This is what your perspectives internal is about this term. You are going to investigate the opinions around the the Volkner Incident. These opinions need to be from the past and from the present day. They also need to be from a number of historians so that we can analyse them to find similarities, differences, evidence of imperialistic bias against Maori, ignorance of Maoritanga, etc.
Modern perspective Volkner and Kereopa this time

Kereopa Te Rau pardoned for historical murder of Carl Sylvius Volkner in Opotiki 1865


The key figure in one of the most notorious murders in New Zealand colonial history has been pardoned. The rare statutory pardon for Kereopa Te Rau, included in a Treaty of Waitangi settlement with a Rotorua iwi, has passed into law without fanfare.
A result of careful research and a tribe’s unshakeable belief, the pardon effectively means Kereopa is no longer guilty of the murder in March 1865 of German-born Carl Sylvius Volkner, an Anglican missionary who was hanged from a willow tree and then beheaded beside a wooden church near Opotiki.
Kereopa was among several Maori convicted of Volkner’s murder, a crime which one historian maintains set back race relations by 100 years.
After a brief trial, Kereopa was hanged at Napier jail in January 1872. His iwi, Ngati Rangiwewehi, a Te Arawa subtribe, say the hearing was a miscarriage of justice and more in the nature of a show trial, with the accused facing a predetermined outcome.
Volkner’s brutal slaying — reprised in the 1983 film Utu — made news around a shocked world, especially the claim that Kereopa had removed Volkner’s eyes with his fingers and eaten them, earning him the name “Kaiwhatu: the eye-eater”.
Accounts at the time reported that the cleric’s head was placed on the church pulpit while frenzied warriors who witnessed the slaughter danced and yelled. The next day, Volkner’s severed head was taken for smoking before it was carried to other places.
His body, which had been tossed down a long-drop, was eventually laid in a grave dug by local Maori.
The Crown’s response was blunt. Colonial troops and Maori allies were sent to Opotiki, seizing thousands of hectares of land and arresting and killing resistors.
It took soldiers five years to catch up with the elusive Kereopa, who had a £1,000 bounty on his head. Eventually he was taken captive in the Ureweras, where he had been protected by Tuhoe people.
At the trial in Napier, a Supreme Court jury took barely 15 minutes to find Kereopa guilty.
Contemporary research presented to the tribunal cast doubt on his guilt, and suggested his trial was anything but fair.
Witnesses who appeared for the Crown were granted immunity from prosecution in return for helping secure a conviction, though it is not clear the court was aware of the arrangement.
Kereopa, for his part, was unable to get anyone to testify in his defence because the Crown refused to help them travel to Napier for the trial.
Te Rangikaheke Bidois, lead negotiator for Ngati Rangiwewehi, said the pardon was a bittersweet outcome. For descendant’s of Kereopa, the fact his name had been cleared was immensely important, she said.
But the whanau might want the pardon to go further and remove the stigma that had burdened his family for generations. Mrs Bidois said there was a history of suicide among male descendants of the Arawa chief. “It’s hard to undo the shame which his whanau has felt,” she said.
Kereopa is the second important figure to be pardoned over Volkner’s killing. Mokomoko, a Whakatohea chief, was one of several Maori tried and executed soon after the murder. He was pardoned in 1992 by Governor-General Dame Catherine Tizard, and legislation restoring his character, mana and reputation was passed last December.
Mrs Bidois said Kereopa’s whanau might want the same acknowledgement, but it was for them to decide. Besides the pardon, the iwi received $6 million in reparations, an apology for Treaty breaches, transfer of a forest and the return of several culturally valuable springs around Lake Rotorua. Two decades of work had gone into the claim, Mrs Bidois said, and while they had hoped for more, the iwi wanted to build on their assets.
For author and film-maker Peter Wells, the Crown’s pardon came too late to be included in his new book about Volkner and Kereopa, Journey to a Hanging.
His account — a blend of history, imagination and biography — charts the collision course of the immigrant minister with the influential Kereopa, a disciple of the Pai Mairie (“Good and Peaceful”) faith, an indigenous religion with Old Testament roots, and the subsequent hanging of Volkner’s accused killer.
Wells recounts that the tragedy had an inevitability once Volkner, against all advice, returned to Opotiki from Auckland, where he had been visiting his wife Emma. The churchman was viewed with deep suspicion because he had come to be seen as a Government spy.
“He was heading to his doom,” said Wells, and the Whakatohea people, who built Volkner’s church, could not alter the fatal outcome.
Kereopa, for his part, arrived in the Bay of Plenty with a heavy heart and possibly revenge on his mind. The year before, his wife and two daughters died near Te Awamutu after British troops burned down a whare where missionaries told the family they would be safe. The next day, in another Waikato seige, Kereopa’s sister was killed.
Volkner had sent Governor George Grey a plan of the pa where the family burned to death.
Says Wells: “There was going to be a victim.” The only doubt was who would be chosen – Volkner or Thomas Grace, a Taupo missionary who fled his parish because of war.
Wells’ book includes a portrait of the prisoner Kereopa taken in Napier prison by the town’s photographer, Samuel Carnell. Just days from the gallows, Kereopa stares mournfully from the image, a cloak pulled up beneath his chin and his moko traced with a marker and added after the shot was taken. The garment was placed to conceal a serious neck wound which the incarcerated chief had inflicted with a concealed razor in a vain attempt to defeat Pakeha justice.
On his last night on Earth, after the influential colonist William Colenso had tried but failed to get clemency for Kereopa, Catholic nun Mother Mary Aubert kept the prisoner company “in a fight for his soul”.
Wells believes both Volkner and Kereopa faced their fate with courage.



===Mike Butler: Old Hauhau Kereopa gets new shine===

external image Mike+-+blog.jpg
Yet another chapter in the history of New Zealand was re-written last week when the old Hauhau fanatic Kereopa Te Rau was quietly given a statutory pardon for involvement in the killing of Reverend Carl Sylvius Volkner at Opotiki in March 1865.

The pardon does not change the past because Kereopa remains executed and Volkner remains murdered but it does mean that Ngati Rangiwewehi could use it to help squeeze $6-million in financial redress from the government as their settlement deed was passed into law.

Notable by its absence in the New Zealand Herald report titled "Pardoned at last: Chief cleared of 1865 murder" is any context of the murder of Volkner. The missionary was hanged from a willow tree and then beheaded beside a wooden church near Opotiki.

The context was of armed conflicted between government forces and disaffected tribes that started in Taranaki in 1860 and spread into the Waikato district in 1863. In this environment, Pai-Marire founder Te Ua Haumene combined smatterings of church doctrine with ancient incantations to create a religion that united tribes in a bond of passionate hate against the wicked white coloniser.

His fanatical followers, who settlers called “Hauhaus” for the sound of their battle chant, attracted government attention when they attacked and defeated a patrol at Te Ahuahu, north Taranaki, on April 6, 1864, and left seven soldiers naked and decapitated. Worse, the heads were smoke-dried and used as a medium in Pai Marire rites.

Te Ua sent Kereopa Te Rau and Patara Raukatauri to the East Coast in December 1864, to spread his liberation theology. They took with them two deserters from British forces, including a French Canadian Indian, who carried the head of the leader of the patrol slaughtered at Te Ahuahu.

Kereopa was perhaps more strongly motivated than Patara Raukatauri because the year before, his wife and two daughters died near Te Awamutu after British troops burned down a whare, and the next day, in another Waikato seige, Kereopa's sister was killed. He believed that missionaries had guided troops to where his loved ones were located.

Kereopa told the Ngati Awa tribes in Whakatane in February 1865, to hand over the Catholic priest in the area. While the tribes thought about their response, Kereopa and Patara went to Opotiki, converted most of the Whakatohea tribe, and told the tribe to hand over Volkner, a German Lutheran missionary who was not there at the time.

Volkner did return to Opotiki on March 1, 1865, when Kereopa had him and fellow missionary Rev. Thomas Grace seized.

On the afternoon of the next day, Volkner was marched into his church, crowded with excited Hauhaus. Kereopa said from the altar that Volkner was to die. He took Volkner’s coat and waistcoat, which he put on, and ordered the minister to be taken outside and hanged.

Volkner was walked to a willow tree about 100 metres away, a rope was tied around his neck, he knelt and prayed, shook hands with some around him, and was swung up into the tree. His body was hauled up and down several times and left for about one hour, when it was taken down, carried closer to the church, and his head was chopped off.

Details of what subsequently happened have been omitted from later histories. Kereopa filled a communion chalice with Volkner’s blood, carried it and the head into the church, set both down on a reading table, and cried: “Hear, O Israel! This is the word of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! We are the Jews who were lost and have been persecuted.”

At this point he gouged both eyes out of the head, and swallowed them. The second eye stuck in his throat so he called for a glass of water. He drank some blood from the chalice and passed it around for members of the Pai Marire congregation to sip from it. Kereopa was nicknamed “Kai-karu” or “Eye-eater”. The head was taken to the house of the Catholic priest and smoke-dried over a fire.

It took soldiers five years to catch up with the elusive Kereopa, who had a £1000 bounty on his head. Eventually he was taken captive in the Ureweras, where Tuhoe people protected him along with another fanatic, the guerrilla leader Te Kooti. Tuhoe are still trying to figure out why government troops drove them out of the Ureweras.

After a brief trial on December 21, 1871, Kereopa was hanged at the old Napier jail on January 5, 1872.

Five others had been executed on May 17, 1866, for their role in the killing, including Mokomoko, a chief of the Whakatohea tribe, who was pardoned in 1992, and who had his character and reputation restored by legislation last December. Three Ngati Awa involved in murdering Volkner were pardoned in 1988.

With Ngati Rangiwewehi seeking a pardon as part of their settlement, in 2011 the Office of Treaty Settlements commissioned Professor David Williams of the University of Auckland Law School to write a report on the treatment of Kereopa that the tribe could use as support.

The report said that many of those who testified against Kereopa were themselves (allegedly) implicated in Volkner's death, but had been granted immunity from prosecution in return for helping to secure a conviction.

Kereopa had wanted to call a number of witnesses for his defence, but the Crown refused to assist in bringing any of them to Napier for the trial. Consequently, no witnesses for the defence appeared.

Other historians who want the Crown to pay for failing to apply 2014 standards to the 1872 execution of Kereopa while giving Maori perpetrators a free pass include Vincent O’Malley and Peter Wells.

Descendants of Kereopa say the statutory pardon was immensely important, citing a history of suicide among male descendants of the Arawa chief.

Now that five of the six people hanged for their role in the murder have been pardoned "the circumstances surrounding Volkner's death remain surrounded by a great of mystery", according to historian O'Malley. So it appears that Volkner’s killing was just one out-of-the-blue act done by Mr Nobody.

And that is exactly how history is revised. Dissident killers are quietly transformed into noble savages, and the new orthodoxy that presents Kereopa as an innocent victim of the wicked white colonizer will be taught in schools and universities.

And anyone who questions it is, well, racist and being mean.

Pardoned at last: Chief cleared of 1865 murder. NZ Herald, June 21, 2014.
The role of the Crown in the trial and execution of Kereopa Te Rau (1871-2), Professor David Williams,
The New Zealand Wars, James Cowan, Vol 2
A Statutory Pardon for Kereopa Te Rau, Vincent O'Malley.

