November 01, 2016
Land wars day breathes new life into Te Whakaputanga
Waikato Tainui leader Rahui Papa says representatives of land wars battle sites decided they would set the date for a national commemoration rather than wait for the Government to decide.
The group was asked for advice on how the Government should act on a petition calling for a national day.
It decided on October 28.
That has caused disquiet among some northern kaumatua, who fear it will overshadow their own efforts to raise the profile of He Whakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence signed by northern chiefs that day in 1835.
Mr Papa says the group ackowledges the declaration set the scene for Aotearoa.
"It's sort of faded into a little bit of a huna, into hiding, so all the battle sites agreed it shouldn't be commemorated on one battle day and this is a wonderful way of breathing life back into He Whakaputanga," he says.
He says the second part of the petition was for the history of the New Zealand Wars to be taught in schools, and the Government also needs to hand over more battle sites or iwi to either own or co-manage.
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