Posts

Showing posts from October, 2013

The Fall of Meremere, 31 October-1 November 1863

Image
Following the invasion of Waikato by British imperial troops in July 1863, local Maori sought to slow their advance south through the construction of a series of defensive pa (fortifications), of which Meremere was among the most impressive. Its construction was first observed by General Cameron on 15 August, when he noted that Maori had assembled there in considerable numbers and occupied a commanding post on the right bank of the Waikato River, about two miles beyond the junction with the Whangamarino River. Rifle pits were being thrown up in all directions and one observer estimated that there were already about 1100 men there by the end of August. Construction of the pa soaked up a considerable proportion of the total number of defenders available to the Kingitanga. But with British troop numbers continuing to surge, and the Waikato River now commanded by armed steamers that were capable of causing enormous damage, continuing occupation of Meremere was becoming increasingly untena…

The Origins of the Maori King Movement - An Insider's Account

Image
There are multiple accounts as to the origins of the Kingitanga, or Maori King Movement, which came to prominence with the instalment of Potatau Te Wherowhero as the first Maori King in 1858. Much less common is a detailed insider’s description of the emergence of the movement and its aims and objectives. Honana Te Maioha belonged to Ngati Mahuta and was a cousin of Matutaera, better known as King Tawhiao, the second Maori King. He was intimately involved in the Kingitanga and had been active in its formation. In 1882 he gave a detailed description of how the movement had come about. It emerged at a time when the Kingitanga was at the forefront of public attention. The year before King Tawhiao had laid down his arms at Alexandra (Pirongia) and declared an end to the war fought in the 1860s. Subsequent to this he travelled to a number of European settlements, includiing, in January 1881, to Auckland. There, Tawhiao and his entourage, including Honana Te Maioha, were feted by a grateful…