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  • Writer's pictureBrent Kerehona Pukepuke-Ahitapu

To be or not to be? Hongi's Musket...

In early May 2021, the director became aware of a musket that was being put up for auction by Webb's Auction House on 12th May 2021. It was claimed that this was the firearm that King George IV had gifted Hongi at Carlton House on 13th November 1820, and was listed as expecting to fetch between NZ$100,000-$150,000. Brent felt compelled to share his research for the benefit of Ngapuhi, and also for greater New Zealand; and provided the Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi, and Radio NZ with information which questioned the authenticity of this artefact.

As a result of the director's information, the musket was withdrawn from the auction and Ngapuhi leaders and NZ museums are no-longer interested in purchasing this item.

Below are the Te Ao News report, the Radio NZ segment with my interview and an article showing Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi's response to the musket.

Te Ao News, Thursday, 13th May 2021.

Authenticity and ownership of Hongi Hika's musket questioned

New Zealand. Te Ao Maori. Ella Stewart. Thursday, 13th May 2021.

Ngapuhi leaders have 'no further interest' in musket believed to

have been owned by Hongi Hika'

Newshub. Maori Affairs. Lana Andelane 17th May 2021

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