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Taranaki land wars

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The Pakeha reasons for the start of the The First Taranaki Land War. By the late 1840s, All New Plymouth was a rough sanity town with rough, rat-infested shacks and no natural port. The sale of land was slow process and most of cleared and fertile land was not up for sale. To the Pakeha they saw the Maori "As a bunch of native savages hold up the development of a new British colony." They saw the Maori land of endless miles of untouched forests and mountains as far the eye could see. There was a block of land 9 miles from New Plymouth called Waitara. It was a rich futile piece of land and had a natural port. The problem was the Maori were farming this land a refused to sell Waitara (Peka Peka Block). Te Atiawa the tribe that owned Waitara (Peka Peka Block) saw a their home land where the arrive from where they fist stepped foot on New Zealand many years ago. ...read more.


It was at a strategic position because it was by the road leading into the block. When Kingi refused to surrender Gold and his troops open fire on the Pa. the Pakeha fired all day including 200 round from two 24-pound Howitzers. The Pa was small but was heavily fortified and was place strategically so that the Pa was hard to completely surround. That night the Maori abandoned the Pa with no casualties lost which angered the Pakeha because firstly the British wanted a swift victory that would crush the Maori and assert british sovereignty. Te Kohia clash was a minor fight with a result that dissapointed the settlers of New Plymouth. Secondly for hundred of years the British Army fight with an enemy and then claim victory. What the Maori was abandon the Pa. This was seen as an insult to British. Ten days after the battle of Te Kohia about 500 Maori warriors from Taranaki, Ngati Ruanui and Nga Rauru joined together in the New Plymouth area to provide support. ...read more.


Meanwhile Captain Peter Cracroft comander of the HMS Niger, had landed 60 men and marched to Waireka. Cracroft troops fired 24 pound rockets at rockets at the Pa. At dusk they stormed the Pa. The first man to enter the Pa, William Odgers was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery. His award was the first to be awarded for the New Zealand Land Wars. The British claimed victory at Waireka claiming to kill 70-150 Maori and only losing 14 men. This is disputed by James Belich say that this was the classic British of paper victory, with claims of "enormous" losses and a Great British victory. Early in June Te Atiawa chief Hapurona began building a stockaded Pa, Onkukaitara, adjacent to an old unfortified, Pa know as Puketakauere. Two Pa were situated on a pair of low hills 800 meters southeast of Te Kohia and 1 mile from Camp Waitara(site of modern Waitara town) which had been establish to stop the surveying of Waitara. The Pa was also in direct view of Waitara garrison which only angered the local military. ...read more.

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