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Cross Purposes

“Fear not: for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” Luke 2:10

This is a quote from one of the first sermons preached to Maori in Aotearoa in 1814 by Reverend Samuel Marsden. He came to New Zealand aboard the 'Active' with three settler families Thomas Kendall, a schoolteacher; John King, a ropemaker; and William Hall, a carpenter. Rev. Marsden's guide was Ruatara, chief of the Te Hikutu tribe based at Rangihoua Pa in the Bay of Islands. They had an established relationship prior to Marsden's arrival in New Zealand.

Rev. Marsden's sermon was in English, a language most Maori were yet to become familiar with. Unfortunately most early missionaries in New Zealand, predominantly Protestant, were amongst the greatest theives of Maori land. So while the Rev. Marsden was preaching good tidings and joy to all people, he was really pulling the wool of the eyes of the Maori, who had no clue of his intentions, and no cultural understanding of his religion, cultural heritage and the people he represented. Ruatara, who could speak English, "translated" the sermon to the Maori congregation. However, his "translation" was just as full of self interest as Rev Marsdens, only Ruatara was thinking about the benefits of creating and establishing a relationship with the foreigners (he was wise enough to forsee that colonisation was inevitable) for him and his iwi in terms of trade and mana.

Cross Purposes
in Under
Lopdell House Gallery
corner Titirangi & South Titirangi Roads, Waitakere
6 August - 3 October 2010
Curator: Karl Chitham

Cross Purposes
in Under
Lopdell House Gallery
corner Titirangi & South Titirangi Roads, Waitakere
6 August - 3 October 2010
Curator: Karl Chitham

Cross Purposes
(detail)
in Under
Lopdell House Gallery
corner Titirangi & South Titirangi Roads, Waitakere
6 August - 3 October 2010
Curator: Karl Chitham
Photograph: Clinton Watkins

Cross Purposes
(detail)
in Under
Lopdell House Gallery
corner Titirangi & South Titirangi Roads, Waitakere
6 August - 3 October 2010
Curator: Karl Chitham
Photograph: Clinton Watkins

Cross Purposes
(detail)
in Under
Lopdell House Gallery
corner Titirangi & South Titirangi Roads, Waitakere
6 August - 3 October 2010
Curator: Karl Chitham
Photograph: Clinton Watkins

Cross Purposes
(detail)
in Under
Lopdell House Gallery
corner Titirangi & South Titirangi Roads, Waitakere
6 August - 3 October 2010
Curator: Karl Chitham
Photograph: Clinton Watkins

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