About the book
Across the motu there are places that remind those who stop there of the bloody battles between Māori iwi and the Crown known as the New Zealand Wars. Many don’t know where these places are, most don’t stop. In 2021 Palmerston North poet and artist John Tāne Christeller decided to visit the sites and record what he saw, and from his observations created a series of wood-block prints and short poems in English and te reo Māori. Collected together in Shared Histories they tell the stories of ordinary places where battles were fought and men, women and children died; places we drive past every day, often without knowledge or reflection. Christeller hopes his work will open up a conversation about the battle sites, what they meant to New Zealanders then and now, and perhaps help towards correcting an imbalance in how we remember those who fought there: Pākehā and Māori.