A week-long programme of events has been planned around South Taranaki in September to commemorate the 150-year anniversary of skirmishes at Te Ngutu o Te Manu between Crown and Māori forces.

Event committee organiser Daisy Noble says the programme also commemorates several other skirmishes that happened, collectively known in the history books as the South Taranaki Campaign.

"September 7 marks 150 years since one of two skirmishes at Te Ngutu o Te Manu between Crown forces (led by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas McDonnell) and Māori (led by Titokowaru). An earlier attempt took place on August 21 1868," says Noble.

"However, other skirmishes also took place prior to and after what was called Titokowaru's War," she says.


It was an attack carried out by Titokowaru's men at Turuturumokai redoubt on July 12, 1868 - in which several of the Crown forces died, which gave rise to the attack on Te Ngutu o Te Manu.

In the same year, on November 7, an attack on Moturoa Pa near Waverley was led by Lieutenant Colonel George Whitmore.

Later, Titokowaru chose Taurangaika Pa near Nukumaru as the place that he and his men would take on Crown forces once again.

However, for reasons unknown, this skirmish didn't eventuate.

On the eve of the battle, in February 1869, Titokowaru disappeared - reported to have gone inland to his whānaunga (Ngati Maru), where he remained for a length of time before returning to Ngaruahine.

The final skirmish of the South Taranaki Campaign was the sacking of Parihaka on November 5, 1881.

"Events taking place over the week include workshops on poi, rongoa (medicine) harakeke (flax work) and mokopapa (tattoo) before the commemoration ceremony and entertainment on Friday, September 7," says Noble.

"I think it's really important that we remember and respect our past, and the organising committee would love to see as many of the community as possible attend these events."

A series of coach tours have been planned as part of the week-long 150-year commemorations and will be run over three days in September.