A plaque commemorating one of the most tragic early encounters between Maori and Europeans is to be rededicated at Whangaroa this weekend.
The sacking of the Boyd, a merchant ship, in Whangaroa Harbour in 1809 claimed the lives of almost all on board, plus hundreds of innocent people in a "reprisal" attack on a pa the following year.
The Historic Places Trust erected a plaque in 1994 at the request of Whangaroa Museum member Moira Henderson, with koroua Hone Brown and kuia Moutini Roberts giving advice on tikanga and offering the inscribed whakatauki (proverb).
The plaque was originally placed at the bottom of Lewer Access Rd, on the point opposite Motuwai (Red Island), but was moved to Whangaroa village in 2007 due to subsidence. It was mounted on a rock from the harbour entrance but later became dislodged.
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The plaque has now been returned to the same rock in the revamped council reserve and will be rededicated at 10am this Saturday as a tohu maumahara, a memorial to the lives lost.
Boyd Remembrance Committee chairman Terry Smith said the plaque had been returned for "all those that have suffered in one form or another, from the silencing of local histories and to the misunderstanding between peoples and cultures" in the 208 years since the Boyd.
"This is another milestone in our ongoing journey, Maori and Pakeha working together building relationships founded upon reconciliation and forgiveness," he said.
The event continued to be misrepresented despite efforts in recent years to bring the stories of local people into the open. Those efforts included the Boyd remembrance weekend of 2009, the 200th anniversary, with its focus on healing and building relationships.
Those involved in the 2009 event included descendants of Betsy Broughton and Anne Morley, survivors of the tragedy.
"It was an opportunity to reflect on Maori and Pakeha relationships 200 years on and the continuing journey together has strengthened our relationships and unity," Mr Smith said.