Perspective: Ranginui Walker


An Open Letter To: Helen, Bill, Richard, Peter, Jeanette and Jim

An Open Letter To:

Helen, Bill, Richard, Peter, Jeanette and Jim,
I have been here a thousand years. You arrived only yesterday. My territory extends 35 km along the coastline of the Bay of Plenty from Maraetotara at Ohope in the west, to Tarakeha at Opape in the east and inland to the forested mountains in the south. In between the two coastal boundaries lies the Ohiwa Harbour, the abode of the bountiful 'daughters of Whakatohea', the mussels, cockles and pelagic species of fish that come into the harbour to spawn. Other tribes, namely Tuhoe and Ngati Awa had access to the bounty of Ohiwa. When your tribe arrived from England you too were given access to 'the daughters of Whakatohea'. I allowed you in because you bought wealth, new animals and material goods to trade with me. To confirm our relationship, I signed a treaty with you at Opotiki on 27th May 1840. For twenty years I prospered growing crops and rearing cattle. I owned a flour mill and several coastal vessels to take my produce to the markets in Auckland.
I was please that your covenant guaranteed me ownership of my land and that you would purchase only land that I was willing to sell. To the east of Ohiwa is the Waiotahe River where all the iwi of the Island, including Ngati Pakeha were allowed access to the eternal pipi beds in the river. Along from Waiotahe is the confluence of two rivers, the Waioweka and Otara. That place, named Pakowhai, is where the township of Opotiki was established. The waters of the two rivers flow out to sea at Pakihi, another rich source of kaimoana that was shared with Ngati Pakeha who came to live with me. Some Ngati Pakeha intermarried with me and became members of my whanau and Hapu. Their relations are my relations and what I have is shared with them.
East of Opotiki is the Waiaua River where Tapuikakahu was moved to exclaim 'Ah the food at Waiaua! A sleeping place for men where nets are hauled along the beach'. Less than five km from Waiaua is the eastern extremity of my territory at Opape. The rocks there abound with crayfish, paua, mussels, kina, maomao and snapper. Although I am the kaitiaki, the custodian of these treasures, no one has been denied access to them. It is my duty as mana whenua to feed those who hunger for kaimoana. All I ask from them is respect and care for what my ancestors bequeathed to me.
Unfortunately, when I was outnumbered by your tribe, whose hunger for my land was insatiable, you made war on me to take my land. The pretext for your 500 troops invading my territory was the murder of the missionary Sylvius Volkner in March 1865. Volkner was killed by Kereopa Te Rau, a man who was no relation of mine. I understand that murder is a civil offense and the perpetrator should be apprehended and tried according to the law and the rights of British citizenship that you promised in article three of the treaty. Instead, you made war on me, executed one of my chiefs, notwithstanding his protestations of innocence and confiscated most of my land.
Like the Indians of America, you put me on a reservation known as the Opape reserve. The land that you confiscated for the military settlers of your tribe, took away thirty km of my coastline from Ohope to the Waiaua River. All that remains of my coastline is 4.7 km from the mouth of the Waiaua River to Opape. Six years ago you offered me $40 million in compensation for the land that you took. I turned your offer down. I am the only one to have done so under your treaty settlement policy. The reason for declining your offer was because you asked too much of me. Mine was a single issue of confiscation. Instead, for the $40 million you wanted me to agree to a clause stating that the quantum offered was to settle all of my claims, whether I had identified them, notified them and researched them or not.
I have waited five years before calling a hui to reopen negotiations with you to seek compensation for the wrong that you did to me. It was a spring day as I sat on the paepae of my Marae at Omarumutu, on an elevated platform looking out to sea. In the distance I could see the steam rising from Whakaari, the volcanic island where I have taken mutton birds since the beginning of time in these islands. I was crestfallen to learn when I went there recently that I would be charged $17.00 by the owner for landing on that island.
From Omarumutu, I can see the whole 4.7 km of my coastline. In the sand dunes below is the estuary of the Waiaua River. Less than a km from the river mouth is our Urupa Rangimatanui. It was named after Te Rangimatanui, a rather humble and self-effacing man who was the first to be buried there. He proclaimed that he would not be offended if his children and their descendants dragged their eel catches over his grave on the way home. At the eastern end at Opape is my ancient pa site Taiharuru and its Urupa nearby. This remnant coastline is sacred ground to me. It is mine and I will not concede it to you who represent the Crown. Notwithstanding your policy document on the foreshore Protecting Public Access and Customary Rights, I reserve the right to apply to the Maori Land Court for title to that bequeathed to me by my ancestors. I will not sell one millimeter of my coastline, and I will continue to share it, as I have always done, with those who love kaimoana as I do. You ask who am I? I am Te Whakatohea ki Opotiki.
P.S. Winston has been exempted from this missive because he and I belong to the Mataatua waka.

Ranginui Walker

Kaimahi for Whakatohea.


Very good reliable site
Restoration of Mokomoko's character :
Anglican Church perspective:

Heteraka Biddle Perspective

Mokomoko, executed 17 May 1866 visit this site at:
The Te Whakatōhea chief Mokomoko was one of five Māori executed on 17 May 1866 for being implicated in the murder of the missionary Carl Völkner at Ōpōtiki in 1865. The government punished Te Whakatōhea further for Völkner’s death by confiscating much of the iwi’s land.
Death of Carl Völkner
Death of Carl Völkner
Death of Carl Völkner
Völkner’s death had occurred during what Pākehā called the ‘Hauhau disturbances’. Many Māori saw Völkner as a government spy. When in May 1865 he ignored warnings from Te Whakatōhea to stay away from Ōpōtiki, he was seized and later hanged. Mokomoko denied responsibility for the killing. He claimed that he went away after the decision was made to kill Völkner and was not present at the death. His descendants claim that earlier he had tried to help Völkner escape.
Mokomoko surrendered in October 1865 and was tried in Auckland on 27 March 1866. Witnesses identified Mokomoko as a member of the procession that took Völkner to his execution. Testimony that he had carried the rope with which Völkner was hanged was to be crucial in his conviction. No witness, however, claimed that Mokomoko was directly involved in the killing itself.
According to Te Whakatōhea the rope had been taken from Mokomoko. In the end the evidence was deemed sufficient to make him an accessory to Völkner’s murder. Heremita Kahupaea, Hakaraia Te Rahui, Horomona Propiti and Mikaere Kirimangu joined Mokomoko on the scaffold on 17 May 1866. Mokomoko’s last words were, ‘E mate hara kore ana ahau. Tēnā koutou Pākehā. Hei aha.’ (I die an innocent man. Farewell Pākehā. So be it.)
His song, ‘Tangohia mai te taura i taku kakī kia waiata au i taku waiata’ (Take the rope from my neck that I may sing my song), became an important expression of Te Whakatōhea’s anger at what had happened to Mokomoko and his co-accused.
In 1993, the justice minister, Doug Graham, made an official visit to Ōpōtiki to apologise to Te Whakatōhea and the descendants of Mokomoko. In September 2011 a pardon agreement was signed by Māori Affairs minister Pita Sharples and Mokomoko’s descendants.




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Date:17 December 2013
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Our Most Difficult Story

Waiapu News, April Issue 2006
Lloyd Ashton recounts the tragedy surrounding Mokomoko and Volkner
Of all the stories that lie behind the 2006 Waiapu pilgrimages, perhaps none is more gruelling than this one. Certainly, as far as the Whakatohea leader Te Riaki Amoamo is concerned, there’s nothing much to celebrate about the March of Western Civilisation reaching Opotiki and his people.
It’s brought few benefits to them. And sadly, at crucial points in the past, the Anglican Church has been part of the problem.
To understand how he feels, we first needed to head to Rangiaowhia, a tiny speck on the map outside Te Awamutu, and consider the events that happened there in February 1864.
And we needed to hear about Kereopa Te Rau, of Ngati Rangiwewehi, a hapu of Te Arawa. Kereopa was one of the first disciples of Te Ua Haumene, the founder of Pai Marire (Good and Peaceful), an indigenous religious movement with Old Testament roots. Kereopa was in Rangiaowhia at the time.
But after the events at Rangiaowhia in February 1864, Kereopa wasn’t feeling peaceful.
Who can blame him? Because his wife and two daughters had been killed there by British troops, and his sister was killed a few days later.
What’s more, Kereopa felt betrayed by the church. In Te Riaki’s view, Kereopa’s daughters “were killed in a place of worship, more or less”.
He explains: When the British missionaries began spreading the Word among Maori, there were no churches. The place of worship then, according to Te Riaki, was the meeting house. And the time for worship, or so the missionaries had instructed, was when people heard the bell.
Furthermore, when those missionaries sensed that the Land Wars were coming, they also taught Maori that, at the sound of the bell, women and children should make their way to sanctuary in the meeting house.
But something came tragically unstuck at Rangiaowhia. The bells didn’t deliver that promised safety. Not on February 21, 1864, anyway.
Because General Cameron’s soldiers did come. And sure enough, the bells did summon the women and children to the safety of the whare.
But the whare was torched, with several children, including Kereopa’s two daughters, burned alive in it.
That’s the story that Te Riaki Amoamo tells, anyway.
Te Ua Haumene had long wanted Kereopa to take Pai Marire to Opotiki. He did. But after Rangiaowhia, Te Ua Haumene’s words to Kereopa about “going in peace” sailed out the window.
“He swore savage vengeance on all missionaries,” says Te Riaki. “He’s reported as saying: ‘Friends, this is a word from God to you. If any minister or other European comes to this place, do not protect them. He must die.”
Tragically – most tragically for the Whakatohea people – the CMS missionary Carl Volkner was unlucky enough to have just returned to Opotiki.
He’d gone to Auckland, and had been warned not to return by Maori who felt he was a spy. But Carl Volkner didn’t stay away. He came back to his doom.
Of course, Volkner hadn’t killed Kereopa’s daughters. But he represented the church, and then there was that spying allegation. On March 2, 1865, he was strung up, and Kereopa was apparently the instigator of that lynching.
Because of that one man’s misdeeds – a man who wasn’t one of theirs – Whakatohea reaped a whirlwind. They suffered then and continue to suffer.
Te Riaki concedes that “some militants of Whakatohea would have followed Kereopa, but not all of Whakatohea.”
The first consequence for Whakatohea was that their rangatira, Mokomoko, was arrested, tried and hanged, in May 1866, for Volkner’s murder.
His pardon in 1992 tells you that was a bum rap.
But Mokomoko’s execution was only the beginning of Whakatohea’s punishment. The government then confiscated 490,000 acres from the iwi – and banished the so-called “rebels” among them to the 20,000-acre Opape Native Reserve.
“That,” Te Riaki says, “was like an Indian reservation. We put on the reservation.”
He should know. He grew up there.
And the truly bewildering thing for Whakatohea is that it’s almost impossible to see how that hurt and damage, which they live with every day, can ever be fully repaired.
Yes, Mokomoko has been pardoned. Cleared of any trace of wrongdoing. But there’s no chance that the other part of that wrongful punishment – the loss of 490,000 acres – can ever be fully undone.
“We cannot get our land back,” says Te Riaki. “Only the land occupied by the State Owned Enterprises. You cannot upset the other landholders. There are farmers on much of that land today.”
“That’s the March of Western Civilisation,” he says.
“When the conquerors take over, they put the ones who were living on the land, into a reserve.”
“It’s a story that’s got to be told, so the other side will know it.”
And told it was, line upon line, detail upon detail, version upon disputed version, by Bishop George Connor at Hiona St Stephen’s, to a full congregation of pilgrims, parishioners and local visitors – Mokomoko’s whanau among them.
When Bishop George had finished, Te Riaki Amoamo was invited to give his reading of the story. But he only added details: clearly the two men were agreed about the substance of the story.
Of the events that Bishop George recounted, two incidents remain, for many of the hearers, etched in their minds. In 1992, the former Minister of Treaty Settlements, Doug Graham, delivered Mokomoko’s framed Crown pardon to Waiaua, Mokomoko’s marae. That was a noble gesture. No doubt the Minister saw it that way.
But the Minister didn’t have Te reo – and none of his aides translated the speeches that followed. Had they done so, Doug Graham would have heard the people’s irrefutable logic:
“They’d had Crown confirmation,” says Bishop George, “that their ancestor wasn’t guilty. So if their land was taken because he’d earlier been considered guilty – then why shouldn’t the land now be given back?
“What kind of justice doesn’t see it that way? That’s how most Maori see it.
“And yet how do you deal with that? People can’t begin to get their heads around what the consequences might be.
“Most Pakeha think of all this as ancient history, and are always saying: ‘we should move on’.
“But how can you move on, when you’ve not only been unjustly demonised, but you’ve also been unjustly economically disadvantaged?”
A few weeks later, Mokomoko’s weeping great granddaughter brought that pardon to Hiona St Stephen’s, cradling it to her chest – and telling how she’d never set foot in the church before, because as a child she was told she belonged to the family of a murderer.
So what ‘s to be done now? How do you find a way forward from that impasse?
“I don’t know,” says Bishop George,” other than just going on and telling the story and trying to get it accepted as true.”
Is that the main need, then? To keep telling the story in the hope that the popular discourse will change?
“Yes. I think that’s right. Because until we can hear the story, until we get a generation of people who, in general, accept it as true, we won’t even begin to think how it might alter our perceptions…”
And so we travelled the last leg of this pilgrimage – Waerenga-a-Hika, near Gisborne,” the hinge of fate,” as the Waitangi tribunal described it, in relations between local Maori and the Crown.
After Volkner’s murder in 1865, Pai Marire evangelists had headed south from Opotiki to Turanga (the original name for Gisborne) to spread the word. They were joined by other Hau Hau, who’d been driven from Waiapu by 260 Ngati Porou warriors.
A majority of Turanga Maori converted to the new faith, promising as it did to protect their lands and independence against an apparently aggressive Crown.
They hastily built a pa, virtually next door to Bishop William William’s
Waerenga-a-Hika Anglican mission station.
After Volkner’s murder, tensions in Turanga were high – and Donald McLean, the Government’s Land Commissioner on the East Coast, decided, once and for all, to rid Turanga of Pai Marire, and to force and end to the neutrality of the Turanga tribes.
So, on November 17, 1865, using the mission station as their base, a combined force of Government troops and Ngati Porou warriors launched an assault on the Pai Marire pa, which now sheltered about 800 Maori, including 300 women and children.
When the siege ended, four days later, more than 70 Turanga Maori had been killed. Many of those Pai Marire men were then exiled by the Crown to the Chatham Islands.
And even though he’d fought on the Government side at Waerenga-a-Hika,
Te Kooti – once a man with hopes of becoming an Anglican lay preacher – was later accused of being a spy, and also railroaded into exile in the Chathams. When Te Kooti and his followers escaped from the Chathams in 1868, the district was thrown, once again, into turmoil.
In more than one sense, the era of Pai Marire – Good and Peaceful – was finished.
Lloyd Ashton is the Anglican Media Officer

