15 Mar 2010

Both perspectives in new exhibition on Taranaki wars

8:31 pm on 15 March 2010

It is 150 years since the first shots were fired in the Taranaki land wars, but Puke Ariki Museum in New Plymouth is expecting heated debate about what happened and why.

Its exhibition Our Legacy - Our Challenge, which opens on Wednesday, tries to present both Maori and Pakeha accounts of the war using historic photographs and heritage objects.

Chief executive Bill McNaught says it includes the first display of a rare New Zealand Cross awarded to Frank Mace, an officer of the Taranaki Mounted Volunteers.

"Pakeha celebrated victories that they had with monuments and medals being awarded ... that will upset some people I suppose to see those treasures being shown off with some pride on the Pakeha side of things."

The exhibition runs until August.