First official commemoration of NZ Land Wars

The Land Wars are a part of New Zealand’s history that we should know more about. They are being commemorated officially for the first time, in the Bay of islands.

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Newshub: Northland hosts first official commemoration of NZ Land Wars

The first official commemoration of the 19th century New Zealand Land Wars is being held in the Bay of Islands.

A mass haka expected to involve hundreds of people will start the pōwhiri at Te Tii Marae at Waitangi on Friday afternoon.

More public events are planned over the weekend, including tours of famous battle sites at Ōhaeawai, Ruapekapeka and Russell.

Pita Tipene, from the organising committee Te Komiti Whakahaere, says it’s an historic event.

“It’s taken a long time to officially acknowledge these wars and our early history,” he says.

Mr Tipene says the wars are still affecting Ngāpuhi today, particularly as the iwi attempts to come together to coordinate a treaty settlement.

“These wars weren’t just between Ngāpuhi and the British imperial forces – there were just as many Māori on the British side as there were on the Māori side.

“Some of the fracturing of relationships in 2018 are still apparent because of fractures in relationships in 1845-46, so those aspects of our history need to be understood.”

The event follows a 2015 petition from Ōtorohanga College students, signed by 13,000 people, that called for the Government to set aside a national day of commemoration for the New Zealand Wars.

Good on the students for initiating this.  See (December 2015) Students prepare to take NZ Land Wars petition to Parliament.

It led to the Māori Party securing an annual fund of $1 million for national and regional events through its support deal with the previous National Government.

Another achievement by the Māori Party, supported by the National Government.

The national commemoration will be hosted by a different iwi each year, with half of the yearly fund set aside for that event.

It’s good that the commemoration will be moved around.

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Links of interest:

New Zealand History: New Zealand’s 19th-century wars

The New Zealand Wars: Timeline

Te Ara (Encyclopaedia of New Zealand):

  1. New Zealand wars overview

  2. Northern war, 1845–1846

  3. Wellington and Whanganui wars, 1846–1848

  4. North Taranaki war, 1860–1861

  5. Waikato war: beginnings

  6. Waikato war: major battles

  7. Gate Pā, Tauranga

  8. Pai Mārire, South Taranaki and Whanganui, 1864–1866

  9. Tītokowaru’s war, 1868–1869

  10. Pursuit of Te Kooti, 1868–1872

  11. Long-term impact

  12. External links and sources

36 Comments

  1. Patzcuaro

     /  March 10, 2018

    Audio from Friday’s Morning Report

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018635354

  2. Corky

     /  March 10, 2018

    “These wars weren’t just between Ngāpuhi and the British imperial forces – there were just as many Māori on the British side as there were on the Māori side.”

    Finally, someone, and more importantly, a Maori, who can understand our history is grey and
    not clearly demarcated into right and wrong historical positions. There are, however, some blatantly wrong actions that did happen in our historical past.

    Mr Pita Tipene..please take a bow. Maybe there is hope for the future? All we need now is for revisionist history authors and liberal apologists to develop a more unbiased attitude.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  March 10, 2018

      Weaker iwi would have aligned themselves with the British forces to protect themselves against stronger iwi.

      • Corky

         /  March 10, 2018

        In some cases. Others wanted guns and real or supposed benefits from aligning with the British.

      • Trevors_Elbow

         /  March 10, 2018

        “Mr Tipene says the wars are still affecting Ngāpuhi today, particularly as the iwi attempts to come together to coordinate a treaty settlement.

        “These wars weren’t just between Ngāpuhi and the British imperial forces – there were just as many Māori on the British side as there were on the Māori side.”

        Ngapuhi struggling to understand why they are so disliked? Why other Maori took the British side?

        They started the Maelstrom that precipitated the events of 1840 and subsequent through 1860’s. Their destructive rape and pillage expeditions started the Musket wars and lead to countless deaths, major dislocations and ultimately lead to Moriori on the Chathams being all but extinguished…. Hongi Hika should be every bit as well know as a name from the early days of NZ as Hone Heke. A murderous, clever and deadly fellah that Hongi…..