For More Information Contact: Whakatohea Maori Trust Board, 122 St John Street, Opotiki
Tel: 0064 7 315 6150
FAX: 0064 7 315 7968



Carl Sylvius Völkner, Priest March 2
and Mokomoko, Rangatira, Opotiki

Symbols for Reconciliation
Carl Sylvius Völkner was born in Kassel, Germany, in 1819. He trained at the missionary college in Hamburg and was sent to New Zealand in 1849 along with other Lutheran missionaries by the North German Missionary Society. He worked with Johannes Riemenschneider at Warea in Taranaki, and then joined the Church Missionary Society, working as a lay teacher in the lower Waikato. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Selwyn in 1860 and priest in 1861.
He was the third CMS missionary to work amongst Te Whakatohea, and moved to Opotiki in 1861 to take charge of the CMS station there. He had considerable success and was adopted by Te Whakatohea as a member of the tribe. They built a church and a school for his work. In his own character, Völkner has been described by William Fox as “a man of remarkable simplicity of character, of the most single-minded and devoted piety, and an extremely conciliatory and kind disposition”. Interest in Völkner lies not so much in his missionary work, however, which was similar to that of many other missionaries, but in his violent death at the hands of members of his own congregation.
With the onset of the New Zealand Wars, Völkner found himself in an awkward situation, as he was perceived by Maori to be supporting the government, and therefore working against their interests. Evidence of this is in Völkner’s own hand in a letter to Governor Grey:
As there is no Government agent in my district to inform you of the movements of the natives here, I think I should be wanting in my duty to you, if I did not make known to you what happens around me, relating to the present disturbed state of the natives. But as I have reason to fear that it would interfere with my future usefulness in the service in which I am engaged, if it were publicly known that I give such information to you, I therefore humbly but earnestly request your Excellency to receive my accompanying letters as private communications to yourself, and not to publicize my name or abode with any information you make use of.
In January 1865 Völkner went to Auckland. Against the advice of fellow ministers and members of Te Whakatohea, Völkner returned to Opotiki on 1 March 1865. He and fellow missionary T. S. Grace were captured by Maori even before disembarking.

The next day Völkner was hanged, and his body desecrated and eventually buried. Maori involved in the incident were influenced by Pai Marire. In traditional interpretations of the Völkner incident, much has been made of this factor. This, together with the reports of events after Völkner had died, has led to assumptions that Völkner was in some sense a glorious martyr, killed for being a Christian by barbaric savages. But such a conclusion does not fit either the political reasons for Völkner’s death or a more balanced perception of the Pai Marire or Hauhau movement as a Maori adjustment to the impact of European immigration.
When war broke out in Taranaki, East Coast tribes and Te Whakatohea did not initially become involved. In 1864, however, they attempted to join the Waikato tribes, but were resisted by Te Arawa. The death of the Te Whakatohea chief, Te Aporotanga, at the hands of the widow of the Te Arawa chief, Tohi Te Ururangi, also exacerbated relations between the tribes.
Tension in the area was further increased by the war conducted by the government forces and by a typhoid and measles epidemic which killed many in the Opotiki area in late 1864. Then, in early 1865, Kereopa Te Rau and Patara Raukatauri arrived on their way to the East Coast, bringing the message of Te Ua Haumene. While Te Ua’s message is summed up in the name of his movement, Pai Marire (“good and peaceful”), some of his followers developed a more aggressive stance within the Hauhau movement.
In addition to all this, Bishop Pompallier had been forced by Governor Grey to recall the very popular Marist missionary, Joseph Garavel, from the area, and Völkner was seen as in part responsible. Völkner, therefore, arrived back in the midst of intense feelings and debate within Te Whakatohea about the current situation and his involvement in it. All of this lends support to the opinion expressed by Father Garavel after a return visit that Völkner’s death,
despite the assertion of all newspapers, had nothing to do with religion or his position as a minister, and proceeded in reality from the conviction in the Maori mind of his being a Government spy.
Following the death of Völkner, British troops were despatched to Opotiki. Four Maori, including Mokomoko, a chief of Te Whakatohea, were arrested, condemned and executed for the murder of Völkner. Mokomoko denied involvement. The government of the day also mounted a punitive expedition against Te Whakatohea. Shipping and granaries were destroyed, and the tribe’s best land was confiscated. Legal and historical research supports the claim of Maori oral tradition that Mokomoko was not involved, and that there was a grave miscarriage of justice. In the late 1940s compensation was paid for the excessive confiscations, and in 1988 Mokomoko’s family were permitted to exhume his remains from Mt Eden gaol for burial on his ancestral marae. In July 1990 Mokomoko’s descendants petitioned the government for a full acquittal for Mokomoko - not just a pardon, which could imply guilt. The acquittal was granted in June 1992.
The Anglican Church’s perception of the death of Völkner has varied. In the 1860s missionaries and settler church leaders spoke of him as a martyr. This was picked up in 1972 when the church first adopted a New Zealand Calendar. There Völkner is referred to as “priest - martyr”. In the Calendar proposed for A New Zealand Prayer Book-He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa, the reference to Völkner was simply “priest”.
In the process of finalising A New Zealand Prayer Book-He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa, General Synod referred the Calendar to the Diocesan Synods and Te Runanga o te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa for approval. Te Runanga, however, did not agree to the Calendar because of a continuing sense of injustice. General Synod responded to this in 1988 by starting the process of removing Völkner’s name from the Calendar. When the deletion came to the 1990 General Synod for ratification, the bishop of Aotearoa requested that the process of deletion be halted. This request was made because of the processes of reconciliation that the bishop observed happening since the return of Mokomoko’s remains from Mt Eden prison. The bishop said, “To say that the hurt is gone, is not true. But the bones of our ancestors have come home and are laid to rest - we are now in a state of forgiveness.” General Synod acknowledged the graciousness of the bishop of Aotearoa’s action “as one born out of aroha, forgiveness and a desire for reconciliation”. This led to the proposal at the 1992 General Synod and ratified in 1994 that the observance should be entitled “Carl Sylvius Völkner, Priest, and Mokomoko, Rangatira, Opotiki, 1865, Symbols for Reconciliation”.
E nga mate, haere, haere, haere.
Ko te hunga ora, kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui.

For Liturgical Use
Carl Sylvius Völkner is remembered as the CMS missionary working amongst Te Whakatohea in the Bay of Plenty who was killed by Maori on 2 March 1865. He was born in 1819 and came to New Zealand in 1849 as a Lutheran missionary. He joined the Church Missionary Society in 1852 and was ordained priest in 1861 by Bishop Selwyn.
The Te Whakatohea chief, Mokomoko, was executed for Völkner’s death, but Maori oral tradition as well as historical research prove his execution was unjust. Völkner was killed by Maori for several reasons, including passing on information about Maori troop movements in the New Zealand Wars to Governor Grey.
E nga mate, haere, haere, haere.




Mike Butler: Mokomoko and the gullible MP

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When a select committee chairman appears to have offered a signed blank cheque to a claimant to fill out the amount, you know that emotion has trumped reason in the highest level. That is virtually what happened as the Maori Affairs committee heard a submission from Pita Tori Biddle at Waiaua Marae, Opotiki, last week, on a bill to restore the character, mana, and reputation of chief Mokomoko and his descendents.

My article titled “Mokomoko, murder, and money”, published in December, outlined the 1992 pardon, the evidence that convicted Mokomoko and led to his execution at Mount Eden jail on May 17, 1866, the exhumation in 1989, and details of the frenzied murder of Reverend Carl Volkner on March 2, 1865.

But when I saw that Maori Affairs committee chairman Tau Henare told the Mokomoko leadership group that: "What you want you'll most probably get. I have a funny feeling that we may break a few rules on the way” and “it has ramifications outside of our own country and I think we should get it as right as possible,” (1) I took a closer look at the submissions to the select committee and the historical record.

