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175th Anniversary Commemoration - Battle Of Kororāreka

On March 11 it will be 175 years (11/03/1845) since Māori first signalled, courtesy of Hone Heke, their dissatisfaction with the state of things post the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, signed only five years earlier.

The tensions between Rangatiratanga and the imposition of British Sovereignty, plus a sense that Ngāpuhi independence and authority were being quickly and stealthily undermined, led to the symbolic act of the felling of the Flagstaff on Te Maiki in Kororāreka/ Russell and the ensuing bloodshed that killed around 13 Māori and 20 Britons. The bloodshed spread across Northland and over time further south, often for similar reasons, and ended up involving much of the country.

The battle is commemorated every year by local tangata whenua and the Kororāreka community, including descendants and representatives of ngā hapū/iwi who took part in the fighting.

Rōpu from Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa / New Zealand Navy, New Zealand Army and New Zealand Police will take part in the commemoration.

The guest list this year is also expected to include:

Government Ministers:

Hon Kelvin Davis

Hon Shane Jones

Hon Peeni Henare

Northland MP Matt King

Northland Labour list MP Willow-Jean Prime

Representatives from Pouhere Taonga Heritage New Zealand

Dept. of Conservation - the joint kaitiaki of Te Maiki alongside Kororāreka Marae

Far North Mayor John Carter

The event traditionally involves a service and kōrero on Te Maiki, then moves to Christ Church to acknowledge the fallen, both Pākehā and Māori, at the memorial Kohatu and the grave of the men of HMS Hazard, and ends with breakfast hosted by Ngā Hapū whānau o Kororāreka Marae.

Kororāreka Marae Society Chairperson Deb Rewiri says “We hope this 175th anniversary will draw attention on a national level to the significance of this day, and contribute to the understanding of the history leading up to the actions on Maiki and what they were intended to achieve. The history of the early contact period is rich and fascinating but also challenging, and much of it has for so long has not been properly told. Working with Kororareka Marae, Te Au Marie Trust and local hapū and iwi, DOC have installed new interpretive panels on Te Maiki relating the events that lead up the battle and the reverberations that followed.

“We hope this will help New Zealanders and visitors to understand and appreciate more our shared history and shared future, and that occasions like this will help open eyes and minds to what Māori have endured and continue to put right the wrongs inflicted through colonisation.”

Dates and timings:

Wednesday 11 March 202

06.45 am gather on Te Maiki

07.00 am service starts

Breakfast should be concluded by 10am

The format is generally mihi, karakia, kōrero and himene/waiata on the maunga before the raising of Te Kara. At Christ Church the party gathers to acknowledge the fallen, both Pākeha and Māori with another short prayer and formal recognition from the Armed Services. The morning concludes with breakfast at Kororāreka Marae, on the corner of Pitt St and the Strand, Russell.

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