Chapter 58: Murderer’s Bay: The Race War in New Zealand
The European settlement of New Zealand differed greatly from that of Australia because the native population, known as the Mãori, offered real, violent, and determined resistance to white encroachment.
The Mãori first entered New Zealand around the year 1280 AD, which meant that they had been there for less than four hundred years before the first Europeans arrived. Nonetheless, they are fully accepted as the indigenous population of that country.
First European Contact with the Mãori
The first European explorer to reach New Zealand was the Dutchman Abel Tasman, who anchored his small fleet of ships off what is today the South Island’s GoldenBay on December 17, 1642. The next day, four Mãori canoes approached the Dutch ships, and according to Tasman, “blew several times on an instrument . . . we then ordered our sailors to play them some tunes in answer.” The Dutch then fired a cannon out to sea, at which the Mãori fled in terror.
The next day, another Mãori canoe approached the Dutch ships, but returned to land. Tasman ordered his ships closer inshore, because, as he wrote, “these people apparently sought our friendship.” Tasman ordered two smaller boats into the water to meet another two Mãori canoes which had set off from the shore. Without warning, one of the Mãori canoes rammed one of the small Dutch boats and attacked the crew with clubs and spears. The attack killed four white men, and the Mãori took one of the bodies back to the shore with them.
Tasman ordered the Dutch ships to leave “since we could not hope to enter into friendly relations with these people, or to be able to get water or refreshments here.” As they were leaving, a number of Mãori canoes paddled out once again, but the Dutch fired upon the natives and chased them away. Tasman named the bay Moordenaersbaai (“Murderers Bay”) and wrote in his journal that the encounter “must teach us to consider the inhabitants of this country as enemies.”
This unfortunate event would set the tone for many future interactions between white settlers and the Mãori—and contrasted strongly with the reaction of the Australian Aborigines to European settlement.
A sketch of natives in a boat by one of the crew of Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, made at the time of the attack on the white explorers at what is today Golden Bay in New Zealand. The original Dutch caption reads: “A view of the Murderers’ Bay, as you are at anchor here in 15 fathom.”
England’s Captain James Cook Meets with the Mãori
The next European contact with the Mãori occurred in 1769 when the British explorer Captain James Cook, in his famous ship the Endeavour, anchored off what is today known as PovertyBay on New Zealand’s NorthIsland. Smoke was observed rising from the coastline, and Cook took this to mean that the country was inhabited. He and a number of crewmen went ashore in two small boats to explore. Once landed, the Europeans set off on foot, leaving four sailors to guard the boats on the beach.
A group of Mãori appeared out of the bushes and attacked the four sailors guarding the boats. The white men were prepared for an attack, and fought off the tribesmen, killing one with a gunshot which terrified the others into running away.
Cooks’ party heard the gunfire and returned quickly to the beach and, from there, back to the Endeavour. The next day, more Mãori were sighted on the beach, and a new attempt was made to establish contact with them. Cook had taken two Tahitians onboard at an earlier stop in his voyage, and their language was fairly similar to Mãori. They were thus able to provide a basic translation service, and the Tahitians accompanied Cook and some members of his crew who went ashore once again to meet with the Mãori.
This tense second meeting on the beach descended into a fight when one of the Mãori suddenly attempted to grab a sword from one of the sailors. The whites were forced to open fire on the natives, and after the sword thief was shot dead, the Mãori fled.
Cook and his men retreated back to their ship again in order to consider their next move. Then they noticed that two Mãori canoes had entered the water and approached the ship. Cook determined to bring the Mãori on board, gain their trust by offering them gifts, and let them go in the hope that they would tell the other tribesmen that the Europeans were friendly.
This plan nearly came to naught when the Mãori attacked one of the small boats sent out to meet them. Once again, the whites were forced to open fire, and several more Mãori were killed. However, some Mãori who jumped overboard to avoid the gunfire were captured and taken on board the British ship.
