May 16, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Parihaka leg-irons withdrawn after public outcry

2 min read

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 9.15.32 has just got word from Hayward’s Auction House owners, Kevin Hayward & Judith Ferguson that the Parihaka leg-irons which were going to be auctioned have been withdrawn.

Public outcry began to inform and connect with whanau, hapu an iwi via social networks yesterday after the story broke of the the impending auction.

Ms Ferguson told in an emailthat “the leg irons have been withdrawn from the auction and will probably be acquired by a local institution who will take good care of them”.

The hand-forged leg irons had been stolen from a cave in Portobello Road, Dunedin in the 1970s by Steve McCormack and his brother who used three hacksaw blades to remove it.

It was not known if the restraints were used to imprison Maori political prisoners from Parihaka, but the caves were used to hold Maori political prisoners from Taranaki.

Otakau runanga elder Edward Ellison told the Otago Daily Times that, Maori prisoners were taken from Taranaki and forced to labour in Dunedin between 1869 and 1871 and helped build the Andersons Bay causeway and road.

Kia ora to all who raised their voices and helped to ensure these remnants of such an unjust colonial time, will not be sold to the highest bidder.

Arohanui especially to Bianca Ranson,Pip Laufiso, Ngahina Hohaia, Wikitoria Nuku, David Kukutai Jones, Ngahuia Tahau, Chanz Mikaere, Olive McRae, Marama Davidson, Ruben Taipari and countless others who helped spread the word and get people aware and active.

Thanks also to Hayward Auctioneers for listening to the mamae of the people.

Photo Credit: ODT – Stephen Jaquiery



6 thoughts on “Parihaka leg-irons withdrawn after public outcry

  1. This guys has admitted to sterling these from the cave with his brother, WHY THE HELL HASN’T HE BEEN ARRESTED FOR STEALING? NOW HE IS GOING TO SELL THEM TO SOME LOCAL INSTITUTION WTF.

  2. from Headline: “Parihaka leg-irons”
    from the article: “It was not known if the restraints were used to imprison Maori political prisoners from Parihaka”

    I agree that the object in
    question should have been removed from auction but what is so hard about attempting to be factual, this is poor journalism

    1. Because to us Maori these are recent events that helped to shape our existence as the Tangata ta Whenua of this country today. Many wrongs were done to our people on so many levels before and since than, in education , housing, borrowing from a bank so they could keep their businesses afloat and being refused even though they had proven themselves as good as or not better then their pakeha friends down the road etc.( We were treated like Scots way back in Culludon) All geared to make us fail so they could disenfranchaise us and give our land to others

      Our Ancestors could not have been imprisoned anywhere but there, therefore those leg Irons mean much about our courage of convictions of and at that time. It is very sad that we live in a country that can’t teach proper history about this country they live in because they choose not to acknowllege the truth. And than they would have to question their own Ancestry and the the life they have Known. Far better to not teach the truth at all. Most people that came into this country at the time were your Irish or scottish that had no lands to speak of and were promised .

  3. a friend has asked me the following:
    If they are over 100 years old, doesn’t it mean that they will be subject to the Antiquities act so probably unable to be sold?

  4. I am still worried that the person who stole these in the 1970s will profit from selling privately to an institution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.