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Paikea: The Life of I. L. G. Sutherland by…
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Paikea: The Life of I. L. G. Sutherland

by Oliver Sutherland

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This is a solid biography but extraordinarily rewarding. It is well-researched with excellent notes, bibliography and index. This biography by his son, traces the career and life of Ivan Sutherland, a New Zealand academic and scholar born in Masterton, New Zealand in 1897.

For this reader, 'Paikea' filled in so many details about life in New Zealand and particularly about working at the University of New Zealand in two of its colleges Victoria and Canterbury over three decades. Although this was not the book's aim, it does give a sympathetic picture of Thomas Hunter - the 'father of pyschology' in New Zealand.

Ivan Sutherland was a fore-sighted man and his work in describing the Maori people's situation in the nineteen-thirties, forties and fifties is crucial to an understanding of where we are at in New Zealand in the 21st century. Sutherland's role in that has been recognised and outlined in this book. Maybe in the future it will be celebrated.

I would have liked to find out more about the personal life of this man. Maybe there isn't more to know or maybe further research by a non-family member will uncover that. His tragic death by suicide in 1952 comes as a mystifying end to a successful academic career and a vibrant family life. After living with Ivan Sutherland for over 400 pages one feels deep sadness and regret. One searches his face in the photographs used to see if more will be revealed. ( )
  louis69 | Feb 1, 2015 |
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"Ivan Sutherland was the first P?keh? scholar to recognise that M?ori New Zealanders are not brown-skinned P?keh? but heirs to their own cultural beliefs, customs and practices. Born in 1897, Sutherland was a brilliant scholar who studied at Victoria University College and Glasgow University before returning to Victoria to work under his mentor, Professor Thomas Hunter. He shared Hunter ?s liberal convictions and engaged in various progressive community initiatives, including establishing New Zealand ?s first children ?s psychological clinic, attacking the rise of the eugenics movement, helping launch the Wellington Film Society, and campaigning for public radio. During the 1930s he was part of a young group of lively intellectuals including John Beaglehole, Horace Belshaw, R.M. Campbell and W.B. Sutch. His commitment to social psychology drew him into the world of Ng?ti Porou, where Apirana Ngata became his second mentor and a life-long friend. Dismayed by what he considered to be undeserved criticism of Ngata in the report of a 1934 commission of inquiry into the Native Affairs Department, Sutherland published The Maori Situation, denouncing P?keh? ?racialism ? and affirming his commitment to a bicultural New Zealand. Later he master-minded and edited The Maori People Today, published as New Zealand celebrated the 1940 centennial. In 1937 Sutherland became professor of philosophy at Canterbury University College, appointed at the same time as Karl Popper, with whom he had a difficult relationship. Nevertheless the two worked together spearheading a committee dedicated to bringing Jewish war refugees from Hitler ?s Germany into New Zealand. After several decades working tirelessly to gain P?keh? tolerance and understanding of M?ori aspiration, Sutherland died unexpectedly aged 54. This impressive biography reveals Ivan Sutherland as a sensitive, compassionate man, and an enthusiastic and far-sighted advocate for M?ori self-determination. As a mark of respect for Ivan Sutherland, Ng?ti Porou gave him the name of one of their legendary tipuna: Paikea."--Publisher's website.… (more)

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