December 10, 2014
Te Pahi te tangata emerges from medal
The purchase of a 200-year old medal by Te Papa and Auckland museum is casting new light on the historical importance of a northern rangatira
The medal was given to Te Pahi in 1806 by New South Wales governor Philip Smith, and disappeared four years later when his home was attacked by British whalers in a misplaced attempt to revenge the burning of the ship the Boyd.
Linnae Pohatu, Auckland Museum’s director of Maori projects, says the purchase of the medal at auction in Australia by the museums in consultation with Te Pahi's descendants was a demonstration of kotahitanga.
She says Te Pahi struck up a genuine friendship with Governor King, and his stay in Sydney led to increased interest in New Zealand, including from the missionary Samuel Marsden.
"Te Pahi really was this incredibly well travelled man. He was determined to build relationships, not only with other Maori but pakeha as well. He was providing a lot of goods and services to pakeha settlers who were coming to the Bay of Islands. He was a very very interesting man and I think those stories are starting to emerge about him which is really exciting," Ms Pohatu says.
The medal will go on public view at Auckland Museum next week as part of a display about Samuel Marsden and the first service by missionaries in the Bay of Islands 200 years ago.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH LINNAE POHATU CLICK ON THE LINK
Copyright © 2014, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com