“E hoa! Ka whahwai tonu mātou, mō Ake, Ake Ake!”

When called upon to surrender by the British Troops at Ō-rākau Pā in 1864, Rewi Maniapoto uttered those famous words translated into English – “Friend! We will fight on for ever and ever!”  Ō-rākau Pā was sacked 2nd April 1864, the last of a trail of battles littered across the Waipā district between February – April 1864 by British soldiers. These events at Ō-rākau were largely unknown until a monument was erected at the Pā site in 1914 for Māori heroism, 50 years after the siege. Since then the most prominent memorial event was held in the Waipā at Ō-rākau in 2014, 150 years after the sacking of the pā. Local and national interest grew to ensure local history be included in the education curriculum. In 2017, students from the Ōtorohanga High School, sought through a public petition, to have local history taught in schools with the main aim to create a day of remembrance of the New Zealand Land Wars.

On the Front Porch Gallery this month highlights He Rā Maumahara: National commemoration of the New Zealand Land Wars. The flag created to highlight this event in the Waipā reminds locals and visitors of this incredible time in history. On show are projected images of the graphic novel as seen on Te Ara Wai Journeys, archival photographs and objects from the Museum collection pertaining to the 1863-1864 Waikato Wars. In the display case is a map and ephemera from past commemorations held at Ō-rākau.

For more information on He Rā Maumahara, and Waikato Wars click the links below:

New Zealand Government

NZ History online

Te Ara Wai Journeys

Front Porch Gallery

October 2022