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Crown purchases significant battle site

18 May 2015

Crown purchases significant battle site

The Crown has purchased one of the most significant battle sites of the New Zealand Wars, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson announced today.

“We are pleased we could purchase this very significant site which is of great historical and cultural importance to the iwi who fought at the Battle of Ōrākau,” Mr Finlayson said.

The Ōrākau property near Kihikihi, Te Awamutu, was likely the site of a major battle between Māori and the Crown in 1864. Māori sustained many casualties and the site is recorded as a wāhi tapu area.

“We thank the property’s former owners who recognised the importance of this site and approached the Crown with an offer to sell the property,” Mr Finlayson said. “Their sensitivity to the needs and aspirations of iwi in the area will help ensure the site continues to be properly maintained and respected.”

Mr Finlayson also acknowledged the Battle of Ō-Rākau Heritage Society which holds annual commemorations at the site and works to educate people about the Battle of Ōrākau.

The approximately 9.7 hectare site will be placed in the Office of Treaty Settlements Landbank and maintained by the Crown while consultation with iwi, the Heritage Society and Waipa Council takes place about the future of the property.


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