150th anniversary of Waiari Battle

By Wepiha Te Kanawa
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

As the mist rises from Pirongia mountain, the call echoes across the battlefield where many Māori and British troops fell.

Representatives of the Crown, local iwi and the NZ Army came to remember those who fell in battle.

This was one of the battles of the Waikato Wars in 1863. Between 20 and 40 Māori were killed, along with six British troops.

Cameron and Rebecca Fraser purchased this land 11 days ago, and say it's important to them to understand its history and significance.

Tom Roa, chair of Ngā Pae o Maumahara, a group established to oversee commemorations for the wars in Waikato, says today is an important day for Ngāti Apakura and Ngāti Hikairo.

Claims to the Waitangi Tribunal regarding the land are still pending, but for today, all were focussed on remembering those who fought here in the 1800s.