A history of the intimate relations between Māori and Pākehā, and the intersections of public policy and private life.
‘Exploring a surprisingly unspoken part of New Zealand’s history, Wanhalla’s book is, by turns, heart-warming and heart-rending. Love, when it comes with colonial strings, can hurt. This important book, with its detailed research and long time span, tells why. It is powerful history.’ – Charlotte Macdonald
Philip Soutar died at Ypres in 1917. Before becoming a soldier, Soutar’s life revolved around his farm at Whakatāne, where he lived with his Māori wife Kathleen Pine in an ‘as-you-please marriage, uncelebrated by a clergyman’. Matters of the Heart introduces us to couples like Philip and Kathleen to unravel the long history of interracial relationships in New Zealand.
That history runs from whalers and traders marrying into Māori families in the early nineteenth century through to the growth of interracial marriages in the later twentieth. It stretches from common law marriages and Māori customary marriages to formal arrangements recognised by church and state. And that history runs the gamut of official reactions—from condemnation of interracial immorality or racial treason to celebration of New Zealand’s unique intermarriage patterns as a sign of us being ‘one people’ with the ‘best race relations in the world’.
In the history of intimate relations between Māori and Pākehā, public policy and private life were woven together. Matters of the Heart reveals much about how Māori and Pākehā have lived together in this country and our changing attitudes to race, marriage and intimacy.
- ISBN: 9781869407315
- Dimensions: 240 x 170 mm
- Page: 316
- Format: Paperback