November 08, 2016
Parihaka marks resistance aganst force
The people of Parihaka have celebrated Te Ra o Te Pahua, the day in 1881 when their tupuna stood their ground against the might of the colonial forces.
Spokesperson Ruakere Hond says while a lot of the focus on the Parihaka story is on November 5 when the column of police and militia arrived at the isolated settlement on the slopes of Taranaki maunga, Pahau is two days later on November 7.
By that stage the forces had mounted a cannon above the pa and threatened to fire unless the people dispersed back to the communities around Taranaki and the wider North Island where they had come from to protest confiscation of their land.
"We tend to celebrate not so much the day the soldiers marched into Parihaka because that's not worth celebrating, we celebrate the fact when that when the ultimatum from John Bryce, the Minister for Native Affairs, at the end of his ultimatum not a single person had left and they didn't die as he said they would," Dr Hond says.
Parihaka was plundered and occupied for almost three years, but the women kept the cultivations going and once the men came back from internment in the South Island they rebuilt the settlement.
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