Hone Heke’s remains make their way north for reburial
Hone Heke’s remains make their way north for
The Ngapuhi leader David Rankin has announced that the remains of his ancestor – the nineteenth-century warrior chief Hone Heke – have been taken to a private location just outside of Kaikohe, in preparation for their burial on 28 October
Two years ago, Rankin removed Heke’s bones from a cave near Pakaraka, where they had lain since 1850. Discussions with Ngapuhi iwi leaders over the past few months have led to the decision that the remains of the chief will be buried on Putahi – a mountain just north of Kaikohe – at sunrise on 28 October.
It is expected that hundreds of people will attend the re-interment ceremony at the end of the month, which will bring together descendants of those hapu that fought alongside Heke, together with those who fought with the Crown.
“This is a once in a lifetime event,” says Mr Rankin. “Moving the bones of anyone is a sacred undertaking, but for a chief of Heke’s mana, it will be extra special”.
A group of Ngapuhi warriors have been practicing their role in the procession and will honour Heke’s remains with a haka as the carved coffin carrying the bones is carried up the mountain.