Battle of Ruapekapeka Pa 170th anniversary: part 1

Hundreds of people from across the North Island — including war parties from Northland, Tauranga Moana and Tuhoe, MPs and representatives of the Kingitanga movement — gathered at Ruapekapeka Pa, south of Kawakawa, on Sunday to remember the final battle of the Northern War exactly 170 years earlier. Commemorations started at 2am with traditional combat rituals, followed by a dawn service at the pa, a challenge to visitors and dignitaries at 11am, speeches, mass haka and the firing of replica 19th century mortars. The pa, built by Ngati Hine chief Te Ruki Kawiti, is regarded as the pinnacle of Maori military architecture and has been recognised internationally. Photos by Peter de Graaf.

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