More than 300 people woke in darkness, to make their way to the dawn service, a continuation of the Te Pūtake o te Riri celebrations.
Wharehoka Wano says, “When the masses came, I felt very emotional.”
Hemi Tai Tin says, “The karakia over the fire, brought all those in attendance together, and it made everyone feel involved.”
Ruakere Hond outlined the signifficance of the flames which burned brightly at the dawn karakia ceremony.
" Tēnei mea te ahi. Ētahi korero ka puta i ētahi tau ka kī atu, kei te tahu i te ahi ki runga i te maungārongo. Ēngari ko te ahi i tahua e te karauna he mea mō te riri. Nā tana i riro te whenua i runga i te raupatu. Ēngari anō tēnei te tahu i te ahi ki roto i te kainga nei ka kī atu, He pata ua ki te rangi, ka oti te hīri ki te whenua, he paua auahi ki te whenua, ka oti te hīri ki te rangi.
This is the second year of Te Pūtake o te Riri. It was held in Te Tai Tokerau in its inaugural year in 2018.
These commemorations are funded by the Government to give Māori a space to commemorate the New Zealand Land Wars.
Wano says, “For me, this is a good time to reflect. To think about my ancestors who took fire from the crown all those years ago.”
Tai Tin continues, “Pākehā are lucky that they are a peaceful people. They are a giving people, humble people, caring and giving to their core.”
They are looking back, while still planning for the future.
Mataparae Erwin concludes, “The important thing for us is to pass on our teachings to our youth, to the leaders of tomorrow. We want them with us, so we can teach them how to run events like this for themselves in the future.”
Tomorrow the mauri will be passed over to Tainui who will host Te Pūtake o te Riri in 2020.