The Story Of Whakatohea's Struggle During The Nineteenth And Twentieth Centuries.
This is a tribal history of Maori scholar Ranginui Walker's own iwi, Whakatohea of Opotiki, with the emphasis on the epic events of the nineteenth century and the tribe's subsequent struggle for social justice.
The account of what happened to the tribe in the nineteenth century is challenging and often quite gripping. Whakatohea were devastated by the Musket Wars of the 1820s. In fact the town of Opotiki was deserted for a decade. Then in the 1840s and 1850s the tribe enjoyed great economic prosperity, growing crops and owning coastal ships.
The Land Wars, however, were a disaster for Whakatohea following the famous Rev. Volkner affair. A large column of imperial troops invaded their territory. Property was looted and destroyed, their land confiscated.
As Ranginui Walker himself says, 'the history of Whakatohea is a microcosm of the history of New Zealand'. Settlement of their claim before the Waitangi Tribunal is still pending.