Kūpapa: The Bitter Legacy of Māori Alliances with the Crown
by Ron Crosby (Penguin Random House, $65)
Reviewed by Vaughan Rapatahana
This is an excellent book: well-written, comprehensive; pictorially fine too, by which I mean there are ample explanatory maps and old photographs throughout, accentuating the author’s prime points as well as his points about personalities. Indeed, the entire volume reads rather like a large legal casebook in its close, well-argued examination of causes and effects leading to Ron Crosby’s (LLB, Hons) cogent conclusions. Nice tight compartmentalised sub-sections help us to read the multiple pages in snappy bites too. There has been considerable research and care accorded this tome, just as with his Musket Wars: A History of Inter-iwi Conflict, first published back in 1999. A similarity further accentuated by the overall kaupapa of both books as regards Māori-Pākehā relationships then and as subsequently portrayed. Which I will return to soon.
My sole criticism of this book is its sheer size, It literally is a tome, and is too bloody heavy to continually prop up anywhere. An earnest reader requires a lectern to hold it! With its four large sections and over 500 pages, Kūpapa requires an ope of its own to haul it!