One hundred years ago, Māori Prophet Rua Kenana Hepetipa, was arrested at Maungapōhatu. Yesterday marked the date of his arrest and an event commemorating the fact, was held by his people at Te Mapou Marae, Maungapōhatu.
Kirituia Tumarae, one of the key organisers of the event says that the legacy of Rua Kenana lives on, “today marks a milestone in our history for the people of Maungapōhatu blood was spilled here following the arrest of Rua Kenana and his two sons and the Crown has yet to return to this place”.
The Minister of Māori Development, Te Ururoa Flavell was the only Crown representative who attended the commemoration, “You could feel the anguish by the elders when you walked onto their Marae one hundred year’s snice the arrest, the people of Maungapōhatu have pushed forward despite what has happened to them” says Flavell.
Rua Kenana stated that he was the successor to Te Kooti Rikirangi, founder of the ‘Ringatū’ faith. The community of Maungapōhatu, was thriving under Rua Kenana in 1907 when he began developing the area. He had many altercations with police; and in 1916 a strong police force marched to Maungapōhatu to apprehend him. After his arrest his belief system was undermined.
Yesterday close to three hundred people attended the commemorations despite the cold and rain.
Rua Kenana later relocated to Matahi, where he died in 1937.