The Māori Party has secured $4 million in Budget 2016 to support New Zealand Land Wars commemorations.
Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox says the party has taken the lead from hapū, iwi and local communities who have organised their own commemorative events to recall these battles.
Armed conflict occurred in Wairau, Northland, Taranaki, Waikato, Te Urewera, Tauranga, Ōpōtiki and the East Coast during the 19th century.
“These battles shaped our country and its people,” says Mrs Fox.
“We lost more than 2,750 lives during the Land Wars. It’s time that we all recognise the importance of honouring those who perished on home soil just as we honour those who died overseas.”
The $1 million per annum operating fund over four years will provide financial support to mark commemorative events. It may also support education-related activities for schools, kura and communities about the Land Wars.
Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says, “I’ve attended many commemorative war events in recent years and I have been overwhelmed by the impact these events have on individuals and communities. It’s a sign of our maturity as a natioh that we know our history, good and bad.”
At the end of last year, hundreds of people gathered at Parliament today to support a petition driven by two students from Otorohanga College wanting a National Day of remembrance for those killed in the New Zealand Land Wars.