History made as Rua Kēnana vindicated

After 103 years Ngā Toenga o Ngā Tamariki a Iharaira me ngā Uri o Maungapōhatu Charitable Trust have cleared the name of their tupuna Rua Kēnana of a criminal conviction in 1916. 

Rua Kēnana is the sixth recipient to receive a statutory pardon in New Zealand and the fourth arising from Crown-Māori relations. 

Acknowledging the long and intergenerational journey for ngā uri o Maungapōhatu to seek justice, Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta says that this is a momentous occasion for Aotearoa New Zealand.  

“Today we signed a new piece of legislation that officially recognises the deep hurt, shame, and stigma that was suffered as a result of the invasion here at Maungapōhatu on April 1916, restoring the character, mana, and reputation of Rua Kēnana and his descendants which is quite unique to our country,” says Nanaia Mahuta. 

“There have only been four other statutory pardons that have been achieved in Aotearoa which has arisen as part of the Crown-Māori relations, it’s a sign of our progress as a nation to be able to look at the ugly parts of our history and be mature enough to be able to correct historical wrongs.

“For ngā uri o Maungapōhatu they have long lived and suffered from the effects of the invasion of their sacred maunga and never truly recovered from these atrocities. They have shown great tenacity, resilience and courage over the century-long process to pursue a pardon and today is the end of this process for them.” 

In a first-time in the history of legislation the Royal Assent was given by the Governor General at Maungapōhatu marae in front of hundreds who gathered to witness the occasion. 

Minister Mahuta says Ngā Toenga o Ngā Tamariki a Iharaira me ngā Uri o Maungapōhatu should be proud of their work over multiple generations to clear the name of their ancestor. 

“There is no greater honour that you can give your tupuna, than vindication for an act that he did not commit, for an act he was incorrectly imprisoned for and the atrocities that took place at a site of cultural significance.  

“This I hope will bring closure for all those people who first pursued this pardon and will enable the whānau to move forward to take a step further towards reconciliation,” Minister Mahuta says. 

Editor Notes:  

The event was supported by Te Pūtake o te Riri Fund in Te Puni Kōkiri to help increase awareness about significant landmarks and people throughout the history of our natio

Crown-Māori relations statutory pardons 

  • In 1988, those of Ngāti Awa descent who were arrested, tried and labelled as rebels in or about 1865, received a statutory pardon in the Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Act; in 2013, Mokomoko received statutory recognition of a previous Royal Prerogative of Mercy pardon for his involvement in the murder of missionary Carl Volkner in 1865, and in 2014, Kereopa Te Rau also received a statutory pardon for his role in the murder of Reverend Volkner through the Treaty settlement with Ngāti Rangiwewehi. 

Rua Kēnana arrest 

  • Rua was arrested in 1915 for selling alcohol illegally at Maungapōhatu and summonsed to appear before a magistrate in January 1916. He requested a delay during harvesting season, but the magistrate denied this and issued a warrant for his arrest when he failed to appear. 
  • On 2 April 1916 Police Commissioner John Cullen led a 70-armed police expedition which reached Maungapōhatu, occupied the marae and arrested an unarmed Rua. Killing two people – Toko Rua the son of Rua and nephew Te Maipi Te Wehi. 
  • At his court case in October 1916 he was found ‘morally’ guilty for resisting his initial arrest in 1915.  
  • The judge nevertheless sentenced Rua to one year’s imprisonment with and another 18 months of ‘reformative detention’, a sentence so harsh that eight members of the jury protested publicly and petitioned Parliament about it. Rua remained in prison until April 1918. 

Te Pūtake o te Riri 

  • This event has been supported by Te Puni Kōkiri through Te Pūtake o te Riri the Wars and Conflicts in New Zealand fund that supports whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori organisations to plan and deliver events and initiatives to commemorate the New Zealand Wars and significant events that have impacted the history of Aotearoa. 
  • This event seeks to increase awareness among all Aotearoa New Zealand citizens about our local history, significant landmarks and people including strengthening relationships and partnerships. It is also about building nationhood and pride among all citizens, increasing mātauranga and value for local history and increasing bi-lingual resources. 

Kua tuhia te kōrero ki te rangi kua whakawāteahia te ingoa o Rua Kēnana

Nō muri mai i te huringa o te kotahi rau mā toru tau kua tutuki tā Ngā Toenga o Ngā Tamariki a Iharaira me ngā Uri o Maungapōhatu Charitable Trust i whai ai kia whakawāteahia e rātou te ingoa o tō rātou tūpuna a Rua Kēnana o te hara i whiua ki runga i a ia i te tau 1916.

Ko te tangata tuaono a Rua Kēnana kia wetekina ā-ture i te whiu o te hara ki Aotearoa nei, ā, tuawhā anō hoki ngā tāngata i māpuna mai ai i ngā kaupapa Karauna-Māori. 

I roto i tana mihi ki te hīkoi hekenga tau, hekenga whakatipuranga o ngā uri o Maungapōhatu me tā rātou whai i te tika, i te pono, e kī ana Te Minita Whanaketanga Māori Nanaia Mahuta he rā nui whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. 

“I tēnei rā i waitohua he ture hou me tōna whakamana ā-ture i te ngau kino o te mamae, o te whakamā, o te poapoa i pāngia mai, hua mai ana i te whakaekenga i konei i Maungapōhatu i te marama o Āperira/Paengawhāwhā 1916, e whakahokia ana te ihi, te mana, te ingoa o Rua Kēnana ki a ia, otirā, ki ana uri, he ahurei, nō tō tātou whenua anake tēnei āhua, te kī a Nanaia Mahuta.

