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Ed Sheeran

Iwi recalls hanging of Hamiora Pere

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Aitanga a Māhaki and Ngāti Kahungunu hapū Ngāi Tahu Matawhaiti are gathering at Iwitea north of Wairoa tomorrow to remember Hamiora Pere, who was hanged in Wellington exactly 150 years ago for treason.

Pere was one of five Māori men captured after the siege of Ngātapa who were convicted of murder and treason.

His story has featured in two novels, Witi Ihimaera’s The Matriarch and Maurice Shadbolt’s Season of the Jew.

Willie Te Aho, a descendant of Pera’s sister, says the government made an example of him, even though there doubts were raised whether he was a willing member of Te Kooti’s forces or had taken part in any murders.

“They wanted to send the fear of god into people that their long arm would still reach them. Clearly we’ve heard the stories of Rua Kenana but this is a step further in that they, like Mokomoko, executed an innocent man and it was just to make an example out of him,” Mr Te Aho says.

The whānau will discuss whether it should seek some justice and pardon for Hamiora Pere as part of the Te Aitanga a Māhaki historical claim.

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