Emotions flowed freely for these descendants of Mokomoko, who today commemorate 150 years of St Stephen's Church in Ōpōtiki and its history.
According to Te Riaki Amoamo, “There was thunder. The sky was stormy in the past three days while we've been here.”
History will forever be imbedded within the walls of St Stephen's Anglican Church. It's at this site that Reverend Carl Volkner, the missionary was killed. The Crown blamed Te Whakatōhea, which then resulted in the execution of Mokomoko.
The commemorations represent a pathway forward for the people of Ōpōtiki and the church.
Last year, Mokomoko was finally exonerated in Parliament and cleared of any wrong doing. Mokomoko and his descendants gathered today in the hope of a brighter future.