cry the wounded land
- page 3
What did Rawiri do that impressed you Mark?
It embarrasses as much as it impresses me! He showed us up badly! He acted more Christian than the British. He suggested to Cameron that they both agree to a strict ‘rules of conduct of battle’, and they were biblical rules – all straight out of the bible. And the sad sad thing is that the Maori who learned those biblical rules from the British obeyed them, but the British ignored them.
So what are you thinking Mark?
God there are still cultural differences. Still things that make me uncomfortable about Maori, things I don’t understand. But if I allow myself to think about stories like this one, I won’t be able to hide behind cultural discomfort. We were the tyrants, the murderers of women and children, the liars and the cheats. We were the savages!! It’s hard to get the words out God. Surely we should let the past be the past?
Yes when it is past.
What’s that supposed to mean?
You need to go back to the beginning and learn what you were meant to learn back then.
Is this more about repentance?
No. This is different. Repentance is not the original reason I called your people to this land. I want you to go back to the beginning to learn why you were brought here. What you were meant to learn. You thought you came here of your own design, but actually you were called here by me. But you
never knew that because you didn’t know how to listen. And that’s still the problem for most.
Really? What were we meant to learn?
To walk gently on the land. But instead you came and trampled all over it, killing its inhabitants in order to steal their land.
They killed us too God. They weren’t innocent.
Mark I’ll talk to them about what they did. But right now I’m talking to you about what you did. I want you to talk about the next part of the Tauranga war and then we’ll finish with the key point of this discussion – which is that you all need to walk gently on the land – and why that’s so important.
Ok well I’m a bit rusty on this bit but what I do know has
always troubled me, and that’s probably bad because I don’t know all the details – but after the battle of Gate Pa, a few weeks later, Colonel Greer was riding along with 600 men I think, and he saw that the Maori were building a new pa. These were Maori who were STILL observing strict rules of conduct, erecting another arena for battle and would then have invited the British to come and have another fair fight.
When Greer rode past with his 600 men he realised his opportunity to surprise the Maori, so he turned back and charged and slaughtered them. It’s embarrassing to be white when I read something like that God…but the worst
thing is that somehow his cowardly act got commemorated as heroic.
We, the whites, decided to name a large and important part of Tauranga after him. We called it Greerton.
Mark when you call the land names that commemorate cowardly slaughter you do great harm.
Are you talking specifically about Greerton?
No, not specifically. The blood of those you slay causes the land great pain. I want to talk about what I called you here for.
What did you call us here for?
To listen to me in a new place. When you first arrived you should have asked me what I was saying. Then; you should have walked gently on to the land and asked those here before you what I had said to them before you got
here. If you had known how to have a conversation with me you would have heard me say all that. You would have walked on to this land as a guest. A guest not a conqueror. You would have heard me say what I said to Paul in
Athens – that I was already speaking to this people.
But no, that would have been too humbling for you. That would have been to admit that these mere ‘savages’ as you called them might have heard something from me before you came. And they did. All men do. All men hear from me Mark. Some knowingly, some unknowingly. Paul told you
“Because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being
understood through what has been made.” ROM 1:19-20
Maori understand this better than you. The people of the land always do. I wanted you to learn that from them. But instead of allowing them to teach you what I had already been saying here you demanded that they listen to you talk about what I had been saying where you had come from.
Oh man God. This is waaaay too big.
What should we do then?