There, Cook put his plan into effect. He offered them gifts, food, and drink, and in a short while the Mãori accepted that the white men were friendly. They were taken back and handed over to a large group of fellow tribesmen gathered on the shore, in the first ever nonviolent encounter between Europeans and the Mãori. After this, Cook ordered his ship to leave.
The Endeavour continued on to what is today Hawkes Bay on the east coast of the North Island where contact was made with a new Mãori tribe. Cook’s men had almost completed a trade for fish when the Mãori seized one of the Tahitian translators. The kidnappers attempted to paddle away with their prisoner, but the Europeans opened fire. Another Mãori was killed, and in the melee, the Tahitian escaped and swam back to the British boat. Cook named the area Kidnapper’s Bay, and so ended yet another attempt to make contact with the Mãori.
Finally, on January 14, 1770, a group of friendly Mãori were found at an inlet which Cook named Queen Charlotte’s Sound on the South Island. There, the Europeans were able to peacefully interact with the Mãori and engaged in trade for fish and vegetables. Cook sailed back to Britain to bring news of his discoveries, and on his second voyage two years later, circumnavigated and charted New Zealand.
Above: A Maori war canoe, drawn by Captain James Cook’s official artist, William Hodges, who accompanied the explorer on his second visit to New Zealand. Stationary European vessels were often attacked by Mãori boats such as these. Below, the first map of New Zealand, drawn by Cook after he circumnavigated the islands on his second journey.
European Weapons Spark Musket Wars among Mãori
For forty years after Cook’s visit, trading ships from Britain,France, and America were the main form of European contact with the new lands. The Mãori were particularly interested in acquiring items such as metal knives, axes, and guns.
The latter weapon had a huge influence on tribal warfare in New Zealand, particularly when employed by tribesmen against their enemies who had never seen a musket before. The Musket Wars were a series of intertribal wars which raged between 1807 and 1842 in which guns were deployed for the first time by bands of Mãori.
Although records are sketchy (as the Mãori kept none and the only accounts were picked up as hearsay by white pioneers), it appears that there were five major wars during this time, and very heavy casualties were inflicted. Some tribes, such as the Moriori on the Chatham Islands, were completely exterminated by other Mãori in this conflict, and it is speculated that the entire Mãori population halved as a result of these wars.
Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne and Assassination Cove
Cannibalism was a standard feature of Mãori warfare, a fact which the Europeans had already discovered in the eighteenth century. One of the first recorded episodes occurred on the North Island of New Zealand in 1772. Explorer Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne had been sent to explore Australia and New Zealand by the French administration of Mauritius.
He anchored at the Bay of Islands and initially established friendly contacts with the few Mãori his expedition encountered. However, a group of Mãori attacked the French explorers while they were fishing in Manawaora Bay. Du Fresne and more than two dozen of his men were killed and then eaten by the Mãori. This act provoked a furious response from the rest of the French expedition, who launched a revenge attack in which hundreds of tribesmen were killed. The French named the bay Anse des Assassinats (“Assassination Cove”), a name it has kept to the present day.
The Boyd Massacre
In 1809, a British ship named the Boyd, under the command of Captain John Thompson, anchored off WhangaroaHarbour on the North Island after sailing from Australia to collect samples of a type of tree called the Kauri. The local Whangaroa Mãori appeared friendly and offered to take Captain Thompson and his crew to find suitable trees. Thompson and four others took up the offer and left in a longboat with the Mãori guides.
However, as soon as they were ashore, the Mãori attacked and killed Thompson and his men. Some Mãori dressed up in their clothes, and using the evening darkness to aid their disguise, manned the Europeans’ longboat, and drew alongside the unsuspecting Boyd. The Mãori boarded the ship and murdered the sleeping crew one by one. The passengers were then forced to assemble on the deck, where they were all killed after Mãori reinforcements arrived by canoe. Five Europeans hid in the ship’s rigging, and watched in silent horror as the Mãori murdered and dismembered their victims in preparation for a cannibalistic meal which was later held ashore.
