The history of Te Wainuiārua (the upper Whanganui river) was under the spotlight at the NZ Wars symposium, Te Pūtake o te Riri, in Whakatāne this week. Te Korowai o Wainuiārua lead negotiator Chris McKenzie and researcher Edward (Fred) Clark told the story of the Battle of Ohautahi, which set the context for the decimation of the hapū of Te Wainuiārua and Te Manganui-o-te-Ao after they had lived independently for centuries along their rivers. At the two-day symposium at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi indigenous university, Chris also spoke about the opportunity 160 years later to address and redress the consequences of Ohautahi through the settlement negotiations process. Rire rire hau pai mārire.

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