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Hero image for Parihaka

The Taranaki village of Parihaka was where peaceful protest met military force. On 5 November 1881, 1400+ troops expelled the inhabitants, and destroyed much of the village. Māori prophets Te Whiti-o-Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi  who led the passive resistance  were detained without trial. Tim Finn was inspired to write this tribute to Te Whiti and Parihaka after reading Dick Scott’s book Ask That Mountain: The Story of Parihaka. Band Herbs provide the accompaniment. Alun Bollinger and director Fane Flaws filmed Finn in front of Colin McCahon’s striking Parihaka artwork, over the course of a night at Auckland Art Gallery.

I suppose Pākehā’s are pretty gutless in this country of stepping in and mingling, but then some aren't, like [Colin] McCahon etcetera. I think you just have to jump in and do it, honestly, from the heart. I know there were some Māori people that thought 'Why the hell is he doing that, what does he know about it?' I am sure there were very mixed reactions from Māori people.
– Tim Finn on singing about Parihaka, quoted on website Puke Ariki, 20 October 2003