Te Ngutu o Te Manu Commemorations

Te Ngutu o Te Manu Commemorations

Monday, August 20, 2018

A week long programme of events has been planned to take place around South Taranaki in September to commemorate the 150 year anniversary of skirmishes at Te Ngutu o Te Manu between Crown and Maori forces.

Event Committee organiser, Daisy Noble, says the events also commemorate several other skirmishes that happened, collectively known in the history books as the South Taranaki Campaign.

“September 7 marks 150 years since one of two skirmishes at Te Ngutu o Te Manu between Crown forces (led by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas McDonnell) and Maori (led by Titokowaru). An earlier attempt took place on 21 August 1868,” says Daisy.

“However other skirmishes also took place prior to and after what was called Titokowaru’s War,” she says.

It was an attack carried out by Titokowaru’s men at Turuturumokai redoubt on July 12, 1868 - in which several members of Crown forces died, which gave rise to the attack on Te Ngutu o Te Manu in August and September.

In the same year on 7 November an attack on Moturoa Pa near Waverley was led by Lieutenant Colonel George Whitmore.

Later Titokowaru chose Taurangaika Pa near Nukumaru as the place that he and his men would take on Crown forces once again. However for reasons unknown this skirmish didn’t eventuate and on the eve of the battle, February 1869, Titokowaru disappeared - reported to have gone inland to his whanaunga (Ngati Maru) where he remained for a length of time before returning to Ngaruahine.

The final skirmish of the South Taranaki Campaign was the sacking of Parihaka on 5 November 1881.

“Events taking place over the week include workshops on poi, rongoa (medicine) harakeke (flax work) and mokopapa (tattoo) before the commemoration ceremony and entertainment on Friday 7 September,” says Daisy.

“I think it’s really important that we remember and respect our past, and the organising committee would love to see as many of the community as possible attend these events.”

For more information about the week’s events click on the links below:


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