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Two-day symposium provides Māori perspective on conflict

Whakatāne, 17 October 2017

Two-day symposium provides Māori perspective on conflict

A two-day symposium on Māori perspectives of conflict aims to deepen understanding of the wars between Māori and colonial troops, and how they have affected lives today.

Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, with the support of Te Puni Kōkiri, have organised the first Te Pūtake o te Riri symposium in Whakatāne this week to foster critical awareness of historical wars between various iwi and the Crown. The New Zealand Wars began in 1843 near Blenheim with the Wairau massacre. Other major incidents included Whanganui, Waikato, Taranaki, the Bay of Plenty and the East Coast, and the Te Kooti campaign in 1872.

Professor Te Kani Kingi, Executive Director of Research and Innovation at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, said the inaugural symposium is an opportunity to involve the community in academic debate and provide a contemporary Māori perspective on historical conflict. It will bring together a range of speakers with academic interest and expertise in the New Zealand Wars to present an historical overview and discuss the impacts of conflict on particular iwi.

“Regional experiences of war and conflict differed, but there is a connected history that has shaped how we have evolved as a nation,” Professor Kingi said.

“War and conflict between Māori and the Crown have had a lasting impact on the lives of New Zealanders. The aim is to gain a comprehensive understanding of these impacts, to learn from history and to encourage informed conversations about our shared past.”

Sir Wira Gardiner will open Wednesday’s programme with a discussion about war and conflict, and Harawira Pearless will talk about the 28th Māori Battalion. Other speakers over the two days include Che Wilson on the Whanganui experience, Buddy Mikaere on Pukehinahina (Gate Pā), Haare Williams on Te Kooti, Dr Vincent O’Malley on the Waikato Wars, Kelvin Day on the Taranaki Wars, and Judge Layne Harvey on the Ngāti Awa experience. Dr Joanna Kidman will present an overview of the national initiative that has resulted in events being held across Aotearoa to mark the New Zealand Wars, with October 28 the official day of commemoration.

Professor Kingi said the symposium at the Awanuiārangi campus on Wednesday and Thursday (October 18 and 19) is free, and limited places are still available. Registrations can be made with


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