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01 APRIL 2014

Battle of Orakau anniversary fuels call for national day of remembrance

English Google translation: "It would be an understatement to say the Prime Minister John Key was challenged today as he attended the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Ōrākau. Hundreds of Maori and Pakeha turned up to support the call to commemorate NZ Land Wars. Therein lies the strength of the challenge to the PM. The time has come for all of NZ, Maori and non–Maori alike, to be counted in honouring our nation's history. For a long time we have commemorated battles fought overseas. We need to start officially commemorating the ones fought in NZ. The PM appears indifferent. Mataatua descendants returned to the site of battle where their ancestors fought.

I'm excited to see so many people here today. Their ancestors came to this site to support the cause and their descendants have now come back today. Today, ancestors who fell in battle on this very site at Orakau 150 years ago were remembered. Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Maniapoto, Waikato, and all of Tainui are grateful to all iwi who have come to Orakau to share in this experience to commemorate all ancestors who died during the Battle of Orakau. The coming together of iwi.

They've been dubbed the 'Orakau 300'. and today it's Orakau 3000 who have arrived to remember their ancestors who died 150 years ago.

Secondary students from a local school have started a petition to make today an official day of remembrance. If the message hasn't sunk in for the PM, Mataatua and Tauranga iwi will remind him at Gate Pa at the end of this month. Potaka Maipi, Te Karere."

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TAGS

150th anniversary • 2014ancestorsanniversaryAotearoa New Zealand • Battle at Orakau • Battle of Orakau • civil warcolonial historycolonial power • colonial times • colonisationcommemorationconflicthistoryindigenous historyiwiJohn KeyLand WarsMaoriMaori grievancemilitary conflict • national day of remembrance • national heritage • national history • Ngati Maniapoto • Ngati Raukawa • official day of remembrance • Orakau • Pakeharemembrance • Tainui • Waikatowarwhite settlement

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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