Parihaka Pa was the home of the two renowned Maori chiefs, Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi. Te Whiti and Tohu were responsible, in the 1960s and 1870s, for developing a policy of civil disobedience and passive resistance to the land-confiscation policies of the White colonial Government. They are justly famous, and their Marae at Parihaka Pa are to this day places of great mana and respect throughout Maoridom. It is thought that Mahatma Gandhi read about Te Whiti and Tohu in the London Times when he was resident there at Kingsley Hall in 1931. In 2003 the Parihaka leaders were recognised posthumously by an international delegation of representatives of Martin Luther King Jnr., Mahatma Gandhi and Daisaku Ikeda for their foundational work and sacrifice as fathers of non-violent action.
Te Pae Pae o Te Raukura is the house where a great many of the decisions of that time were made. It was the Council House of the main Whare - Te Raukura, which was Te Whiti's home, and which burned down in 1960. Te Pae Pae is a place of great reverence, but looks deceptively informal, having been extended in ad-hoc fashion several times.
Over two years of passive resistance hundreds of the villagers were arrested and imprisoned in the South Island (where many of them died) for their civil disobedience. In 1881 on 5th November, more than 1000 armed troops invaded the peaceful village and arrested and incarcerated the leaders holding them without trial for two years. The tradition of opening up the Marae on the 18th and 19th (visitors should arrive early – before 8.00am - on the 18th) goes back to this time. Te Whiti and Tohu used these monthly meetings to call on Maori and non-Maori from all over New Zealand to come for a meeting to discuss things of importance to them. The tradition has continued every month, unbroken, since that time. The struggle of the Parihaka community to recover their confiscated lands and to seek redress for their suffering goes on to the present time.
In 1995, the Community Design Studio was invited by the Trustees at Parihaka Pa to develop a scale model of the Pa to assist them in their future planning, and at the same time to develop designs for the modification and extension of Te Whiti's house, Te Pae Pae o te Raukura. The whole project took almost two years, with successive classes of students visiting the Pa, measuring and surveying, drawing, interviewing and working with the Pa community. By the end of 1996, the model and the designs were complete. Never before had anyone been asked to come into the Pa and to delve into the lives and dreams of its residents. It was a rare privilege, tinged with immense irony, since those arrested and imprisoned at Parihaka on 5th November in 1881, were arrested in part because they had refused to allow the pakeha survey teams to conduct their work in the rohe. The project aired on the TV programme Marae.
Three downloadable PDFs are included here:
Part 1 outlines a brief history of Parihaka
Part 2 describes the Community Design Studio project.
Part 3 contains a fly-through of the final design
To download Part 1 click here.
To download Part 2 click here .
To download Fly-through, click here .