2018 marks multiple milestones for Waikato-Tainui
It's a year of milestones for Waikato-Tainui with 2018 marks 160 years since the establishment of the Kīngitanga Movement.
It's also the 100 year anniversary of the imprisonment of more than 100 men who were arrested as conscientious objectors; these were young men who refused to fight in WWI.
Included in this group was the youngest brother of the reigning Māori monarch of the time, King Te Rata.
It was King Tawhiao who decreed that Waikato would never again wage war.
That's why when they were conscripted; many refused to take up arms.
The imprisonment of 111 men was the price they paid, a band that included Te Rauangaanga Mahuta, the youngest brother of King Te Rata.
Te Rauangaanga Mahuta and his fellow conscientious objectors were imprisoned at Narrow Neck.
Attesting officers guessed that he was 20 years at registration but he was only 16.
Waikato historian Tom Roa believes Te Rauangaanga was targeted as a direct attack against King Te Rata and the Kīngitanga movement.
“Tae noa ki te tau 1918, he kaha tōnu te Kīngitanga i roto i te ao Māori. Ko tāku nei tohe me pēhea e te kāwanatanga te takahi i te Kīngitanga ki raro? Mā te māpere i te teina o te Kīngi, mā te māpere i a Waikato-Maniapoto.”
War historian Monty Soutar says there are many stories like this.
“Tō rātou tū e pā ana ki te mana motuhake o Waikato, kāore he raruraru mō tēnā.”
And while Roa agrees, he says this information should be taught in schools.
“Ko te karanga mō ANZAC kei warewaretia, engari ko ētahi mea kua warewaretia kua kore e tirohia. Nō reira ēnei kōrero e kōrero nei tāua me maumahara, me whakaputa.”
The Kīngitanga is currently commemorating their 160th year.