Hundreds of Māori toa, warriors, have given Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Māori ministers a fierce welcome to Ōwae Marae in Waitara for the commemorations of the New Zealand Land Wars.
Te Pūtake o te Riri, He Rā Maumahara is a national initiative to commemorate the New Zealand land wars and raise awareness of the events that shaped the country's modern history.
Timed to coincide with the anniversary of the United Tribes of Aotearoa's declaration of independence in 1831, Taranaki is this year's focus after the inaugural event was held in Northland in 2018.
It's also being hosted by the iwi of Taranaki.
After a pōwhiri which ended with Ms Ardern being offered a white feather or raukura as a symbol of peace, the Prime Minister said she did not favour a national day of commemoration.
"Putting the teaching of New Zealand history into our schools, into our education system, for all our young people to learn, I think that is the most significant and important thing that we can do going forward."
Ms Ardern said putting aside a single day to remember the conflict would not build the same kind of understanding of those events.
Key event organiser Ruakere Hond said the New Zealand Wars have always been about Waitara, where the first shots in the conflict were fired.
In their haka pōwhiri, the warriors paid homage to all their tūpuna who died in the New Zealand Wars around Aotearoa.
After the official welcome RNZ's NZ Wars: Stories of Waitara series and panel discussions have been launched.
Tomorrow people will have the opportunity to visit local pā site in Waitara where the conflicts were held.