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Land confiscations to punish tribes that fought against the Crown have left a long legacy of grievances. The two major periods of conflict were the mids and the s. This echoed the tendency of the British to name wars after their enemies — as in Boer War and Zulu War. In the late s thought was given to renaming the wars. One popular suggestion was land wars, due to the importance of land in the disputes.
Other less common suggestions included New Zealand civil wars and sovereignty wars. A series of battles were fought in the Bay of Islands until early Reactions against the confiscations saw a period of continued tension. Parihaka was occupied by government forces on 5 November and the settlement was partially destroyed. Protests against land confiscation continued. In late March officers and men of the 58th Regiment arrived in Auckland. By mid-April a further men had arrived and an Auckland volunteer militia had been established.
When the rockets had little effect, Hulme ordered men to attack Puketutu. After making little progress in four hours of fighting, Hulme ordered his men to retreat, leaving 13 dead soldiers on the battlefield. Heke withdrew to nearby Te Ahuahu. Heke was badly wounded in this battle. On 1 July a strong force of soldiers, seamen and militia commanded by Colonel Henry Despard attacked it.
There has long been controversy about the end of the Ruapekapeka battle. However, there were few provisions left inside, so it is likely that the occupants had intended to withdraw. Further military posts were then constructed along the Wellington—Porirua road. Barracks were built at Paremata for British reinforcements, initially 20 men of the 58th Regiment commanded by Major Edward Last. When news of these arrests reached his nephew, Te Rangihaeata, a rescue attempt by 50 warriors was mounted but easily driven off.
However, troops arrived in December The perpetrators of these killings were apprehended and all but one were hanged on 26 April.
A British gunboat entered the fray from the river but had negligible impact. British troops and Whanganui settlers took refuge within the Rutland stockade and withstood the attacks, which came to within metres of the fortification.
Governor Grey immediately pressed for peace and on 21 February announced that he had reached agreement with Te Mamaku, bringing peace to Whanganui. Land disputes caused tension in New Plymouth.
The British army based at New Plymouth immediately occupied the disputed block. Cannon and rockets were fired, inflicting heavy damage upon the palisades. Gold decided to relieve the stockade and rescue settler families.
The regulars, with orders to return to New Plymouth by nightfall, retreated. So eventually did the locals. They threatened Devon Road, which linked Waitara to New Plymouth, conducting raids and firing upon the camp at will. On the morning of 27 June the British launched an attack against Puketakauere.
A withdrawal was ordered, and British survivors staggered back to Waitara, having sustained a major defeat. The total length of his sap, painstakingly dug out, was almost 1, metres. Its remains can still be seen. Winter was approaching, placing pressure upon seasonal supplies of food.
Attacks against the trenches were repulsed. The government was keen to punish them, despite the truce in Taranaki, and to satisfy European land ambitions in the Waikato region. On 1 January construction of the Great South Road southward from Drury began in order to move men and military supplies into the Waikato in preparation for the intended government invasion. Advance parties were ordered to drive on to the Waikato River in order to secure British supplies through the use of gunboats.
On 12 August the gunboat Avon fired on Meremere, then slipped past to conduct reconnaissance. The Pioneer followed, exchanging fire with concealed riflemen. With the British now at their rear, Waikato abandoned Meremere. On 20 November the British army assembled a land force of men with three field guns supported by cannon aboard the Pioneer and Avon.
Intense fighting occurred in the forward trenches, but the British could not break through the parapets. Cameron then ordered a retreat. Three more assaults on the main redoubt were also repulsed. As dawn broke, a white flag was seen flying from the parapet. When Cameron insisted that Waikato lay down their arms, they offered no further resistance. Behind this fortification line were food-producing villages such as Hairini and Rangiaowhia.
Cameron realised these fortifications could only be taken with very high casualties. The only colonial soldier to be honoured after the war with a memorial statue was Colonel Marmaduke Nixon. Nixon was shot in the chest during the attack on Rangiaowhia in February and died several months later. Rangiaowhia's defenders engaged the approaching British. Houses were set on fire, with defenders shot as they sought to escape. Under his direction men began constructing defensive earthworks. Initial attacks were repulsed.
Cameron offered the defenders a chance to surrender, or safe passage for the women and children; they refused this. The popular version is that they responded: The story was made into a film of the same name by Rudall Hayward in It was the greatest loss of life in one battle of the wars.
On 29 April Lieutenant General Duncan Cameron ordered an attack upon Pukehinahina, commencing with an artillery barrage. Once shelling was seen to have breached the front palisade, an infantry assault followed. The British suffered heavy casualties, and were soon in retreat. A second assault proved equally unsuccessful. Thirty-five British regulars died during the engagement, with another 75 wounded.
Construction began on a new fortification at Te Ranga. The war now entered a new stage. In addition the British government began to resent the costs of the New Zealand wars and started to withdraw its troops.
Several hundred supporters watched from the river banks. Each side occupied one end of the island, and the battle commenced. Other killings followed, including that of government interpreter James Fulloon several weeks later. When Grey disagreed, Cameron resigned his commission. Chute brought new resolve to the final years of British army operations in New Zealand.
On 30 December he commenced a route-march around Mt Taranaki, first striking inland and returning down the coast. McDonnell called an immediate retreat, but not before 24 of his men, including Major Gustavus von Tempsky, had been killed. The reasons are uncertain. While fighting on the government side at Waerenga-a-hika he was suspected of aiding the enemy. On 4 July he captured the schooner Rifleman and escaped from captivity.
On 10 July he and followers landed south of Poverty Bay, alarming the authorities, who were determined to recapture him. Te Kooti fled inland, pursued by the armed constabulary commanded by Colonel George Whitmore, who suffered his first setback at the hands of Te Kooti at Ruakituri on 8 August. Brief skirmishes followed as Te Kooti continued to elude his pursuers.
He was not able to defend a fixed position again, instead staying ahead of determined pursuers like Captain Gilbert Mair and the Arawa Flying Column, which almost entrapped him at Earthquake Flat, Rotorua, on 7 February There are no accurate figures for those killed in the New Zealand wars.
The number killed on the other side is even harder to estimate. Those tribes which had fought against the Crown, especially if they suffered from land confiscation, remained pained and at times bitter.
Memorials were used to encourage enlistment during the First World War by providing an example of men who had fought for the British Empire. New books on the wars, both novels and historical works, were published. New Plymouth museum Puke Ariki recognised the th anniversary of the Taranaki war with a powerful museum exhibition in The th anniversary of the Waikato war was marked by a series of commemorative events in — Ryan, Tim, and Bill Parham. The c olonial New Zealand w ars.
The or igins of the Ma ori Wars. This multi-media site created by the Department of Conservation and Te Ruapekapeka Trust is an excellent introduction to both the Northern War and the Ruapekapeka site. How to cite this page: Te Ahuahu Heke withdrew to nearby Te Ahuahu.