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New Zealand Wars

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the Northern War, see Flagstaff War.
New Zealand Wars
Memorial in the Auckland War Memorial Museum for those who died, both European and
Maori, in the New Zealand Wars. Kia mate toa can be translated as fight unto death
or be strong in death, and is the motto of the Otago and Southland Regiment of the
New Zealand Army. The flags are that of Gate Pa and the Union Flag.
Date 18451872
Location New Zealand
Result British victory
changes New Zealand Settlements Act 1863; confiscation of 16,000 km2 (6,200 sq
mi) of Maori land
British Empire
Maori Maori
18,000 (peak deployment) 5,000 (peak deployment)
Casualties and losses
745 killed (including civilians) 2,154 killed (including civilians)[1]
[show] v t e
New Zealand Wars
The New Zealand Wars were a series of armed conflicts that took place in New
Zealand from 1845 to 1872 between the New Zealand government and the Maori. Up
until the 1960s Europeans referred to them as the Maori wars,[2] and historian
James Belich was one of the first to refer to them as the New Zealand wars in his
1987 book The New Zealand wars and the Victorian interpretation of racial conflict.

Though the wars were initially localised conflicts triggered by tensions over
disputed land purchases, they escalated dramatically from 1860 as the government
became convinced it was facing a united Maori resistance to further land sales and
a refusal to acknowledge Crown sovereignty. The colonial government summoned
thousands of British troops to mount major campaigns to overpower the Maori King
Movement and also acquire farming and residential land for British settlers.[4][5]
Later campaigns were aimed at quashing the so-called Hauhau movement, an extremist
part of the Pai Marire religion, which was strongly opposed to the alienation of
Maori land and eager to strengthen Maori identity.[6]

At the peak of hostilities in the 1860s, 18,000 British troops, supported by

artillery, cavalry and local militia, battled about 4,000 Maori warriors[7] in what
became a gross imbalance of manpower and weaponry.[8] Although outnumbered, the
Maori were able to withstand their enemy with techniques that included anti-
artillery bunkers and the use of carefully placed pa, or fortified villages, that
allowed them to block their enemy's advance and often inflict heavy losses, yet
quickly abandon their positions without significant loss. Guerilla-style tactics
were used by both sides in later campaigns, often fought in dense bush. Over the
course of the Taranaki and Waikato campaigns the lives of about 1,800 Maori and 800
Europeans were lost[4] and total Maori losses over the course of all the wars may
have exceeded 2,100.

Violence over land ownership broke out first in the Wairau Valley in the South
Island in June 1843, but rising tensions in Taranaki eventually led to the
involvement of British military forces at Waitara in March 1860. The war between
the government and Kingitanga (King Movement) Maori spread to other areas of the
North Island, with the biggest single campaign being the invasion of Waikato in
18631864, before hostilities concluded with the pursuits of warlord Riwha
Titokowaru in Taranaki (18681869) and guerrilla fighter Te Kooti Arikirangi Te
Turuki on the east coast (18681872).

Although Maori were initially fought by British forces, the New Zealand government
developed its own military force, including local militia, rifle volunteer groups,
the specialist Forest Rangers and pro-government Maori. The government also
responded with legislation to imprison Maori opponents and confiscate expansive
areas of the North Island for sale to settlers, with the funds used to cover war
expenses[9][10]punitive measures that on the east and west coasts provoked an
intensification of Maori resistance and aggression.

Contents [hide]
1 Background
2 Conflicts
2.1 The Wairau Affray
2.2 The Northern War
2.3 Hutt Valley and Wanganui campaigns
2.4 The First Taranaki War
2.5 Invasion of Waikato
2.6 The Second Taranaki War
2.7 East Cape War
2.8 Titokowaru's War
2.9 Te Kooti's War
3 Participants
3.1 Imperial and colonial
3.2 Maori
4 Strategy and tactics
5 Weapons
6 Aftermath
7 See also
8 References
9 Further reading
10 External links
The 1840 Treaty of Waitangi guaranteed that individual Maori iwi (tribes) should
have undisturbed possession of their lands, forests, fisheries and other taonga
(treasures) in return for becoming British subjects, selling land to the government
only and surrendering sovereignty to the British Government. Historians, however,
have debated whether Maori signatories fully understood this last point, due to the
possible mistranslation of the word sovereignty in the treaty copies. The majority
of Maori wanted to sign in order to consolidate peace and in the hope of ending the
long intertribal Musket Wars (18071842). They also wished to acquire the
technological culture of the British.

All pre-treaty colonial land-sale deals had taken place directly between two
parties. In the early period of contact Maori generally sought trade with
Europeans. The British and the French established mission stations, and
missionaries received land from iwi for houses, schools, churches and farms.

Traders, Sydney businessmen and the New Zealand Company had bought large tracts of
land before 1840[11] and the British government at Westminster became concerned
about protecting Maori from exploitation. As part of the Treaty of Waitangi,
colonial authorities[which] decreed that Maori could sell land only to the Crown
(the Right of Pre-emption). But as the New Zealand colonial governmentpressured by
immigrant European settlerstried to speed up land sales to provide farmland, it
met resistance from the Maori King Movement, or Kingitanga, which emerged in the
1850s and opposed further European encroachment.

