New Zealand book builds a redemptive future
"The prophecy of Titahi is beginning to be fulfilled; the struggle, the pain and now the peace.” - Deanna Tamariki, Kuia, Ngati Whatua.
Author Cindy Williams does not shy away from New Zealand’s past sins in her debut novel, The Pounamu Prophecy. She highlights what you should really be remembering on 5 November when the world commemorates Guy Fawkes Day.
On 5 November in 1881 the people of Parihaka, despite their superior warrior skills, stood firmly but peacefully on their land as the Crown unlawfully arrested the leaders and burned their village.
On the same day in 2011 the people of Ngati Whatua stood on the quarter acre remnant of their land and accepted the apology of the Crown for the wrongs of the past.
“The historic choices of these Maori leaders have blessed New Zealand with a peace seldom seen in other nations. It is a heritage for every New Zealander to be proud of. It is a cause for celebration far more important than a failed attempt to blow up parliament on the other side of the world,” Cindy Williams said.
Weaving fiction with the traumatic history, The Pounamu Prophecy commemorates the injustice suffered by the Ngati Whatua tribe. The book promotes reconciliation, healing, and the rebuilding of a proud and ingenuous people.
Maori elders have also embraced the book, including Ngati Whatua Kaumatua, Danny Tumahai. "We welcome this novel as another chapter in our journey for Aucklanders and the nation to know that we are a giving and forgiving people,” Mr Tumahai said.
Cindy Williams grew up in a culturally rich part of New Zealand where the kids sang the songs, played the games, and heard the stories of Maori. Many years later she heard the injustice of the Ngati Whatua tribe. She listened to the elders who spoke about forgiveness and moving forward and knew The Pounamu Prophecy was a story that had to be told.
Yesterday Cindy Williams commemorated this emotional day with the Ngāti Whatua people at Orakei Marae.