November 05, 2013
Parihaka invasion remembered
Whanau affiliated to Parihaka are today commemorating the 1881 sacking of the Taranaki village by colonial forces.
Community member Ruakere Hond says the anniversary is a chance to reflect on the lessons of Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi, who preached a strategy of non-violent resistance to settler land-grabbing.
He says passive resistance still has a place when people feel the need to take a stand on things that affect them.
The example of Parihaka is often cited alongside the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, although there is no hard evidence the Indian independence campaigner was aware of the earlier struggle.
"People involved in those initiatives are always looking for information and strategies as to a way forward. So I wouldn't be surprised if not only Gandhi but many other peace initiatives looked for lessons of what people had tried, strategies that had been implemented and to consider whether those would have been appropriate in their environment. I think we'll continue to do that and I think that's what Parihaka offers," Mr Hond says.
Tatarakihi – The Children of Parihaka, a film about a group of rangatahi from Parihaka visiting places in the South Island where their tupuna were held prisoner, is being shown tonight at the Christchurch Transitional Cathedral and at the Peace Place in Auckland Central
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