New Zealand Wars | Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa: General resources and legacy

A DigitalNZ Story by National Library of New Zealand Topics

This topic includes general resources relating to the New Zealand Wars | Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa and their lasting impact on Aotearoa New Zealand. SCIS no. 1966500

social_sciences, arts, english, history, health, Māori, technology

He Rā Maumahara

Can the New Zealand War fought over 150 years ago still have an impact today? Yes. After a visit in 2014 by Otorohanga College students to the Waikato battlefields, the pupils wondered why this part of our history was not widely known, shared or discussed. The students then drew up a petition calling on the Government to establish a national day of remembrance for the New Zealand Wars and to also mandate the teaching of these wars in all New Zealand schools. It took 2 years and 12,000 signatures but finally the petition was presented to Parliament in 2015. The following year the Government declared that a national day of commemoration day - He Rā Maumahara would be established.

New Zealand Land wars petition presentation at Parliament

Alexander Turnbull Library

Waka Huia

Television New Zealand

New Zealand War Medal

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

New Zealand War Medal

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

New Zealand Cross medal

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Letter

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Letter

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Maori flag: Aotearoa

One notable collector of New Zealand Wars material was William Francis Gordon. His collection focused largely on the 1860s and included paper-based material like maps, sketches, portraits, and here, a collection of Hauhau flags drawn by Gordon. Many of these flags were captured or surrendered to Pakeha or Kaupapa. Flags as symbols of identity and independence (Maori) and Imperialism (British) were important centrepieces in the New Zealand Wars. They announced a collection presence based on religious and political ideals and aspirations. This flag (its fabric is red silk) was made by the rebel fighter, governess, translator and teacher Hēni Te Kiri Karamu who fought at Pukehinahina, Gate Pa.

Maori rebel flag: Aotearoa

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

“It is important that the Maori side of the Wars be fairly represented.” Journalist and historian James Cowan was a Pakeha teller of stories, particularly those featuring our shared Maori Pakeha history. Many of these related directly to the New Zealand Wars era. Ahead of his time, he liked to remind Pākehā that their history, while short, was packed with extraordinary drama. Cowan’s skill in presenting our history lay in his narrative skills; the ability to relate to and record his informants (many Maori kaumatua), gather their narratives and publish to a public largely unaware of their colonial history.

James Cowan

Alexander Turnbull Library

Heni Te Kiri Karamu

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Armed constabulary re-enactment

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

EPIC

Services to Schools

New Zealand Wars

Services to Schools

The New Zealand Wars

Services to Schools

The New Zealand Wars or Land Wars?

Although the New Zealand Wars were a series of events that occurred in Aotearoa over 150 years ago, our interpretation (and even acknowledgement) of them and their outcomes continues today. One notable example is what historians have called the New Zealand Wars over the years. Previously published books on the war had referred to the Māori Wars, and later the Land Wars, the Anglo-Māori Wars. The New Zealand Wars is a term journalist and historian James Cowan used around 100 years ago (though it was also previously used in the 1860s). Māori have a very different understanding of the war. One of their terms is Te Riri Pākehā, simply “the white man’s anger."

Taranaki Land War zones and year of invasions

Kete New Plymouth