7 Apr 2019

Dr Wiremu Doherty on landmarks and relationship building in the midst of conflict.

From Te Ahi Kaa, 6:06 pm on 7 April 2019
Dr Wiremu Doherty discussed relationship building amidst the notion of conflict.

Dr Wiremu Doherty discussed relationship building amidst the notion of conflict. Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

Before young soldiers left their home to join the Māori Battalion and fight overseas, they took part in blessings to guide their journey to foreign lands, however in some cases there were cautionary signs.

Dr Wiremu Doherty, CEO of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, shared a story at a symposium about the New Zealand Land Wars, uncles left Ruatahuna to join the Māori Battalion but before leaving they took part in the karakia (blessing ceremony) at Papueru Marae.

“The protocols that they had to do was that each person that signed up as part of the karakia, there was a mokomoko that used to live in the peach tree, they would put it on the persons hand and if the mokomoko sat there you were alright, but if it started licking your hand you were told not to go because if you went you wouldn’t come back” he says.

Te Ahi Kaa continues this series about the impact of the New Zealand Land Wars where Dr Doherty discusses tohu whenua (landmarks) within the tribal areas of Tuhoe and Ngāti Awa and tohu noho tahi or the concept of relationship building.