Parihaka Day 

Expect to see these posters out in the streets for Parihaka Day.

100 posters will be available for pick-up from Stillwaters Community House at 327 Willis Street, Pōneke Wellington, from Mon 15 Oct. If you wish to reserve one please text Bronwyn on 022 076 8871.

Tātarakihi – The Children of Parihaka

Tātarakihi will be screening in Wellington on November 3rd. 6:30pm, Wellington Central Baptist, 46-48 Boulcott St.

Tātarakihi – The Children of Parihaka is a documentary from Documentary Edge award-winning producer/director Paora Joseph and executive producer Gaylene Preston.

This film, described by NZ Herald’s Peter Calder as a “modest and affecting road trip doco”, has just completed several sell-out screenings in the New Zealand International Film Festival in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington. Graeme Tuckett of Dominion Post said: “a gentle film, full of compassion. I cannot recommend it highly enough”.

In 2009, a group of Taranaki children were taken on a bus trip to visit the places their ancestors, passive resistors from Parihaka in the 1880s, were imprisoned and forced to labour in. Places like Addington Jail in Christchurch and various buildings and roads they worked on in Dunedin. Along the way, they were welcomed at local marae by descendants of local Maori who supported the prisoners at the time. It was an emotional journey, documented by Paora Joseph’s camera and the children themselves. The narration is by the children, from their writing, poetry, song and art, expressed in a workshop after the journey.

Children, known at Parihaka as “tatarakihi” (cicadas), after their chattering noise, have a special place in the village’s history. In 1881 the children of Parihaka greeted the invading Armed Constabulary with white feathers of peace, in accord with the philosophy of passive resistance taught by their two leaders, Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi.

Producer/director Paora Joseph: “While it recounts days of darkness, Tatarakihi – The Children Of Parihaka carries a sense of restoration and hope, and I hope it enables continued dialogue for understanding and mutual respect of both Maori and Pakeha in the New Zealand we know today.

“This film is dedicated to the memory of all who have carried the kaupapa of passive resistance taught by Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi.”

He waiata tēnei mō Parihaka

J.C. Strum

Have you heard of Parihaka
Maunga Taranaki
And the sea

Where Te Whiti o Rongomai
And Tohu Kakahi
Passive resistance, not war?

Have you heard of Parihaka
Where Taranaki iwi
Seeking a way to keep their land?

Non-violence was their choice
Peace their aim
Raukura their badge
Ploughs their only weapons.

They pulled down fences
Pulled out pegs
Then ploughed whatever
The settlers claimed was theirs.

Have you heard of Parihaka’s
Boys and girls
Waiting outside the gates
When the mounted soldiers came

To rape and murder
Pillage and burn
To take Te Whiti and Tohu away
With all the ploughmen

And ship them south
To build a causeway
Around Dunedin’s
Wintry harbour?

Have you heard of Taranaki iwi
Denied a trial,
Chained like dogs
In sealed caves and tunnels?

Ngāi Tahu smuggled
Food and blankets
To the prisoners
Comforted the sick in the dark.

Kua ngaro ngā tangata
Kua ngaro i te pō!
Auē te mamae
That followed after!

If you haven’t heard of Parihaka,
Be sure
Your grandchildren will
And their children after them,

History will see to that.
But for now,
He waiata tēnei mō Parihaka –
Auē, auē, a-u-ē –

Further reading on Parihaka

The Plunder of Parihaka

Why Wasn’t I Told

A Milestone Day for Parihaka

Government apology to Parihaka

Deed of Reconciliation

Parihaka website

Parihaka Puanga Kai Rau Festival