Story: Public protest

Ballance beheaded

Ballance beheaded

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

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1995/0789/15a
Photograph by Phil Reid

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 - Sit-ins and occupations', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/35094/ballance-beheaded (accessed 24 August 2019)

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