“New Zealand doesn’t have any history.”
Do you know how many times I’ve heard that since moving here?
“New Zealand was the last major landmass to be settled; it’s too young for anything interesting to have happened.”
It’s not just immigrants that say it. It’s a sentiment shared by many born-and-bred New Zealanders. It’s repeated so often that people simply believe it.
When I moved here, I bemoaned the lack of interesting history and – perhaps as an act of homesickness – began to obsess over British history.
I watched every documentary and read every book I could get my hands on. The Britons, the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons, the Vikings, the Normans, the Plantagenets, the Tudors, the Stuarts, the Georgians, the Victorians… and then, at the twentieth century, I lost interest.
I scoffed at New Zealand’s comparatively pathetic past.
School didn’t help.
The way New Zealand history is…
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