December 11, 2020
Maatakitaki pou mark Musket Wars slaughter
Waikato iwi Ngaati Hikairo this morning unveiled a waharoa and three pou at Maatakitaki marking an 1822 battle that had major and lasting effects on not just Hikairo but on Ngaati Apakura, Maniapoto, Waikato and Ngāpuhi.
Tribal researcher Frank Thorne says the ancient pā on the Waipā River near Pirongia was a critical site for the iwi.
It was there Waikato tribes assembled to take on Ngāpuhi leader Hongi Hika, who came to avenge the slaying of his nephew Te Haranui by Totaua of Ngaati Hikairo.
While the pā was strongly built, it was no match for Hongi’s muskets and there was great slaughter.
Mr Thorne says the presence today of Māori Kiingi Tuheitia and of Ngāpuhi is part of the continual process of learning and healing by tribes, even for events of 200 years ago.
"Ngaati Hikairo owning Te Maatakitaki i a Te Haranui is our way of dealing with the fact we are responsible for our actions and for every action there is a reaction and we are still responsible for carrying on and dealing with it as we do from a tikanga basis," he says.
Ngaati Hikairo will hold a major commemoration at Maatakitaki in 2022.
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