18 Jan 2019

Soldiers of Empire

From Summer Times, 9:17 am on 18 January 2019

The New Zealand Wars defined almost every aspect of life in Aotearoa in the 19th century. They ranged for decades and were diverse in terrain and opponents. But at their core they were a contest for sovereignty between Maori and the British Empire. 

These wars brought a flood of imperial soldiers into the country and they made an indelible mark on the landscape, language and culture of modern New Zealand. But we don't think about that too hard, at least not until recently. 

Charlotte Macdonald and her colleague Rebecca Lenihan have been pursuing their project Soldiers of Empire since 2015 - trying to gain knowledge about the people who fought in these wars and those whose lives were upended by them.