More than 700 years ago, our great Tainui waka carried our voyaging tuupuna who became the tribes of Waikato, Hauraki, Maniapoto and Raukawa.
|Ko Mookau ki runga
Ko Taamaki ki raro
Ko Mangatoatoa ki waenganui.
Pare Hauraki, Pare Waikato
|Mookau is above
Taamaki is below
Mangatoatoa is between.
The boundaries of Hauraki, the boundaries of Waikato
To the place called ‘the long armpit of Paatetere’.
I riro whenua atu, me hoki whenua mai.
As land was confiscated, so should land be returned.
In July 1863, military forces of the Crown breached the Mangatawhiri River and unjustly invaded the Waikato, initiating a conflict against Kiingitanga and the people of Waikato. By April 1864, after persistent defence of our whenua, we, together with our allies, had fallen back, seeking refuge in the King Country.
What followed was the confiscation of approximately 1.2 million acres of our tribal lands and the widespread suffering, distress and deprivation caused to Waikato Iwi as the result of the war waged against them. Lives were lost, taonga and property destroyed, and ancestral lands unjustly taken – the effects of which lasting for generations. For 125 years, we battled the Crown for justice for that confiscation.