Home > Non Fiction > Protest! Shaping Aotearoa by Mandy Hager. Pub. OneTree House, 2021

Protest! Shaping Aotearoa by Mandy Hager. Pub. OneTree House, 2021

August 18, 2021

This is one of the most meaningful books written about the influence that protest movements have had in shaping New Zealand as it is today. It is short, it is all encompassing, it is well documented and it directs readers to other sources of information particular that which is online.

Hone Heke started it all in 1840 against the Treaty of Waitangi which he called “smooth and oily, but treachery is hidden under it”. The Land Protests are the first protests covered and include bastion point through to Ihumatao. Employment issues follow with all the strikes over working conditions. particularly good reading about the 1912/13 Great strike and the 1951 Water front Strike which divided NZ.

The two protests that I was involved in The 1981 Springbok Tour and the Nuclear ships debate are well covered and give the wittiest quote from that master David Lange “there’s only one thing worse than being incinerated by your enemies and that’s being incinerated by your friends”.

The introduction notes the need to change attitudes and behaviours that the protest movements have brought and there is a print of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the principles of Non Violence.

Other chapters deal with racism, conscientious objectors, gender and disability Rights and up-to date issues of protecting the Environment and Climate change. There has been a change from protesting over local issues to NZ’s inclusion over global issues with the MeTo protests, Black lives Matter and Greta Thunberg and climate change.

Manger Hager does not preach she presents the facts and lets the reader decide how protests have shaped Aotearoa. In the back are references for all quotations and areas of further reading. Very well documented.

An essential purchase for school libraries.

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