The Turakina Highland Games, New Zealand’s longest running Games, will be held for the 148th time in 2012, the events taking place on 28th January 2012 in the Turakina Domain, Cameron Road, Turakina. Turakina is a small village in the western Rangitikei district in the southern North Island of New Zealand.
As the Turakina Caledonian Society details on its website, it was the Maori explorer Hau who named Turakina. The first European settlers arrived from Scotland from the 1840’s, with many making their way up from Wellington following the land purchase from the Ngati Apa people in May 1849, negotiated by Sir Donald McLean.
I will be giving a talk about the History of New Zealand’s Caledonian Games at the Turakina Games next year.The talk relates to two of my recent publications:
- Scottish Ethnicity and the Making of New Zealand Society, 1850 to 1930 (Edinburgh University Press, 2011)
- ‘Manly Games, Athletic Sports and the Commodification of Scottish Identity: Caledonian Gatherings in New Zealand to 1915’ (Scottish Historical Review, 2010).