Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell has welcomed a date set by iwi to hold a national day to commemorate the New Zealand Land Wars.
Iwi representatives throughout the country met recently to decide on the date for the nation to remember the 19th century war, following a call from Mr Flavell in June for them to work with the Crown and decide the date.
Raa Maumahara National Day of Commemoration will be held October 28 each year, with the first inaugural event starting in 2017.
“I’m looking forward to the commemoration because it will give our nation the opportunity to learn a part of our history that has been silent for too long,” Mr Flavell said.
"Raa Maumahara is a sign of our maturity as a nation that we know our history – good and bad. And I look forward to working with iwi to further support this initiative.”
The Māori Party secured funding of $4 million, over four years, in Budget 2016 to support New Zealand Land Wars commemorations.
“I’m really pleased that hapū, iwi and local communities, who for years have been organising their own commemorative events, are now involved in a major national event to recall all the battles,” Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox said.
Armed conflict occurred in Wairau, Northland, Taranaki, Waikato, Te Urewera, Tauranga, Ōpōtiki and the East Coast during the 1800s.
"These battles shaped our country and its people. We lost more than 2,750 lives during the wars and it's time we honour them in a similar way that we honour those who died overseas."
October 28 is a significant date because on that day in 1835 the Declaration of Independence of New Zealand (He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tirene) was signed.
Detailed information about how the funds may be used are yet to be confirmed however it is likely they may also be used to support education-related activities for schools, kura and communities.
Updated on 1st June 2017