Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mike Butler: Te Kooti cited for more money

Gisborne tribe Te Aitanga A Mahaki expects a settlement of up to $120-million for their grievance resulting from past association with the murderous Te Kooti Rikirangi, a guerrilla leader who fought against the government, and Maori loyal to the government, in the 1860s and lost.

The Te Aitanga A Mahaki Trust held mandate meetings over the past two months resulting in a claimed 96.8 percent vote of support although the trust’s website says the voter return was 23.3 percent being 1213 of the 5207 eligible electors.(1)

The trust’s press release said that the Waitangi Tribunal described the claims in Gisborne as being "significantly worse" than Taranaki and Waikato. The tribunal specifically found that:
1. A quarter of the adult population was illegally imprisoned on the Chatham Islands;

2. About 43 percent of the adult male population of Turanga were killed in war by the Crown;

3. Over 100 Turanga (Gisborne) prisoners were illegally executed by the Crown at Ngatapa, a third to half of the number killed by the Crown in war with Turanga Iwi including Te Aitanga a Mahaki. Ngatapa is within the tribal area of Te Aitanga a Mahaki.(2)
What the press release does not say is that:
1. Te Kooti he was shipped to the Chatham Islands in June 1866 with Pai Marire-Hauhau taken prisoner after fighting against the government and pro-government Maori in the mid 1860s.

2. Te Kooti led an escape from the Chatham Islands, on July 4, 1868, of 163 men, 64 women, and 71 children.

3. Te Kooti and 100 fighters attacked the Poverty Bay settlement at night on November 9, 1868, in an event known as the Matawhero massacre. Seventy people were killed including more than 20 Maori, which included seven chiefs.

4. The “illegal executions by the Crown” refer to events at Ngatapa pa on January 4, 1869, by Ngati Porou leader Rapata Wahawaha, who exacted revenge on Rongowhakaata fighters for being forced to grow up as a slave to the Rongowhakaata tribe. Te Kooti and his fighters were chased there after the Matawhero massacre. Militia leaders did not sanction the executions and Colonel George Whitmore would have been hard pressed to prevent it because nearly all soldiers were Maori.

5. Te Kooti’s forces attacked Mohaka on April 10, 1869, as revenge for being prevented from marching inland when he landed from the Chatham Islands. Sixty-one Mohaka men, women and children, including seven settlers, were killed in the fighting. The children of the settler Lavin family had been thrown into the air and impaled on bayonets.(3
) Do you still think that Te Aitanga A Mahaki were innocent victims of the Crown?

The Te Aitanga a Mahaki claims are the last claims within the Gisborne area to be settled by the Crown. In 2011, Ngai Tamanuhiri (from the Young Nicks Head area) settled for $11.07-million and Rongowhakaata (primary tribe of Te Kooti) settled $22.24-million.

No reason was given for exactly why Te Aitanga A Mahaki expects at least $100-million more than other Te Kooti tribes.

1. Te Aitanga a Mahaki website,
2. Trust gets mandate to go to battle with the Crown,
3. Cowan, James, The New Zealand Wars and the Pioneering Period, Vol 2, Government Printer, Wellington, 1955.


Ron Melville said...

Could it be that Te Aitanga A Mahaki's compensation claim against the Crown is enhanced by the then presence of the Minister of Defence, James Richmond's presence at the Seige of Ngatapa?

Ron Melville said...

While I agree that Te Aitanga A Mahaki's compensation claim might be excessive they still may be entitled to something. A lot of that tribes members were captured by Te Kooti forces and taken against their will to Ngatapa. Those people were included in the post battle slaughter by Rapata Wahawaha's Troops.