Patumahoe Village Inc and St Brides Anglican Church in collaboration with local Iwi would like to invite you to join us on a Historic Walk & Commemoration of the Battle of Titi Hill 150 years ago.
When: Sunday October 20th, 1.00 – 4.00pm
Where: Park at Bald Hill Rd on the side of the road along from Number 55 next to the cypress hedge. Parking signs will be put in place as a visual guide. (If you wish to car share, we will be meeting at St Brides Church at 12:40pm to organise seats)
What : The total walking distance is approximately 6km, although shorter and older legs will have the option of smaller routes.
Why: Acknowledgement of the past while building connections into the future. A small programme and history booklet will be handed out on the day, and we welcome contributions to this. Please contact us if you wish to do so.
Titi Hill & Battle site
We will walk around Titi Hill then up to the summit. From here we will walk down to where the main battle took place, close to the main road and close to the cow shed on Brian & Jan Day’s property. There will be a brief recount of events and a blessing. (Those wishing to – can drive around to Brian and Jan Day’s cow shed on the main Waiuku Rd)
Whakaupoko Summit & Old Coach Rd
We will return to Bald Hill Rd and then walk to the summit of Whakaupoko (Bald Hill). From the summit we will return but via the old coach road and visit some historic Pa sites, a small old quarry and see a place where bats live. (You can also drive to the summit).
St Brides Anglican Church
From back at the start we will drive to St Brides Church. Here there will be a brief recount of events at the Church around the time of the battle. We would hope that people remain to share stories of the past and present, and enjoy a late afternoon tea / early evening meal. It is a byo basis for food and drinks. We ask that everyone bring a plate – savoury or sweet – and tea / coffee / water will be provided. There will be a gold coin donation at the St Brides Community Centre.
As time has distanced us from personal involvement – and verification of written and oral histories becomes more difficult – we have both an opportunity and an obligation to view these incidents differently.
To begin – an acknowledgement of the cost to both parties of any violent altercation that results in fatalities, dispossession and more importantly, a break in peaceful communication and community. To continue with the realisation that we can piece together only a fragment of what occurred, and add to this knowledge as best we can, by inviting all to contribute. While Pākehā written histories can be found, they often contradict each other, and are often only reflections of personal perspectives. Māori oral histories were not recorded – or if they have been – have not yet come to light. We would be delighted to have additions to add to our knowledge from both.
From this perspective, the Battle on Titi Hill is one of the more tragic parts of our past that occurred on October 23rd 1863 during the New Zealand Land Wars.
For the Pākehā community – comprised of settlers and militia – there was a loss of eight lives. The names and deaths of these casualties are recorded in written histories and gravestones.
For Māori the cost in lives were significantly more than this – and estimates in various histories range from 16 to 30. However, their losses around this time were far greater. From an area they once owned and worked intensively – they were in effect banished. The few remaining pieces of land they did own were confiscated shortly before the battle. This included 700 acres that now takes in all of the present day village of Patumahoe.
We have been able to view a historical map of this area – referred to as the “Native Reserve”. After confiscation, this area was the beginning of the subdivision of Patumahoe, which continues to this day.
This dispossession of land resulted in a permanent fragmentation of the Māori community that lived here. The official recording of their home as a “Native Reserve” does not give us a name for the iwi or hapu that lived here. Day Road, in living memory was once named Patumahoe Hill Road, so perhaps that is the name of the hill where they resided but we have no confirmation of that.
This event is about building stronger links in our community particularly with local Iwi – Ngāti te Ata & Ngāti Tamaoho who are the remaining iwi in this district. We would like to develop an annual format taking in a physical activity and at the same time exploring more of our past.
The historical incidents that are being recognised all over Franklin, were part of a campaign that is collectively referred to as the New Zealand Wars. From 1860 to 1864 the wars were aimed at dislodging the Māori King Movement, which refused to accept colonial authority, and the acquiring of farming and residential land for English settlers. The 1860s conflicts involved 18,000 British troops and about 4000 Māori warriors and over the course of the Taranaki and Waikato campaigns took the lives of an estimated 800 Europeans and 1800 Māori.
St Brides Anglican Church in Mauku welcome the opportunity to be involved and invite everyone to use their hall for the food and drinks that will follow the commemorative walk.
Be a part of something new….
This is a new approach for all involved – and the format and focus will likely change if – as we hope – it becomes an annual event. Alongside the sadness of commemoration of the loss of lives on both sides, is a fragile celebration of the ability of people to reconnect.
Local Iwi, and St Brides Church are the present representatives of the past players in this story, we invite you all to join them in helping to weave the histories and future of this place together by simply participating in this event.
How you can help
We would love to hear your stories of the past and over time share these within the wider community.
If you are able to offer support on the day let Andrew Sinclair know.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Ph 2363 647
Bring a flouro jacket if you have one as we will need a few people at the front and back of the group as we walk along Bald Hill Rd. We will require people to assist with tea / coffee / running a cleaning up. You may be able to assist with recording the days events via camera, video or recorder.
If you are interested in being part of a group singing a waiata on the day, or just want to learn the words, please contact us. A preliminary session will be held before the day and an ideal group would include members of local residents, St Brides and local iwi to reflect the kaupapa (purpose) of this day. Beginners are not only welcome, but are running this aspect of the day. Come along and join in.