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Source: New Zealand Government

The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have announced.

“The Provincial Growth Fund investment will be used to improve infrastructure, create up to 130 jobs and provide a visitor centre to house traditional and modern tāonga to educate visitors about the history of Parihaka,” Shane Jones said.

The settlement of Parihaka was established in 1866 for iwi Māori disenfranchised from their whenua. Led by Tohu Kākahi and Te Whiti-o-Rongomai, the people used peaceful resistance to challenge the validity of land confiscation and forced sales by the settler government.

“The events on November 5, 1881 when the settlement was attacked by Crown troops and occupied in a violent invasion caused generations of grief for the whanau of Parihaka,” Shane Jones said.

“When the Crown apologised in 2017 for this shocking episode in our history, its sincerest hope was that Parihaka and the Crown could acknowledge their shared past, move beyond it, and begin to work together to fulfil the vision of peaceful co-existence that Tohu and Te Whiti described.

“It is now our hope that this investment will go some way towards achieving this vision. Parihaka is remains a vital symbol of non-violent action and our shared heritage. All New Zealanders should know its story and this project will help tell that story,” Shane Jones said.

Andrew Little welcomed the additional support.

“This funding will make the story of Parihaka accessible to more New Zealanders, and help continue the journey towards a better understanding of our history,” Andrew Little said.

Infrastructure improvements will include a new visitor centre, a new bridge, carpark and a large space for wānanga, conferences, workshops and tour groups. New walking access through the wider papakāinga will provide a safer experience with minimal disruption to residents.

The visitor facility will house taonga and an exhibition of the Parihaka story, told by the people of Parihaka. Retail space and a café will also be built.

“This investment offers residents opportunities for the eventual restoration of the Parihaka community’s economic, cultural and social wellbeing,” Shane Jones said.

MIL OSI