cry the wounded land
- page 2
Ok, one day I was driving along and needed a cup of tea so I pulled over at one of those road side picnic areas and there was a monument there. So I took my cup of tea over and read the monument, as you do.
What did it say, this bit is important.
Well on one side it said ‘Rewi Maniapoto’, that’s all. Just that name. But on the other side it said all about how the British forces under Cameron had fought a great battle there.
Well it seemed a bit weird. I wondered who Rewi Maniapoto was and how come only his name was on the monument and yet the British got a big story. It seemed a bit one-sided somehow. So I grabbed my phone and googled the name of the battle site – Orakau.
And it wasn’t a pretty story.
Tell the story.
Come on God!! Ladies read this.
It’s a story about ladies Mark. The land has cried for ladies and when ladies cry for the land the healing will begin.
See what I mean God! It’s too deep. I don’t know if you really just said that. What if I got the whole Maori protocol thing wrong right there. Are woman even meant to cry for the land?
Everyone is meant to cry for the land – just as the land cries for everyone. Tell the story Mark.
Alright, well the bit that got me was that a few days after the British surrounded the Pa at Orakau, the Maori, including a lot of women and children, left the Pa. They didn’t come out and attack the British they just left.
And the next bit disgusted me God. Made me ashamed to be white. I wondered how come we don’t get taught this stuff at school??
Who writes the text books Mark?
There you go again God! That’s why I don’t want to be
involved in this discussion, it’s highly provocative and you
just make it worse.
Tell the story Mark.
Ok, the British, instead of letting them go, pursued them with a hail of bullets. And then they chased and bayoneted them, including the women and as they lay wounded. At least 160 of the pā’s occupants were killed. Interpreter
William Mair expressed his ‘disgust at the generally obscene and profane behaviour of the troops’.
But that’s not the whole story Mark.
Ok. Well at the end it said that once they’d finished killing, the British then set their sights for Tauranga.
And why did that make you so mad??
Because I know what happened next. When they got to Tauranga the church missionary Arch Deacon Brown invited the senior officers for dinner. I mean God what on earth would the Maori have thought?? The British slaughter their
women and children, and then as is if to celebrate, the leader of the church in Tauranga invites them around for dinner!
Does that sound like the revelation of the sons of God that the land is waiting for Mark?
You don’t even need to ask God. It wasn’t just the government and the army involved in the slaughter of women and children - but the church was involved
too. If I was a Maori I would have cursed the church and commanded my descendants never to set foot in it.
Yes but the Maori didn’t did they?
No. That’s what makes the story even worse somehow.
Because the Maori chief in Tauranga, I can’t remember his name…
Look up his name. Names should never be forgotten. The land remembers the names. The land holds the innocent and the guilty for a future time.
Oh man God. I’m going to get in trouble for that, and I have no way of defending myself – I don’t even understand what you just said.
What was the Tauranga chief ’s name Mark?
It says he was the Ngai Te Rangi Chief, Rawiri Puhirake.