February 20, 2014
Land wars atrocity remembered
Members of Ngati Apakura gathered at dawn today at Rangiaowhia near Te Awamutu to remember an attack on 150 years ago.
At daybreak on 21 February 1864, the advance guard of General Duncan Cameron’s army attacked the largely undefended village.
Twelve Maori including women, children and old people were killed, some when their houses were set alight.
Five British soldiers also died.
Organising committee member Rob Neha says the atrocity is still remembered.
"We’re calling it Nga Pahuatanga which were the atrocities which happened at the time. We’re in a couple of minds down here. There is still some ill feeling towards the crown, particularly from some of our kuia and kaumatua, but it’s also a regathering of Ngati Apakura back here at Rangiaowhia, which is a very special place for our iwi'," he says.
Rob Neha says after a Pai Marire and Catholic service, the iwi unveiled a plaque on the site they believe the houses stood, before making a silent hikoi to the Catholic Cemetery where the bodies of the victims still lie.
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