$4m to commemorate New Zealand Wars

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Te Ururoa Flavell.
Te Ururoa Flavell.

The Maori Party is proud to have secured new funding in Budget 2016 to support New Zealand Land Wars commemorations.

Maori Party Co-leader Marama Fox said the party had taken the lead from hapu, iwi, and local communities who have organised their own commemorative events to recall these battles.

Armed conflict occurred in Te Urewera, Wairau, Northland, Taranaki, Waikato, Tauranga, Opotiki and the East Coast during the 19th century.

"These battles shaped our country and its people," said Mrs Fox.

"We lost more than 2,750 lives during the Land Wars. It's time that we all recognise the importance of honouring those who perished on home soil just as we honour those who died overseas."

The $1 million per annum operating fund over four years will provide financial support to mark commemorative events. It may also support education-related activities for schools, kura and communities about the Land Wars.

"I've attended many commemorative war events in recent years and I have been overwhelmed by the impact these events have on individuals and communities. It's a sign of our maturity as a natioh that we know our history, good and bad," said Maori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell.

This announcements follows growing calls for a National Day of Remembrance for the New Zealand Land Wars in recent years including a petition that was presented to Parliament by Ōtorohanga College students with 12,000 supporting signatures last year.

The Budget has also provided $14.2 million to support the establishment of the new Maori Land Service, which is a key element of the current reform of Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993.

Mr Flavell said the $8 million of operating funding over two years, plus $6.2 million of capital, will be used to engage with Maori landowners and others in the design and establishment of the new Maori Land Service.

The Maori Land Service will provide vital administrative services to Maori landowners and will take over some of the existing administrative functions of the Maori Land Court.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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