Granddaughter remembers koro at Taranaki apology

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

During the late 1800s, around 400 Taranaki people were unlawfully incarcerated and exiled to the South Island by Crown forces. 

Dunedin and Hokitika were areas of significance for Ngāruahine as many of their ancestors were chained, made to work and even died.

This week, the Crown officially apologised to Ngāruahine in Hokitika.

One Māori prisoner that was incarcerated during the 1800s was the grandfather of Hinewai Bighan.  She has now returned to Hokitika to remember the pain suffered by her ancestor.

According to Ms Bighan, “My koro, my grandfather, my mums father was a returnee.  He was one of the lucky ones that came home.  I didn’t know him though.”

As the sun goes down, the memories of her grandfather will remain at heart including the many other whānau that were affected by this.