September 08, 2022
Maniapoto taiaha back on kaupapa of peace
Tūhura Otago Museum has returned a significant taonga to Ngāti Maniapoto ahead of the tribe’s Treaty of Waitangi settlement.
The taiaha named Maungārongo was associated with the enforcement of the aukati or boundary line that barred pākehā from unauthorised entry into Te Rohe Potae or the King Country.
In 1885 the rangatira Wahanui attempted to present it to native minister John Ballance so it could be placed in Parliament as a symbol of the newly-established peace, but it was rejected by MPs and instead placed in the Otago University Museum.
Museum curator Maori Gerard O’Regan says the taiaha is particularly large and adorned with orange kākā feathers and white kurī fur that denotes it significance.
Maungārongo was returned to iwi representatives at a ceremony at the museum yesterday.
It will be taken to Parliament where it will be on display for several years before returning north to Ngāti Maniapoto.