Confiscated Land Wars sites returned

Maori Development

A significant part of the country’s history, the New Zealand Land Wars was acknowledged today with the return of Rangiriri Pa to Waikato-Tainui says Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell.

The Minister joined other Crown representatives today at the 10-year Koroneihana (Coronation Anniversary) held at Tūrangawaewae Marae to mark the return of Rangiriri Pā and Te Wheoro Redoubt historic reserve to Waikato-Tainui.

Mr Flavell says Crown confiscation of 1.2 million acres of Tainui land during the land wars, such as the Pā and Redoubt in 1863, marks a dark moment in history for the Tainui people, the Kingitanga and the nation as a whole.

“At this historic moment, these famous Tainui words ring true, ‘I riro whenua atu, me hoki whenua mai – as land was confiscated so land should return’,” he says.

“It’s a sign of our maturity as a nation that we tell all our stories, good and bad,” Mr Flavell says. “Returning these spiritual sites is important. It continues building the relationship between the Crown and Tainui since the historic Battle of Rangiriri 152 years ago.”

Budget 16 secured $4 million funding to go toward initiatives to commemorate the New Zealand Land Wars.

“It’s time we all recognise the importance of honouring those who perished on home soil just as we honour those who died overseas. These battles shaped our country and people and it’s important that we recognise our shared history.”

Iwi leaders have discussed with the Minister a desire for an annual date for national commemorations. Mr Flavell is currently working with them on identifying a proposed date.

The $1 million per annum funding over four years will provide financial support to mark commemorative events and may also support education-related activities for schools, kura and communities about the Land Wars