February 02, 2021
Ruapekapeka memorial for all sides in conflict
A memorial to those who fought on both sides in the Northern War of 1845 and 1846 has been unveiled at Ruapekapeka, the site of the last battle.
He Rua Whakautu mō te Riri stands at the grave of 12 British soldiers, sailors and marines in the campsite where British forces staged their assault on the Pā in January 1846.
The shallow grave was found by archaeologists Jonathan Carpenter in 2017 after decades of searching by the Ruapeakpeka Trust, representing the hapū who defended the pā.
Speaking to a gathering of about 300 mana whenua, military and other guests, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern paid tribute to Alan Halliday of Ngāti Hau, the chair of the trust until his sudden death in December, for the years of effort he put into restoring the ridge top site south of Kawakawa.
She said New Zealand has long commemorates battles overseas as foundational to the identity of New Zealand, but what could be more foundational than what happened at Ruapekapeka.
She urged people to learn it and teach it in every schools, because when we understand the many parts of our ancestors we build an Aotearoa new Zealand that better understands itself.
Copyright © 2021, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com