No Māori Allowed: Kuia sheds light on Pukekohe’s dark past
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No Māori Allowed: Kuia sheds light on Pukekohe’s dark past


From the mid-1920s
to the early 1960s the South Auckland town of Pukekohe
was the de facto racist capital of New Zealand. Maori were barred
from public toilets, segregated at the cinema
and swimming pools, refused haircuts and taxi fares
to list a few. A new book titled ‘No Maori Allowed’
brings to life this untold story. Te Okiwa McLean spoke
with an 81-year-old kuia of Waikato who experienced the racism
first hand. A book that revisits her past. I used to always stick up
for myself, I’d fight for myself, but in the end, I’d end up getting hurt. 81-year-old Janey Tini Astle
is a survivor of racial segregation in Pukekohe. Because she was only just a teen
at the time she didn’t recognise the racism. I didn’t think we were being treated
the same way African Americans were. When I got older and I read about
what was happening over there… Pukekohe is the centre of her world, she has only lived here in Pukekohe, she says segregation still exists
in her community. The book was launched this week as the author wanted the truth
to be told of this untold story. According to the book, in 1928, a total of 30 Maori died
in Pukekohe, 29 of them were 14-years
and younger. They all died of preventable
diseases due to poor housing for Maori
in the area. I’m not afraid of any Pakeha, I’ll never be afraid
because I know well that while they might hold some
high possession, they are human. The author hopes that
the Ministry of Education will implement this book
in all NZ schools as a learning tool
for the next generation. Te Okiwa McLean, Te Karere.

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