April 12, 2018
Ruanui rangatahi learn troubled history of tupuna
A large ope of rangatahi from Ngati Ruanui are in Dunedin this week seeing the places where their ancestors were imprisoned almost 150 years ago.
They’re a mix from Ngati Ruanui 2nuicode STEAM Program, Hawera High School, Patea Area School and Ngati Ruanui Te Kura Kaupapa.
Ngati Ruanui kaiarataki Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says the trip has been helped by a grant from Te Putake o Te Riri, the fund set up for commemorations of the New Zealand Wars.
She says while many people are aware of the story of Parihaka and the prisoners who went down in the 1880s, the story of Titokowaru’s war of 1869 and the prisoners taken then is less well known.
"They were made up of a mix of whanau. Some followed Titokowaru and some didn’t. They were imprisoned without trial. Their conditions in Dunedin were horrific. The hard labour and when people passed away family weren’t contacted, they weren’t given a proper burial as far as tangihanga, so that is a lot to package and reconcile how you present to rangatahi," Ms Ngarewa-Packer says.
She says it’s important the stories are not lost within the iwi and that rangatahi understand the sacrifices their tupuna made for them.
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