The 175th anniversary of one of the most important battles in Northland - and New Zealand's - history will be marked with three days of commemorations starting this Friday.
The Battle of Ruapekapeka Pā, which raged from late December 1845 to January 11, 1846, was the final chapter of the Northern War which started at Kororāreka/Russell in March 1845.
The battle pitted more than 1600 British troops and their Māori allies against 400 Ngapuhi and Ngāti Hine fighters.
Although the British eventually captured the pā, its defenders had already withdrawn, leaving the outcome inconclusive.
The pā, on an isolated hilltop south of Kawakawa, was designed by Ngāti Hine chief Te Ruki Kawiti to withstand artillery bombardment and is regarded as the pinnacle of 19th century Māori military architecture.
Kawiti's innovations were adapted by the British who put them to use in the trench warfare of World War I.
The battle's 170th anniversary was marked by a large-scale re-enactment with hundreds of warriors from around the North Island, but the 175th will focus on causes and reconciliation.
Te Ruapekapeka Trust interim chairman Pita Tipene said the theme of the three-day event was Kawea a Puriri Mai, which could be interpreted as ''in reverence, remembrance and respect''.
''We want to focus on remembering the conflict and looking at the motivations for it, but more importantly the commemorations will have a future focus — about how we work together as hapu of Ngāpuhi moving forward. There's still animosity between parties involved in the conflict. Reconciliation is needed not only between Māori and Pākehā but between Māori and Māori.''
The commemorations will start with a series of pōwhiri for visitors at Kawiti Marae, Waiomio, on Friday.
On Saturday a bus tour will visit battle sites at Māwhe Kairangi/Te Kāhika (on the shore of Lake Omāpere), Te Ahu Ahu and Ōhaeawai, followed by a pōwhiri and history session at Ngāwhā Marae and an evening wānanga at Kawiti Marae.
A flag-raising ceremony at 7am will start Sunday's commemorations at the pā itself.
The main programme will start at 9am with haka, waiata and speakers including Waihoroi Shortland, Hone Sadler, Shane Jones and Willow-Jean Prime.
Tipene said this week's events would be a precursor to Waitangi Day and the February 3 unveiling by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the British High Commissioner of recently discovered graves of British soldiers who died at Ruapekapeka.
All events were open to the public, he said.
''People are really welcome to come along, share and enjoy.''
For more information on the commemorations, or to learn more about the historic site, visit https://ruapekapeka.co.nz/