Street flags signal Ra¯ Maumahara
Formal service planned
Waipa ’s central role in the New Zealand Land Wars will be back under the national spotlight this month with preparations now well underway for a formal commemorative service.
Nga Iwi Topu o Waipa and Waipa District Council will jointly host a service on Ra Maumahara National Day of Commemoration on Sunday, October 28.
On this date in 1835, the Declaration of Independence of New Zealand (He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tirene) was signed.
Ra Maumahara was nationally recognised for the first time last year to mark the New Zealand Land Wars which took an estimated 2750 lives.
Armed conflict was rife in Waipa, with local battle sites including Rangiaowhia, Waiari, Paterangi, Hairini and the Battle of O ra kau.
Last year Waipa District Council, which has long advocated for greater public recognition of the Land Wars, was the only council in New Zealand to support a public event.
In June 2017 council signed off on a $7.2 million spend for Te Ara Wai, a new discovery centre for the district to be based in Te Awamutu. It will have a strong focus on New Zealand Land Wars and link to the district’s local battle sites.
Mayor Jim Mylchreest says this year’s commemorative service will continue to formally recognise and acknowledge the district’s respect for the role Waipa¯ played in New Zealand’s heritage.
A formal service will be held in Kihikihi at the Rewi Maniapoto Memorial on the corner of Lyon and Whitmore Streets at 10am.
“Everybody is very welcome to attend and to pay their respects to those who died on both sides of the conflict,” says Jim. “This is an important day of reflection, particularly for Waipa¯ , and it is important we take some time to really think about our district’s heritage.”
This week, to increase recognition of Waipa¯’s heritage, the Council began flying street flags throughout the district, commemorating the New Zealand Land Wars.
One of the new street flags to commemorate the Land Wars flies near the Rewi Maniapoto Memorial where the Waipa¯ Ra¯ Maumahara National Day of Commemoration will take place this Sunday.