Brash: British meddling in 250-year event not wanted

The British High Commissioner should be withdrawn over her factually incorrect meddling in our 250-year national celebration, Hobson’s Pledge spokesman Don Brash said today.  

British High Commissioner Laura Clarke said: “What we did today, really acknowledged, perhaps properly for the first time, that nine people and nine ancestors were killed in those first meetings between Captain Cook and New Zealand Maori, and that is not how any of us would have wanted those first encounters to have happened.”

The High Commissioner may or may not be aware that the 250-year celebration of visits by Captain James Cook, as well as of the Polynesian navigators who visited here, has become politicised with racist allegations against Cook,” Dr Brash said.

“She acknowledged Cook’s regret over the deaths but failed to acknowledge that he recorded four or five deaths at Gisborne, as recorded in Cook’s diary, instead inflating the number to nine,” he said.

“Unwittingly, the British High Commissioner sided with activists and helped them score a major propaganda point,” Dr Brash said.

“The suggestion that Maori are labouring under any type of pain or hardship as a result of Captain Cook’s arrival has no foundation,” he said.

“The protests suddenly appeared when plans for the 250th anniversary were revealed. The platform was created and the protesters appeared,” Dr Brash said.

In 1642, Maori greeted Tasman’s crew by killing four and eating one of them. Will there be an expression of regret to the Dutch? he said. 

The British Government should butt out of New Zealand race relations, he said.

See UK expresses 'regret' over Māori killings after Cook's arrival in New Zealand,