The genesis of Ngā Iwi E and the NFIP movement – a reflection in images

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Nuclear-free campaigners on board the original Rainbow Warrior the night before the ship was bombed by French secret agents on 10 July 1985. Photo: © John Miller

Unlike many waiata in the popular repertoire, the origins of the song Ngā Iwi E can be pinned down to a very precise time and circumstance. On the afternoon of Saturday, 29 September 1984, a small group of Māori and Pakeha musicians met in a classroom at Rotorua Boys High School. Members of New Zealand’s official delegation to the Fourth Pacific Festival of Arts in New Caledonia, they had been given the task of writing a verse in Māori for the festival’s official song. Sadly, this festival never took place. In the months before it was due to be held, friction between the Kanak liberation movement FLNKS and Caldoche/French settlers broke out into open conflict and the local High Commissioner stepped in and ordered the organisers to call off the whole event. However, as time has passed, Ngā Iwi E has become a popular and well-loved waiata in Aotearoa-NZ and has been symbolic for the Nuclear-Free and Independent Pacific. Social justice photographer John Miller (Ngapuhi) has chronicled the nuclear-free struggle since the early years more than four decades ago. In this seminar, he will reflect on the origins of the waiata, the protest movement and the achievements with his images.

Where: WG126 Lecture Theatre, Sir Paul Reeves Building, 2 Governor Fitzroy Place

When: Wednesday, 5.30-7.30pm, 27 March 2013

Who: John Miller (Ngapuhi)

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