The Crown has undertaken to restore the character, mana and reputation of the Whakatōhea chief Mokomoko and his descendants, the Minister of Māori Affairs, Hon Dr Pita Sharples, said today.
“The agreement to be signed today between the Crown and the Mokomoko whānau commits the Crown to introduce legislation, in consultation with te whānau a Mokomoko, to give statutory recognition to the pardon granted to Mokomoko in 1992,” said Dr Sharples.
“The 1992 pardon overturned an 1866 conviction for the murder of Reverend Carl Volkner, for which Mokomoko and three others were hanged in prison. His co-accused, who were from Ngāti Awa, were pardoned in Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Act 1988; but Mokomoko was from Whakatōhea iwi, and he was not included in that statutory pardon,” he said.
“In granting the pardon in 1992, the Crown did not consult the whānau on the wording, implied that it was granted because of similar pardons for Mokomoko’s co-accused, and so did not restore the character, mana and reputation of Mokomoko.
“Through these actions the Crown has perpetuated the shame and stigma carried by the whānau of Mokomoko. I want to apologise to the whānau and express sincere regret for the way the Crown has acted in the past,” he said.
“Today is about restoring the character, mana and reputation of Mokomoko and his descendants. I acknowledge that this is only a small step for te whānau a Mokomoko in seeking justice for their tupuna and his descendants.”
“I am delighted that I have been able to sign this agreement with te whānau a Mokomoko, and I will continue to work to have the legislation introduced to the House,” said Dr Sharples.