|The most peaceful people on earth
On Tuesday 17 June 2008 the Te Papa Marae, Wellington, was video linked
to the Kopinga Marae in Rekohu (the Chatham Islands) for New Zealand’s
Prime Minister, Helen Clark, to announce a NZ$6,000.000 grant to the Te
Keke Tura Moriori Trust “to preserve, revive, support and promote”
Moriori identity. She also formally recognised Moriori as a “foundation
The particular significance of the Moriori people is that 24 generations before 1835 Nunuku, an Ieriki or elder, proclaimed an end to warfare. For some 500 years these people lived in peace and harmony, and became the nation with the longest formal commitment to peace in the history of the world.
Even when two individual began to fight the fight was instantly stopped and peace declared as soon as blood was drawn.
Rekohu had no contact with the “outside world” before 1791. When the Chatham Islands were invaded by Maori the Moriori people refused to fight and their culture, traditions and language almost passed out of existence.
Published in the Arc-Peace Newsletter Number 24 September 2008