June 09, 2017
Litany of crown failings in Parihaka apology
Attorney General Christopher Finlayson and Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell have delivered the crown’s apology for the sacking of Parihaka in 1881.
Today’s ceremony, He Puanga Haeata, drew hundreds of people to the historic Taranaki village including other iwi who supported Taranaki during and after the wars of the 1860s.
In the apology, Mr Finlayson said Parihaka was established in 1866 as a final refuge for hapu whose homes and cultivations had been repeatedly destroyed by crown troops and whose land had been confiscated.
It was established under principles of compassion, equality, unity and self sufficiency.
Under the leadership of Tohu Kakahi and Te Whiti o Rongomai the community asserted its customary rights to land and political autonomy through symbolic acts of protest while promoting peaceful engagement between Maori and Pakeha.
"The crown responded to peace with tyranny, to unity with division and to autonomy with oppression. The Crown therefore offers its deepest apology to the people of Parihaka for all its failures," Mr Finlayson said.
The apology detailed those failures, including imprisoning Parihaka residents indefinitely without trial for the ploughing and fencing campaigns of 1879 and 1880, the invasion of Parihaka in November 1881, the rapes by crown troops in the aftermath of the invasion causing the immeasurable and enduring harm to the women of Parihaka, and other through crown actions and omissions.
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