“E whā anō ngā wetekina hara ā-ture kua tutuki i Aotearoa i puta mai i ngā kaupapa Karauna-Māori, he tohu pea tēnei ō tō tātou pakeke ā-motu, arā, kia kite i te anuanu o mua rā anō me te whai kia rangatira tonu te tū, te whakaaro, kia whai tonu i te rongoā e whakatika i ngā hara o aua rā. 

“Kua roa ngā uri o Maungapōhatu e noho ana i raro i ngā kapua pouri e pāngia tonu ana e te whakaekenga o tō rātou maunga tapu, e ngau tonu ana te ngau kino o aitua i roto i a rātou. Kātahi te iwi nei, he upoko mārō te whai, he upoko pakaru te whai, he ngākau māia te whai i roto i te kotahi rau tau kua taha ake nei, nā, kia tutuki te wetekina hara, ana, i te rangi nei kua tutuki, kua tutuki, kua tutuki. 

He tuatahitanga tēnei i ngā tau o te ture kua tukuna te Whakaae a te Karauna e Te Kāwana Tianara ki runga i te marae o Maungapōhatu i mua te rau tāngata i karahuihui mai kia kite ā-kanohi atu i tēnei āhua nui whakaharahara. 

Me poho kererū ka tika Ngā Toenga o Ngā Tamariki a Iharaira me ngā Uri o Maungapōhatu i ngā mahi i kawea i tēnā whakatipuranga ki tēnā whakatipuranga mō te unu i te hara i runga i te ingoa o tō rātou tūpuna te take. 

“Tino kore nei he mihi i tua atu hei whakanui i tō tūpuna, i te whakawāteatanga o tētahi hara ehara i a ia te hara, mō tētahi hara i mauherea a ia i runga i te hē, mō ngā mahi anuanu i pahawa ki tētahi wāhi tapu. 

“Ko te tūmanako kua tau tēnei take mō te hunga i whāia tuatahitia tēnei unuhanga hara, kia wātea anō ai te whānau ki te whai i te tatau pounamu,” te kī a Minita Mahuta. 

Ngā Taipitopito a te Etita:

Nā Te Pūtea a Te Pūtake o te Riri i Te Puni Kōkiri tēnei hui i tautoko ki te whakapiki i te mōhio ki ngā tūtohu whenua me ngā tāngata matua puta noa i ngā kōrero o tō tātou motu.

Ngā unuhanga hara ā-ture a te Karauna-Māori

  • I te tau 1988, ko ērā o ngā uri o Ngāti Awa i hopukina, i whiua ki te kōti kātahi ka kīia he whakakeke i te tau 1865, pātata ana rānei, i whiwhi i te unuhanga hara i te Ture Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa; i te tau 2013, i whiwhi a Mokomoko i te whakamana ā-ture o tētahi unuhanga hara He Tono Atawhai a te Karauna mō te wāhi ki a ia i te kōhurutanga o te mihinare Carl Vilkner i te tau 1865, ā, i te tau 2014, i whiwhi hoki a Kereopa Te Rau i te unuhanga hara ā-ture mō te wāhi ki a ia i te kōhurutanga o Minita Volkner mā te whakatau tiriti o Ngāti Rangiwewehi.

 

Te hopunga o Rua Kēnana

  • I hopukina a Rua i te tau 1915 mō te hoko waipiro me te kore mana ka tonoa kia tae mai ki te kaiwhakawā i te marama o Hanuere/Kohitātea i te tau 1916. I tono ia kia hīkina te whakawākanga i te wā o te hauhake, kāore te kaiwhakawā i whakaae, ka tukuna he pepa kia hopukina ia mō te kore tae mai ki te kōti.
  • I te 2 o  Āperira 1916 i aratakina e te Komihana Hoani Karena te taua pirihimana mau pū whitu tekau i te whakaekenga o Maungapōhatu, i riro mai te marae, ka hopukina a Rua, kāore ōna pū.  E rua ngā tāngata i whakamatea – ko Toko Rua te tama a Rua, me Te Maipi Te Wehi, he irāmutu nā Rua.
  • I tana kehi kōti i te marama o Oketopa/Whiringa-ā-nuku 1916 i kīia he tangata hara ia ‘ā-tikanga’ mō te whakahē i tana hopunga tuatahi i te tau 1915.
  •  Ahakoa rā i mauherea tonutia a Rua mō te kotahi tau, me te tekau mā waru marama o te ‘here whakatika whanonga’, pērā rawa te kino o te whiu, i tohea e ngā mema e waru o te rōpū whakawā ki te iwi whānui, i tuku tono hoki rātou ki te Pāremata. Ka noho a Rua ki te Whareherehere tae atu ki te tau 1918

Te Pūtake o te Riri

  • Kua tautokona tēnei hui e Te Puni Kōkiri mā Te Pūtea Te Pūtake o te Riri e tautoko ana i ngā whānau, hapū, iwi me ngā whakahaere Māori ki te whakamahere, whakahaere hui, kōkiri kaupapa hei whakanui i Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa me ngā āhuatanga matua kua pā mai ki ngā kōrero o Aotearoa.
  • E whai ana tēnei mahi ki te whakapiki i te mātau i waenga i ngā tāngata katoa o Aotearoa ki ō tātou kōrero, ki ngā tūtohu whenua, ki ngā tāngata matua hei whakapakari i ngā whanaungatanga, hononga hoki. Mō te whakatenatena i te aotearoatanga, i te poho kererū i waenga i ōna tāngata tangata, he whakapiki i te mātauranga, i te hiranga mō ngā kōrero ā-rohe, he whakapiki hoki i te nui o ngā rauemi reorua.