Event to commemorate Rangiaowhia
A commemorative event is being held this Friday to mark the attack on the village of Rangiaowhia, near Te Awamutu, on 21 February 1864.
Iwi, dignitaries, school students and members of the public will gather to mark the tragic events that unfolded 156 years ago, with hīkoi, speeches, karakia, karanga and presentations at various locations on Rangiaowhia Rd.
A dawn karakia will be performed on the corner of Rangiaowhia and Puahue roads at 5.30am to open the programme.
Tom Roa, Ngāti Apakura kaumātua, said the commemoration was an opportunity for dignitaries, iwi, school students and the public to “reflect on the atrocities of the events at Rangiaowhia”.
“The event will be dignified and there will be tears shed and karanga in memory of those who lost their lives, particularly the women, children and elderly.
“Feelings of sadness, pain and sorrow will feature throughout the day, from the morning right until we close.”
Roa said among the sadness would also be feelings of hope and a chance to have conversations with a “spirit of reconciliation”.
The events that unfolded at Rangiaowhia on 21 February 1864 are still debated by historians and the descendants of Ngāti Apakura.
British Crown forces invaded the peaceful village and numerous Māori were killed, including women, children and the elderly. Several houses were burned down, with villagers inside. Five British soldiers also died.
Rangiaowhia features in one of six self-drive tours available on the Te Ara Wai Journeys website (tearawai.nz) , an innovative new digital storytelling initiative launched by Waipā District Council in conjunction with Te Awamutu Museum last December.
Waipā District Council has allocated $9,000 to the commemorative event from the District Promotion Fund.
Rangiaowhia Commemoration - Programme:
- 5.30am: Dawn Ceremony - Karakia (at top kohatu) corner Rangiaowhia Rd & Puahue Rd.
- 7am: Breakfast – Hairini Hall
- 8am-10am: Anglican Ceremony – Anglican Church Rangiaowhia Rd, Te Awamutu.
Catholic Church Blessing - Urupa Cemetery, Rangiaowhia Rd, Te Awamutu.
- 10am: Students arrive. Buses drop off (enter Cambridge Rd, exit Puahue Rd) Children seated outside Catholic cemetery.
- 10.30am: Ceremony. Urupa Cemetery, Rangiaowhia Rd, Te Awamutu
Whakatau. Iwi Speakers. Student speaker. Karakia. Waiata. (30 mins)
- 11.30am: Ceremony Anglican Church Rangiaowhia Rd, Te Awamutu
Iwi Speaker, student speaker, karakia, waiata. (15 mins)
- 12pm: Speeches: Hairini Hall, Rangiaowhia Rd
Whakatau. Politicians, Deputy Mayor. Karakia, waiata.
- 12.30-1.30pm: Lunch Hairini Hall, Rangiaowhia Rd
- 2-4pm: Ngati Apakura Hui Hairini Hall, Rangiaowhia Rd (Iwi descendants)
Public Parking will be available in the paddock beside Hairini Hall (road will be closed for parking access during dawn ceremony).