Redress for grievances
In 1990 the Waitangi Tribunal began hearing the claims of Taranaki tribes relating to the land confiscations of the 1860s. The tribunal’s report, published in 1996, found that ‘Taranaki Māori were dispossessed of their land, leadership, means of livelihood, personal freedom, and social structure and values’. 1
The historical treaty claims of the Taranaki iwi were settled in 2015. The settlement included commercial and financial redress valued at $70 million, and a cultural fund of $55,633. Twenty-nine Crown-owned sites were vested in Taranaki iwi, and taonga tūturu, fisheries and conservation protocols were established with relevant government departments.
Tribal organisation and enterprise
In the 2013 census, 6,087 people identified themselves as belonging to the Taranaki tribe. The main hapū (sub-tribes) are Ngāti Tairi, Ngā Mahanga, Ngāti Moeahu, Ngāti Haupoto and Waiotama, Ngāti Tuhekerangi, Ngāti Tara, Ngāti Kahumate, Ngāti Tamarongo, Ngāti Haumia, Ngāi Wetenga, Titahi and Ngāti Tamaahuroa.
Aside from Parihaka and its many marae, the main marae in the tribal region are at Ōakura, Puniho, Pōtaka, Orimupiko and Ōeo.
Tribal initiatives include the retention of the language, traditions and customs of the Taranaki people.
The settlement of Parihaka was a model of Māori autonomy in the 19th century, blending European innovation with traditional Māori values. By the end of the 1870s it had a permanent population of about 1,500, including people from Taranaki and Whanganui tribes. Parihaka had its own bank, and police to keep order. A large area of land was cultivated, and modern agricultural equipment such as reaping and threshing machines were used. The inhabitants harvested, hunted and gathered food to feed their many visitors.
Parihaka remains a potent symbol of non-violent protest. From the 1970s the settlement grew in size and received many visitors, both Māori and Pākehā, including trade unionists, artists, writers and historians. During the summer of 2000–2001 an exhibition at the City Gallery in Wellington brought together 120 years of art, poetry and songs about Parihaka. A book from the exhibition, Parihaka: the art of passive resistance, was joint winner of New Zealand’s premier book award in 2001.
In 2018 a $9 million reconciliation package for the people of Parihaka was finalised. In 2019 a Crown apology for the invasion of Parihaka and the imprisonment of its people, first given in 2017, was passed into law.