Volkner was murdered 25 years after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, at a time when settlers outnumbered Maori and newspapers the length of the country kept these settlers well informed. Those newspaper accounts survive at National Archives in the Papers Past collection, which is a Google search away from any computer connected to the net. Another detailed account of that period is James Cowan’s The New Zealand Wars and the Pioneering Period volumes 1 and 2, digitised by Victoria University and accessible via any good search engine.

A news report in the Papers Past collection shows that Mokomoko was one of five executed on May 17, 1866. Others were executed not just for killing Volkner, but also for subsequently murdering two people sent to investigate the Volkner murder – James Te Mautaranui Fulloon, described as a native agent and surveyor, and a seaman simply named Ned.

Those others executed at Mount Eden jail on May 17, 1866, were Heremita Kahupaea, Hakaraia Te Rahui, Horomona Poropiti, Mikaere Kirimangu. The executions were described in detail in newspaper accounts (2) In addition, 12 were jailed for life, five were jailed for 14 years, four were jailed for seven years, three were jailed for four years, and one was jailed for one year. (3) It was a huge event at the time.

The firebrand Pai Marire preacher Kereopa Te Rau, who instigated the killing, decapitation, and drinking of the blood of Volkner, and who gouged out and swallowed the unfortunate reverend’s eyes, was hanged in Napier on January 5, 1872.

After Volkner was killed, the government sent Fulloon to investigate. Fulloon was killed, along with the seaman Ned, on July 22, 1865, aboard the Kate, a trading cutter.

The government’s next move came nearly two months later, when a Crown force of 500 men arrived in the settlement in early September 1865. Cowan says that this force landed with difficulty at Opotiki during wind and heavy rain under fire from well-armed insurgents. That force took possession of Volkner’s church and fortified it. The Hauhau hapus of the Whakatohea fortified themselves between four and five miles up the valley. (4)

After some skirmishing, a battle on October 4 at a new fortified pa four miles from Opotiki forced the Hauhaus to retreat, leaving 35 Hauhaus and three government soldiers dead. A well-executed attack by government troops in the Waioeka Gorge on October 20 resulted in Mokomoko surrendering, with others. Yes, Mokomoko had to surrender after being bailed up by government troops. The firebrand Hauhau preacher Kereopa managed to escape.

Mokomoko descendent Biddle puts the blame for Volkner's death on Kereopa Te Rau, saying: "You always get a rebel and I can't tar [Hauhau followers] with the same brush."

Biddle did not say that his ancestor Mokomoko was a Hauhau. (5) Neither did he say that Whakatohea opposition to the colonial government preceded Kereopa’s rabble-rousing arrival in the Bay of Plenty. Whakatohea and some Ngati Porou had tried to join Waikato’s fight against the government and were repulsed by Te Arawa at the battle of Te Kaokaoroa, near Matata, on April 28, 1864. (6)

Settlers called them Hauhaus, although they are now described as followers of the Pai Marire faith. The cult continues. The “Hauhau” name came from their battle cry “Hapa, hapa! Pai-marire, hau!” which they chanted in the belief they could ward off bullets.

Hauhaus were as well known in the 1860s as the Mongrel Mob is today. Governor Grey had declared Hauhau practices “repugnant to all humanity” and declared that it was to be suppressed by force. Apologists like Biddle try to distance themselves from Hauhau atrocities, but those atrocities became a part of the cult before Kereopa’s mission to Opotiki.

Founder Te Ua had a vision on September 5, 1862, in which the archangel Gabriel told him that he was chosen by God to cast off the Pakeha yoke and lead his people into the promised land. Fanatical followers attacked and defeated a patrol of imperial and colonial forces at Te Ahuahu, north Taranaki, on April 6, 1864. The bodies of the seven soldiers killed in the attack were found naked and decapitated.

Hauhau fanatics carried the dried head of Captain Lloyd from tribe to tribe to use in worship and to gain recruits. Lloyd's head was distinctive because he was a fair-whiskered man with shaven chin, in the fashion of those days. As the white man's head was passed from hand to hand among the frenzied worshippers, some of the people, particularly those who had lost relatives in the Taranaki War, gnawed the dried flesh in their demonstrations of hatred and revenge.

Biddle says the government of the day “is equally culpable because the tragedy was linked to the work (Tau Henare called it spying) that the missionary undertook on its behalf.” Biddle maintained all the government was interested in was getting the economic base and getting the land for the colonists who were queuing up to come to New Zealand."

Land is an issue for Mokomoko descendents because the government confiscated approximately 448,000 acres [181,300ha] as punishment because it considered, quite correctly, that Whakatohea and other Bay of Plenty tribes had been in rebellion. It appears that Whakatohea had interests in over 100,000 acres of this land.

Aside from the high-sounding title of the bill, the Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana, and Reputation) Bill, (7) a government bill introduced by Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples, and due to be reported back to Parliament on April 24, let us be clear that Mokomoko’s family is seeking a payout. The bill intends to explore “the possibility of separate settlement negotiations between the Crown and Te whanau a Mokomoko”.

Was Mokomoko a hapless innocent wrongly convicted, or was he a long-time opponent of the government and an active participant in the frenzied killing of Volkner? Does passing legislation that describes him as a great chief with character and mana change history, or seek to expunge the record of atrocities committed by a savage ancestor? The sources quoted in this article show that Mokomoko's tribe sought to fight against the government about a year before the Volkner murder, and Mokomoko himself fought and surrendered as a Hauhau.

What will our descendents think of gullible 21st century politicians turning imagined histories into legal fact, opportunist claimants playing politicians for financial gain, professional historians tailoring reports to suit their masters’ demands, cultural safety groups rewarding and punishing civil servants for bowing to a brown-washed new orthodoxy?

One thing is certain -- the old pioneers who fought the Hauhaus around Opotiki in 1865 would turn in their graves if they knew about the Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana, and Reputation) Bill.

If Maori affairs committee chairman Tau Henare is serious about getting this "as right as possible", he would tell the claimants that the 1992 pardon was more than adequate, that legislating to make Mokomoko's character and prestige appear better than it is would be out of the question, as would financial compensation.

1. Passionate drive to restore chief’s character, NZ Herald, March 9, 2013.

2. Execution of five Maoris for the murder of Fulloon and Volkner, Taranaki Herald, Volume XIV, Issue 721, 26 May 1866, Page 6

3. The Maori prisoners, Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXII, Issue 2747, 15 May 1866, Page 4

4. James Cowan, The NZ Wars and the Pioneering Period, Vol II, The Hauhau Wars.

5. Passionate drive to restore chief’s character, NZ Herald, March 9, 2013.

6. Tairongo Amoamo. 'Mokomoko - Biography', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 1-Sep-10 URL:

6. Passionate drive to restore chief’s character, NZ Herald, March 9, 2013.

7. Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana, and Reputation) Bill,
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Anonymous said...I read the comments by MP's when the bill was introduced to the house. All sorts of bizarre claims were made but no Mp's who spoke were of any doubt as to the absolute innocence of Mokomoko. However the report provided by the Ministry of Justice to the Minister in 1992, found that information submitted by the claimants requesting a pardon for Mokomoko did not cast serious doubt on the validity of the conviction and did not warrant the granting of a pardon. The only reason that a pardon was subsequently granted was that two men of Ngati Awa who were convicted and hung along with Mokomoko were granted a pardon as part of the Te Rununga o Ngati Awa Act in 1988. Despite considerable effort I have been unable to find any information that remotely points to Mokomokos innocence. The only evidence seems to be the oral history of the family. After all of the treaty settlements to date are we now going to start compensating any Maori family that can dream up some wrong done to an ancestor? How can a bill like this even get to Parliament?
MARCH 12, 2013 AT 4:16 PM external image blank.gif
Adam R said..."Hauhaus were as well known in the 1860s as the Mongrel Mob is today. "

The Mongrel Mob is nothing like the Hauhaus.

The Hauhau were an armed force of native 'rebels' engaging in open warfare with the nz government, along side a number of other tribal groups, over sovereign issues and land.

The Mongrel Mob on the other hand is a 1970's street gang based on Western style outlaw gangs.
MARCH 13, 2013 AT 5:35 PM external image blank.gif
Anonymous said...When Hekia Parata (National) supported the First Reading of the Mokomoko etc Bill on 24th Oct 2012 Hansard reports "In that regard I want to pay tribute to the Māori Party and to the Minister of Māori Affairs, who ensured that this bill would be part of our coalition agreement, that it would come before this House, and that we would memorialise the recognition of the restoration of the mana and character of Mokomoko in the way of this democracy, which is to pass it into law so that it may sit in our statutes mōaketonu atu."

What is the point of Select Committees if the outcome has been pre-decided as part of a coalition agreement? This may be Hekia Parata's view of what constitutes a "democracy" but it sure as heck isn't mine.
MARCH 13, 2013 AT 9:05 PM

Mike Butler: Mokomoko, murder, and money

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The saying "give someone an inch (and they'll take a mile)"used to mean that if you allow some people a small amount of freedom or power they will see you as weak and try to take a lot more. The Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana, and Reputation) Bill that is currently winding its way through parliament shows why this saying is used.

The interesting thing about this bill is that the1992 pardon of Mokomoko, a Bay of Plenty chief executed for his role in the killing of a Lutheran minister, is now being used as evidence of a treaty breach and a basis for compensation.

Mokomoko, a chief of the Whakatohea tribe, was hanged at Mount Eden jail on May 17, 1866, with four others, for taking part in the murder of the Reverend Carl Sylvius Völkner at Opotiki on March 2, the previous year.

Mokomoko said he was innocent. He claimed that he went away after the decision was made to kill Völkner and was not present at the death. His descendants claim that earlier he had tried to help Völkner escape. They concede that Mokomoko did own the rope that was put around Volkner’s neck, but argue that it was taken from him as he was catching his horse.

Evidence that convicted Mokomoko was the testimony of three witnesses.
  • Joseph Jeans (or Jennings) said Mokomoko had been in the procession that took Völkner to the execution and that he had carried the rope. Wiremu Te Paki also said that Mokomoko was with the procession. Wepiha Te Poono said Mokomoko commanded the armed party that took Völkner to be killed. However, witnesses differed in other details. According to one, Mokomoko was carrying the rope behind the armed men leading Völkner to the tree. Other evidence indicated that he was some distance away. No witness claimed that Mokomoko was one of those most involved in the killing. There was a conflict of evidence over who placed the rope around Völkner's neck; Jeans said it was Wi Hura while other witnesses named Pokeno Te Awanui. Neither of these men was brought to trial. (1)

The evidence was deemed sufficient to make Mokomoko an accessory to Völkner’s murder. Not only was Mokomoko and the four others hanged, so was the instigator, a Pai Marire Hauhau itinerant preacher named Kereopa Te Rau, who prophet Te Ua Haumene sent to the Bay of Plenty on a supposedly peaceful recruitment mission. In addition, 448,000 acres of Bay of Plenty land were confiscated as punishment.

“Take the rope from my throat” became the murmured prelude to a waiata, sung by Mokomoko, and later Te Whakatohea and neighbouring tribes until the 1940s, when it ceased to be sung. Why? Possibly because the Finance No. 2 Act, on October 12, 1946, gave Whakatohea a lump sum payment of £20,000 as settlement of the confiscation grievance.