The attackers left the ship with their gruesome meal, and the five survivors attempted to escape the next day when a canoe, which belonged to another Mãori tribe unconnected with the perpetrators of the massacre, drew alongside. This escape attempt ended in failure when the canoe was attacked by the Whangaroa Mãori and all but one of the fleeing Europeans were caught and killed.
A few other Europeans survived the massacre by hiding on board. These included a woman and her baby; a two-year-old girl orphaned in the attack, and two men. All were captured and held prisoner by the Whangaroa Mãori.
The Boyd was then towed away by a number of Mãori canoes, but ran aground a short distance away. The tribesmen spent several days ransacking the ship and when they discovered the gunpowder store on board, they made an attempt to fire some of the weapons. Their ignorance of the dangers of gunpowder resulted in an explosion on board which killed dozens of Mãori and burned out the ship.
The Boyd catches fire after natives set off the gunpowder store. Almost the entire crew had been killed and eaten in one of the most notorious cannibal attacks by the Mãori.
News of the massacre reached the European crew of another ship at the Bay of Islands, the City of Edinburgh, under Captain Alexander Berry. They organized a revenge raiding party which went ashore and seized the two Mãori chiefs responsible for the Boyd incident. Berry offered to exchange the chiefs for the white survivors—a deal which was accepted. All of the survivors bar one of the men, who had been killed and eaten after he had been forced to make a number of steel fishing hooks, were released.
The crew from the City of Edinburgh found piles of human bones on the shoreline, and Berry reported that: “We had seen the mangled fragments and fresh bones of our countrymen, with the marks even of the teeth remaining on them” (From Tasman to Marsden: A History of Northern New Zealand from 1642 to 1818, by Robert McNab, Dunedin, 1914).
News of the Boyd massacre spread throughout Europe and, as a result, the islands of New Zealand became known as a refuge of “cannibal savages” and were avoided by all travelers for many years thereafter.
The New Zealand Company and the Treaty of Waitangi
The islands of New Zealand were officially incorporated under the jurisdiction of the colony of New South Wales in Australia in 1788, but it was only in the early nineteenth century that any serious attempt was made to settle the country with Europeans.
In 1839, a group of English entrepreneurs set up the New Zealand Company, a private enterprise whose aim was the colonization of New Zealand. Officials were dispatched to buy land from the Mãori for this purpose. These deals were highly dubious from a moral and legal point of view, given that the natives had no understanding of private land ownership. Nonetheless, the company claimed to have successfully purchased land from the natives and started encouraging settlers to emigrate.
Internal controversies dogged the New Zealand Company, including the revelation that much of its advertising material aimed at recruiting new settlers was false or based on incorrect information. The British government quickly intervened and sent its own representatives to New Zealand with the instruction to displace the New Zealand Company from authority in the islands.
About five hundred tribal chiefs entered into invitations for discussion with the British government’s representatives, and in 1840, all the parties signed what became known as the Treaty of Waitangi. In terms of this agreement, Britain formally took sovereignty over the islands, appointed a governor, and recognized the landownership rights of the Mãori, who placed themselves under the protection of the British government as British subjects.
However, given that none of the Mãori chiefs could read or write and would have had a very limited understanding of the implications of international treaties or international politics, the Treaty of Waitangi has been mired in controversy since its signing. Another problem was the fact that there was no written Mãori language (the written version which is still in use today was invented by Professor Samuel Lee of Cambridge University in 1820) and, as a result, the written English and Mãori versions of the treaty differ substantially.
These difficulties aside, the Treaty of Waitangi is now regarded as New Zealand’s official founding document.
The Mãori Wars 1845–1872
The Treaty of Waitangi did not, however, stop the conflicts between the Europeans and the Mãori, particularly after it became apparent that white immigration was on the increase. As a result, a series of wars, originally called the Maori Wars (but now renamed, for the sake of political correctness, into the “New Zealand Wars”) started in 1845 and continued in phases until 1872.
