A Pa (fortified village) whose sacking in 1881 was arguably the darkest hour in New Zealand race relations. Founded by Te Whiti, Tohu and others in Taranaki near Cape Egmont it drew it's population of about 2500 mainly from those dispossessed by the Maori Land Wars. The Taranaki Medical Officer said it ``is the cleanest pa I have ever visited ... The inhabitants are the finest race of men I have ever seen in NZ.''

Over a period of several months the government arrested many Maori who were engaged in peaceful protest, holding them for long periods without trial. On the morning of November 4, 1881 the entire population was arrested. They were later dispersed into other parts of Taranaki (their ``proper homes'') and released. They returned to the site and rebuilt the Pa.

From http://hammer.prohosting.com/~penz/encycl/p1encyc.htm:

Historian Keith Sinclair speculates that the government also wanted to break Parihaka because Te Whiti preached not only pacificism but also independence from the Pakeha. Te Whiti had a lot of mana and his influence was growing throughout Taranaki. The government was worried that this belief in independence would also spread.
The government's actions were in clear breach of the Treaty of Waitangi, it showed that the government had no intention of abiding by the requirements of the Treaty and was bent on the destruction of Maori culture and the assimilation of the Maori people.


http://www.eastag.co.nz/waitangi/index.html contains some very interesting primary source documents on this period of New Zealand history.

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