        Hell, Ngapuhi as well as being disliked by every other tribe – hate themselves…. and have always warred Hapu on Hapu almost as much as against other Iwi

        The thing holding back Northland is Northland’s own tribes

  3. sorethumb

     /  March 10, 2018

    In the first half of the nineteenth century, however, individual iwi considered carrying their martial culture beyond the shores of New Zealand. At least three expeditions of conquest were planned: to Samoa, to Norfolk Island, and to the Chatham Islands, which did not become part of New Zealand until 1842. All these proposed expeditions were dependent on finding transport to those places: and that meant finding a European ship’s captain whose vessel was available for charter; or it meant Maori commandeering a vessel for the purpose.
    In the event there were no expeditions to Norfolk Island or to Samoa because the necessary transport was not secured. But there was an invasion of the Chathams Islands. Two Taranaki tribes then based in Wellington, Ngati Tama and Ngati Mutunga ki Poneke, hijacked a European vessel in 1835 and had themselves—a total of 900 people—delivered to Chatham Islands. There they takahi’d or walked the land to claim it; ritually killed around 300 Chatham Moriori out of a total of around 1600, and enslaved the survivors—separating husbands from wives, parents from children, forbidding them to speak their own language or practise their own customs, and forcing them to violate the tapus of their culture, whose mana was based on the rejection of violence.
    Was this a superior form of colonisation to that imposed by European on Maori? Did it respect the dignity and customs of the colonised? Did it acknowledge the mana whenua of the tchakat henu or indigenous people of the Chathams? It did not. It was what might now be called an exercise in ethnic cleansing. When Bishop Selwyn arrived in the islands in 1848, it was to discover that the Maori called Moriori “Paraiwhara” or “Blackfellas”; and it was to report that the Moriori population continued to decline at a suicidal rate as a consequence of kongenge or despair. Moriori slaves were not released and New Zealand law was not established on the islands until 1862, twenty years after they had become part of New Zealand. And it is that twenty years of neglect of fiduciary duty on the part of the Crown that is the basis for the Moriori claim to the Waitangi Tribunal, heard in 1994, but still not reported upon.
    http://www.sof.org.nz/origins.htm

    • sorethumb

       /  March 10, 2018

      The Samoans would have put up a fight!

      • Corky

         /  March 10, 2018

        Tāmati Wāka Nene. The dude had a great moko.

      • lurcher1948

         /  March 11, 2018

        KIWIBLOGS OFF TO THE RIGHT sorethumb, posting on the wrong blog, this is about maori wars not Jacinda helping the islands.

    • PartisanZ

       /  March 10, 2018

      You should put stuff like this in quotation marks smarting pollex … It’s Michael King, Right?

      “There they [Maori] takahi’d or walked the land to claim it; ritually killed around 300 Chatham Moriori out of a total of around 1600, and enslaved the survivors—separating husbands from wives, parents from children, forbidding them to speak their own language or practise their own customs, and forcing them to violate the tapus of their culture, whose mana was based on the rejection of violence.”

      Where might Maori have learned this shit? Or perhaps more correctly: Who the fuck did they learn this shit from? What European technology facilitated it … in this case not just axe and musket but a European built and crewed ship!

      Claiming their Christian ‘mana’ to be based on the rejection of violence, loving thy neighbour and turning the other cheek, Pakeha ‘explored’ and ‘surveyed’ the land of Aotearoa to claim it, indifferently but purposefully killed or otherwise abused – eg with alcohol, tobacco, disease and moral depravity – much of the Maori population – separating wives from husbands, children from parents, whanau from villages and hapu from marae – often forbidding them to speak their own language or practice their own customs – or denigrating their language and customs – and forcing or encouraging them to violate the tapus of their culture …

      “… exhortations from Brash, Mallard and KING are heavily dependent upon the need for the past to be forgotten, or at very least, not spoken about. Yet, as Jeremy Waldron has pointed out, “the determination not to forget is part of the moral respect we owe to human identity; the task of remembrance is bound up with the very being of community and individuality in the modern world”. To euphemise the impact of colonisation on Mäori is to fundamentally disrespect the memory of those who suffered as a result of resources wrongly taken, of language denied, of spirituality suppressed …

      And the truth of the matter is that no matter how hard they try, Päkehä cannot forget either. As Bruce Jesson stated so simply, Päkehä are the products of an invading culture. Brash can bluster all he likes about the limits to which he can be made to apologise for the sins of his ancestors; Mallard can appeal to Mäori to trust him; KING can insist that the colonisers did not simply take without giving anything in return; Round can defend the cultural significance of the names North Island and South Island as if his life depends on it. But whatever they might say I do not believe that any of them can truly forget. A sense of underlying unease, of unresolved guilt pervades their words. One barely has to scratch the Päkehä surface to find the guilt lying immediately beneath, guilt which manifests itself as denial, self-justification, defensiveness and, incredibly enough, a sense of victimhood.”

