Commemorating Bastion Point protest

11 Jun, 2018
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei: Alec Hawke, Elizabeth Turner and Will ’Ilolahia
Alec Hawke, Elizabeth Turner and Will ’Ilolahia

Dr Elizabeth Turner, senior lecturer in the School of Language and Culture, was invited to present her doctoral thesis to Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei at the 40th anniversary commemorations to mark the end of the protest occupation at Takaparawhau, Bastion Point in 1978.

The commemorations on 25 May were held at Ōrākei Marae to honour those who took part in the 506-day protest against the Government’s plan to sell off Ngāti Whātua ancestral land at Bastion Point for the development of luxury housing.

A ceremony was also held at dawn to commemorate the life of Joannee Hawke who died at the age of five in a fire during the occupation. The occupation, and its ending, are seen as defining moments in modern New Zealand history and these events are an important part of the context of Elizabeth’s recent thesis on the band Herbs’ first album, What’s Be Happen?, released in 1981.

Her thesis, described as "a major contribution to knowledge in the fields of cultural studies, popular music studies and Bakhtin studies", is available on the AUT Research Gateway website.

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