The return of Hone Heke

So Hone Heke's bones are to be moved... What an excellent opportunity for us to re-connect with one of the great characters of New Zealand history and maybe build a new industry at the same time

Hone Heke is a heroic New Zealand figure, one of the great characters in our country's short history, and news today that his body has to be moved to accommodate new lifestyle blocks is both apt and contradictory, depending on which Heke you're talking about. It also suggests an immense opportunity for the north.

The Hone Heke Foundation says 10-acre lifestyle blocks are surrounding the unmarked Northland cave where the great Nga Puhi chief is buried, and a more permanent and public grave is now needed.

A proper burial site for Heke would be a gift to the nation. He's an early New Zealander who embodied the tensions of meeting - sometimes warring - cultures and is one of the few historical figures to capture the imagination of school children generation after generation. By chopping down the flagpole at Russell (Kororareka) four times, he became the great rebel character resisting the arrival of the British Empire - a local Geronimo or William Wallace.


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