Maori prisoners in Dunedin, 1869-1872 and 1879-1881 : exiled for a cause
The exile of Maori prisoners to Dunedin in 1869 and again in 1879, was due to the Northern wars and the confiscation of land in Taranaki by the Government. Maori never accepted the 'justice' imposed on them and active resistance to the confiscations continued throughout the 1860's, 1870's and 1880's. The first group of prisoners to reach Dunedin were Pakakohe men who had been allied with Titokowaru and his armed resistance to the confiscations. The second group were from Parihaka, they also resisted the land alienation, but passively. This dissertation addresses the reasons for the Government's imprisonment of Taranaki Maori, and it examines the legislation passed in 1879-80. It also concentrates on the general experiences of the prisoners in Dunedin. These include the work they were involved in, living conditions and health, and finally the relationships that were formed between the prisoners and Otakou Maori. I have not explored the political and religious philosophies of Titokowaru or Te Whiti, nor have I delved into the experiences of Maori prisoners exiled in Wellington, Lyttleton, Hokitika or Ripapa Island. Therefore, this dissertation is an introduction to a larger subject, and one that deserves extensive research. Part of the research included oral history. However in exploring the use of such a resource I also discovered the special demands that it places onto the researcher, and the restrictions that a time limit imposes. To do justice to oral sources, several years’ research would be required. The scarcity of information on some aspects of the study also imposed limitations and has had some effect on the structure of the essay. Much of the available information is non-specific and does not differentiate Maori prisoners from Pakeha prisoners. The study has therefore included an element of conjecture.
Advisor: Omer-Cooper, John; Brooking, Tom
Degree Name: Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Degree Discipline: History
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Dissertation