birth of a nation

I spent three hours today at the Waitangi Treaty grounds. It’s easy to let time slip by in such a tranquil place, panoramic views of the Bay of Islands, rolling lawns, a grove of mixed plantings in a small valley, camellia, kauri, fern, oak, a real bastard mix started in the mid 19th century and looking deceptively “Urwald” original, indigenous, ancient. I imagine in mid-season the place is overrun with people, but now it’s perfect.
I came away with a copy of Paul Moons history of Hone Heke, warrior chief, military strategist, politician. Some of the old chiefs belongings are on display, including a lonhandled axe, and the attendant that took my money for the book laughed that almost everyone asks whether this is the axe, you know, the one, the one that he used to chop the flagstaff down? It isn’t, but Hone Hekes fame rests largely on that act of defiance.

There were many others.

Next… the hellhole of the pacific


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