Mokomoko's family in 1987 requested permission to exhume his remains from Mount Eden jail, a request was granted in 1988. He was re-interred at Waiaua Marae at Ōpōtiki in October 1989. Former Treaty Settlements Minister Doug Graham delivered Mokomoko’s framed Crown pardon to Waiaua, Mokomoko’s marae in 1992. All well and good. So what is the Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana, and Reputation) Bill all about?

The bill says that the 1992 pardon “was provided without consultation with Te whānau a Mokomoko and differed from the pardon granted by section 11 of Te Runanga o Ngati Awa Act 1988 to two men of Ngāti Awa for the same event, and that it did not expressly restore his character, mana, and reputation, nor the character, mana, and reputation of his descendants”. The bill opens the way separate settlement negotiations between the Crown and Te whanau a Mokomoko.

This bill uses the 1992 pardon of Mokomoko as acknowledgement that the government had breached the treaty. Clause 9 of the preamble says:
  • In its Te Urewera (Part 1) Inquiry Report (April 2009), the Waitangi Tribunal found the following in relation to Te whānau a Mokomoko claim (Wai 203):

  • (a) by pardoning Mokomoko in 1992, the Crown acknowledged that its treatment of him had not been consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi; and

  • (b) the form and wording of that pardon had not redressed the original Treaty grievance; and

  • (c) a statutory pardon should be granted to Mokomoko following consultation with the claimants about the wording of the pardon; and

  • (d) in addition, the Crown should consult with the claimants about the nature of an appropriate tribute to mark the wrong done by perpetuating the false view that Mokomoko was largely responsible for the raupatu: (2)

Discussion of treaty breaches is where it all gets interesting because is would appear that government is the only party capable of breaching the treaty. Here’s the reason I say that.

I mentioned above that itinerant Pai Marire Hauhau preacher Kereopa Te Rau supposedly brought a message of peace from prophet Te Ua Haumene. Histories written since the 1970s omit a few salient details, such as the fact that Kereopa Te Rau, with his loyal servants Patara Raukatauri and Louis Baker, a French Canadian Indian, carried the head of Captain T.W.J. Lloyd, severed with those of six other soldiers in an attack in north Taranaki in April 1864. Pai Marire Hauhau used dried human heads in frenzied ceremonies. They also served as a recruitment tool. Could killing government soldiers be a breach of the treaty?

Histories written after 1970 fudge the details of Volkner’s killing. Not only was Volkner hanged. He was decapitated, his blood drained into a chalice and passed around the frenzied Pai Marire Hauhau killers for drinking in a debased version of the Christian communion. The vengeful Kereopa swallowed Volkner’s eyes. Does all this constitute a breach of the treaty?

The Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana, and Reputation) Bill is a government bill with Pita Sharples’ name on it. Sharples’ speech to parliament on the bill’s first reading in October would give the impression the killing of missionary Volkner, who faced his killers with bravery and compassion, was necessary and just, and, moreover, his own fault. Totally lacking in the Sharples oration is any sense of context.

Sharples gave no indication that at that time the colonial government was fighting a war against a series of tribal mortal enemies that it could not afford to lose. Armed conflict flared in Taranaki in 1860, and in the Waikato in 1863. Te Ua fought with the Maori king movement before he created his brand of fanaticism in the form of the Pai Marire Hauhau cult and spread it around, on to the Bay of Plenty in 1865, and then to the East Coast where sporadic armed conflict continued until 1872. Would tribes attacking the colonial government constitute a breach of the treaty?

Sharples repeated to parliament an allegation that “Mokomoko’s wife, Kimohia, was repeatedly raped before being bayoneted to death by Government soldiers”. According to his biography, Mokomoko had three wives. Two of his wives and six children survived him. There was no reference in that biography to the rape-murder allegation. Sharples or the Mokomoko descendents should provide evidence other than family oral tradition to back up this allegation.

Sharples said that he was “aware that the Waitangi Tribunal has also recommended that the Crown create some form of tangible tribute to mark the wrong done”. Since the free pardon in 1992 was not enough, I’m sure that the “tangible tribute” will have to take the form of financial redress, or as Waikato-Tainui insisted in their $170-million settlement, "where money acknowledges the crime".


1. Tairongo Amoamo. 'Mokomoko - Biography', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 1-Sep-10 URL:

2. Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana, and Reputation) Bill,
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Anonymous said...I am stunned.

Truly, completely and honestly stunned.

When did the desire to seek justice based on *truth* die?

Why, with such a casual disregard for facts, can a man like Sharples be enabled to perpetuate the collective delusion of Maoridom?

When will there be a Bill before parliment to enable the descendants of while settlers savagely raped and murdered by these stone age, inbreeds collect compensation from their associated tribes?

This has been somehow sanitized to such an extent that we've become a nation of collective knitwits scrambling to accept anything Maori claim as truth.

Charles Darwin had it right. Maori are the scum of the Pacific and not to be trusted under any cricumstances.

Why the h*ll isn't this hitting the mainstream media?
DECEMBER 10, 2012 AT 9:04 AM external image blank.gif
Ray S said...One of the reasons all this BS continues is because none of the media dare publish the truth about anything maori. The closest they ever go is reporting child abuse, even then they sugar coat it.

The NZ public need to know what is going on, it seems to me the only way to reach those who are remotely interested is via the media. The government must love all the little bits of political crap that crop up all to regularly, keeps peoples minds occupied on trivia.

As for maori sovereignty, best advice I could give would be to keep our powder dry, we will need it in the not too distant future.
DECEMBER 10, 2012 AT 12:27 PM external image blank.gif
Anonymous said...If you really want to feel ill read the comments by the pollies during the debate on the bill. Obviously knowing nothing about it never gets in the way of having an opinion.

What really gets to me is that a really good man Carl Volkner who wanted nothing more than to help and minister to the Whakatohea people is now tagged as a spy who somehow deserved to be brutally murdered. Who protects his reputation? Enough is enough there does somehow need to be some daylight shone on this.
DECEMBER 10, 2012 AT 5:13 PM external image blank.gif
Auntie Podes said...Perhaps the biggest fly in the ointment is FINLAYSON. He has been working assiduously for Maori for years - before he ever got into parliament. Why is he so high on the Nat's party list? Here he is, an unelected agitator complicit in all the hand-outs, both financial and in power, to Maori. Where does he get this influence from? There is something rotten in the state of, never mind Denmark, the state of NZ.
DECEMBER 11, 2012 AT 2:11 PM external image blank.gif
Dorothy said...The grievance industry needs to stop. It is bleeding us dry as a nation. We could all probably come up with something from our past that would be nice to change or be compensated for ( e.g.all the young men killed in battle) but that is the past and it needs to stay there.Learn from it and move on, wiser into the future.
DECEMBER 11, 2012 AT 2:51 PM external image blank.gif
Anonymous said...All settlements should cease immediately. A serious 'conflict of interest' appears to exist with Chris Finlayson's activities and should be exposed. 85% of NZ's are being railroaded into 'deals' they are unaware of. We need equality for all - not a divided country. We are heading for major trouble in NZ and we seem to be blind to it.
DECEMBER 11, 2012 AT 4:16 PM external image b16-rounded.gif
said...Mokomoko was properly convicted of murder. He was a chief of the party who decided to kill Volkner. He was the leader of the armed group that apprehended him. His rope was used in the hanging. And he was part of the gang who took Volkner to the tree where he was hung. Despite this clear guilt, he claimed he was innocent. Perhaps he meant that he wasn't actually the person who put the rope around Volkner's neck. Well, that may be so, but it is also irrelevant.

The 1992 pardon was baseless, the man was clearly guilty and properly convicted.

The current bill is also meaningless. Parliament cannot pardon someone, and in any case Mokomoko has already been pardoned, albeit wrongly. As for the conviction being a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi, that is ridiculous. Is every "wrong" conviction of a Maori a breach of the Treaty?
MARCH 9, 2013 AT 8:55 AM


Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana and Reputation) Bill
Supplementary Submission in response to the public Submission Hearings at Waiaua Marae, 6th March 2013

Further to the public hearings which were heard by the Maori Affairs Select Committee on 6th March

2013 at Waiaua Marae, Opotiki.

There were many discussions at the above hui and the whanau were heartened by the immense

support of the Maori Affairs Select Committee towards this kaupapa.

After much deliberation, we would like to propose some amendments to the Bill as it currently


We believe that beginning the Preamble at the point of Mokomoko being tried for murder does not

provide insight to the events and political climate of the time; what happened leading up to

Mokomoko’s trial, his protest of innocence and why we still believe in his innocence today.

The title of this Bill is the “Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana and Reputation) Bill. Our

recommended changes to this Bill provide a brief insight to the character, mana and reputation of

our tipuna. This Bill provides an ideal opportunity for the Crown to not only fix the mistakes

surrounding the 1992 Pardon, but also goes some way to highlight Mokomoko’s character, mana

and reputation and presents why the Crown need to acknowledge the restoration of these things.


1) Mokomoko was a prominent and significant leader within Te Whakatohea born into

responsibility by virtue of his whakapapa (Were). His father, Te Takahi Ao was one of the

seven Rangatira of Whakatohea who signed the Treaty of Waitangi in Opotiki on 27 May

1840 (Treaty of Waitangi, 1844).

Due to his status, continuing his bloodline was essential and accordingly, Mokomoko took 3

wives, bearing 5 children.

Mokomoko was intelligent, able to read and write and had in depth knowledge of scriptures.

While he understood and welcomed the opportunities the colonisers brought, he was also

aware of events occurring elsewhere in the North Island during the 1860’s – of land

confiscation and associated battles in Taranaki. He was present at a key meeting of Maori

Chiefs held near Auckland in 1860 that decided to resist the efforts of the Government to

obtain the land from the Maori people.

Mokomoko protected and provided for his whanau and as a Rangatira, he also had

responsibility to protect the Whakatohea people when the army came in 1865 and would

have led the resistance. By necessity he was an experienced fighting man, a leader and a


2) Throughout 1864 Rev. Volkner sent numerous letters to Governor Grey (Howe, E) advising

the movements, occurrences and attitudes of Maori in the Opotiki area. These letters

included maps of pa sites and were seen as spying by the local Maori.

3) Before Carl Sylvius Volkner returned to Opotiki, a large deputation of Pai Marire emissaries

and Hauhau contingent (numbering over 200) arrived at Opotiki. The leaders of this party had decided they would give Rev. Volkner ordersto leave, if he refused he would be killed; if

Whakatohea refused to do it,they would (Clarke,HT 1865).

During trial Mokomoko made the following statement regarding this contingent, “we are

afraid of the war party and left our settlement which was on the road by which they were to

pass and come to Opotiki” (Mokomoko, 1865).

4) On 1st March 1865 Mokomoko attended a meeting called by the Hauhau where Whakatohea

were told to “give you their pakeha or be killed”. Whakatohea refused and as a

consequence, were then ordered by the leader of the war party to give Volkner up to

Kereopa when Mokomoko left the meeting.

On the 2nd March 1865, Volkner was hanged.

5) On 4th September 1865, Governor Grey issued a proclamation (Grey G,1865) announcing:

a) The end of the war

b) That no more lands would be confiscated on account of the war

c) An amnesty from prosecution with the exception of those involved in the killing of

Volkner and Fulloon

d) That the Crown was sending an expedition to the Bay of Plenty to arrest the

murderers of Volkner and Fulloon

e) That if the murderers were given up to justice, the Governor would be satisfied, if

not the Governor would seize a part of the lands of those who concealed the


A militia totalling 516 men – made up of settlers, mercenaries and regular soldiers left

Wellington bound for Opotiki with this proclamation.

