June 12, 2017
Parihaka apology acknowledges pain and shame
Last week's crown apology for the sacking of Parihaka in 1881 acknowledged for the first time in an historical settlement the rapes committed by colonial forces – and created fresh challenges for the community.
Parihaka Papakainga trust chair Puna Wano Bryant says while the individual stories are private to whanau, the community felt it important to bring into the light the act of rape and the impact it had in successive generations
Processes need to be put in place to help people heal from the pain, including the public acknowledgement it happened.
"I've been in situations where you get that auntie who stands up and says 'You fellas need to come back to Parihaka, this is your Parihaka, we don't see your families here any more,' and it was really telling at a hui where a kui stood up and said 'We don't come back because our nan was raped and we're whakama.' Where has the support been for that family so they feel confident they are able to come back to Parihaka and move amongst without shame," Ms Wano Bryant says.
She says the apology released a lot of pain has been released, and while grief and mourning are signs of respect for tupuna, continued pain is of no use to the people.
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