“Critics of Heke’s burial need to be muzzled”
For Immediate Release
11 October 2013
“Critics of Heke’s burial need to be muzzled” says Ngapuhi spokesman
Ngapuhi spokesman David Rankin has lashed out against critics of plans to re-bury the remains of his ancestor – the nineteenth-century warrior chief Hone Heke – at the end of this month.
Two years ago, Mr Rankin removed Heke’s bones from a cave near Pakaraka, where they had lain since 1850. Now, though, some Maori are opposed to the bones being re-buried.
“These people need to be muzzled,” says Mr. Rankin. “They are the haters and wreckers who crave attention, yet are culturally ignorant. We see them at Waitangi Day each year. We see them wherever there is a protest or some trouble. They contribute nothing to our culture.”
It is expected that hundreds of people will attend the re-interment ceremony on 28 October, 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. If anyone tries to stop us, they will end up embarrassing themselves.”
Mr Rankin says he has organised extra security for the day, but will not disclose the details of these preparations. “All I can say to those planning to disrupt this event is ‘wait and see’.”