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Ed Sheeran

Knowledge after Cook probed at Waiharakeke hui

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Waiharakeke/ Blenheim will host a conference early next month exploring how knowledge changed after Captain James Cook’s Pacific voyages and his interactions with indigenous peoples.

The University of Otago’s Encounters and Exchanges Conference is part of the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of Cook’s first visit to Aotearoa New Zealand and coincides with the arrival of the Tuia 250 flotilla in the area.

It’s a community-oriented event, with scholars form around the world being joined by local iwi.

Humanities pro-vice-chancellor Tony Ballantyne says it’s a chance to look at the history of western arrogance and the connection between knowledge and empire building.

"Being colonised was not only an experience of having the whenua and sovereignty stripped away. It was an experience of colonial populations and colonial authorities asserting their believed superiority of their language and their knowledge systems," he says.

Professor Ballantyne says it’s great having the conference so near Totaranui Queen Charlotte Sound, which was a significant early site for sustained cross cultural engagement during Cook’s three voyages.

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