History rectified - Rua Kēnana to be pardoned

An official pardon for Tūhoe prophet and leader Rua Kēnana is one step closer after the Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana: Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill was read in Parliament for the first time today.

Rua Kēnana was wrongfully arrested during a raid in 1916 when 70-armed police invaded Maungapōhatu. His son Toko Rua and Maipi Te Whiu were killed during gunfire exchange and other Māori and police were injured. Charges against Kēnana were later dismissed but he was imprisoned on an earlier charge of ‘moral resistance.’ The event had lasting effects on his descendants and followers of his Iharaira faith.  

Today’s reading follows an agreement between the Crown and Ngā Toenga o Ngā Tamariki a Iharaira me ngā Uri o Maungapōhatu Charitable Trust in September 2017 to progress a statutory pardon. This includes apologies and acknowledgements to the Trust and Rua Kēnana descendants, a declaration restoring the character, mana and reputation of Rua Kēnana and his descendants and a summary of the 1916 invasion.

The Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta said the first reading is a significant milestone in the journey for Tuhoe.  

“I want to acknowledge the huge commitment, drive and determination both the Crown and the trustees have shown in getting the pardon to this stage. 

“It is important that the Crown acknowledges its actions caused lasting damage to Rua Kēnana and his descendants. The Iharaira faith went into decline after the events and never fully recovered,” she said. 

Minister Mahuta also acknowledged the timeliness of the first reading which coincides with the plaque unveiled this morning in the debating chamber at Parliament to commemorate the New Zealand Wars. The commemoration comes nearly four years after a petition was delivered to Parliament by Waimarama Anderson, Leah Bell and supporters.

It was as a consequence of a visit to the site of O-Rākau that the two rangatahi of Ōtorohanga College took it upon themselves to champion a petition of 12,000 signatures to Parliament.

This petition created a groundswell of interest, publicity and conversation about the need to deepen peoples understanding about the wars and conflicts within Aotearoa / New Zealand and the impact this has had on our national identity.

This morning the Government also announced that New Zealand history will be taught in our schools by 2022.

“We still have a long way to go to raise awareness about our shared history but moments like today help us move into the future with increasing confidence,” Minister Mahuta says.

More information

The statutory pardon for Rua Kēnana includes:

  • a summary of the circumstances around the 1916 invasion of Maungapōhatu
  • Crown acknowledgements to the descendants of Rua Kēnana and the Iharaira faith
  • an apology by the Crown to the descendants of Rua Kēnana and Ngā Toenga o ngā Tamariki a Iharaira
  • a pardon from the Crown to Rua Kēnana, for the conviction he sustained for moral resistance to arrest.
  • a declaration restoring the character, mana and reputation of Rua Kēnana, his descendants, and Ngā Toenga o ngā Tamariki a Iharaira.

In 2012, the Waitangi Tribunal determined that excessive force was used in the arrest of Rua Kēnana and was unlawfully carried out as it was on a Sunday.  

The Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill is outside the Treaty settlement process and will have no impact on existing Treaty settlements and involves no financial or cultural redress. 

The fact that the Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill is bilingual is very fitting at this time as it compliments both te wiki of te reo Māori and the Maihi Karauna (the Crown’s strategy for Māori Language Revitalistaion). It does this by inherently promoting the use of te reo Māori everywhere, every day in every way.                                                                                                               

Kua tika o mua - Kua murua a Rua Kēnana

Kua pātata anō ki te whakatutukitanga o te kaupapa nei, arā, te murunga hara whaimana mā te poropiti, rangatira hoki a Rua Kēnana i muri i te pānuitanga tuatahitanga i te rangi nei ki te Whare Pāremata o Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana.  

I hē te mauheretanga o Rua Kēnana i te huakitanga o Maungapohatu i ngā pirihimana whitu tekau i te tau 1916.   I hinga tana tama a Toko Rua, me Maipi Te Whiu i te pahūtanga o ngā pū, ka whara anō ētahi atu o ngā Māori me ngā pirihimana hoki i reira. Nō muri mai i panaia ngā whakapae a te kōti, engari, i mauheretia tonutia a ia mō te kotahi tau me te hāwhe nā runga i tētahi whakapae o mua mō te tautohe ki ngā pirihimana, e kīia ana he ‘tautohe matatika’. Nā tēnei mahi ka tino pāngia āna uri whakaheke, otirā, ngā pononga a tōna hāhi Iharaira. 

