Food for longer life and Maori segregation

There have been groups of people around the world who live exceptionally long lives, says Dr Robert Bartholomew, a history teacher at Botany College who also holds a PhD in medical sociology from Queensland’s James Cook University.

Bartholomew, who is an author of several books and an honorary senior lecturer with the department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland, will talk on `Food for Longer Life’ as he identifies five regions of the world where people live the longest.

As part of the Well Being series kicked off by the Botany and Flat Bush Ethnic Association, of which Bartholomew is deputy chair, he will share the recipe of the soup that is eaten every day by the world’s longest-lived family from Sardinia.

The author will also share excerpts from his latest book No Maori Allowed-the untold story of Maori racial segregation.

Using records from the National Archives and first-hand interviews, No Maori Allowed looks at what happened at Pukekohe and the extent of racial intolerance across the country at the time – from the mid-1920s to the early 1960s, the South Auckland town of Pukekohe was the de facto racist capital of New Zealand.

Barbers refused to cut Māori hair, bars would not serve them alcohol and they were segregated at the cinema.

Main street businesses refused to let them use the toilet and the local school had separate bathrooms for Māori.

As part of the Well Being series Dr Robert Bartholomew a history teacher at Botany College will discuss a range of interesting topics at Botany Library on Sunday, August 9 from 11am-12noon. Photo supplied

Children entering the ‘white’ toilet were hit with a strap. While the other students could swim in the baths Monday through Thursday, Māori were only allowed in on Fridays – just before the dirty water was drained.

“They were confined to an area known as The Reservation, strategically separated from European houses where no one would lend them money or allow them to rent,” says Bartholomew.

“It is unacceptable that in the second decade of the 21st Century, many New Zealanders do not know what happened at Pukekohe and are oblivious of the extent of racial intolerance against Māori across the country during the segregation era.”

Bartholomew will share the story about the exploitation of people who were dehumanised, deemed to be expendable, and treated as second-class citizens in their own land.

Bartholomew began his career as a journalist for several New York State radio stations. Some of his published books include American Intolerance: Our Dark History of Demonizing Immigrants (with Anja Reumschüssel, 2018); A Colorful History of Popular Delusions (with Peter Hassall, 2015), and Outbreak! The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior (with Hilary Evans, 2009).

Botany Library on Sunday, August 9 from 11-12noon.