The battle of Pukekaikāhu between Tūhoe and Te Arawa was acknowledged over the weekend in a meeting between the two tribes at Rotorua's Te Pakira Marae. Both tribes shared information regarding the historical event from the 1800's.
Hori Uatuku of Tūhoe says, “it's been over 180 years since the battle of Pukekaikāhu, the connections between us are here despite the battle but it's important that we continue to hold onto our history that dates back to Ruatāhuna.
Speaking on behalf of Te Arawa, Wairangi Jones says, “the true meaning behind peace is being maintained today in this gathering”.
The battle took place near Lake Rerewhakaitu, on land that is being run by the Onuku Māori Trust. Jones acknowledged Tūhoe by saying “Purewa was a very prominent person, but our main focus concerns the peace between the leaders, Mokonuiarangi of Te Arawa. He was the leader who lived at Ruawāhia who made peace with Tūhoe. This is the first time that Tūhoe has connected with Te Arawa to talk about Pukekaikāhu."
“I would like to acknowledge Te Arawa, to this particular subtribe to those who are interested in this historical event,” says Uatuku.
Following this meeting, an invitation has been put forward by Tūhoe for Te Arawa to visit the site in Ruatāhuna pertaining to Pukekaikāhu.