20 Jun 2014

Battle of Te Ranga commemorated

7:21 pm on 20 June 2014

Tribes from Bay of Plenty and Tai Rawhiti will gather on Saturday to mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Te Ranga.

On 21 June1864, British forces attacked a Maori pa in Tauranga, seeking revenge after being defeated at Gate Pa, or Pukehinahina, two months earlier.

Te Ranga pa was home to Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Ranginui people who were supported by Ngati Porou from the east coast and Ngati Pikiao and Ngati Rangiwewehi from Rotorua.

The commemoration will be attended by kaumatua, church leaders and local government representatives.

One of the co-ordinators of the commemoration, Toni Heke-Ririnui, says he wants this kind of history to be compulsory in schools.

He says new funding of $1.6 million to teach Maori history in schools isn't enough to provide the resources needed to teach everything that happened to iwi and hapu.

Mr Heke-Ririnui says the historical event is not only important for Tauranga, but for the rest of the motu.