While Päkehä Mäori ancestors had their own issues, could their stories represent another model of intercultural interaction for all of us? Could the story of Aotearoa–New Zealand develop differently if we recognised all the stories, not just those of conquest and conﬁscation, of laws and land courts, but the unexpected, the unpopular, the unwritten?
1 Shekhar Kapur, TED India, Nov 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2011 from http:// www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/shekhar_kapur_we_are_the_stories_we_tell_ ourselves.html
2 Chimamanda Adichie, TED Global, Jul 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2011 from http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/chimamanda _ adichie _the _ danger_ of_a_single_story.html
3 Bentley, Trevor, Pakeha Mäori, 1999, p. 85.
4 It would be reasonable to assume this, since Taranaki was tapu to Mäori. Local Mäori that accompanied Dieffenbach and Heberley stopped where the snow-line began.
5 Neich, Roger, ‘Jacob William Heberley of Wellington: A Mäori Carver in a Changed World’, Records of the Auckland Institute and Museum, 1991, No. 28, p. 71.
7 ‘The Oldest Of Old Settlers’, Otago Daily Times, Issue 11551, 11 October 1899, p. 3. Retrieved 4 July 2011 from http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi- bin/paperspast?a=d&d=ODT18991011.2.8
8 Heberley, James, Reminiscences, Jan 1809–Jun 1843, Alexander Turnbull Library.
12 Neich, p. 74.
13 Heberley, Reminiscences.
14 Bentley, p. 193.
15 Ibid, p. 195.
16 Ibid, p. 201.
17 Journal of the Polynesian Society, 1910, Vol. 19, No. 1, History and traditions of the Taranaki coast. Chapter XVIII, The defence of Otaka or Nga-motu. Retrieved 4 July 2011 from http://www.jps.auckland.ac.nz/ document/ Volume_19_1910/ Volume_19,_No._1/ History_and_traditions_ of_the_Taranaki_coast._Chapter_XVIII,_The_defence_of_Otaka_or_Nga- motu,_p_25-38/p1
18 Morris Love. ‘Te Äti Awa of Wellington—The migration of 1832, Te Ara—The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 4 July 2011 from http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/te-ati-awa-of-wellington/3
19 Journal of the Polynesian Society (see n.17, above).
20 Marlborough Press, Friday 1 October 1880.
21 Mike Taylor (Picton Museum), Family Research Papers.
22 Empathy, compassion.
23 Retrieved 12 July 2011 from http://www.otakimaoriracing.co.nz/page/our-history.aspx
24 F.S. Simcox, Otaki: The Town and District, 1952, p. 188–119
25 Dunmore Press, 1984, pp. 125– 6.
26 Cyclopaedia of New Zealand, 1897, p. 1090. Retrieved 4 July 2011 from http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-Cyc01Cycl-t1-body-d4-d121-d1.html
27 Shekhar Kapur, TED India, Nov 2009.