Topic: The Kaiapohia Memorial

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The Kaiapohia memorial to the Ngai Tahu people massacred by Te Rauparaha in 1832, also known as the Tiki

The memorial was designed by Samuel Hurst Seager (1855-1933) in 1897 in consultation with Canon James West Stack (1835-1919) and Ngāi Tahu. Charles Kidson (1867-1908) was the stone carver. The foundation stone was laid by Stack on 20 Oct. 1878 and it was unveiled on Easter Monday 1899 by the then Premier of New Zealand, Richard John Seddon (1845-1906). This monument stands on the site of Kaiapohia, the first pā established by the Ngāi Tahu tribe after crossing from the North Island to this district of the South Island. It is a wheku-topped, stark white column bearing the simple words Ngai Tahu.

"The monument itself some 40 ft high, is a conspicuous object discernible from the road a mile away. The tall shaft is surmounted by the tiki, emblematic of the guardian atua of the tribe. Underneath is a grotto, elaborately adorned with representations of Maori carvings, while curved walls guard the approach to the grotto, the ends of which are also surmounted with Maori figures. The grotto contains a brass tablet with a Maori inscription, of which the following is a translation: This monument stands on the site of Kaiapoi as a memorial of the first pah founded by the Ngai-tahu after their invasion of this, the Waipunamu from Aotearoa. Tu Rukautahi and his tribes founded this pah and he named it Te Kohanga O Kaihai a waru. His descendants named it Kaiapoi; it was the capital of the Ngai Tahu tribe. Unveiled April 3rd, 1899"

The Press, 4 Apr. 1899, p. 5


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The Kaiapohia Memorial

Location :Preeces Road,
City:near Woodend