New Zealand Wars: Historian calls for more education

A Kiwi history expert is calling for a stronger focus on the New Zealand Wars.

The first ever National Day of Commemoration was held on Saturday to remember the nearly 3000 people who died in the conflicts between Māori and the Crown in the mid-1800s.

But historian Paul Moon from AUT says many people are still unaware of our bloody past.

"There still seems to be a widespread lack of awareness of what actually happened in this country in the 1840s, '50s and '70s," he told Newshub.

"Accompanying all this has to be a process of education so people can learn about it."

Dr Moon said the protests which overshadowed the commemoration were disappointing.

There were ugly scenes outside Parliament yesterday, when the National Front clashed with anti-racism demonstrators.