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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



The present is constantly trying to remake the past for its own purposes; people so keenly feel that they are the product of their origins that they tend always to find in those origins what they choose to see rather than what is, in fact, there. So it has been in New Zealand's historical thinking, and the distortions which have resulted are not entirely without value. They mean, at the very least, that the past is still alive; were it not so people would not seek to alter it. But the academic historian, dedicated to reconstructing the past as faithfully as he may, must make it his business to detect and expose the myths, legends, and fallacies which accumulate around the past of his country. But he will not limit himself to mere exposure. The myths and legends, used themselves as evidence, are valuable clues to the mentality of the people who, more often than not unconsciously, constructed them.