War in the Waikato 1863-65

A DigitalNZ Story by National Library of New Zealand Topics

Rangiriri, Rangiaowhia and Ōrākau are sites where some of the major Waikato battles were fought during the New Zealand Wars | Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa. This topic covers some of the reasons for these conflicts, the battles and their lasting impact on Waikato iwi. SCIS no. 1966016

social_sciences, arts, history, technology, english, Māori

Waikato War map

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Kiingitanga flags

Kīngitanga flags

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Palace Ngaruawahia N.Z.

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

John Gorst

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

"Ake! Ake! Ake!" Rewi defying the British troops at Orakau.

This artistic depiction shows Rewi Maniapoto standing defiantly during the siege of Ōrākau. Rewi was the famous Ngāti Maniapoto leader and supporter of the Kiingitanga movement. In March 1864 the British troops surrounded the Ōrākau Pā which held Rewi Maniapoto and around 300 Māori defenders, which included women. General Cameron knew the conditions inside the pā were deteriorating and called upon the Māori to surrender, to which Rewi replied the famous words: 'Ka whawhai tonu mātou, Āke! Āke! Āke!' (we will fight on forever and ever). Ōrākau was to be the last major battle of the Waikato war.

Ake! Ake! Ake! Rewi defying the British troops at Orakau.

University of Otago

Construction of the Great South Road to Waikato, Pokeno Hill

This road (the Great South Road), being constructed by soldiers was part of Governor George Grey’s plan to invade the Waikato. Waikato Māori remained determined not to sell their land, but Grey was equally determined to break their resistance. He claimed that Waikato Māori were conspiring to attack settlers and sent his army (using this road) on 12 July 1863. The fighting that followed over the next nine months spread to other parts of the North Island. As a punishment for their supposed rebellion Waitako Māori had their huge tracts of the fertile lands confiscated.

Construction of a road to Waikato, Pokeno Hill

Alexander Turnbull Library

Māori prisoners captured at Rangiriri

Twenty-four Māori men (some obscured) are standing or seated mainly aboard the prison ship (hulk) Marion anchored in the Auckland Harbour. They are dressed in a mixture of Māori and European clothes. A news clipping surrounding the photograph is headed; 'Escape of the Māori prisoners of war, 200 in number' copied from the Weekly News of 17 September 1864.

Photographer unknown :Prisoners of war taken at Rangiriri New Zealand, escaped Sept.r 1864. Dec. 1863

Alexander Turnbull Library

In memory of Orākau

This report is about the bravery and courage of Māori at the Battle of Ōrākau in March 1863, and the commemoration programme that took place fifty years later. On 1 April 1914, a monument was unveiled which had on one side the name of General Carey – the British commander of the historic engagement, and on the other side the name of the brave Māori chief Rewi Maniopoto and his memorable words of defiance. In 2013 and 2014, the 150th anniversary commemoration of the battles of Waikato War took place in Waikato and Tauranga. Funded by the government, it was organised by iwi and local communities and coordinated by Ngā Pae o Maumahara.

IN MEMORY OF ORAKAU. (Otago Daily Times 6-3-1914)

National Library of New Zealand

Ohaupo redoubt & Forest Ranger camp

This picture of a Forest Rangers camp was probably drawn by Gustavus Ferdinand von Tempsky – a Prussian born soldier who came to New Zealand in 1862 to prospect for gold in the Coromandel. Von Tempsky commanded the legendary Forest Rangers, a colonial group of volunteers who were believed to have the ability to match the bush fighting skills of Māori. The campaigns he fought in the New Zealand Wars were to become an inspiration for many of his paintings. Even though he was considered an amateur watercolourist, his attention to detail and ability to capture events produced a vivid record of some of the New Zealand War campaigns.

[Tempsky, Gustavus Ferdinand von] 1828-1868 :Ohaupo Redoubt & Forest Ranger camp; prisoners in foreground. [1864]

Alexander Turnbull Library

The attack on the Pukekohe East Church stockade

This ink drawing by Arthur Herbert Messenger shows Māori surrounding a barricaded church. This church could well be the Pukekohe East Church which was attacked on 14 September 1863. With the outbreak of the Waikato War, the church was fortified by settlers and Forest Rifle Volunteers. In addition, a 1.5 m high log stockade was built around it. There were only 17 men in the church when around 200 Māori began attacking the church that morning. Later that afternoon, the defenders were saved by 150 soldiers of the 18th and 65th regiments. Today bullet holes can still be seen in the walls of the church. In the churchyard is a mounted boulder to mark the resting place of Māori who died in the a

[Messenger, Arthur Herbert], 1877-1962 :The attack on the Pukekohe East Church stockade, 14 September, 1863. From a drawing by A H Messenger. [1921]

Alexander Turnbull Library

Rewi’s Last Stand

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Choosing peace or war

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Fire in the fern

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Pukekohe church

Services to Schools

New Zealand Wars

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