December 08, 2014
Medal bridges past and future for Te Pahi descendants
A Northland hapu is welcoming the return to the country of a taonga associated with one of the most significant early encounters between Maori and Europeans.
It’s a medal gifted to Te Pahi in Sydney in 1806 by Governor Philip King.
The medal went missing after the rangatira was killed in an 1810 raid on his home by British whalers seeking revenge for the burning to the Boyd in Whangaroa Harbour, which they mistakenly thought he had instigated.
It ended up in the collection of an Australian family, who put it up for auction.
Academic and historian
Deidre Brown, a descendant of Te Pahi, says the price was out of reach for Ngati Rua and Ngati Torehina, so the Ngapuhi hapu are happy Te Papa and Auckland Museum were able to join together to buy it for A$300,000.
"The museums have allowed us to touch the medal, to show our aroha for the medal, there have been lots of tangi over the medal, and it has really brought people together. We feel that the medal has a significance in history but for us now it has brought a number of people together, a number of descendants, and made us think about the future in a different way," she says.
The Te Pahi medal will go on display at Auckland Museum from December 17 as part of a Samuel Marsen display commemorating the 200th anniversary of Samuel Marsden’s Christmas Sermon at Hohi, near Rangihoua Pa in the Bay of Islands.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH DEIDRE BROWN CLICK ON THE LINK
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