11 Jul 2013

Waikato-Tainui mark start of land war in 1863

7:09 pm on 11 July 2013

Waikato-Tainui iwi are holding a dawn service at Mangatawhiri in North Waikato on Friday to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of the Waikato land war - which saw them lose all of their land.

On 12 July 1863 colonial troops crossed the Mangatawhiri Stream signalling the beginning of hostilities with the Kingitanga, which ended at the Battle of Orakau the following year.

The defeated iwi were forced into exile in King Country after 480,000 hectares of Maori land was confiscated.

The chair of Te Arataura, the Waikato-Tainui executive body, Tom Roa says the day will be one for reflection.

He says no blame can be apportioned today and it is more of a recognition of what happened in 1863 and now as an iwi, moving on from the past.

Mr Roa says the service will be one of thanksgiving with karakia and speeches.