First Te Pūtake o te Riri commemoration dates confirmed


The date and venue for the first national commemorations of Wars and Conflicts in Aotearoa have been confirmed. 

Te Pūtake o te Riri - Wars and Conflicts in New Zealand, He Rā Maumahara, will be held from 9-11 March at Waitangi and Kororāreka in Te Taitokerau. 

The Te Tai Tokerau region says they are honoured to host the inaugural commemoration. 

"On March 11th 1845, 174 years ago, Hone Heke and his supporters successfully felled the flagstaff flying the British flag. That event and date marks the beginning of the what we now know as the Battle of Kororāreka and the Northern Wars."

The Northern Wars were early in this series of wars and conflicts that devastated a number of communities, iwi, hapū and whanau throughout the country.

Iwi from around Aotearoa are expected to be in attendance as well as key representatives of the Crown and New Zealand government. 

A pōhiri will be held on Friday 9 March at Waitangi for those from around the country. On Saturday, there will be a day of activities for the public to enjoy, including visits to local battle grounds. 

The main commemoration day will be on Sunday 11 March. There will be a procession through the township of Kororareka and a commemoration service outside Christ Church to remember and acknowledge fallen soldiers. 

The long-awaited event came to fruition after a petition was delivered to Parliament calling on the government to approve a national day of commemoration to remember those who fought on our own whenua. 

Otorohanga College students Leah Bell and Waimarama Anderson mooted the idea of a day to recognise the wars after a school trip to the Orakau battle site near Kihikihi, Waikato.

The petition was signed by more than 12,000 people. 

The commemorations will move from year to year to recognise battle sites around the country.