175th anniversary of Battle of Te Ruapekapeka

By Te Ao - Māori News
Photo / File

The 175th anniversary of the Battle of Te Ruapekapeka will be marked by three days of commemorations starting this Friday at Kawiti Marae in Waiomio, Te Tai Tokerau.

'Kawea a pūriri mai’ – in reverence, remembrance and respect - has been chosen as the theme for the commemorations.

“We use pūriri in our times of grief, for instance, as taua for head dress and to adorn photos of our loved ones gone. Pūriri are strong and enduring and were used in the construction of the palisades on Ruapekapeka Pā. They could withstand the test of artillery at the time. In remembrance of the past - let us be the resilient puriri of our times,” said Albert Cash, chair of the commemorations committee.

Huhana Lyndon, who is the event manager, says final preparations are well underway to see Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Hau, Ngāti Manu and Te Kapotai welcome whānau, hapū and iwi representatives on Friday.

“We are planning for a large attendance of uri affiliated to the pakanga and are working hard to bring together a programme that uplifts the mana of our tūpuna.”

Planned events include visits to whenua riri sites at Māwhe Kairangi, Te Ahuahu, Ohaeawai and Ngāwhā supported by themed wānanga with guest speakers.

On Sunday, commemorations will begin at Te Ruapekapeka Pā with the raising of whānau-hapū kara (flags). This will be followed by a ceremony including a tribute to the wāhine and tamariki who were also involved with the conflict when British troops attacked the pā on 10 January 1846.

The commemorations are being held from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 January at Kawiti Marae.