Historian, Professor Paul Moon of the Auckland University of Technology has stated that the campaign to have a national day to commemorate the New Zealand land wars in the nineteenth century is long overdue.
He says “We commemorate wars in other countries, monarchs from other countries, but turn a blind eye to monumental and nation-forming events that took place in our own back yard.”
Students from Otorohanga College have led a petition to hold a national day and to remember the wars of the 1800s. Labour Party's Nanaia Mahuta has also backed the campaign.
Professor Moon says the wars fought in Aotearoa were crucial to the country's development.
"The Musket Wars, Heke’s campaign, and the Land Wards collectively may have involved the death of close to 30,000 people, and their effects still reverberate strongly in the present day. Much of New Zealand’s political and social landscape was shaped by these conflicts.”
A march to Parliament supporting a commemorative day will take place on December 8, and a petition will be presented to members of Parliament.