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175th Commemorations For The Battle Of Te Ruapekapeka

‘Kawea a pūriri mai’ – in reverence, remembrance and respect is the theme for the three-day commemorations being held at Kawiti Marae in Waiomio this Friday 8th January for the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Te Ruapekapeka.

The commemorations are being delivered by an event organising committee on behalf of Te Ruapekapeka Trust, and are part of a nationwide initiative ‘Te Pūtake o Te Riri’ to commemorate the New Zealand Wars.

‘Kawea a pūriri mai’ is a reference to significance of the lament, the honour and the memorial for what happened during the conflict when British troops attacked Te Ruapekapeka Pā on 10th January 1846.

Commemorations Committee Chair, Albert Cash, says while the pūriri holds significance for Te Tai Tokerau, it’s also indicative of a pathway forward.

“We use pūriri in our times of grief, for instance, as taua for head dress and to adorn photos of our loved ones gone. Pūriri are strong and enduring and were used in the construction of the palisades on Ruapekapeka Pā. They could withstand the test of artillery at the time. In remembrance of the past - let us be the resilient puriri of our times.”

Event Manager, Huhana Lyndon says final preparations are well underway to see Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Hau, Ngāti Manu and Te Kapotai welcome whānau, hapū and iwi representatives on Friday. “We are planning for a large attendance of uri affiliated to the pakanga and are working hard to bring together a program that uplifts the mana of our tūpuna.”

Planned events include visits to whenua riri sites at Māwhe Kairangi, Te Ahuahu, Ohaeawai and Ngāwhā supported by themed wānanga with guest speakers, facilitated by Te Ruapekapeka Trust Interim Chair, Pita Tipene.

On Sunday 10th January, commemorations will begin at Te Ruapekapeka Pā with the raising of whānau-hapū kara (flags), followed by a ceremony with acknowledgements in reverence, remembrance and respect, including a tribute to the wāhine and tamariki who were also involved with the conflict.

The commemorations are being held from Friday 8th – Sunday 10th January 2021 at and around Kawiti Marae in Waiomio, Te Tai Tokerau.

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