Gisborne land wars day?

MP suggests we tell our own ‘warts and all’ stories instead

MP suggests we tell our own ‘warts and all’ stories instead

All iwi had their own land wars, says Meka Whaitiri. “We have some rich, deep stories of the Turanganui-a-Kiwa/Tairawhiti area that we don’t know about. I’m of the view that we should be talking about them — warts and all. This isn’t about blame. This is purely about acknowledging our rich history, our chequered history. We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it," Ms Whaitiri said.

THIS district’s “own land wars” — starting from the siege of Waerenga-a-Hika — should be commemorated each year, says Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP and Cabinet minister Meka Whaitiri.

The Customs Minister says she is less interested in Raa Maumahara National Day of Commemoration, which was held for the first time last year in Northland and will be rotated around the country each October 28 to mark the New Zealand Wars.

All iwi had their own land wars, she said.

“We have some rich, deep stories of the Turanganui-a-Kiwa/Tairawhiti area that we don’t know about.

“I’m of the view that we should be talking about them — warts and all.

“This isn’t about blame.

“This is purely about acknowledging our rich history, our chequered history.

“We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it.’

Mayor Meng Foon said he fully supported Ms Whaitiri’s idea of “talking and learning about our local history”.

Ms Whaitiri said she attended the 150th commemoration last month of Te Kooti escaping from detention without trial from the Chatham Islands and the founding of the Ringatu faith.

The commemoration had led her to re-read The Waitangi Tribunal’s findings from the Turanga hearings and Professor Judith Binney’s Redemption songs: A life of Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki.

She was not interested in hosting Raa Maumahara in this district.

“Why can’t we have an annual day of Gisborne history?’’

There was a local day of significance, she said.

That was November 15 — the day the siege of Waerenga-a-Hika started in 1865.

The siege ended on November 22 and resulted in the death of 71 occupants of the pa. Government losses totalled 11 dead.

“What I would like to see is Gisborne people talking about our own wars,” said Ms Whaitiri.

“Why can’t we do that?

“It should be researched and commemorated each year.”

Ms Whaitiri said the siege of Waerenga-a-Hika led to incarceration of Te Kooti (and 300 other men) without trial, his 1868 escape from Wharekauri/Chatham Island, his attack on Matawhero and the founding of the Ringatu Church.

“It was our Turanga land war.”

Mr Foon said he attended the 150th commemoration of the Waerenga-a- Hika event in 2015.

It added to his knowledge.

“As a child at school we learned about the Vikings, Napoleon, Alexander the Great, William the Conqueror and others, but nothing about our local history at all.

“It is about time more of our history is taught at schools, and lectures held at marae with the public invited to learn and chat about our past.

“History helps us with more understanding,” said Mr Foon.

THIS district’s “own land wars” — starting from the siege of Waerenga-a-Hika — should be commemorated each year, says Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP and Cabinet minister Meka Whaitiri.

The Customs Minister says she is less interested in Raa Maumahara National Day of Commemoration, which was held for the first time last year in Northland and will be rotated around the country each October 28 to mark the New Zealand Wars.

All iwi had their own land wars, she said.

“We have some rich, deep stories of the Turanganui-a-Kiwa/Tairawhiti area that we don’t know about.

“I’m of the view that we should be talking about them — warts and all.

“This isn’t about blame.

“This is purely about acknowledging our rich history, our chequered history.

“We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it.’

Mayor Meng Foon said he fully supported Ms Whaitiri’s idea of “talking and learning about our local history”.

Ms Whaitiri said she attended the 150th commemoration last month of Te Kooti escaping from detention without trial from the Chatham Islands and the founding of the Ringatu faith.

The commemoration had led her to re-read The Waitangi Tribunal’s findings from the Turanga hearings and Professor Judith Binney’s Redemption songs: A life of Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki.

She was not interested in hosting Raa Maumahara in this district.

“Why can’t we have an annual day of Gisborne history?’’

There was a local day of significance, she said.

That was November 15 — the day the siege of Waerenga-a-Hika started in 1865.

The siege ended on November 22 and resulted in the death of 71 occupants of the pa. Government losses totalled 11 dead.

“What I would like to see is Gisborne people talking about our own wars,” said Ms Whaitiri.

“Why can’t we do that?

“It should be researched and commemorated each year.”

Ms Whaitiri said the siege of Waerenga-a-Hika led to incarceration of Te Kooti (and 300 other men) without trial, his 1868 escape from Wharekauri/Chatham Island, his attack on Matawhero and the founding of the Ringatu Church.

“It was our Turanga land war.”

Mr Foon said he attended the 150th commemoration of the Waerenga-a- Hika event in 2015.

It added to his knowledge.

“As a child at school we learned about the Vikings, Napoleon, Alexander the Great, William the Conqueror and others, but nothing about our local history at all.

“It is about time more of our history is taught at schools, and lectures held at marae with the public invited to learn and chat about our past.

“History helps us with more understanding,” said Mr Foon.

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Lynne Mary Bailie, Dunedin - 4 months ago
Important NZ land history

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