September 07, 2017
Maungapohatu ready to receive Rua Kenana apology from Crown
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell and whanau of Rua Kenana met in Rotorua yesterday to finalise the details of the apology and pardon for the Tuhoe prophet.
The minister will sign an agreement on Saturday at Maungapohatu committing the crown to put the pardon into law in the next parliament.
It will include a summary of the circumstances around the 1916 invasion of the village in the heart of Te Urewera by armed police, acknowledgements and apologies to the descendants of Rua Kenana and his spiritual movement Nga Toenga o nga Tamariki a Iharaira; a pardon for his conviction; and a declaration to restore his character, mana and reputation and that of his uri.
Mr Flavell says even after 100 years the issues still burn for the whanau.
"They’ve been having to bear the brunt of an element of stigma associated with what happened, and I supposed the biggest thing is the fall away ofm the community up there. Once it was a thriving community of followers of Iharaira, of the particular faith of Rua Kenana. The destroying of that community, not just the physical destructi`on but the emotional and spiritual destruction, is very much a part of this kaupapa," he says.
Once passed into law the statutory pardon will be only the fourth arising from Crown-Maori relations.
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