Trip sparks awareness of historical events
At the beginning of Term 2, Year 11 History students from Karori and Whitby visited Parihaka on a 3 day trip to learn more about the significant historical events that took place there in 1881. On the 5th of November government troops invaded and ransacked the pacifist Māori community and imprisoned its leaders without a trial.
In the shadow of Mount Taranaki our students were welcomed onto Parihaka with a powhiri and stayed the night learning their history from tangata whenua.
They visited significant monuments and stood on the hill where the soldiers placed their canon for the invasion. From this windswept spot our students paid tribute to the survivors of the invasion who had no food by singing a stirring waiata.
Principal Narelle Umbers who was with them for part of the trip said:
I was privileged to be able to join them at Parihaka to advance my own learning of New Zealand history. It was certainly an experience that will stay with me due to the grace and wisdom of our hosts.
After leaving Parihaka the students traveled to New Plymouth to visit Puke Ariki Museum and do research in its archives. On the way back to Wellington they stopped in Whanganui to take a ride on the historic paddle-steamer, Waimarie and visit Moutoa, the site of a Maori land protest during the 1990's.
Seeing these sites and learning from the local residents has given our students a much deeper understanding of the historical events that took place in Taranaki over a hundred years ago.
For historical details see https://nzhistory.govt.nz/occupation-pacifist-settlement-at-parihaka