The Government reached an agreement with his descendants last year pardoning Mokomoko of any wrongdoing which saw him wrongfully executed by the Crown in 1866.
As history tells the last words uttered by Chief Mokomoko before he was hung for the murder of Reverend Carl Volkner were “take the rope from the neck, so I can sing my song “.
In 1865 Reverend Volkner was found hanging from a puriri tree in Opotiki. His death was blamed on followers of the paimarire movement. Some members of the community accused Volkner of being a spy and the Governments response was military reprisal killing all those they suspected.
Mokomoko’s descendants say members of his family were subsequently put into slavery, killed and raped, a direct descendant of the Chief John Mokomoko says “ Its still very hard his name wasn’t trusted”.
In 1992 the Government apologised to Mokomoko’s descendants but that failed to address the shame and guilt generations of his family have endured. Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says “the events surrounding Mokomoko are a blot on the Crowns and Maori relationship”.
With the bill passing its first reading, the road to redemption has finally begun for the family of Mokomoko. The bill now before the Maori select committee where it is hoped to make swift passage through to its second reading .