Story: Memorials and monuments

Monument to Rāwiri Puhirake

Monument to Rāwiri Puhirake

This image of a Māori fighter giving sustenance to a fallen British soldier is on the pedestal of a monument to Ngāi Te Rangi leader Rāwiri Puhirake, the victor of the battle of Gate Pā in April 1864. The monument was unveiled over Puhirake's grave in the mission cemetery in Tauranga on the 50th anniversary of his death in fighting at Te Ranga, several months after Gate Pā. Money for the memorial was raised by local Māori, and the government provided a pound-for-pound subsidy.

The image was intended to pay tribute to Puhirake's conduct during the battle. The inscription noted that the monument commemorated his 'chivalrous and humane orders for the protection of unarmed or wounded men who fell into the hands of the Maoris, and for the respectful treatment of the bodies of any of their enemies slain in battle ... The seeds of better feelings between the races thus sown on the battlefield, have since borne ample fruit, disaffection has given place to loyalty, and hostility to friendship, British and Maori living together as one united people.'

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photographs by Jock Phillips

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Memorials and monuments - Memorials to the New Zealand wars', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/32527/monument-to-rawiri-puhirake (accessed 24 January 2020)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 26 Mar 2015