Occupying armies

Featured in

  • Published 20120306
  • ISBN: 9781921922008
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

I KNOW THREE stories about the Moriori, a long-ago people who survived, in tatters, a determined attempt to eradicate them. The first goes like this: at a time that nobody can remember a group of men, women and children set off from the east coast of New Zealand and plunged into the vast ocean wilderness of the south-east Pacific. Nobody knows why they left the safety of the mainland – whether it was restlessness, or curiosity about what lay beyond the horizon, or grim necessity. They packed food and fresh water into a two-hulled canoe and, presumably, hoped for the best.

A few days into their voyage a mist closed around them until they could see nothing, wherever they looked. All they could hear were the thrashing of waves against the sides of their canoe and the cries of seabirds warning them of land. Cautiously they rowed on, until they came upon black rocks looming out of the fog, then an island and, within the perimeter of this chunk of earth, a safe harbour where they were able to land.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at griffithreview@griffith.edu.au

Share article

More from author

Scenes from life with father

MemoirPICTURE A WINTER'S evening in a kitchen in Wellington, New Zealand. An Antarctic wind stalks the house, rattling windows in its quest for a...

More from this edition

Interview with
Sally Neighbour

InterviewIs this the first piece you've done for the Griffith REVIEW?Yes, I've been principally writing for newspapers for the last three years, but increasingly...

Interview with
Lloyd Jones

InterviewYour poem offers an honest, sensory recreation of the Christchurch earthquake. Were you in the city when it struck?I wasn't in the city. I...

Informed consent

Essay'Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.