September 06, 2018
Inside look at Te Kooti myth
A symposium at Wellington’s Te Papa museum tomorrow will challenge some of the myths around one of New Zealand's most divisive historical figures.
Te Kooti Rikirangi was branded as a violent outlaw with armies raised to hunt him down, but to many Maori he was seen as a prophet whose teachings still resonate in the Ringatu faith.
One of his descendants, Rikirangi Moeau, says the symposium hosted by Te Tira Whakaari Trust and Nga Uri o Te Kooti Rikirangi Settlement Trust is a chance for iwi and scholars to share korero.
"Most New Zealanders including a lot of our Maori relations think he was a ruthless killer, a menace to society, but people like these iwi that actually lived with him and were influenced by him see him as the complete opposite to the public perception," he says.
It will be the first time many of the stories will be told outside the iwi.
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