The first national commermorations of the New Zealand Land Wars has taken place over the weekend in the Bay of Islands.
In attendance was Crown/Maori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis, Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni and Associate Maori Development Minister Willie Jackson.
Mr Davis said it is the first time a national commemoration has recognised the New Zealand Wars, which led to the loss of 3000 lives across the country.
Ngapuhi hosted the three day commemoration, Te Putake o Te Riri which translates to "the reason for anger" in preparation for the 173rd anniversary of the battle of Kororareka which falls today.
"Today marks the 173rd anniversary of the battle at Kororāreka. This conflict and those that followed had enormous impacts on the families and communities involved on both sides," Mr Davis said.
"Through the commemoration we gain a deeper understanding of the Northern War and the other wars that collectively shaped relationships between Māori and the Crown."
"An important part of any relationship is that it is based on mutual understanding and respect for each other. In order to understand who we are as a nation it is vital that we recognise and learn about our past and the events that shaped who we are today," he said.
The battle of Kororareka happened on March 11, 1845, near the famous site where Hone Heke cut down the flag pole which public were able to visit this weekend along with other battle sites from the Northern wars.