War in the Waikato ( 1863 - 1865)

A DigitalNZ Story by Janice

A series of images, articles, videos on the Waikato War fought between 1863 and 1864.

New Zealand Wars, Waikato War, Land Wars, New Zealand Land Wars,

WAIKATO WAR: BEGINNINGS

The Waikato was the home of the Māori king. Pōtatau Te Wherowhero had been proclaimed the first king in 1858, and in 1860 he was succeeded by Tāwhiao. Some of the king’s followers had participated in the Taranaki war. The government was keen to punish them, despite the truce in Taranaki, and to satisfy European land ambitions in the Waikato region.

Source: Danny Keenan, 'New Zealand wars - Waikato war: beginnings', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/new-zealand-wars/page-5(accessed 16 July 2019)

Waikato War map

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Map of the seat of war

Auckland Libraries

Confiscated territory after the Maori Wars, in the Waikato, 1864

Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga

Māori leaders in the Waikato war

King Tāwhiao

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Wiremu Tamihana

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Rewi Maniapoto

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Pakeha leaders in the Waikato war

Governor Sir George Grey

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Duncan Cameron and troops

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Meremere Pā - August 1863

On 12 August 1863 the gunboat Avon fired on Meremere, then slipped past to conduct reconnaissance. The Pioneer followed, exchanging fire with concealed riflemen. On 31 October, 600 men from the 40th and 65th regiments were towed past the pā on barges and landed 8 kilometres upriver, beating off an attack from the pā. With the British now at their rear, Waikato abandoned Meremere.

Source: Danny Keenan, 'New Zealand wars - Waikato war: beginnings', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/new-zealand-wars/page-5 (accessed 16 July 2019)

Gunboat on the Waikato River

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Rangiriri Pa - November 1863

 On 20 November 1863 the British army assembled a land force of 850 men with three field guns supported by cannon aboard the Pioneer and Avon. Following a two-hour bombardment, Lieutenant General Duncan Cameron launched a frontal assault upon the pā. 

Source: Danny Keenan, 'New Zealand wars - Waikato war: major battles', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/new-zealand-wars/page-6 (accessed 16 July 2019)

Māori entrenchments at Rangiriri

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Attack on Rangiriri

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Rangiriri trenches

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Rangiriri pā - roadside stories

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Pāterangi Pā - January 1864

Cameron occupied the Māori King’s village at Ngāruawāhia on 8 December 1863, and moved 3,000 men south of the settlement in January 1864. Mindful of the need to defend villages and sources of supply, Kīngitanga forces began constructing a massive line of fortifications centred upon Pāterangi pā.

Source: Danny Keenan, 'New Zealand wars - Waikato war: major battles', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/new-zealand-wars/page-6 (accessed 16 July 2019)

Paterangi, 1864

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Rangiaowhia - February 1864

On 21 February 1864 a combined force comprising British regular infantry and two colonial units, Captain Gustavus von Tempsky’s Forest Rangers and Colonel Marmaduke Nixon’s Cavalry, attacked Rangiaowhia after dawn. 

Source: Danny Keenan, 'New Zealand wars - Waikato war: major battles', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/new-zealand-wars/page-6 (accessed 16 July 2019)

Ōrākau Pā- March 1864

Seventeen Europeans and up to 160 Māori were killed during the Ōrākau engagement, most during the escape. It was the greatest loss of life in one battle of the wars. Whilst the battle represented a clear victory for the British, it involved only a fraction of the Māori King’s forces.

Source: Danny Keenan, 'New Zealand wars - Waikato war: major battles', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/new-zealand-wars/page-6 (accessed 16 July 2019)

Māori memorials

Pukekohe East NZ Wars memorial

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

'E pā tō hau'

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Pakeha Memorials 

Tauranga 1st Waikato Militia NZ Wars memorial

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Waikato Regiment NZ Wars memorial, Drury

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Pāterangi NZ Wars memorial

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Waikato War Today

Protest at Ihumātao

Ihumātao traces its history back to the Land Wars in 1963.

Explainer: The complex history behind Ihumātao

TV3