11 Dec 2013

Final reading for Mokomoko Bill

7:35 pm on 11 December 2013

Legislation to restore the mana of a tribal chief wrongly executed by the Crown has had its third and final reading in Parliament.

Mokomoko of Te Whakatohea was convicted during the land wars in the 1860s for the murder of a missionary - the Reverend Carl Silvius Volkner.

Mokomoko received a pardon in 1992 for the murder he never committed.

But it didn't restore his character, mana and reputation nor that of his descendants.

This new legislation - the Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana and Reputation) Bill - is fixing that.

Labour Party MP for Hauraki-Waikato, Nanaia Mahuta, supports the bill.

In her speech to parliament, she quoted part of a Mokomoko whanau whakatauki (proverb).

It said: "Have the strength to speak up and the truth will not be silenced."

Maori Party co-leader, Tariana Turia, also gave the bill her blessing.

She said throughout his trial, Mokomoko maintained his innocence and the suffering, shame and stigma has been carried by generations.

Mrs Turia says the bill is a sign of the Crown's commitment to restore its relationship with the Mokomoko whanau, by expressing its regret.