Governor Thomas Gore Browne's provocative purchase of a disputed block of land at

Waitara in 1859 set the government on a collision course with the Kingitanga
movement, and the government interpreted the Kingitanga response as a challenge to
the Crown's authority.[12] Governor Gore Browne succeeded in bringing 3500 Imperial
troops from the Australian colonies to quash this perceived challenge, and within
four years a total of 9,000 British troops had arrived in New Zealand, assisted by
more than 4,000 colonial and kupapa (pro-government Maori) fighters as the
government sought a decisive victory over the rebel Maori.

The use of a punitive land confiscation policy from 1865, depriving rebel Maori of
the means of living, fuelled further Maori anger and resentment, fanning the flames
of conflict in Taranaki (18631866) and on the east coast (18651866).

The various conflicts of the New Zealand wars span a considerable period, and the
causes and outcomes differ widely. The earliest conflicts in the 1840s happened at
a time when Maori were still the predominant power, but by the 1860s settler
numbers and resources were much greater. From about 1862 British troops began
arriving in much greater number, summoned by Governor George Grey for his Waikato
invasion, and in March 1864 total troop numbers peaked at about 14,000 (9,000
Imperial troops, more than 4,000 colonial and a few hundred kupapa).[13]

The Wairau Affray[edit]

Main article Wairau Affray
The first armed conflict between Maori and the European settlers took place on 17
June 1843 in the Wairau Valley, in the north of the South Island. The clash was
sparked when settlers led by a representative of the New Zealand Companywhich held
a false title deed to a block of landattempted to clear Maori off the land ready
for surveying. The party also attempted to arrest Ngati Toa chiefs Te Rauparaha and
Te Rangihaeata. Fighting broke out and 22 Europeans were killed, as well as four to
six Maori. Several Europeans were slain after being captured. In early 1844, the
new Governor, Robert FitzRoy, investigated the incident and declared the settlers
were at fault. The Wairau Affraydescribed as the Wairau Massacre in early
textswas the only armed conflict of the New Zealand Wars to take place in the
South Island.[14][15]

The Northern War[edit]

Main article Flagstaff War

Hone Heke cuts down the flagstaff on Flagstaff Hill at Kororareka.

The Flagstaff War took place in the far north of New Zealand, around the Bay of
Islands, between March 1845 and January 1846. In 1845 George Grey arrived in New
Zealand to take up his appointment as governor. At this time Hone Heke challenged
the authority of the British, beginning by cutting down the flagstaff on Flagstaff
Hill at Kororareka. The flagstaff had previously flown the colours of United Tribes
of New Zealand but now carried the Union Jack and therefore symbolised the
grievances of Heke and his ally Te Ruki Kawiti, as to changes that had followed the
signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

There were many causes of the Flagstaff War and Heke had a number of grievances in
relation to the Treaty of Waitangi. While land acquisition by the Church Missionary
Society (CMS) had been controversial, the rebellion led by Heke was directed
against the colonial forces with the CMS missionaries trying to persuade Heke to
end the fighting.[16][17] Despite the fact that Tamati Waka Nene and most of
Ngapuhi sided with the government, the small and ineptly led British had been
beaten at Battle of Ohaeawai. Grey, armed with the financial support and far more
troops armed with 32-pounder cannons that had been denied to FitzRoy, attacked and
occupied Kawiti's fortress at Ruapekapeka, forcing Kawiti to retreat. Heke's
confidence waned after he was wounded in battle with Tamati Waka Nene and his
warriors, and by the realisation that the British had far more resources than he
could muster, including some Pakeha Maori, who supported the colonial forces.[18]

After the Battle of Ruapekapeka Heke and Kawiti were ready for peace.[19] It was
Tamati Waka Nene they approached to act as the intermediary to negotiate with
Governor Grey, who accepted the advice of Nene that Heke and Kawiti should not be
punished for their rebellion. The fighting in the north ended and there was no
punitive confiscation of Ngapuhi land.[20]

Hutt Valley and Wanganui campaigns[edit]

Main articles Hutt Valley Campaign and Wanganui Campaign
The Hutt Valley campaign of 1846 came as a sequel to the Wairau Affray. The causes
were similardubious land purchases by the New Zealand Company and the desire of
the settlers to move on to land before disputes over titles were resolvedand the
two conflicts shared many of the same protagonists. The campaign's most notable
clashes were the Maori dawn raid on an imperial stockade at Boulcott's Farm on 16
May 1846 in which eight British soldiers and an estimated two Maori died,[21] and
the Battle of Battle Hill from 613 August as British troops, local militia and
kupapa pursued a Ngati Toa force led by chief Te Rangihaeata through steep and
dense bushland. Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha was also taken into custody during the
campaign; he was detained without charge in Auckland for two years.[22]

The bloodshed heightened settlers' fears in nearby Wanganui, which was given a
strong military force to guard against attack. In April 1847 an accidental shooting
of a minor Wanganui Maori chief led to a bloody revenge attack on a settler family;
when the perpetrators were captured and hanged, a major raid was launched on the
town as a reprisal, with homes plundered and burned and livestock stolen. Maori
besieged the town before mounting a frontal attack in July 1847. A peace settlement
was reached in early 1848.