Prayers in show of solidarity

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Prayers for peace will be offered in Dunedin today coincide with the reconciliation meeting between the Crown and the people of Parihaka in Taranaki.

People will gather at 10am the Rongo Stone Memorial in Portsmouth Dr which commemorates the 200 Maori prisoners transported to Dunedin between 1869 and 1881.

The prayer event has been organised by the Dunedin meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, better known as Quakers, in solidarity with the people of Parihaka tomorrow.

Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson tomorrow to deliver a formal apology on behalf of the Crown for the sacking of the pacifist settlement in 1881.

The settlement package includes $9million and assistance in establishing a governance structure and services from Crown agencies and local councils.

Mr Finlayson will be welcomed by the children of Parihaka, echoing the welcome given by children in November 1881, when 1600 armed militia invaded the peaceful settlement.

Society of Friends member Stephanie du Fresne Quakers had been asked by the people of Parihaka to add their prayers for peace tomorrow.