carl völkner

Personal details

Full Name:

  • Carl Sylvius Völkner


  • 18192 Mar 1865

On 2 March 1865 Carl Völkner, a German-born missionary, was hanged from a willow tree near his church at Opotiki. Followers of a new religion, Pai Marire, who suspected Völkner of spying for the government, were held responsible.

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Events In History


Pai Marire

  • Pai Marire

    Pai Marire (goodness and peace) was one of several new Māori faiths to emerge in the 19th century. Like many others, it was closely tied to issues of land and politics.

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  • Page 3 - The death of Carl VölknerThe killing of missionary Carl Völkner by Pai Mārire followers in 1865 shocked the colony. The government used the event to justify taking harsh action against the Pai Mārire

The death penalty

  • The death penalty

    The first execution in New Zealand was that of a young Maori named Maketu, convicted at Auckland in 1842. Walter Bolton became the last to be executed when he was hanged at Mount Eden prison in 1957. In total there were 83 verified executions for murder and one for treason in New Zealand between these dates.

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  • Page 3 - Mokomoko and VölknerThe Te Whakatōhea chief Mokomoko was one of five Māori executed on 17 May 1866 for being involved in the murder of the missionary Carl Volkner at Ōpōtiki in 1865. The
  • This memorial obelisk commemorates unnamed men who were killed in action or died of wounds received in and around Ōpōtiki during the New Zealand Wars. Six men known to be buried at Kelly Street are commemorated on a memorial tablet.

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