The militia arrived in Opotiki intent on war and systematically destroying the asset and

economic base of Te Whakatohea who are forced to defend against what is seen as an

invasion of their lands.

6) In October 1865, Mokomoko and others surrendered to the Government troops under the

belief that the Peace Proclamation of 4th September 1865 (Grey G, 1865) was law and that

their lands and whanau would be protected. They offered to sign the Oath of Allegiance and

to assist and capture those responsible for Volkner’s murder.

One month later, Mokomoko and others were arrested for the murder of Volkner and

subsequently sent to Auckland.

7) On 28th March 1866, Mokomoko and four others were tried and convicted in the Auckland

Supreme Court for the murder of Volkner. Mokomoko refuted any guilt of this crime with

his last words “Hei konei ra pakeha ma, tenei ahau e mate hara kore! Kahore i tika taku

matenga” “Farewell you pakeha’s, I die without a crime! It is not right that I should die”

(Nelson Examiner, 1865).

The evidence of Mokomoko’s conviction was based on:

a) Inconsistencies of witness evidence and out of court statements (Graham G, 1866);

b) Contradicting witness statements (Jakus et all, 1865);

c) Key witness for the Crown was a longstanding enemy of Mokomoko (Were);

8) From the time of his arrest and up until he was hanged on 17th May 1866, Mokomoko

continued to protest his innocence:

a) When visited by George Graham in prison; b) Through writing poems and waiata while in prison;

c) By making statementin open court;

d) Before he was hanged;

9) The descendants of Mokomoko have carried the story of shame, humiliation and stigma of

this conviction to this day. The whanau believe Mokomoko was not only innocent of this

crime, but received no form of justice suitable to the occasion:

a) Statements were not gathered from other key witnesses (Captain Levy of the


b) Crown witnesses were not cross examined to appropriate standards;

c) Statements by Heremita and Hakaraia confirming Mokomoko’s version of events as


d) The comment by Grace stating “there is every reason to believe that he was


e) Mokomoko was tried conjointly with four others for murder. All five defendants

were represented by only one solicitor who was also defence counsel for a further

20 men on trial for murder plus 10 others on charges of accessory to the fact;

f) Correspondence from Grace to Venn, “the juries were composed of Europeans only

and that counsel for the defence was far worse than no counsel at all”;

g) The context in which the trial took place:

i. The jury was all European, held at a time in which war was an ongoing fact;

ii. The victim Volkner, was a missionary whose body was treated in a horrific

manner following death;

iii. The place of trial, Auckland was a hotbed of agitation for widespread

confiscation of Maori lands;

10) Following conviction, two of the co‐accused of Mokomoko admitted their guilt. Those

persons have since been pardoned.

We feel the remainder of the text as agreed to, is sufficient as it stands but should also include a

Crown apology.

When negotiating the wording to this Bill, Crown representatives advised that an apology from the

Crown is given only through the claim settlement process. As the matter of this pardon is not claim‐

based, we believe it is appropriate for the Crown to include an apology for the omissions made as

above as part of section 6, “Crown acknowledgements”. This apology would relate specifically to the

fact that the pardon granted in 1992 was inadequate. (Coxhead,C.) We believe this Bill is the ideal

place for this to occur and suggest that:

a. section 6(1)(b) be amended to read, “expresses its regret and apologises for any

ongoing shame or stigma that this has caused for his uri.”; and

b. section (6)(2) be amended to read, “The Crown acknowledges with regret that it

should have consulted Te whānau a Mokomoko about the wording of the free

pardon and apologises.”.

The inclusion ofthese factsisimportant and showsfirstly,that ourtipuna was notjust a warrior, but

a Rangitira with responsibility to protecting not only the land within the boundaries of

Te Whakatohea, but also the people of Te Whakatohea themselves.

We feel inclusion of these items will provide an insight as to who Mokomoko was, what happened

both leading up to and after the conviction and hanging of our tipuna, (including his non‐

participation in the act) and importantly, acknowledges that there were actions resulting from these

events which impacted directly upon his whanau.

We thank the Maori Affairs Select Committee for bringing the public hearings for submissions to this

Bill to restore the character, mana and reputation of our tipuna Mokomoko to Waiaua, and look

forward to the day this will be realised.

Nga mihi mahana ki a koutou,


Te whanau a Mokomoko


Were: Te wetenga o nga here o te wa Mokomoko – Our Tipuna. Research Report for the Mokomoko


Treaty of Waitangi, 1844

HT Clarke: Letter to the Civil Commissioner, 1865

Mokomoko: Prisoner statement, 1865

Governor Grey: Proclamation of peace, 1865

G Grey: Letter to the Colonial Secretary, 1866

Jakus, Te Paki, Taiwawe, Heremita: Witness statements, minutes of proceedings and trials, 1866

Nelson Examiner, 1866

Summary of Report of Bryan Gilling Te Raupatu o Te Whakatohea: The Confiscation of Whakatohea

Land 1865‐1866 WAI 894, #A53.

Summary of Report of Ewan Johnston, “WAI 203 and WAI 339 Research Report’. A Report

commissioned by the Waitangi Tribunal, June 2002 (WAI 894, document A14) 11 November 2003.

Waitangi Tribunal WAI 203 & 339‐ Brief Evidence of Craig Tamihana Coxhead

Waitangi Tribunal WAI 203 & 339‐ Brief Evidence of Tuiringa (Mani) Mokomoko

Howe, E. Bring me Justice (Auckland: Anglican Provincial Bicultural education Unit, 1991)

Ratima, T.W. Mokomoko‐ the Untold story‐


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Digest No. 2069

Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana, and Reputation Bill 2011 (2013 No 343-2)

Date of Introduction:
12 October 2011
Māori Affairs
Select Committee:
Māori Affairs
Date report presented
28 June 2013
Published: 26 July 2013by John McSoriley BA LL.B, BarristerLegislative AnalystP: (04) 817-9626 (Ext. 9626)
Caution: This Digest was prepared to assist consideration of the Bill by members of Parliament. It has no official status.Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, it should not be taken as a complete or authoritative guide to the Bill. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.


The aim of this bill is to …

The Bill as introduced is described in Bills Digest No 1935.

“Mokomoko, a Te Whakatōhea Rangatira, was tried and executed in 1866 for the murder of Carl Sylvius Volkner. Mokomoko maintained his innocence throughout the trial. He was originally buried at Auckland Jail and Courthouse, but was reinterred at Waiaua Marae at Ōpōtiki in October 1989.

Mokomoko was granted a free pardon by the Governor-General in 1992. However this pardon was granted without consulting te whānau a Mokomoko, and differed from the pardon granted to two men of Ngāti Awa for the same event. Te whānau a Mokomoko were concerned that the terms of the 1992 pardon for Mokomoko did not expressly restore his character, mana, and reputation, or those of his uri (descendants).

Te whānau a Mokomoko and the Crown signed an agreement in September 2011 regarding the introduction of legislation to give statutory recognition to the Mokomoko pardon and to further the Crown’s objective of building healthy relationships with te whānau a Mokomoko. While the purpose of the bill is to give legal effect to the agreement, its enactment would not preclude the whānau from seeking through the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process to pursue their aspirations in respect of the restoration of the character, mana, and reputation of Mokomoko and his uri; and the settlement of their historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, by means including exploring the possibility of separate settlement negotiations between the Crown and te whānau a Mokomoko.” [1]

Main changes

Te Reo Māori translation

The bar-2 Bill includes a complete translation into Te Reo Māori.

The Select Committee stated: “We support the wish of te whānau a Mokomoko and have recommended amending the bill by inserting a Te Reo Māori translation into it. This would allow the uri of Mokomoko to read the legislation in the language of their tupuna. To do so would be a legal first, as it appears that no legislation has previously been enacted including a full translation in Te Reo Māori.

“We considered the possibility that a precedent could be set if a full Te Reo Māori translation were inserted into the bill. However, because of the special nature of this particular bill, we do not believe that this would happen.

“We are advised that translating this legislation before enactment would have the legal impact that the English and Te Reo Māori versions would be considered equal and any inconsistencies between them would have to be resolved in a court of law.

“The committee realises the positive impact that the dual translation could have on future legislation.

“We acknowledge the contribution of our friend and colleague Hon Parekura Horomia during the passage of this bill.” [2]

Copyright: © NZ Parliamentary Library, 2013
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This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand licence. In essence, you are free to copy, distribute and adapt the work, as long as you attribute the work to the Parliamentary Library and abide by the other licence terms. To view a copy of this licence, visit:

  1. Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana, and Reputation) Bill, 2013 No 343-2, As reported from the Māori Affairs Committee, Commentary, pp. 1 and 2. [back]
  2. Ibid., p.p. 3 and 4. [back]


Minister pays tribute to Mokomoko whānau

Hon Dr Pita Sharples

Minister of Maori Affairs
28 June 2013
Media Release
Minister pays tribute to Mokomoko whānau
Māori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples paid tribute today to the descendants of Whakatohea Chief Mokomoko, as the Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana and Reputation) Bill returned to the House of Representatives from the Māori Affairs Select Committee.
Chief Mokomoko was tried and executed for his alleged role in the murder of Reverend Carl Volkner in Ōpōtiki in 1866. Seventy thousand hectares of land in the region were subsequently seized, and generations of the Mokomoko whānau have carried the stigma of bringing land confiscation or raupatu to the region. In 1992 Mokomoko was granted a free pardon, although Dr Sharples says it did not specifically restore his character, mana and reputation.
“History lives with us and is in our actions, our minds, our ambitions, and our aspirations,” said Dr Sharples.
“I sincerely hope this (Bill) will help lift the shame, the stigma, felt by the whānau, and be an important step towards restoring the relationship between the Crown and Te whānau a Mokomoko.”
The bill gives statutory recognition to an agreement signed with Te whānau a Mokomoko to rectify unresolved matters relating to the free pardon granted to Mokomoko in 1992.
“The whānau have shown fortitude and resilience in seeking remedy for the wrongs suffered by their tipuna. The return of this Bill to the House marks an important stage in this process of restoration for them”.

“Te whānau a Mokomoko members were not consulted on the wording of the 1992 free pardon, which compounded their original grievance rather than achieving its intended effect of restoring the character, mana, and reputation of Mokomoko and his whānau, who have been stigmatised for so long.
“This Bill is intended to correct those omissions and help to remove the shame experienced by the whānau. The whānau was consulted closely on the wording of the Bill. I am hopeful that it will go some way to resolving this deeply held grievance.”
Dr Sharples also applauded the whānau for their innovation and commitment to te reo Māori, as they have negotiated for the Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana and Reputation) Bill to be enacted in te reo Māori and English. When passed, this will be the first time in New Zealand’s history that legislation has been enacted in Māori and English.
“I mihi to te whānau a Mokomoko for their courage and foresight in proposing to the Select Committee that the recognition for their tipuna be provided in Māori and English. This will be a first for our Parliament, to enact legislation in both Māori and English, and it is fortuitous that the Bill, in both languages, has been returned to the House on the eve of Māori Language Week” said Dr Sharples.
Dr Sharples said “In the past, legislation has been enacted in English and translated into Māori. This was a common practice in the 19th century. This will be, however, the first piece of legislation to be enacted in Māori and English when it has passed through its remaining Parliamentary stages. Currently, Parliament’s standing orders enable Members to conduct many aspects of the business of Parliament in Māori, if they choose. This is the next logical step, and I am proud to be part of it. I would also like to thank the Māori Affairs Select Committee for this important step they have taken”.
© Scoop Media


===Who did what to whom?===

Below is a tagline for an article which appeared in the NZ Herald on March 9 2013.