E whai ana tēnei pānuitanga i tētahi whakaaetanga i waenga i te Karauna me Ngā Toenga o Ngā Tamariki a Iharaira, ngā Uri O Maungapōhatu Charitable Trust hoki i te marama o Mahuru/Hepetema 2017 ki te nuku whakamua i tētahi murunga hara ā-ture. Kei roto i tēnei ko ngā whakapāha, me ngā whakaaetanga ki te hē o ngā mahi ki te Rūnanga me ngā uri o Rua Kēnana, he whakapuakinga e whakahokia ana te āhua, te mana, te ingoa anō hoki o Rua Kēnana me ōna uri, tae atu ki tētahi whakarāpopototanga o te whakaekenga i te tau 1916.

I kī ake te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, a Nanaia Mahuta, he pae nui whakaharahara tēnei pānuitanga tuatahitanga i te haerenga mā te iwi o Tūhoe. 

“Me mihi ka tika ki te ngākaunui, ki te kaha, ki te māia o te Karauna rāua ko ngā kaitiaki me ā rāua mahi kia eke te murunga hara ki tēnei taumata. 

“He mea nui kia whakaae te Karauna he mahi tūkino āna mahi, ka mutu, kua mau roa te pānga o tēnei mahi tūkino ki a Rua Kēnana me āna uri whakaheke. Nō muri i taua mahi i tīmata te heke o te hāhi Iharaira, kāore i tino ora ake anō,” tana kī. 

I mihia anō hoki e Minita Mahuta te hāngaitanga o te wā o te pānuitanga tuatahi ki te tūhuratanga o tētahi tohu whakamahara ki ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa i te ata nei ki te taiwhanga tautohetohe o te whare Pāremata.  Kua tū te whakamaharatanga i muri i te whā tau o te whakatakotoranga o tētahi pitihana ki te aroaro o te Pāremata i a Waimarama Anderson, a Leah Bell me ngā kaitautoko. 

Nā tētahi haerenga ki O-Rākau i puta te whakaaro ki te tokorua rangatahi nei o te Kāreti o Ōtorohanga ki te hāpai i te kaupapa mā tētahi petihana i hainatia e te 12,000 tāngata, ā, ka haria ki mua ki te aroaro o te Pāremata. 

Nā tēnei petihana i pupū ake te kaingākau, i puta te kōrero ki Aotearoa whānui, ka mutu, he tīmatanga hoki o te kōrero kia whakamārama tika i ngā pakanga, i ngā riri i roto o Aotearoa kia hohonu te mārama o ngā tāngata o Aotearoa me te pānga o tēnei ki tō tātou tuakiritanga ā-motu nei. 

Nō te ata tonu nei i puta hoki te pānui hei te tau 2022 ka tīmata te whakaako o te hītori o Aotearoa ki roto i ō tātou kura. 

“He roa tonu te huarahi kei mua i a tātou kia mārama ai tātou ki tō tātou hītori, heoi anō, mā ngā mahi o te rangi nei e āwhina ai tātou kia neke whakamua ki te ao o āpōpō i runga i te ngākau titikaha,” te kōrero a Minita Mahuta.

Ētahi atu kōrero

Kei roto i te murunga hara ā-ture nei o Rua Kēnana:

  • he whakarāpopototanga o ngā āhuatanga o te huakitanga o Maungapōhatu i te tau 1916
  • he whakaaetanga o ngā hē nā te Karauna ki ngā uri whakaheke o Rua Kēnana, me te hāhi Iharaira
  • he whakapāha nā te Karauna ki ngā uri whakaheke o Rua Kēnana me Ngā Toenga o ngā Tamariki o Iharaira
  • he murunga hara nā te Karauna ki a Rua Kēnana, mō tana whiu i tana tautohetohe ā-matatika ki te mauheretanga.
  • he whakapuakitanga e whakahokia ana te āhua o te tangata, te mana, me te ingoa o Rua Kēnana, āna uri whakaheke, tae atu ki Ngā Toenga o ngā Tamariki a Iharaira. 

I te tau 2012, i whakatauria e Te Rōpū Whakamana i te Tiriti he kaha rawa te mahi o ngā Pirihimana i te mauheretanga o Rua Kēnana, ka mutu, kāore i tika i raro i te ture i te mea he Rātapu. 

Kei waho te pire kia unuhia te hara kai runga i a Rua Kēnana i te tukanga whakatau kerēme o te Tiriti, ka mutu, e kore e pā ki ngā whakatau kerēme Tiriti o nāianei, kāore hoki he pānga pūtea, he pānga ahurea rānei. 

I te mea he reorua te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai runga i a Rua Kēnana he tino hāngai tana putanga i tēnei wā ki Te Wiki o te Reo Māori me te Maihi Karauna (te rautaki whakarauora reo Māori a te Karauna).  Ka tutuki tēnei mā te whakatairanga kau i te kōrerotanga o te reo Māori i ngā wāhi katoa, i ngā rā katoa, mā ngā huarahi katoa.