GUEST BLOG: Hone Harawira – MAY 1, 1979 – HE TAUA DAY


We didn’t take any pictures on the day. Too busy educating those engineering students.

But here’s a couple of before and after shots –
1. Hilda fronting the Engineers ‘Haka Party” in 1978,
2. Some of those who ended up in court for sorting the racist bastards out – In the back: James Pasene, Arthur Harawira; in the front: Zena Tamanui, Lennie Nukunuku, Kingi Tangira, Ben Dalton, Hinewhare Harawira, Hone Harawira.

Long time ago now, but the recent play ‘The Haka Party Incident’ gave us the chance to catch up again.

We’ve lost a few since then, and I think of them often and I still miss them heaps. We’ve also met a lot since then and I value every single one of you for what you have added to my life.

Nga mihi ra

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  1. Well, All I can say is Maori/ British politics is so convoluted , and time worn,- it is hard to see the forest from the trees sometimes, … but rest assured, in many cases certain tribes came out the worst for wear because of it. One time, travelling in a courier van with an ex Black Power member I was appalled at housing suburbs being built over the Gate Pa.

    To me, … that was sacred ground as is the field of the battle of Hastings in England to the English.

    He was typically stoic. Yet my blood boiled.

    He is /part Maori , I was a fair haired Norse/Scots descendant New Zealander with an olive skin nonetheless ( now I’m grey haired both beard and hair ) …it just struck me as all so wrong and sacrilegious.

    Similar to carving a bloody road right through the battle pa at Rangariri,… I’m saying people died there,…on both sides, – so who the bloody hell ticked that off as if those people who lost their lives there didn’t matter?!!? That was /still is / sacred ground to the people on both sides who lost their lives there in combat.

    And that’s what goes on in this country.

    ”I’m alright Jack”.

    Well that’s not good enough.

    The economic land base of so many tribes was taken / stolen from them by stealth, intrigue and by brute force. Similar to the Native Americans, similar to the Australian Aborigines.

    And all I can post is this song:

    Let’s Give It Back

  2. He Taua Day has certainly echoed down the years, in unexpected ways probably for those there on the day. It continued the thread of direct action by Māori. Occupations and fight back over stolen land revived in the 70s as it became clear that arrogant post colonial assimilation and “urban drift” Govt. policies were a major fail.

    Well done Hone, first met you in the late 70s South Auckland car industry when you still drank Lion Red!–a long time ago–and you have done something important every year since, often in the Māori world that few pākehā have much of a clue about. And of course now the increasingly famous Tai Tokerau Rugby League Competition…

  3. Thank you Hone for this timely reminder of a very recent event. Can we hope that pakeha NZ is at last starting to understand our racist history?

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