December 01, 2015
NZ Wars petition ready for delivery
Students from Otorohanga College hope to present a petition to parliament next week calling for a national day to remember those who lost their lives in the New Zealand Wars of the 19th Century.
The petition was sparked by a school trip to battle sites at Orakau and Rangiaowhia, where some of the students' tupuna fought and died.
The petition now has more than 10,000 signatures.
More than 2000 Maori and 750 colonial troops died in the wars, which are only considered to have ended with the police sttack on Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana's settlement at Maungapohatu in 1916.
Radio Te Upoko o Te Ika journalist Kawe Roes, whose tupuna Poupatate Huihi from Ngati Maniapoto was one of the combatants, says it's a worthy kaupapa.
"For me it's about having a place that we as descendants of those people who fought in those wars, whether they were kupapa, whether they were fighting for Maori tino rangatiratanga or whether they were fighting for the tino rangatiratanga of the colonial government of the time, the point is we need to remember these moments in our history. Every time we forget it, the more complacent our country becomes," Mr Roes says.
The petition should be delivered on December 8, the same time as the launch of Te Tapuwae Roa, a multi-day ultra endurance heritage challenge in which groups of walkers and runners will travel between battle sites around the country.
Copyright © 2015, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com