Restoring the reputation of Rua Kēnana 103 years after unjust arrest

Tūhoe prophet Rua Kēnana was officially pardoned and the Crown apologised during the final reading of Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana: Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill in Parliament today.

Rua Kēnana was wrongfully arrested when 70-armed police invaded Maungapōhatu in 1916. The fateful Sunday saw his son Toko Rua and nephew, Te Maipi Te Whiu killed during gunfire and both sides suffered injuries.  

Kēnana was cleared of all charges but then imprisoned on an earlier charge of ‘moral resistance’ for the illicit sale of alcohol months earlier. Tellingly, the eight jurors involved in his 47-day trial objected to his harsh sentence - but were ignored.  

His conviction had devastating effects on the descendants and followers of his Iharaira faith, who never fully recovered. The incident has long been a point of contention for ngā uri o Maungapōhatu and has led to a long and intergenerational journey for them to seek justice.  

Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta thanked ngā uri o Maungapōhatu for having the strength, mana and determination to to persist with a pardon, so the truth can be heard. 

“Ngā uri o Maungapōhatu have been tenacious in their resolve over the past 103 years, through generations, to fight for vindication for their tupuna, the name of their whānau and faith. " 

The Crown and Ngā Toenga o Ngā Tamariki a Iharaira me ngā Uri o Maungapōhatu Charitable Trust agreed to progress a statutory pardon in September 2017. The first reading of the Bill was in September.  

Minister Mahuta apologised on behalf of the Government to the Trust for the lasting damage to the character, mana and reputation of Rua Kēnana and ngā uri o Maungapōhatu for the deep hurt, shame and stigma suffered from the invasion of their sacred maunga. 

“I must acknowledge his people, including the many kaumātua who have passed away and are sadly not here to witness the pardon passed into law. I understand Lenny Mahurangi Te Kaawa is the only kaumātua left from the original group that put the claim to the tribunal. 

“The Bill represents the courage, patience and the resilience of the whānau who have been committed to bring the issue to the Crown’s attention so they can start the healing process. 

“The bloody invasion at Maungapōhatu has been described as the last shooting of the New Zealand land wars. My hope is for us to learn from historical events like this, acknowledge the pain that it caused generations and improve our understanding so we can move forward together as a country,” Minister Mahuta says.   

Editor’s Notes  

In a first ever in the history of legislation of such Bills, the signing of the Royal Assent is taking place at Maungapōhatu marae on Hakihea 21. The Crown headed by Her Excellency Dame Patsy Reddy will be hosted by Ngā Toenga o Ngā Tamariki a Iharaira me Ngā Uri o Maungapōhatu Charitable Trust. 

Other attendees include Māori King Te Arikinui Kiingi Tūheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII and Government Ministers and officials.

Te whakahokinga i te mana o Rua Kēnana 103 tau i muri i te mauhere hē

Kua murua te hara a te poropiti o Tūhoe a Rua Kēnana, ka mutu, kua tukuna hoki e te Kāwanatanga tā rātou whakapāha i te pānuitanga whakamutunga o Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana i te Whare Pāremata i te rangi nei  

I hē te hopu o Rua Kēnana i te ekenga o Maungapōhatu e ngā pirihimana mau pū whitu tekau i te tau kotahi mano iwa rau tekau mā ono. I taua Rātapu kino nei i hinga tana tama a Toko Rua rāua ko tana irāmutu, a Te Maipi Te Whiu i te matā o te pū, he  nui ngā aitua i tēnā taha, i tēnā taha. 

I murua ōna hara katoa, engari, ka mauheretia mō tētahi whakapae o mua he ‘tohe whanonga’ mōna i hoko taihara nei i te waipiro i ngā marama i mua. Kua kitea, i whakahēngia tōna whiu e ngā kaiwhakawā e 8 o te whakawākanga whā tekau mā waru rā te roa, engari, tē aro.  

Nā tēnei mahi i tino pāngia āna uri whakaheke, otirā, āna pononga a tōna hāhi Iharaira, kāore i tino ara ake anō. Kua roa ngā uri o Maungapōhatu e tohe ana i tēnei whakatau, nā konā, kua roa te huarahi o tēnei haerenga ki te whakahoki i te mana, kua heke hoki te kawenga i tēnā whakatipuranga ki tēnā whakatipuranga. 

I mihia ngā uri o Maungapōhatu e Te Minita Whanaketanga Māori Nanaia Mahuta, te kaha, te mana, te manawanui anō hoki me tā rātou whai tonu kia unuhia tēnei murunga, kia rangona ai ngā kōrero tika, pono ki te whai ao, ki te ao mārama. 

Kua ūpoko mārō, ūpoko pakaru te tū a ngā uri o Maungapōhatu i te kotahi rau mā toru tau kua hipa, heke mai i ngā uri whakaheke, kia pakanga kia whakawāteahia te ingoa o tō rātou tupuna, te ingoa o tō rātou whānau, otirā, o tō rātou hāhi hoki. " 

I whakaae te Karauna me Ngā Toenga o Ngā Tamariki a Iharaira, ngā Uri O Maungapōhatu Charitable Trust hoki i te marama o Mahuru/Hepetema 2017 kia nuku whakamua i te murunga hara ā-ture. I pānuitia tuatahitia te Pire i te marama o Mahuru/Hepetema. 

I tukua e Minita Mahuta te whakapāha a te Kāwanatanga ki te Rūnanga mō te patunga o te āhua, o te mana, otirā, o te ingoa o Rua Kēnana me ngā uri o Maungapōhatu, mō te hohonu o te mamae, te hane me te poapoa i tau ki runga ki a rātou i te whakaekenga o tō rātou maunga tapu. 

“Me mihi au ki tōna iwi, tae atu rā ki ngā tini kaumātua kua hinga ake nei me te pouri anō kāore rātou i konei kia kite i te whakaturetanga o tēnei murunga hara. Taku mōhio ko Lenny Mahurangi Te Kaawa anake te kaumātua e toe ana o te rōpū tuatahi nāna te kerēme i whakatakoto ki mua i te aroaro o te taraipiunara. 

He tohu te Pire o te māia, te manawanui, me te manahautanga o te whānau me tā rātou ū ki te whakatakoto i te take ki mua i te aroaro o te Karauna kia tīmata ai te tukanga haumanu. 

“Kua kīia ko te pūhinga whakamutunga, te whakaekenga whakahekenga toto ki Maungapōhatu, o ngā pakanga whenua o Aotearoa. Ko te tūmanako ka ako mātou i ngā mahi o mua pēnei nā, me mōhio ki te mamae i pāngia ki ngā whakatupuranga kia piki te māramatanga e nuku whakamua ai tātou ā-motu nei, te kī a Minita Mahuta.   

Ngā Taipitopito a te Etita: 

Hei tuatahitanga tēnei i te hītori o te whakaturetanga o ngā momo Pire, ka tū te waitohutanga o Te Whakaae a te Karauana ki te marae o Maungapōhatu ā te 21 o Hakihea 2019. Ka manaakitia te Karauana, mā Tōna Hiranga Te Kahurangi Patsy Reddy e whakakanohi te taha Karauna, e Ngā Toenga o Ngā Tamariki a Iharaira me Ngā Uri o Maungapōhatu Charitable Trust. 

Ko ētahi atu manuhiri ka tae atu ko te Kīngi Māori Te Arikinui Kīngi Tūheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII, ko ngā Minita o te Kāwanatanga me ōna āpiha.