Otaki Historical Society » August 2014

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The 37th Annual General Meeting was held on 5 August at Rotary Hall. The meeting learned with regret that Anne Thorpe was standing down as President after twelve years. She was thanked for her excellent service and presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Members elected Debbi Carson as the new President. The speaker for the evening was well-known and widely published historian Matthew Wright. He spoke about the peopling of New Zealand from the thirteenth century onwards and then paid particular attention to history in our region from around the 1820s. Figures such as Te Rauparaha, Te Rangihaeata and Edward Gibbon Wakefield were discussed, together with the economic basis of Te Rauparaha’s power in controlling the local trade for guns and gunpowder. People at the time often tried to do the best they could, but Maori and Pakeha frequently did not understand each other’s culture. This knowledgeable and riveting talk was very much enjoyed.