Parihaka has become a byword for Maori refusal to yield land, culture and dignity to New Zealand's colonial government. Well after the end of the New Zealand Wars, the people of this small settlement at the foot of Mt Taranaki held out against the encroachments of Pakeha settlers in a struggle that swapped the weapons of war for the weapons of peace.
Taking as their symbol the white feather, the chiefs Te Whiti and Tohu led Parihaka in one of the world's first-recorded campaigns of passive resistance. Maori ploughmen wrote its message across the settlers' pastures, and Maori fencers underlined the point by throwing barriers across the queen's highways. Withstanding repeated military action, the spirit of resistance born at Parihaka kept alive the flame of that supposedly 'dying race', the Maori.
Ask That Mountain draws on official papers, settler manuscripts and oral history to give the first complete account of what took place at Parihaka. Now in its ninth edition, this seminal work was in 1995 named by the Sunday Star-Times as one of the ten most important books published in New Zealand.