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