Wednesday, February 16, 2011

RIP Dame Judith Binney

Dame Judith Binney has died and my aroha goes to her whanau and friends. A great person and a big loss for this country.

From Radio NZ
She specialised in the history of Maori and Pakeha engagement and produced acclaimed biographies and histories. Dame Judith believed it was important that New Zealand's story should be known, making it accessible to the general public with her well-written and well-researched books. She won several awards for her work, including the 2010 New Zealand Post Book of the Year and General Non-fiction Award for Encircled Lands: Te Urewera 1820-192. The book documents Tuhoe's quest for self-government of their lands, granted to them in law more than a century ago. The Tuhoe people honoured her by bestowing a Maori name, Tomairangi o Te Aroha. Dame Judith was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2006, was a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and an inaugural Fellow of the New Zealand Academy of Humanities. She served on the Waitangi Tribunal and the Historic Places Trust Board.
Maps says it all with this post from December 2009
Despite her relatively low public profile and her relatively small bibliography, Binney has exercised more influence over New Zealand's intellectual and arts communities than any other contemporary historian. She is revered by anthropologists and sociologists as well as by historians, and her work has energised poets, painters, and film-makers, not to mention museum curators.
Rest in Peace Dame Judith Binney

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