Parihaka

A DigitalNZ Story by National Library of New Zealand Topics

Parihaka was invaded on 5 November 1881. These resources cover the causes, the Day of Plunder, the peace prophets (Te Whiti and Tohu), their non-violent passive resistance to the confiscation of Māori whenua and how and why this is remembered today. SCIS no. 1892958

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Parihaka

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Parihaka ploughing campaign begins

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Former prisoners return to Parihaka

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Parihaka gatherings

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The New Zealand Settlements Act of 1863

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

"Parihaka"

Puke Ariki

Parihaka Pa

Alexander Turnbull Library

Timeline

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Parihaka Pā

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Auahi-roa and auahi-tūroa, means ‘long smoke trails’, 2 Māori names for comets. Te Whiti’s name was said to be derived from a comet. However he was in prison in 1882 when this photo was taken. Controversy surrounds this image. Many say that the image has been touched up with the addition of the comet and the snow-covered mountain. In her book The Parihaka Album, Rachel Buchanan concludes that this image shows the willingness of people to believe in the magical or providential powers of Te Whiti and Parihaka.

The comet in the sky

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This lengthy report is about Parihaka and the strained relationship between the followers of the 2 peace prophets. Tohu and Te Whiti, which the writer suspects was contrived to sustain the interest of the natives. The account laments the lapse of Parihaka over the years. However on 17 March 1911, there was a big gathering of natives along with James Carroll, then acting-Premier and Minister for Native Affairs along with other dignitaries, including Dr Pomare. This was to honour the departed prophets in accordance with Māori customs. The report goes on to cover the events of the day, where Māori etiquette overcame the uncomfortable situation between the Te Whiti and Tohu factions.

Respect to the departed prophets

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This report focuses on the attempt at reconciliation between the people of Parihaka and the Crown. The visiting Minister was presented with gifts by Tohu’s son. The report notes that some of the older natives stuck to their prejudices, while the younger men seemed eager to act on the advice to keep in with the laws of the Pakeha. Mention is made of increasing the land block for cultivation and residential needs. The visit from the minister was meant to replace discontent with a more ‘useful’ and productive occupation of the land.

Parihaka rejoicings

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This engraved portrait of Tohu Kākahi was created by John Ward for his publication ‘Wandering with the Māori Prophets Te Whiti and Tohu.’ Tohu was a teacher, prophet and a relative of Te Whiti. Inspired by Christian teachings he too decided that peaceful resistance was the only way to deal with the European confiscation of Māori land. On his arrest at Parihaka on 5 November 1881, he was charged with contriving to disturb the peace. He was released in 1883 and went on to rebuild Parihaka. He advised his people to stay out of debt and not drink. He died in February 1907.

Tohu Kākahi

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This is a brief report of the invasion of Parihaka and the arrest of Te Whiti, Tohu, Titokowaru and Hiroki. The Māori who were under instructions from Te Whiti not to resort to violence offered no resistance to Mr Bryce who arrived at Parihaka with an army of 1700 soldiers. Hiroki was handcuffed and later tried and hanged. People believed that the incident could have been avoided if the Māori were shown the land reserved for them in exchange for their confiscated land.

The Parihaka incident

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The Rangi Kapuia meeting house was built by Tohu Kākahi. The name means ‘Draw the people together; Gather the skies.’ It was opened in 1927 on Parihaka Pa. The playing card symbols seen on the building are similar to those used by Te Kooti. This house was built after the split between Te Whiti and Tohu. Both built new meeting houses. Te Whiti called his meeting house Te Raukura.

Rangi Kapuia

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Te Whiti o Rongomai was a powerful pacifist leader who preached the message of nonviolence from Parihaka. Elders of Parihaka believe he was born in 1815. He died on 18 November 1907. The words on his memorial read: “He was a man who did great deeds in suppressing evil so that peace may reign as a means of salvation to all people on earth …”

Te Whiti’s monument

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John Bryce, the man in uniform was Minister for Native Affairs and of Defence in 1881. The image symbolises the government's treatment of passive resisters at Parihaka by cutting off supplies of food (flour and sugar) to the Māori, hoping to starve them into submission. In the background are military tents and figures of native Māori ploughing fields. The ploughing campaign was a protest against European settlement on confiscated Māori land. It ended with the notorious sacking of Parihaka by armed constabulary in November 1881.

For diver’s reasons

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Taare Waitare, a wealthy Māori played an important role in Parihaka, especially in its management and modernisation. In this image, he is surrounded by children wearing white feathers in their hair to indicate they are followers of Te Whiti. The story goes that an albatross landed on Tohu’s marae at Parihaka and left behind a white feather. Others believe they saw a trail of light from a comet in the shape of a feather. The elders took this as a symbol of the Holy Spirit’s blessing over the peaceful movement. This is how the white feather (raukura) became a symbol of Parihaka’s passive resistance movement.

The white feather

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