In 2007 builders constructing new classrooms at Tolaga Bay primary school uncovered more than 40 graves and remnants of missionary buildings from the 1840s. The settlement was thought to have been established by the Reverend Charles Baker, who settled in the area in 1843. Many of the bodies that were exhumed were children and young adults, who probably died from introduced diseases like smallpox and influenza.
The kōiwi (human remains) were subsequently reburied in a community ceremony. In this photo school student Arai Parata-Walker (right) hands one of the wahakura kōiwi to teacher Rawiri Coleman to be interred in a mass grave.
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Tolaga Bay Area School & Kuranui
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