An (Anti)colonial Genealogy: Exploring Pākehā Challenges to White Settler Colonialism in the Nineteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty-First Centuries
This thesis is about how Pākehā can be auxiliaries to the contemporary decolonial struggle. To address this present, I orient to the past. I propose that there exists a genealogy of Pākehā (anti)colonial action and that critically remembering, reflecting, and drawing upon such a genealogy can help guide ethical and meaningful Pākehā contribution to decolonisation. The titular ‘(anti)colonial’ analytic befits this critical interrogation and is used to refer to action that either is, or purports to be, against white settler colonisation yet simultaneously enacts, perpetuates, and/or advances white settler colonial harm. To outline the proposed genealogy, I use three case studies of Pākehā (anti)colonial action, one for each century since the formal British annexation of Aotearoa New Zealand in 1840. These case studies are: the evangelical humanitarians’ Pamphlet War protest of the Waitara dispute and ensuing First Taranaki War, the Anti-Springbok Tour protests, and the recent campaigns for Aotearoa New Zealand history to be taught in schools. Each of these historical moments is narrated with emphasis on the context of white settler colonialism and how the Pākehā agents acted within it, and how (and if) they acted with and listened to Māori. The thesis discussion then combines all three case studies and reiterates their genealogical framing, explicating on this and its utility through a hauntological and utopian lens. I emphasise how white settler colonialism is not relegated to the past, and how, only through critical engagement in our own white settler colonial history and reckoning with our own positionalities, can we draw strength from past (anti)colonial Pākehā action.