Twelve-year old Kia Kingi practises flax weaving beneath the pumpkin-headed statue of John Ballance during the 79-day occupation of Whanganui’s Moutoa Gardens (known as Pākaitore to Māori). The demonstrators believed Ballance – a former Whanganui MP and premier of New Zealand – had encouraged Māori land alienation, so they beheaded him as a symbolic protest. During the occupation the body was also removed from its plinth; the head and body were never recovered. A new bronze statue of Ballance was unveiled outside Whanganui’s civic centre in 2009.
Using this item
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.