Hundreds have gathered at Tūrangawaewae Marae in Ngāruawāhia to mark the 20th anniversary of the settling of the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu claim.
The Minister of Māori development, Te Ururoa Flavell, iwi delegates and key figures involved in the negotiation of the 1995 settlement such as the Prime Minister of the time Jim Bolger and his treaty negotiations minister Douglas Graham have joined Tainui for the celebration.
Rahui Papa, chairman of the tribe’s executive committee Te Arataura, said a range of key events will be held to acknowledge the anniversary, which he describes as an opportunity to revisit the meaning of the Raupatu and its defining place within the history of Waikato-Tainui and New Zealand.
“2015 is a time for reflection, remembrance, and commemoration. We must not forget the price our people paid as a result of the Land Wars, the deaths that resulted, and the widespread deprivation from the loss of land and the economic base it provided,” said Mr Papa.