Author calls on Academic to apologise for getting his facts wrong over bestselling book
The author of a new bestselling book on New Zealand history has described as “sour grapes” a tongue-lashing from AUT academic Paul Moon.
Ian Wishart, whose book “The Great Divide: The Story of New Zealand & Its Treaty” has become an instant bestseller, says Moon has criticised him out of context.
In a news story published today, Dr Moon accuses Wishart of getting “some aspects of the country’s history wrong. As an example, he notes that one of Wishart’s chapters is entitled “The Littlewood Treaty”. Yet, there is no such thing as the Littlewood treaty, says Dr. Moon.”
“Yes,” said Wishart today, “and if Paul had actually read past the contents page, he would have discovered that the Great Divide says of Littlewood: ‘Despite the heat surrounding it, the Littlewood document doesn’t change one fundamental fact. In law, the only actual Treaty is the one that was signed in the native language of the inferior treaty participants. In other words, the Maori version is the only authentic Treaty’.”
“On the strength of the above,” said Wishart, “I expect an apology from Paul Moon. The chapter about the so-called Littlewood Treaty was simply to discuss its implications then put it in context, as I did above. Dr Moon’s shoot from the lip attack on me was foolish in my view.”
Dr Moon also accused Wishart’s Great Divide of making the case for pre-Maori civilisations, but Wishart says the criticism is a sideshow.
“It is undeniably true that there is overwhelming evidence in The Great Divide of human settlement in New Zealand much older than academics are currently acknowledging. I have produced the scientific reports in The Great Divide to back that up and people can read them and make their own minds up.
“However, I make no assertion as to which people they were, other than to suggest they may have been Melanesian, Polynesian or a mix of both. Again, the book concludes: “However, once again it is fascinating but ultimately irrelevant to Treaty issues whether Egyptians, Libyans, Greeks, Phoenicians, the Portuguese or the Druid Getafix with his mates Asterix and Obelisk set foot on New Zealand first – the important part is that they didn’t get back to boast about it or, if they did and they mapped it, they kept it very quiet and didn’t claim the land…it’s now the Maori story that becomes relevant.”
Wishart says if Dr Moon has a substantial criticism of The Great Divide he should get his facts right before engaging in a debate.
“At the end of the day, maybe it is just sour grapes that The Great Divide is outselling Dr Moon’s own book,” commented Wishart.
Wishart’s book is, ironically, distributed by Howling At The Moon Publishing.