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Hapu stands up for history in land sale
Troops defend Jury's farmhouse in the Battle of Waireka, by A. H. Messenger.

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A member of Taranaki’s Nga Mahanga-a-Tairi hapu wants any purchaser of a dairy farm just south of New Plymouth to recognise its historic significance as the site of one of the first major battles of the land wars.

The Jury family, which has farmed the land for 170 years, is selling to 152 hectare block.

Dennis Ngawhare says it was part of the Omata Block sold by iwi to Governor George Grey in 1847 as a sign of goodwill.

When shots were fired at Waitara in 1860, elements of Taranaki, Ngati Ruanui and Ngaruahine established a position on the edge of the block where they engaged colonial troops, volunteers and sailors from the Royal Navy ship Niger in what became known as the Battle of Waireka.

Dr Ngawhare says it’s being promoted as suitable for a golf course or resort, but there could be limits on development.

Denis Ngawhare says at an estimated $8 million the land is too expensive for Taranaki to buy, and it falls outside the area that was confiscated.


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