Te Ua Haumēne
A new religion, founded by Te Ua Haumēne, emerged from the conflict over land in Taranaki. Te Ua had been captured by Waikato in a raid on Taranaki in 1826, and was subsequently exposed to missionary teachings. In the 1850s he joined Māori opposition to land sales, and he fought against the government in 1860. Te Ua’s understanding of Christianity and his belief in the need for Māori to retain land fused in September 1862, when he had a vision of the Archangel Gabriel commanding him to lead his people in casting off the yoke of the Pākehā. The angel promised him that the birthright of Israelites (the Māori people) would be restored in the land of Canaan (New Zealand) following a day of deliverance in which the unrighteous would perish.
The Hauhau (Pai Mārire) faith
Te Ua called his church Hauhau, because Te Hau – the breath of God – carried the news of deliverance to the faithful. Although the founding principle of the faith was pai mārire (goodness and peace), it was subverted by violent elements, much to the disappointment of some of its members, who included Te Matakātea and Te Whiti-o-Rongomai. As the prophets of the faith travelled around the North Island between 1864 and 1867 to spread its teachings, they were drawn into armed conflict with government forces. The Hauhau faith, however, was to influence the development of other Māori religious movements, and it has survived into the 21st century.
From the mid-1860s Parihaka, a Māori settlement in the Taranaki tribal area, became the centre of a peaceful resistance movement. The movement involved not only other Taranaki tribes, but Māori from a number of tribes around the country. Its leaders, Te Whiti-o-Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi, were of both Taranaki and Te Āti Awa descent. The confiscation of land was now the central problem faced by Taranaki Māori, and under Te Whiti’s leadership a new approach to this issue was developed: non-violent resistance to European settlement of confiscated land.
In 1879, when the government started surveying confiscated land on the Waimate plain, followers of Te Whiti began disrupting surveys and ploughing and fencing land occupied by settlers. Many were arrested and held without trial in the South Island, but the protests intensified. In November 1881, the government sent a force of over 1,500 troops to Parihaka. Most of its inhabitants were arrested or driven away, and the village was largely demolished. Te Whiti and Tohu were imprisoned without trial until 1883. In their absence, Parihaka was rebuilt. Ploughing campaigns continued until the late 1890s, as did the imprisonment of Parihaka protesters without trial.