Waiaua marae memorial cross

The Second World War granite memorial cross that stands on the ātea of Waiaua Marae, east of Ōpōtiki, is dedicated to the memory of brothers W. Sonny Moore, killed in action in Tunisia on 20 April 1943, and Wilson Moore, killed in action at  El Alamein on 2 November 1943.

The marae preserves the memory of an earlier tragedy, because of its association with the well-known 19th-century Whakatōhea chief, Mokomoko, who was executed on 17 May 1866 after being wrongfully convicted as an accessory to the murder of the Reverend Carl Silvius Völkner in Ōpōtiki the previous year. On 16 June 1992 Governor General Catherine Tizard formally pardoned Mokomoko. The pardon was presented to members of the Mokomoko family at the marae on 25 July 1992. Plaques above the entrance to the wharenui, Ruamoko, commemorate the occasion.

These read in English and Māori respectively: 'The proclamation by / Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. / Absolves Mokomoko for the / murder of Rev. Carl Sylius [sic] Volkner. / It took 126 years to finalise / Absolute Pardon, the removal / of all the accusations of time. / Unveiled by Her Excellency the / Governor General of New Zealand / Dame Catherine Tizard / this day the 25th July 1992.' // HE PANUI TE NEI / NA TE KUINI O INGARANGI / IRIHAPETI TE TUARUA MO TE / WHAKAPAE. KOHORU IA MOKOMOKO / MO TE MATE O E WAKANA / KOTAHI RAU E RUA TEKAU MA ONO / TAU TE WETENA O NGA HERE / O TE WA'.)

By wishes of the family, the pardon document itself is on display at the site of Völkner’s death, the church of Hiona Stephen, Ōpōtiki.

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