Ko Te Irihanga tētahi papa kāinga i raro o Whakamarama, i anea i te wā o Te Weranga ki Taumata i te tau 1867. Hīkaka katoa ana ngā hōia o te Rōpū Hōia 12 o Piritana i runga i tā rātou i pōhēhē ai ko tā te whakapono Pai Mārire he akiaki i ngā kaiwhakatuma, ngā kairiri rānei. Ka ārahina e rātou tahi ko te Rōpū Hōia Tuatahi o Waikato, ko Te Arawa hoki i runga i te taritari a Gilbert Mair, i Te Weranga ki Taumata. Nā rātou tahi i whakamahi i te kaupapa here rongonui te Kaupapa Here Tahu Whenua. Ahakoa he torutoru noa iho ngā taunakitanga i kitea e whai take ai tēnei mahi, he maha tonu ngā papa kāinga me ngā ngakinga mai i Whakamarama ki Waoku i anea.
He mea whakamahi te whakakitenga nei a Irihanga i ngā tohu ara 150 hei whakaatu i te nui o ngā tau kua hori nō te rirohanga o te papa kāinga Te Irihanga. He mea tohu hoki ēnei i te āhua o ngā whenua i ngā wao o Kaimai, o Hautere hoki, i noho hei whakamarumaru mō ngā hōia a Mair i a rātou e karore ana i tētahi whenua kāore i mōhiotia. Ko ngā whakaahua tata o ngā tipu taketake o ngā pae maunga Kaimai ka hāpai i te whakaahuatanga o te apiapi o te whawhai i kawea i taua wao. Ko tā te pūrākau whakamārama, tērā i tuhia e Matariki Williams, e pānuhia ana e Geraldine Hinemoa Reweti, he whakatīna i te tū o ngā hapū Kīngitanga o Ngāti Ranginui hei kaikawe i ōna kōrero.
Te Irihanga was a settlement below Whakamarama, near Tauranga City, that was destroyed during the Tauranga Bush Campaign of 1867. Ignited by an illusion that the growing Pai Marire faith encouraged rebels or aggressors, a military force of the British 12th Regiment led the Tauranga Bush Campaign, along with the colonial First Waikato Regiment and Te Arawa recruited by Gilbert Mair. Together they employed the infamous Scorched Earth Policy. Although there is little evidence to justify such extreme measures, this campaign saw numerous Māori settlements and cultivations from Whakamarama to Waoku destroyed.
The exhibition Irihanga, which means to suspend or to hang, employs 150 trail markers to signify the years passed since the settlement Te Irihanga was devastated. They also indicate the geographical knowledge of the Kaimai and Hautere Forests that provided safety from Mair’s troops who were in unfamiliar territory. The close-up shots of fauna endemic to the Kaimai Ranges aid the portrayal of the confined proximity of fighting that took place in the bush. The narrative, written by Matariki Williams and read by Geraldine Hinemoa Reweti, positions Ngāti Ranginui Kingitanga hapu as the active protagonists in our own narratives.
HD Moving Image with sound 3:00, plastic trail markers
- 2017 Tauranga Art Gallery, Tauranga.