March 31, 2014
Call for Land Wars commemoration
One of the organisers of today’s commemoration of the Battle of Orakau wants to see more official support for preserving significant sites from the New Zealand Wars.
People gathered before dawn today at the site 4 kilometres south of Kihikiki where a small force from Manaipoto, Raukawa and Tuhoe was attacked by British troops on March 31, 1864.
By the time the battled ended on April 2, more than 160 of them had been slaughtered while trying to break across open ground to safety.
Paraone Gloyne says today’s event has been four years in preparation.
That included an archaeological survey to find the limits of the pa, which lies under a farm.
He says there need to be more such commemorations at Land Wars sites around the country.
"This history carved our country in blood so we believe that its time Aotearoa New Zealand, the government thought of a national day of remembrance for all of the New Zealand Land Wars," Mr Gloyne says.
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