It relates to my project in that it is about the efforts of Mokomoko's whanau to get what they regard as proper restorative justice for their ancestor who was one of a number of people hanged for the killing of Carl Sylvius Volkner.

Mokomoko, a Te Whakatohea chief, was hanged at Auckland Prison on May 17, 1866 in what one could call the violent aftermath which followed Volkner's slaying.

The sad thing is Volkner, on his way to being killed, knew with a terrible foreboding that his death would lead to the most awful consequences.

Utu, so highly prized as a concept in the Maori world, is really not so different from plain old revenge.
Revenge works in many different ways in lots of cultures. (In fact I was interested to read in a blurb about the
soap television series called 'Revenge' an old saying: he would sets out to get revenge should first dig two graves.
ie those who set out to get revenge might as well set aside a grave for themselves, as that individual, or tribe, or society is enwebbed in a killing so bad that the whole enterprise is poisoned from the start.)

The article looks at the terrible consequences of utu which followed Volkner's killing - confiscation of
448,000 acres for a start. The Mokomoko family had a pardon granted in 1992 and in 1996 the Governor-General granted the pardon on the grounds that it was 'just and expedient'.

But no mention was made of Mokomoko not committing the crime. (He was alleged to have carried the rope with which Volkner was hanged and being present when he was hoisted up. The evidence is very contradictory on this, and the most plausible places him elsewhere.)

His whanau however have had to live with what they describe as a 'ripple effect' of 'extreme prejudice; resentment, anger, even hatred.' (The article is written by Yvonne Tahana.) This is because many people in Opotiki and elsewhere blame those who killed Volkner for the confiscation of their land and deep loss of mana.

It is an extremely complicated picture. For example one of Mokomoko's descendants says this: 'Mr Biddle says there isn't a question that the German missionary went bravely to his death. 'It was done by Kereopa. You always get a rebel and I can't tar (all Pai Marire followers) with the same brush (as Kereopa who was Pai Marire missionary.)'

This is difficult, as Kereopa Te Rau's whanau are equally insistent that he did not kill Volkner. (And there is very little evidence to show that Kereopa actually physically strung Volkner up and hanged him. Whether he influenced others to do so, is less easy to decide.)

So this article brings a key question to the fore: who did what to whom?

It is both an historical question - ie to do with what happened in the past - but it is also a contemporary question, in that its echoes still sound profoundly among different iwi.

Volkner was right: his killing unleashed the dogs of war. He had wanted to protect and nourish the members of his parish. When he was taken off the ship forcibly, he tried to shake hands with his Maori parishioners. Some stood by and wept. But nobody shook his hand.

The eyewitness accounts of what followed after this are many and contradictory, often based on iwi alliance or the degree to which an individual was implicated and wished to pass the burden of guilt on to others. In many ways it reminds me of 'Roshomon', a Kurosawa classic film from 1950.

The Roshomon effect is called 'the effect of the subjectivity of perception on recollection by observers of an event who are able to produce substantially different but equally plausible accounts of it. (Thanks Wikipedia.)

Who did what to whom?

It's still a vital contemporary question.


Mokomoko pardon: 'Awesome, emotional day'

By Katee Shanks
1 comment

Opotiki's Karen Mokomoko fought back tears when she said her Whakatohea whanau could finally stand proud after a Crown pardon.
Ms Mokomoko, a direct descendant of Chief Mokomoko, who was hanged for the murder of German missionary Reverend Carl Volkner in 1866, described the Crown pardon yesterday as long overdue.
"However, as always, it is better late than never," Ms Mokomoko said.
"It is an awesome day, an emotional day. To hear Minister Pita Sharples right a wrong before our whanau is overwhelming."
She said the pardon, while not putting the family where they were before 1866, took away the shame long associated with their ancestor.
"The whanau can finally stand up and be proud of who we are."
Held under a brilliant blue sky at Waiaua Marae near Opotiki and with the ocean and White Island as a backdrop, Maori Affairs Minister Dr Sharples apologised on behalf of the Crown.

He also signed an agreement committing the Crown to legislation, in consultation with the Mokomoko family, to give statutory recognition to the pardon granted to Mokomoko in 1992.
Before he went on to the marae, Dr Sharples said it was an important day for the Mokomoko whanau because, soon after the killing of Reverend Volkner, the raupatu (land confiscation) of Whakatohea began.
As a result of the murder, the Government sent military troops to Opotiki; the Mokomoko family were reduced to just 30 women and children and 70,000 hectares of land was taken from them. The Mokomoko family have since carried the shame of bringing raupatu to Opotiki.
"In 1992 a pardon overturned the 1866 conviction for the murder of Reverend Volkner for which Mokomoko and three others were hanged in prison," Dr Sharples said.
Mokomoko's co-accused were from Ngati Awa and were pardoned in 1988 but Mokomoko was from Whakatohea iwi, and was not included in the pardon.
"In granting the pardon in 1992, the Crown did not consult with the Mokomoko whanau on the wording which implied the pardon was granted because of similar pardons for Mokomoko's co-accused," Dr Sharples said. "And so did not restore the character, mana and reputation of Mokomoko."
He said, through these actions, the Crown had perpetuated the shame and stigma carried by the whanau of Mokomoko.
"I want to apologise to the whanau and express sincere regret for the way the Crown has acted in the past."
Dr Sharples said he felt privileged to be at the pardon.
"Today I have felt the hurt and shame the Mokomoko whanau have carried with them for so many years," Dr Sharples said.
"And I am happy to have been able to play a part in helping to release these emotions and I will continue to work to have the legislation introduced to the House."
Kaumatua at Waiaua Marae agreed the spirit of Chief Mokomoko, said to have been present at yesterday's pardon, could be seen in the flowering pink rhododendron shadowing the minister and dignitaries during the powhiri.


Final reading for Mokomoko Bill

Updated at 7:35 pm on 11 December 2013
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Legislation to restore the mana of a tribal chief wrongly executed by the Crown has had its third and final reading in Parliament.
Mokomoko of Te Whakatohea was convicted during the land wars in the 1860s for the murder of a missionary - the Reverend Carl Silvius Volkner.
Mokomoko received a pardon in 1992 for the murder he never committed.
But it didn't restore his character, mana and reputation nor that of his descendants.
This new legislation - the Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana and Reputation) Bill - is fixing that.
Labour Party MP for Hauraki-Waikato, Nanaia Mahuta, supports the bill.
In her speech to parliament, she quoted part of a Mokomoko whanau whakatauki (proverb).
It said: "Have the strength to speak up and the truth will not be silenced."
Maori Party co-leader, Tariana Turia, also gave the bill her blessing.
She said throughout his trial, Mokomoko maintained his innocence and the suffering, shame and stigma has been carried by generations.
Mrs Turia says the bill is a sign of the Crown's commitment to restore its relationship with the Mokomoko whanau, by expressing its regret.

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Mō tēnei niupepa.
Mō tēnei niupepa.

Tiro i te tuhinga kupu ā-rorohiko.
Tiro i te tuhinga kupu ā-rorohiko.

Tuhinga o mua.
Tuhinga o mua.

Hoki ki ngā ihirangi tuhinga
Tuhinga ka whai mai.
Tuhinga ka whai mai.

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Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana, and Reputation **...**

Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana, and Reputation **...**


Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXI, Issue 2401, 31 March 1865, Page 6

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Passionate drive to restore chief's character

SaveSaturday, 09 March 2013EmailFacebookTwitterGoogle+external image SCCZEN_070313NZHAGMOKOMOKO03_480x270.jpgPita Biddle spoke to the Maori Affairs select committee about his ancestor, Chief Mokomoko. Photo / Alan GibsonClosure nears for whanau of executed Maori leader who was pardoned in 2011
By Yvonne Tahana

Pita Tori Biddle's hand was shaking when he stood to speak in the whare Ruamoko at Waiaua Marae this week.
The 67-year-old wore a blue suit with a matching hat that he removed long before he rose in the dark house.
It was after lunch on a Wednesday at this place on a little hill outside of Opotiki where people left their shoes on the white-washed porch.
Dating to 1899 it felt old, with its glass stained windows and memories, and pictures of those who have died hanging benignly on the walls.
Mr Biddle was here to talk about his tupuna Te Whakatohea chief Mokomoko, who was hanged on the gallows in Auckland on May 17, 1866, for the murder of missionary Carl Sylvius Volkner.
Later, he'd describe the morning like this. "Well, I was scared. This is the first time I've been on a table like this ... I didn't know where to start but I just let it go."
He took a breath, looked down at his iPad where his notes were. He might have glimpsed song words that prefaced his remarks, written by Mokomoko.
"Tangohia te taura i taku kaki, kia waiata au i taku waiata."
The imagery it invokes is stark - a rope around Mokomoko's throat. His composition asks for it to be removed so he can sing his song. These days it's used as a whakatauki, a saying or reminder used by the chief's descendants to have the strength to tell the truth.
Mr Biddle's hand and voice steadied and he launched into a submission on behalf of his whanau's leadership group to the Maori Affairs select committee, in support of the Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana and Reputation) Bill.
In Maori he told MPs of the shame endured by Mokomoko who maintained his innocence or any involvement in the crime.
"It was during the ensuing years of his conviction - the earlier generations, that the ripple effect on the whanau was felt with the most extreme prejudice; resentment, anger, even hatred.
"This prejudice had such a profound effect on our whanau that many living today still feel and carry the shame that was bestowed upon the earlier generations."
A pardon was granted in 1992. It was linked to 1988 legislation that, while not directly about the crime, pardoned three Ngati Awa men whose character, mana and reputation were restored after they too "were arrested, tried and labelled as rebels".
Mokomoko wasn't mentioned. Instead four years later Governor-General, Dame Cath Tizard granted the pardon on the grounds that it was "just and expedient".
No mention was made of him not committing the crime.
And that's the rub still for Mr Biddle.
"That's what we're fighting against now, it shouldn't be just an ordinary pardon."
The chief's bones were repatriated from Mt Eden Prison in 1988 and reburied beyond the marae. It's a high spot above flat fields that give way first to the sea and then to White Island on the horizon.
The current bill is unlike any other piece of legislation passed before in New Zealand. That's acknowledged by the committee chairman, Tau Henare, who told the descendants there was still time for changes to be made before its final passage into law.
"I don't think I'm getting ahead of myself ... but what you want you'll most probably get. I have a funny feeling that we may break a few rules on the way.
"To put it into context ... it has ramifications outside of our own country and I think we should get it as right as possible.
"This is about not only the Crown taking responsibility for its actions but acknowledging and trying to restore what was taken away."
It is important that the bill is struck in te reo Maori for the Te Whanau a Mokomoko Leadership Group, and there is still work to be done on the preamble.
The group wants it to reflect the whole history of what occurred and its ramifications.
In September 1865 a Crown force of 500 men arrived in the settlement to arrest Mokomoko and others the Crown thought to be responsible for the death.
Historians from the Office of Treaty settlements write: "The Crown force was involved in skirmishes with Te Whakatohea and other tribes in which people were killed, livestock seized and property destroyed. Mokomoko surrendered in October 1865 to stop the persecution of his people, but he maintained he was not one of those responsible for the earlier killings.
"The Crown considered that Te Whakatohea and other Bay of Plenty tribes had been in rebellion and, in 1866, confiscated approximately 448,000 acres [181,300ha]. It appears that Te Whakatohea had interests in over 100,000 acres of this land."
Karen Mokomoko was young when the bones were bought home. She told the committee, "We were run off our land and had to hide and treated like dogs."
Outside, Ms Mokomoko said dealing with the Government over the issue in the past few years had been easier because attitudes had softened.
"They seem to understand our mamae [hurt] and they seem to identify with our history ... and they're willing to support us."
Who is Carl Volkner to the wider whanau?
Mr Biddle says there isn't a question that the German missionary went bravely to his death.
"It was done by [Pai Marire missionary] Kereopa [Te Rau]. You always get a rebel and I can't tar [Pai Marire followers] with the same brush."
But the government of the day, he believes, is equally culpable because the tragedy was linked to the work (Tau Henare called it spying) that the missionary undertook on its behalf.
"All they were interested in was getting the economic base and getting the land for the colonists who were queuing up to come to New Zealand."
The group would like to meet other Te Whakatohea hapu and neighbouring tribes who he believes benefited from Mokomoko's demise through land acquisitions.
It is unfair to name them, Mr Biddle says, but he also wants to meet those who still unfairly blame Mokomoko for the confiscations. It is something that will have to be broached sensitively.
"So long as we can acknowledge and respect one another's korero we can move on. We have to be humble about it.
"It's how you put the truth. You don't put the truth to belittle anyone ... who are we to judge and who are we to condemn?"
"That way we can heal. I think Mokomoko would be happy."
The killing
On March 2, 1865, German missionary Reverend Carl Sylvius Volkner was slain at Opotiki. He was hung from a willow tree by his own congregation near the church Te Whakatohea had built for him.
The Church Missionary Society priest had lived among Te Whakatohea since 1861 in a period of complex intertribal politics against the background of the land wars. Letters indicate he was an informer for Governor George Grey.
Volkner, who had been in Auckland in January 1865, ignored warnings to stay away from Opotiki. He arrived on March 1 and was killed the next day, after praying and shaking hands with his killers.
He was decapitated and his blood tasted. Kereopa Te Rau, a follower of the Pai Marire religion (known to the British at the time as Hauhau from their warcry) forced out the eyes and swallowed them.
Te Whakatohea chief Mokomoko denied responsibility for the killing, claiming he was present neither when the decision was made to kill Volkner nor at the slaying.
However, witnesses at his trial in Auckland claimed Mokomoko was in the procession and carried the rope.
* Sources: Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Articles by Evelyn Stokes and Tairongo A
This PRIMARY SOURCE text has come from:
The Australian News for Home Readers

