Story: Public protest

Hōne Heke's protest

Hōne Heke's protest

In July 1844 Ngāpuhi chief Hōne Heke organised the felling of the flagpole above Kororāreka (later Russell) in a protest about unfulfilled promises of British colonisation. He had gifted the flagpole so that the United Tribes' flag could be flown, but following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi the Māori flag was replaced by the Union Jack, to Heke’s displeasure. After his initial attack, the pole was re-erected, but Heke chopped it down again. When it was felled for a third time, the new flagstaff was clad in iron. During Heke’s attack on Kororāreka in March 1845 the pole was cut down for a fourth and final time. This 1908 painting depicts the fourth felling.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-004-037
Photolithograph by Arthur David McCormick

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Public protest - Destructive and violent protests', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 August 2022)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Jul 2015