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Ed Sheeran

Henare put Maori lens on nation's history

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A friend and colleague of the late Mānuka Henare says he had extraordinary skills as a scholar which he used to cast a Māori lens on the nation’s history.

Dr Henare, from Ngāti Haua, Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri and Ngāti Kahu, died on Saturday aged 78.

Ella Henry, who worked with him at the University of Auckland school of business, says the Māori business course he helmed has produced a new generation of business and tribal leaders.

In his own doctoral research into Te Tiriti o Waitangi and He Whakaputanga, the 1835 Declaration of Independence, he went back into the archives and retranslated letters and documents, rather than relying on the work of colonial era scholars like Elsdon Best and Raymond Firth.

"What he called himself was an ethno-historian, an ethno-historical look at our history from a Māori lens i te reo Māori and I think that's an enormous contribution because a lot of our history was written by Pākehā seeing through a Pākehā lens and they painted us as savages and as people who desperately wanted the British to save us, gave away our sovereignty, and if you go through the manuscripts you find a different narrative from our own people," Dr Henry says.

Mānuka Henare is lying today at Te Ūnga Waka Marae in Epsom and will be taken tomorrow to Te Kotahitanga Marae in Whāngāpē.

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