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A spine-tingling greeting for Land Wars commemorations begin



Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern received a spine tingling welcome from Taranaki Māori as the nation took another step towards reconciling New Zealand's turbulent past.

Thousands of people huddled out of heavy rain at Waitara's Owae Marae on Monday as guests including government ministers, iwi leaders from around the country mark the nation's land wars.

Te Atiawa Kuia Pereni Tupe and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hongi in the Wharenui during the first day of the Te Putake o Te Riri Commemorations held at the Owae Marae in Waitara, Taranaki

Glenn Jeffrey / Stuff

Te Atiawa Kuia Pereni Tupe and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hongi in the Wharenui during the first day of the Te Putake o Te Riri Commemorations held at the Owae Marae in Waitara, Taranaki

While the visitors took shelter from the wet weather under the umbrellas, the hundreds of performers weren't deterred and gave them a rousing reception using traditional weapons.

The statue of Sir Maui Pomare, the first Māori medical graduate who became a health reformer and Cabinet minister, is the backdrop as the haka is performed.

Glenn Jeffrey / Stuff

The statue of Sir Maui Pomare, the first Māori medical graduate who became a health reformer and Cabinet minister, is the backdrop as the haka is performed.

While the commemoration will specifically reflect on battles near the town of Taranaki, remembering what happened around the region and the country during the New Zealand wars between 1845 and 1872 will also be in focus.

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The first shots were fired in the Taranaki war on March 17, 1860 after Te Atiawa rangatira Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake

Dr. Ruakere Hond leads the haka during the powhiri.

Glenn Jeffrey / Stuff

Dr. Ruakere Hond leads the haka during the powhiri.

Ardern said she had never experienced a welcome like it.

She described the scene as "hugely powerful" and "the beginning of a conversation, the chance to talk about our history, to talk about parts of Aotearoa's story that just haven't been told as much as they should, and, I hope "Where is history taught widely."

Haka is performed as the Prime Minister and Crown Ministers arrive.

Glenn Jeffrey / Stuff

Haka is performed as the Prime Minister and Crown Ministers arrive.

Asked whether a national day of significance should be established, Ardern said the most important thing.

Last month Ardern and Minister of Education Chris Hipkins announced that New Zealand history will be taught by all schools and lots by 2022.

The curriculum would include key aspects of the nation's history, including the arrival of Māori to Aotearoa New Zealand, early colonial history and the Treaty of Waitangi / Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Ardern said teaching children were the best way to make sure the events of the past were remembered.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds the raukura that was gifted to her during the challange on the first day of the Te Putake o Te Riri commemorations.

Glenn Jeffrey / Stuff

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds the raukura that was gifted to her during the challange on the first day of the Te Putake o Te Riri commemorations.

"Days of Commemoration, yes they are important, but it doesn't mean that we build understanding.

"Putting the teaching of New Zealand into a school.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern helps a Kuia with her shoes on the first day of the Te Putake that Te Riri commemorations held at the Owae Marae in Waitara, Taranaki.

Glenn Jeffrey / Stuff

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern helps a Kuia with her shoes on the first day of the Te Putake that Te Riri commemorations held at the Owae Marae in Waitara, Taranaki.

The prime minister said that the younger generation had been to learn about their history.

We We shouldn't leave it to an enthusiastic history teacher. Should And we should feel assured that next generation is going to learn a way that perhaps past generations haven't . "

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern leads every ministers, from left, Andrew Little, Kelvin Davis and Peeni Henare on the first day of the Te Putake o Te Riri commemorations.

Glenn Jeffrey / Stuff

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern leads every ministers, from left, Andrew Little, Kelvin Davis and Peeni Henare on the first day of the Te Putake o Te Riri commemorations.

Academic Dr Ruakere Hond, an advocate of Te Reo Māori, said the initiative was another step towards healing the past.

"This is a way to recognize Taranaki and what we have been through," Hond said.

"Not many people know about the background of Taranaki, what took place within Taranaki."

Crown minister Peeni Henare gives koha to chairman of Te Atiawa Iwi Rawiri Doorbar.

Glenn Jeffrey / Stuff

Crown minister Peeni Henare gives koha to chairman of Te Atiawa Iwi Rawiri Doorbar.

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, chief executive of the Taranaki-based Ngāti Ruanui iwi, said October 28 was a significant date for Māori.

It was the date of He Wakaputanga o Te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni, the Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand, which was signed by a number of Māori chiefs in 1835.

"It was an extremely emotional day before the Treaty, when it was represented, we were very self-determined," said Ngarewa-Packer.

She gave Kudos to the organizers for bringing everyone together.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is hugged after the powhiri.

Glenn Jeffrey / Stuff

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is hugged after the powhiri.

"Aotearoa in a nation that we are becoming more balanced and reconciled.

"In order to go forward together we actually need and want to be able to share out history – the good, the bad and the ugly."

Rangi Kipa, Ngati Tawhirikura Hapu, who was hopefully the commemoration of what was happening.

The powhiri as the Prime Minister and Crown Ministers arrive.

Glenn Jeffrey / Stuff

The powhiri as the Prime Minister and Crown Ministers arrive.

"While it's a commemoration, it's an opportunity to move forward, so we can actually move forward," Kipa said.

"It's an opportunity for our people to get their taonga out and show them."

New Plymouth mayor Neil Holdom

Haka is performed as the Prime Minister and the Crown Ministers arrive on the first day of Te Putake that Te Riri commemorations held at the Owae Marae in Waitara, Taranaki.

Glenn Jeffrey / Stuff

Haka is performed as the Prime Minister and the Crown Ministers arrive on the first day of Te Putake that Te Riri commemorations held at the Owae Marae in Waitara, Taranaki.

"The scars of these crimes are worn by all the people in here."

Holdom also wanted to see New Zealand history taught in schools.

On Tuesday a dawn ceremony would be held at Te Kōhia Pā followed by a second ceremony at the Waitara.

The commemoration will finish on Wednesday morning with closing comments and a feast.

Hundreds of performers weren't deterred by the wet weather.

Glenn Jeffrey / Stuff

Hundreds of performers weren't deterred by the wet weather.

MP for Tamaki, Mkaurau Peeni Henare, accepts the challenge and holds up the Raukura.

Glenn Jeffrey / Stuff

MP for Tamaki, Mkaurau Peeni Henare, accepts the challenge and holds up the Raukura.

A huge crowd watched the ceremony.

Glenn Jeffrey / Stuff

A huge crowd watched the ceremony.

A huge crowd gathered to watch the ceremony.

Glenn Jeffrey / Stuff

A huge crowd gathered to watch the ceremony.


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