Rua and Parnell

Three years on from the nationwide raids linked to alleged weapons-training camps in the Urewera mountain ranges I heard today on the news that court proceedings may not kick-off until May of next year 2011, nearly four years after the raids. I mention this event as I am currently working on an overview of Maori-Pakeha relations for NCEA Level 1 and have been reading Mark Derby’s excellent book The Prophet and the Policeman: The Story of Rua Kenana and John Cullen. I couldn't help but put the more recent events on a timeline of the region stretching back to Rua (and beyond) but I was also thinking how much of this story has been overlooked by cutting this topic off in 1980. I reckon there are some great research assignments based on this theme looking at the post-1980 period. There are a few entries to be found in New Zealand history online relating to Rua and they are a good opportunity to try out our new search engine.

With Labour Day approaching you might be interested in exploring the history of this public holiday. First celebrated in New Zealand on 28 October 1890 Labour Day commemorates the struggle for an eight-hour working day. New Zealand workers were among the first in the world to claim this right when, in 1840, the carpenter Samuel Parnell won an eight-hour day in Wellington.

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