The freedom fighter that I have chosen to focus on is Te Whiti O Rongomai. He is a significant figure in our history who has shaped peoples lives. He is an inspirational, original thinker who was driven by the times in which he lived, a time of persecution of Maori rights. His actions continue to be remembered today. The four questions that I address in my essay are:
Who was Te Whiti and why is he known as a freedom fighter?
What techniques did he use?
What did his actions lead to?
Which Human Rights was he seeking and defining?
(Research for this essay was done using the Nelson library and the internet search engine “Google”.)
Te Whiti O Rongomai and his close friend Tohu Kahaki were Maori prophets who lived their lives as freedom fighters. They were born around the year 1816. Te Whiti and Tohu worked together as they lead their people (the Taranaki Maori) in a fight for Maori rights in a time when European settlers were attempting to unrightfully take their land. They are known for their involvement in the Parihaka incident where their village was destroyed. Te Whiti and Tohu founded the village of Parihaka in 1867. This village took in many Maori people who had already been displaced from their land by the Government, who were confiscating blocks of land from Maori use at the time. The inhabitants of the village and others from far and wide came to hear the preachings of the two visionaries. Te Whiti and Tohu held meetings on the 18th of every month and there the assembled crowd would receive spiritual and political leadership and advice from the two. Their teachings were drawn largely from the Old Testament, as well as ancestral stories. Peace always remained at the core of their guidance, and a wanting to achieve peace and harmonious co-existence with all races is what inspired Te Whiti and Tohu to use the technique of non-violent resistance. Both men supported good relationships and connections between all races as long as Maori ownership of...
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