      – Ani Mikaere ‘Are we all New Zealanders now? The search for Pakeha indigeneity’ BJF Lecture 11/04

      http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/iwi-am04.pdf

      • Corky.

         /  March 10, 2018

        ”Where might Maori have learned this shit? Or perhaps more correctly: Who the fuck did they learn this shit from? What European technology facilitated it … in this case not just axe and musket but a European built and crewed ship!”

        I think those comments are self explanatory for anyone wondering whether to take you seriously or not.

      • Gezza

         /  March 10, 2018

        Keep it in perspective PZ. They already knew this shit. Ngapuhi taught them all.
        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musket_Wars

        • PartisanZ

           /  March 10, 2018

          Because European influence and technology had NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the ‘Musket Wars’ … Right?

          Coupla giveaway words there … “Musket” ……… and … “Wars” ………

          ” … at the time at which written history begins, the whole aspect of warfare was about to be changed by the introduction of firearms and new methods of fighting.

          It is probable that in earlier times intertribal encounters were less serious affairs and that the number of fatalities was not very high. Moreover, the odds were more even in that combat was hand-to-hand; missiles were not greatly used and were not very effective.”

          https://teara.govt.nz/en/1966/maori-tribal-history

          • Gezza

             /  March 10, 2018

            European influence had fuck-all to do with the musket wars. Ngapuhi aquiring muskets (for hunting, a reasonable proposition) to go on a rampage had everything to do with it. I’ve not come across anything suggesting Europeans prompted them to do that.

            • PartisanZ

               /  March 10, 2018

              And the Roman occupation of Judea had nothing to do with the origin of Christianity …

              It’s pointless talking to closed minds about this.

              So Cortez et al’s destruction of the Inca Empire was quite okay? The Spanish & Portugese extinction of whole people’s … Estimated 100 million lives in the ‘Americas’ …

              They were just bloodthirsty heathen half-wit savages from the jungle-clad mountains and river valleys of South America …

            • Gezza

               /  March 10, 2018

              It’s pointless talking to closed minds about this.
              Tell me about it.

            • Gezza

               /  March 10, 2018

              So Cortez et al’s destruction of the Inca Empire was quite okay? The Spanish & Portugese extinction of whole people’s … Estimated 100 million lives in the ‘Americas’ …

              Of course it wasn’t, for God’s sake. Why on earth would you think that?
              The Aztecs enslaving and ruling over other tribes wasn’t ok either.

              They were just bloodthirsty heathen half-wit savages from the jungle-clad mountains and river valleys of South America …
              No both the Aztecs and the Incas had quite highly developed developed civilisations & the Incas had a unified Empire that covered pieces of several countries. If they’d somehow managed to acquire muskets & didn’t have that stupid legend that made them think the conquistadors were fabled gods they might’ve done better resisting the Spanish.

            • Gezza

               /  March 10, 2018

              And the Roman occupation of Judea had nothing to do with the origin of Christianity …
              WTF has that got to do with this? Jesus Christ, man. Are you blaming the fucken Romans as well?

  4. Patzcuaro

     /  March 10, 2018

    “The ‘Flagstaff War’ was no simple matter of Māori versus British – two Ngāpuhi factions squared off against each other. Heke and Kawiti fought both the Crown and Ngāpuhi led by Tāmati Wāka Nene. The fighting ended in a stalemate in January 1846 (see 11 January).”

    Perhaps this accounts for why Ngapuhi have been unable to sort out how to negotiate a treaty settlement.

    https://nzhistory.govt.nz/hone-heke-cuts-down-british-flagstaff-for-a-third-time

  5. Geoffrey Monks

     /  March 10, 2018

    And isn’t this a sad example of just what the treaty was meant to obviate; murder on a grand scale. Perhaps equally disturbing is that the crown found it convenient to pardon these ratbags.

