TODAY |

Australia commemorates New Zealand Land Wars for first time


A service was held today in Sydney's Hyde Park, where indigenous leaders, politicians and Defence Force personnel paid their respects to those who lost their lives in the armed conflicts in the New Zealand Land Wars of the 1800s..

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A service was held in Sydney’s Hyde Park. Source: 1 NEWS

The service was the first time Australia has commemorated the New Zealand Land Wars. 

"In Australia there a lot of Māori living here, it's very important for them to to not only know who they are and where they came from but to learn the history of the place they came from," said Sydney based kaumātua, George Clarke.

The Land Wars occurred between 1845 and 1872 when New Zealand's colonial government clashed with Māori in several armed conflicts.

Troops were summoned from overseas.

Two and a half thousand Australian men enlisted in return for land grants and around a thousand women and children joined them and settled in New Zealand.

"It's important to remember and commemorate the New Zealand Land Wars because they're an important part of New Zealand history," said Bill Dobbie, Consul-General for New South Wales and Queensland.

Doris Cope, a Sydney-based kuia said, "I think we can never let go of the past, the past is important to us as a nation of people. Those of us who live in Australia need to learn how to keep these ties."

Indigenous leaders in Australia are asking Australia's Government to do the same.

"It's because of the Treaty of Waitangi that New Zealand are way in front of us and I would like children to have choice, but part of your basic subjects besides maths, English and science has got to be your history and that means your accurate history," said David Williams, from Aboriginal and Torres strait Islanders Veterans Association.