A day to commemorate Māori land wars

The 28th of October has been chosen to commemorate the Māori land wars.  However, discussions are currently taking place in Te Awamutu on whether the date is correct.

Minister of Māori Development Naniaia Mahuta wants to ensure the date that's been selected is suitable.

“The representatives are still deciding.  The majority of them are focused on a regionally-based approach so their history is acknowledged first and foremost,” says Mahuta.

Tribal representatives are in Te Awamutu to discuss whether October 28 is suitable.

Northland representatives say the day marks the signing of the declaration of independence which is significant for the region.

Aperehama Edwards, chairman of Te Putake o te Riri in Northland says, “We do not want the declaration to be set aside.  If this is to go forward the memory of what our ancestors signed will be forgotten.” 

In 2015, Ōtorohanga College students challenged the government to set aside a day to remember the 19th century land wars.

Since then, the government has set aside Te Pūtake o te Riri funding which will support whānau, hapū, Iwi and communities in remembering the wars.

Paora Gloyne of Ngāti Raukawa says, “The day was selected to acknowledge the land wars and the declaration of independence.  I understand there are concerns but this should be the date.” 

The next national commemoration day is expected to be held in Taranaki next year.