Saturday 23 June 1866Page 16

. Horomona Poropiti and Mikaere Kirimangu werehanged at the Mount Eden Stookade, on the 17thMay, for the murders of Mr Fnlloon and a seaman'Ned,' of the Kate; and
Mokomoko, Heremita
Kahnpaea nil Hakaraia to Rahai were hanged forthe murder of the' Rev. '-V S.*
Volkner. . ~ ;We fervently hope that this awful tragedy mayclose the inany terrible events : of the last threeyears in New Zealand. .Much- has been said andwritten of , the ' justice or injustice of punishing theshookiqg crimes committed by the natives since theslaughter at Oakura as murders ; and we believe thatthe majority of the colonists condemn tho Governmentfor issuing the proclamation by which pardon was proclaimed to tho perpetrators of all but a very few ofthose murders. At all events, we have not erred onthe score' of our Beve :ity. But every,' one could seethat this! yielding to what was considered to be the.native idea of what was war, and what murder,mast 8top Bomewhere. 'No one, either native ,orEuropean, e-vor said that the hanging of Mr Volkneron the willow tree at GpotiJdwds^anght ' but amurder of the most fearful atrocity. The slaughterof the passengers and crew of the Kate, at Whaka'tane, was also an event which the utmost stretch ofmerciful feeling could not look on as au act of war.For these two orimos five'Maories suffered thopenalty of death, and may the lesson be rightlyread' by the native race. , '' . .. -;On* Wednesday : afternoon the' condemned menwere visited by Mr George Graham, who receivedfrom Hakaraia and Heremita, a distinct acknowledgment that they were guilty of the murder of' MrVolkoer, and deserved to die. Mokomoko solemnlyprotested his innocence. Mokomoko had never beenbaptised, and on Wednesday evening .that rite wasperformed on him in his cell by the Rev. Mr Baker,after lengthened conversations on religion. Eoromono and Mokomoko made their wills, and theothers wrote letters to their friends. Mokomokofrequently Bpoke of his innocence, and said severaltimes, .' If you conld get one European to Bay thatI had anything to do with the rope that hang MrVolkner, I would gladly die.' Horomona said, ' Igave no directions at Whokatane that the Europeans?should be killed ; all I wanted was peace.' Horomonafrequently said he could not see why the Governor hadresolved, to hang him, whilo he took- Te Ua about thecountry. When told that Te Ua had not committedany act of mnrder, nor instigated any, so far asknown, Horomona said, 'I have not committedany.' The Rev. Mr Grace continued with the nnfortunate men till eight o'clock on Wednesday night,and at that hour he and Father Macdonald left thegaol. . Throughout the night- the cells were occasionally visited by Mr Tuckwoll, who states that allthe prisoners' slept, and some of them for the greaterpart of the night. When the morning dawned, theygot np and prayed. Fathers Macdonald and d'Akermann arrived at the gaol about six o'clock, and theRev. Mr Manneell at seven. Mr George Grahamalso came at daylight, and to him Mokomoko saidthat he hoped the Ngatiawaa would not profit by hisdeath, by getting possession of ^ his ; land. Heagain asserted his innocence of the death of MrVolkner. He was very anxious that his body shouldbe given np to . his relatives. On this matter weunderstand that several natives now in Auckland,who are connected with Mokomoko, on the daybefore yesterday, made application to the sheriff tohave the body given up to them immediately afterthe execution. They urged that in several casesthe bodies of European malefactors had been givennp, and instanced the recent case of Stack. ? 'Thesheriff, we understand, refused, telling the applicants of the excitement which had been caused inKaipara when the body of Ruarangi was takenthere. They were much disappointed, but saidthey would apply to the Government; and get thebody, a year hence. This denial was of course kept?eoret from Mokomoko, who died in the hope thathis body might not be buried within the gaol.All the five said they were quite ready to die.Kirimaogn has spoken little since 'Mb doom'was fixed. He was 'apparently in 'the last, stage ofconsumption, and was attenuated to a degree thatthose who did not see him could hardly credit. .Thepersons within the gaol assembled in the front of -Horomona while Mr Scotter took off the chains,and the old prophet recognised several persons, andheld out his hand ! te Mr Hamilton, phrenologist,who some time ago examined his head. He salutedall the people several times, and after him cameMokomoko, who appeared' much excited. His features seemed much distorted' with his emotions,and the muBolea . of his face weie twitching - in away painful to look at. He sainted the peoplemuoh . in the same way, and returned to hiscell to pray. At eight o'clock the sheriff
went to the cells, and Horomona was broughtout by Mr Tuokwell. He was rapidly pinioned, Dr. Maunsell reading prayers beside himthe while, and he making the responses. The8 line woe done with
Mokomoko, and both steppedoil of the corridor. The prophet kept praying ina steady monotonous tone, bnt . Mokomoko, as soona i be get our, cried excitedly, ?? Tena - koutou, napikeha!' Then turning to the range of cells inw lich were the prisoner whoso, sentences had beencommuted — ' Bei kouti ra, e te ao mammal'( 'Salutations, pakehas ; ' 'I leave you, mypuoplo;' 'I leave yon, world of- light.') Mokomoko continued to speak to the assembly. Horomona stopped in his prayer,- and, turning to hiscompanion, said, 'why do you not pray'? Mokomoko answered, ''What is the use of it'? andwhen Horomona resumed his proyer, Mokomokocried out loudly, 'He aba! he aba 1' Then,calming down somewhat, he said, 'Fare-well, you pakehas ! I die without a crime ;i\ is not right that 1 should die.' Daring this time the executioner was adjusting theropes, and atrnpping the legs .of both men; and Ho-,1 romona wes prayinfi extempore in most appropriatelmgniigw, apparently unmoved by the conduct ofMokomnlcn. Dr.' Muunsell Blood between them onthe sn.'iftold. At length the holt wos drawn, andboth full heavily, both bein^t weighty men. Horomona si-ennui to dio »t once, and Mokomoko apparently buffered Iml little. . It wis a quarter-pasteight hy this thno; anil shortly thereafter, thoouter three, who wero attended by Roman CatholicP -lostf, uume cut to got tluir irous off. They didtiut tpuuk, bnt were evidently agitated by intenseemotion, Kirimungu looked guaitly in tho extreme, and uoemed hardly, able to st;nd, Thoconvict yard, where tho 'scaffold was erected, wascleared of all except tho warders and polioo,
while a second executioner put the ropes on a beam.The bodies of Horomona and
Mokomoko werelowered into the coffins prepared for them, andcarried into the outer yard of the goal. The' empty,coffins were then put under the scaffold. These'preparations were completed about a quarter - pastnine o'olook, when the sheriff went to the cells.Heremita and Hakaraia came ' at once when called,bnt Kirimangu seemed loth to come ' to his death.He stumbled feebly out of the cell at last, and wentabreast of the other two, who had halted in the yardfor him to come np. Heremita and Hakaraia devoutlyresponded to the prayers of the Father, but Kirimangu seemed almost unable to open his lips.When they got on the scaffold, Hakaraia bowed rerpeatedly to the people, . saying, .' Tena koutou, napakeho.' Heremita followed his ? example, andbowed several times.* Kirimangu shut his eyes, andwas in some danger of falling from more weakness,swaying to and fro while tho rope was round hisneck. ' When all was ready, Father M'Dpnald presented the' cross to 'Hakaraia, who kissed it eagerly,as did Heremita. The Father^ then pressed the crossto the pallid lips of Kirimangu, and stepped off thedrop, which aloiost instantly fell. Hakaraira andHeremita, being heavy .men, hung. lifelesB in afew -seconds, but, Kirimangn, from being' solight, struggled for five minutes.. The hang- 1man was sent 'for, 'arid1' extinguished life bythree' vigorous' palls on the legs' of 'the unfor-,tun ate man. ' Several natives were inside the gaol',but they .apparently, felt unable1 to witness thescene of death. ', One only saw tho execution of thelast three men.' Immediately, after the three bodieshad been lowered, -and the coffins taken away,several .workmen commenced to take down the scaffold. Theconviots, amongst whom are the nativeswhose sentences have been commuted, were admittedinto the yard, and Te Hura and the others lookedsadly on the fcaffold, where men had' perished whosoguilt .' was little,' if at all, greater than their own.An inquest was- afterwards held upon the bodies,and a verdict returned accordingly. In the afternoon the bodies were buried within the precinctsof. the gaol, in a large hole six feet deep and tenfeet wide, and covered with quick lime.