March 05, 2014
Parihaka relics auction stopped
Staff at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum are looking into the authenticity of a set of leg irons which were withdrawn from an auction yesterday after protests from Maori.
Dunedin man Steve McCormack claims to have removed the hand-forged shackles in the 1970s from a cave in Portobello Rd where Maori prisoners from Taranaki had been held a century before.
Two lots of prisoners were held in the city, a group from South Taranaki iwi Ngati Ruanui in the 1870s and then a group captured a decade later at Parihaka, which was the centre of non-violent protest against the enforcement of land confiscation.
Dunedin mayor Dave Cull, who brokered the withdrawal of the shackles from the auction, says they are potentially of historic significance, especially to the descendants of the people who were held in those caves.
He says they should not disappear back into private hands.
Copyright © 2014, UMA Broadcasting Ltd