Paul’s Picks! Huia Come Home : Jay Ruka

 

“What’s different about “Huia Come Home” is that Jay is writing from a point of view that very much includes his Maori heritage and culture while at the same time being quite at home in Pakeha culture.”

I was delighted to find this recent book by Jay Ruka. For me it follows on very well from the accurate and compelling research and writing on Keith Newman in his fair summary of Maori Pakeha relations from the beginning of the 19th century, and specifically the story of Christianity in New Zealand – “Bible and Treaty” and “Beyond Betrayal”.

What’s different about “Huia Come Home” is that Jay is writing from a point of view that very much includes his Maori heritage and culture while at the same time being quite at home in Pakeha culture. It is written with gentleness, but also with sorrow, as he tries to explain the depth of pain that Maori carry regarding the loss of their land and their sense of betrayal and hopelessness in struggling against the dominant culture.

He briefly highlights some of the most wonderful events in the spread of the gospel and until about 1850 when more than half of Maori professed Christ. he defends the intentions of Henry Williams in his translation of the Treaty, but also traces the rapid deterioration of trust from Maori as their country was colonised and the land taken unjustly, with all the suffering that led to.

Throughout the book he uses a vivid dream which his wife had of an enormous chicken about the size of a large pohutukawa (representing a dominant, increasingly global and bloated pragmatic culture) and the extinct and very beautiful huia as representing our call as Christian New Zealanders to look back to our beginnings and recreate our New Zealand Christian faith in a form which at last might truly result in a church which has its signature in the history and thought patterns of New Zealand.

For this to happen, I think that Pakeha Christians need to find out about our own NZ history and our Christian history and to repent.

 

Pick up your copy here