Battle of Te Ranga - 150th commemoration

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Pukehinahina Charitable Trust 150th Commemoration of the Battle of Te Ranga.
Pukehinahina Charitable Trust 150th Commemoration of the Battle of Te Ranga.

Today will see the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Te Ranga.

The event at Te Ranga is the final event in the series commemorating the war which took place in Waikato and Tauranga in 1863-1864.

Commemorations have already been held at Rangiriri, Waiari, Rangiaowhia, Orakau, and Pukehinahina/Gate Pa.

Tom Roa, Ngati Apakura elder and Chair of Nga Pae o Maumahara, the group established to commemorate and raise awareness of the war, said the commemorations had extended the consciousness of all New Zealanders.

"..about our shared history, with new memorials placed at several sites for those who died in battle," he said.

More than 100 Maori warriors were killed, and 13 British soldiers died, at Te Ranga, which was the last major battle in the Waikato and Tauranga campaigns.

On Saturday, June 21, a special service will be held at the site in Te Ranga (located 10km south of Tauranga), where the battle took place.

There will be a mihi and karakia at 7am, and a recounting of the events of June 21, 1864 in kapa haka and song at 11am. The ceremony will conclude with a memorial service and wreath-laying at 11:30am.

The 150th anniversary commemorations were supported by Nga Pae o Maumahara, local iwi and communities, local government, Te Puni Kokiri, New Zealand Defence Force, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, and Manatu Taonga the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

"The commemoration this weekend is about remembering those who lost their lives at Te Ranga and the memorial service will allow their descendants time to remember them in prayer and waiata," said Mr Roa.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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