A Parihaka Timeline


1834 – 1960

The early beginnings of Parihaka can be seen in Warea where Tohu Kākahi and Te Whiti o Rongomai were groomed as young leaders. Warea becomes a large community focused on food cultivation as an economic base. It was a community living in peace under the leadership of Paora Kukutai of Ngāti Moeahu and is supported by Rev. J.F. Riemenschneider.


1860 March

The outbreak of war in Waitara and the attack on Kaipōpō in Ōmata. Many of the leaders of Taranaki Iwi are killed including Paora Kukutai. The people turn to Tohu and Te Whiti for leadership.


1860 – 1861 March

Troops completely destroy Warea and its cultivations. The people establish new peaceful settlements in Ngā Kumikumi and Kekeua, inland between Warea and Pungarehu.


1862 September

Te Ua Haumeene has a vision after the grounding of the Lord Wolsely at Operu, Opunake. This is the beginning of Pai Marire movement that becomes associated with Parihaka


1865 June

Troops attack communities in the Warea area. The people escape to Waikoukou, a small settlement beside Waitotoroa.


1865 December

Te Ua passes the kaupapa of Paimarire to Tohu, Te Whiti, Taikōmako and Motu Tūkirikau


1866 January & February

Waikoukou is attacked. The community led by Tohu and Te Whiti move to Repanga, the home of Taikōmako. They create a community named Parihaka. It is established under explicit declarations of commitment to principles of non-violence, equality and collective action.



Tawhiao sends his tekau mā rua to provide support for Parihaka



In South Taranaki the first of the prisoners are sent to Dunedin from Pakakohi.


1879 March

When surveyors cross the Waingongoro River Parihaka proposes Ngā Ruahine people to peacefully pack up the surveyors equipment and escort them back to the south side of the river. The area of land between Waingongoro and Hangaatahua rivers had not had confiscations enacted prior to this. The people believed these lands would be retained.


1879 June

Ploughmen go out to plough confiscated lands as a demonstration of occupation. The protests begin at Okurukuru to the south of Ngamotu. The ploughing quickly extends to many other regions in Taranaki


1880 January

The Government starts to send the imprisoned protesters from Parihaka to the South Island.


1880 November

The first group of prisoners from the South Island are released.


1881 May

The last group of prisoners from the South Island are released.


1881 November

A large force of more than 1500 armed constabulary and volunteers march on the peaceful community of Parihaka with Bryce, the Minister of Native Affairs, at the head riding a white horse. The order for evacuation is read out to the assembled community with the threat of the use of a canon. At the end of Bryce’s ultimatum not a single person moved and the canon remained silent.



1881 November

Over more than two weeks the constabulary arrested groups of people who were from other regions and forcibly returned them. Because no person responded the process was largely guess work. On the 22nd the last 150 people were removed leaving just 600 people. A system of passes was put in place to stop people from outside entering Parihaka or providing it supplies. Buildings were burnt and demolished and newly planted crops were destroyed. Those who remained faced severe deprivation and ongoing abuse from an occupying force of constabulary based in a fort erected in the community to enforce riot act restrictions of movement. For some time the troops remain on Parihaka.


1883 February

A general amnesty is declared for all Māori prisoners who are released in March. They are however still under threat of being rearrested under the renewed West Coast Peace Preservation Act of August 1883.


1886 July

Te Whiti is rearrested, accused of inciting unlawful behaviour after Taranaki people start to erect make-shift buildings on their confiscated lands. He is jailed for three months and fined 100 pounds.



Te Whiti is once more arrested, sentenced to three months hard labour for a disputed debt of 203 pounds.



Parihaka sees the return of the last prisoners. Many had been imprisoned on multiple occasions for demonstrating opposition to the confiscation of Taranaki’s lands and the forced sale or perpetual leasing of what little land they were allocated.


1907 February 4th

Tohu Kakahi dies


1907 November 18th

Te Whiti o Rongomai dies



Dick Scott publishes his first book centred on Parihaka’s experience, simply named “The Parihaka Story”. This first book did not include much content for Parihaka people.



682 hectares of various Māori blocks associated with Parihaka are amalgamated into ‘Parihaka X’. It is managed under agreement with the Department of Māori Affairs.



Maori Land Court gazettes the Parihaka Reserve is for the descendants, beneficiaries and followers of Eruiti Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi.



Dick Scott publishes his second and more deeply researched account of Parihaka “Ask That Mountain”. This second book included interviews with Parihaka elders, manuscripts and traditional songs composed in those times.


1981 November

The Parihaka X blocks are returned over to the management of Parihaka owners


1980s and 90s

Parihaka begins to emerge with a national and international profile. This includes: the film ‘Parihaka – A Photographic Survey’ is launched in 1981, the National Work Co-ops hui in 1985, Te Ataarangi national hui in 1990, Ngā Puna Waihanga hui in 1994.



Hazel Riseborough publishes a detailed analysis of Taranaki history, named “Days of Darkness: Taranaki 1878-1884”



The acclaimed exhibition on Parihaka opens at the Wellington Art Gallery, “Parihaka: The Art of Passive Resistance”. The exhibition book, by Te Miringa Hohaia and the Wellington City Council, received a Montana Book Award.


2006 to 2010

Large crowds attend the annual Parihaka International Peace Festival, a three-day event guided by Te Miringa Hohaia.

2000 to Present

International guests are hosted at Parihaka from the Ghandi, King and Ikaeda foundation. In 2005 the United Nations special rapporteur Rodolfo Stavenhagen attends Parihaka meeting to investigate human rights issue to safe guard the rights of indigenous people. Rachel Buchanan’s book ‘The Parihaka Album’ is published in 2010. ‘Witnessing Parihaka’, a semi-staged orchestral performance, composed by Stephen Matthews, opens at the Aotea Centre in May 2011. The first annual Parihaka Puanga Kai Rau Festival is held in 2011 and the same year the film, ‘Tatarakihi-The Children of Parihaka’, directed by Paora Joseph and produced by Janine Martin is launched.