20 Nov 2013

Call to teach children more NZ history

8:48 am on 20 November 2013

Every child should be taught more New Zealand history in schools, even if it does portray a dark past, an organiser of the 150th Rangiriri Battle Commemorations says.

At the battle at Rangiriri Pa in Waikato, 1400 British troops defeated 500 Maori warriors of the Kingitanga movement who opposed colonial rule and European settlement.

Waikato-Ngati Naho spokesperson Moko Tauariki says it is historical events such as these which remind everyone about the need to reconcile the past and for Maori and Pakeha to move forward together.

It is important all New Zealanders have an intimate understanding of what actually took place at Rangiriri, Mr Tauariki says.

But rangatahi who still carry the hurt of what happened to their ancestors during the Waikato land confiscations need to move out of grievance mode, he says. Reconciliation of past injustices doesn't just happen during Treaty of Waitangi settlements.

The anniversary of the battle is on Wednesday and Waikato-Tainui is catering for up to 5000 people they expect to attend commemorations, including Government representatives, the New Zealand Defence Force and descendants of both iwi and colonial troops.