Story: Ngā rōpū tautohetohe – Māori protest movements

Lake Ōnoke shovel party

Lake Ōnoke shovel party

A group of men prepare to dig a channel to allow Lake Ōnoke in southern Wairarapa to drain into the sea. In 1886 local Pākehā formed the Ruamāhanga River Drainage Board to open the lake entrance and prevent flooding. This was opposed by Māori, who relied on the lake for food resources. In 1892 a group of Māori led by Piripi Te Maari-o-te-rangi attempted to stop the opening of the lake entrance. Following the death of Te Maari-o-te-rangi in 1895, Lakes Ōnoke and Wairarapa were gifted to the government by Wairarapa Māori.

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Alexander Turnbull Library, Martinborough Museum Collection
Reference: PAColl-9424-3

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:

Basil Keane, 'Ngā rōpū tautohetohe – Māori protest movements - Historic Māori protest', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 July 2024)

Story by Basil Keane, published 20 Jun 2012, reviewed & revised 11 Jan 2023