Heritage & Monuments

Parihaka Memorial

New Zealand / The Pacific

The Parihaka Memorial is on the southwest corner of Pukeahu National War Memorial Park and is a memorial to the prisoners from Parihaka, a Māori settlement in the province of Taranaki, who were held at the now demolished Mount Cook Gaol on their way to prisons in the South Island. Parihaka was the centre of a major campaign of non-violent resistance to European occupation of confiscated land in the area led by prophets Te Whiti-o-Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi. In 1881, 1600 government troops raided the settlement, but were met by hundreds of skipping and singing children offering them food. The main stone of the memorial is symbolic of a prisoner wrapped in a blanket, with a bowed head. Stones were gathered from streams in Taranaki to form the base and represent the prisoners held in Wellington. The white pebble stones inset into the paving refer to the lost genealogy of the men taken who died in the prisons. The spiral also symbolises the journey the prisoners took from Taranaki to the South Island.

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