The Forgotten Coast reviewed for Tui Motu InterIslands Magazine


Richard Wild has reviewed The Forgotten Coast in the March edition of Tui Motu InterIslands Magazine:

‘Until recently, the sacking of Parihaka, and subsequent land confiscation was rarely acknowledged or discussed. Taranaki family histories invariably begin with the narrative of first generation settlers breaking in the land. It was a narrative of remembering and forgetting.

Richard Shaw uses his family story as a prism to examine this disturbing history: his ancestors participated in the invasion of Parihaka and his family farmed confiscated land. The Parihaka story still has the power to shock: colonialism, supposedly a means to “civilise” indigenous peoples, in reality meant confiscating Māori land and destroying Māori culture.

Many readers will recognise in The Forgotten Coast elements of their own family and regional history. Like Shaw, many Pākehā are now “filling in the silences of the past.” The author writes of coming to terms with colonisation, and his family’s part in the process  acknowledging the harm caused, rather than living in a state of permanent amnesia.

I recommend this book to any New Zealander who hopes, in Shaw’s words, to “not go out the way they came in.”’