Rather rare for me to praise Winston, but I all thoroughly approve of his action in Parliament last week:
Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First) : I wonder whether I could ask the leave of the House to move a motion without notice regarding the 100th birthday of Nancy Wake, the Allies’ most decorated female war hero. This is her 100th birthday today.
Mr SPEAKER: Just to get it clear, the member is seeking leave for a motion to be moved without debate to commemorate that occasion. Is there any objection to that course of action? There is no objection.
Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS: I regret the collective lack of preparation on this, frankly. I move, That this Housecommemorate the 100th birthday of Nancy Wake, the Allies’ most famous and decorated Second World War hero, remembering that she was, after all, born in New Zealand of both Māori and European background. It is, perhaps, a matter of disappointment that we, as a country, have not acknowledged her in the way that France, the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom have.
I’ve blogged on Nancy Wake often in the past. I knew of course she was born in New Zealand. but didn’t know she was part-Maori. Her parents were Charles Augustus Wake and Ella Rosieur, and it appears Ella’s grandfather Charles Cossell married a Maori “maiden” called Pourewa in 1836 – one of the first ever marriages between races in NZ.
Her biography says that legend has it that Hone Heke wanted Poueewa for himself and had threatened to kill Cossell and Pourewa, but was himself killed before he could.