  6. PartisanZ

     /  March 10, 2018

    It’s great that we’re commemorating our own history …

    I grew up knowing more about ‘Cowboys & Indians’ and ‘The Wild West’ – ‘entertaining’, sanitized Hollywood eufilmisms [new word # 147] for the Native American Genocide and Wetiko Disease Pandemic – and the American Civil War – where they swapped slavery for Jim Crow – than I did about our own Aotearoa New Zealand ‘Frontier’ and ‘Land Wars’ …

    What most of you are saying is, “Our history isn’t very nice … but Maori were far worse than Pakeha … so if we must unearth it, let’s smother it in racist shit before we bury it again”

    I say “Fuck You” …

    Try taking it like men instead … Sure, it was complex … but most of the wrongdoing in Maori-Pakeha relations came from the Pakeha side …

    It’s like ‘Slavery was WRONG’ … Why don’t we just face the truth and move forward embracing the truth? It might help the cultures embrace each other … ?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  March 10, 2018

      That’s pathetic, PZ. I don’t know where most of the wrong-doing was back then any more than you do. And I don’t care. I only care that we try to avoid and discourage wrong-doing now when I might have some chance of making informed and meaningful choices.

      • PartisanZ

         /  March 10, 2018

        So, is this an argument for not commemorating our ‘Land Wars’ Alan? Because that’s actually the topic, right? Or don’t you care about that either?

        What do you care about Alan? Making informed and meaningful choices?

        The wars a nation have engaged in aren’t “meaningful”?

        Yet each year on April 25th we troop to the Cenotaph …

        Corky started off by commending Pita Tipene … and I commend him too … History isn’t one-sided …

        If only Corks had left it at that … but he/she had to mention “revisionist historians” … which set in motion a bunch of revisionist historians Right here … or perhaps more correctly ‘obscurative historians’?

        That is to say: History which arouses guilt must be obscured with blame.

        Yeah … sorry … ‘obscurative’ = new word # 148 (I think?)

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  March 10, 2018

          Balanced is the relevant criteria. The world is full of good and bad people of every race. Most of them never make the history books. Trying to judge the past on the basis of the selective limited view that does is a futile exercise that I prefer to avoid.

          I deplore wars and try to avoid creating them. That is one of the things I care about.

    • Gezza

       /  March 10, 2018

      I can’t speak for what others here think but I don’t put up with either side sanitising their history where it wasn’t pleasant.

      Many Maori were no better and no worse than many Pakeha when it came to using firearms to settle scores and grab land & the musket wars showed that, however much you attribute that to outside influences.

      In the end, overwhelming numbers, & iwi who were actually happy to sell land & were opposed to other iwi attacking them or pakeha – for reasons of their own history and/or self-interest – favoured Pakeha.

      After the Treaty was signed dodgy land deals were done eg when not all tribal owners agreed to the sale, & these were wrongly enforced by the Crown, resistance was often brutally suppressed, other times it just petered out, but resistors’ lands were unfairly confiscated or seized by force or legislation all over the place, & Maori were decimated by disease and their culture and mana denigrated & that’s how we arrived at where we’re at today.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  March 10, 2018

        No it isn’t because the current Maori population is not decimated (whatever you mean by that) but is about 4x greater than in pre-European times and their culture is showcased pre-eminently in this country. You seem to have left out all the good bits.

        • Gezza

           /  March 10, 2018

          That’s because I’m talking about the bad bits.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  March 10, 2018

            Well it is not how we arrived at where we are today.

            • Gezza

               /  March 10, 2018

              It is all part of our shared history, good and bad, and thus it IS how we arrived at where we are today, and explains the Settlements. Please sit down and stop embarrassing yourself.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  March 10, 2018

              It’s only a part of how we arrived at where we are today, not the whole story or a balanced story.

            • Gezza

               /  March 10, 2018

              Are you sitting down?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  March 10, 2018

              No; I’m lying down. Why are you hanging upside down with your foot in your mouth?

            • Gezza

               /  March 10, 2018

              I’m not. I’m sitting on the sofa. Have you had mushrooms for dinner?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  March 10, 2018

              Roast chicken. Fed 7 people and 4 dogs. All good and no bad bits.

  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 10, 2018

    While the great and good and insufferably pompous pontificate about past events they have little knowledge of, the actual good, hardworking nameless women like a friend of ours laboir to fill 350 tables with food for them and clean their toilets.

    We know which efforts will make the history books.