28 Apr 2014

Haka composed for battle anniversary

6:37 am on 28 April 2014

A special haka, or a peruperu has been composed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gate Pa in Tauranga.

An aerial view of Tauranga with the Harbour Bridge in the foreground.

An aerial view of Tauranga with the Harbour Bridge in the foreground. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Gate Pa - or Pukehinahina in 1864 - was the scene of one of the most significant land wars between Maori and British forces who were determined to crush the Kingitanga movement.

Maori and Pakeha descendants of those who took part in the battle will be attending the event on Tuesday.

Pukehinahina anniversary cultural co-ordinator Awanuiarangi Black said the peruperu he co-wrote talks about the history and is a celebration of those descendants of the conflict who are still alive today.

He said the peruperu which is a specific type of war dance with weapons where performers leap high acknowledges what happened 150 years ago.

Mr Black said it speaks about the reconciliation between tangata whenua and the Crown, and how those Maori who fought against the British still had respect for their foes.