Story: Waikato region

Statue unveiling

In 1988 a statue representing Polynesian navigator Kupe in iron shackles with two taniwha at his feet was unveiled at Whāingaroa by the Māori queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu. The statue commemorated the 10th anniversary of the arrest of 17 demonstrators, led by Eva Rickard, who were protesting against the use of tapu land for a golf course. At the unveiling, 17 keys were presented to the 17 people arrested, so they could symbolically cast off the chains of the past. As Kupe Rickard explains, the protest, which drew national attention to grievances about Māori land, was ultimately successful.

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Waikato region - Te Kīngitanga, 1880 onwards', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/video/27168/statue-unveiling (accessed 18 August 2019)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, updated 9 Jul 2015