This excerpt from the first episode of James Belich’s award-winning history of Māori vs Pākehā armed conflict examines growing Māori resentment following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. The focus is on Ngā Puhi chief Hōne Heke, who sees few concessions to partnership. The refusal of the British to fly a Māori flag alongside the Union Jack particularly incenses him — and his celebrated acts of civil disobedience directed at this symbol of Imperial rule flying over the town Kororāreka (now Russell) lead to the outbreak of war in the north.
Each amputation asked this question — if the British could not protect their own flag, in the midst of one of their largest settlements, what could they protect?– James Belich on Hōne Heke’s felling of the flagstaffs
Released on DVD
Made with funding from NZ On Air.