The wars were preceded by what became known as the Wairau Affray on South Island when white settlers, who had purchased land from a Mãori chief, came under attack and had their small settlement burned down. An attempt to raise a local militia led to a battle between the two sides, which resulted in twenty-two whites being killed and eaten by the Mãori. As news of this massacre reached Britain, the rush of white settlers dried up for nearly three years.
The Flagstaff War
The first conflict in the Mãori Wars came in 1845, in what is known as the Flagstaff War. One of the original signatories to the Treaty of Waitangi, a tribal chief named Hone Heke, became unhappy with increased European immigration, and, using an alleged insult to his person by a Mãori female married to one of the white settlers, ransacked the town of Kororareka (now known as Russell, which was the first permanent European settlement in New Zealand on the North Island). During this attack, Heke cut down the flagpole which flew the British flag, an act which gave the war its name. British troops rushed to Kororareka in a show of force. Heke backed down and replaced the flagpole.
However, the truce was short-lived. Other Mãori, notably the chief Kawiti, encouraged Heke to continue with his rebellion, and he ordered the flagpole cut down for the second time. British troops replaced it, but within a day, Mãori had cut it down again. The British built a fourth flagpole and posted guards around it. This proved a tempting target for the Mãori and the guard post was attacked by a large group of warriors. The guards were killed and the flagpole cut down once more while another large Mãori force attacked and burned the town. The entire white settlement was forced to retreat onto ships moored offshore.
New British troops were dispatched to retake Kororareka. In April 1845, an attempt to take Heke’s earthen and wood fort (called a pa in Mãori) failed, because the British did not have artillery which was powerful enough to penetrate the structure’s walls.
In the interim, an intertribal Mãori war between Heke’s group and another tribe under the chief Waka Nene, resulted in Heke being driven from his pa. Waka Nene then declared himself to be in support of the British and against Heke and the other Mãori rebels. A renewed assault on a second rebel pa nearly ended in disaster for the British and their Mãori allies, who were saved only by the timely arrival of a thirty-two pound cannon which bombarded the pa and persuaded its defenders to flee.
Heke and his allies built a third pa at Ruapekepeka. This was one of the largest and most sophisticated native forts ever built and was designed to provide maximum resistance to cannon fire. The fort was only taken in 1846 after its front palisade was left unguarded and seized by an adventurous British forward patrol. Once inside, the British were able to defeat its defenders and seize the entire complex.
With their last major fortification lost, Kawiti and Heke were forced to ask for peace. Waka Nene advised the British to grant them clemency, and the two rebels were pardoned. The flagstaff at Kororareka was not re-erected, but apart from this symbolic change, nothing else changed as a result of the war.
The Hutt Valley Campaign
The Mãori tribes living in the Hutt Valley in the North Island were the next to rebel against European encroachment, although the war which followed was complicated by an intertribal war. This resulted in some tribes allying themselves to the British authorities against the rebels.
Disputes over land deals in the Hutt Valley had been ongoing since 1842, and had seen tensions rise between various tribes, European settlers, and combinations thereof. One of the tribes, under the leadership of Chief Nga Rangatahi, prepared a war party in 1846. The British responded by moving troops into the area, an act which was seen as a declaration of hostilities by the Mãori.
A Mãori attack on a British camp was defeated, and in return, the Europeans attacked and destroyed a Mãori settlement at Maraenuku. The Mãori then marched up and down the Hutt Valley, destroying every white settlement and farmhouse in their way. By March, unrest had reached such a level that martial law was declared and more British troops were deployed in the area.
Several battles followed, notably at Boulcott’s Farm and Battle Hill, both of which drove off the Mãori attackers. After these defeats, the Mãori withdrew further inland and left the main centers in the Hutt Valley alone. The British built a blockhouse in Upper Hutt to prevent further incursions into the valley, and this phase of the conflict came to an end.
The Wanganui Campaign
The conclusion of the war in the Hutt Valley did not end tensions on the North Island. The nearby white settlement of Wanganui, which had been established in 1841, had only two hundred residents and was threatened by one of the tribal chiefs involved in the Hutt Valley campaign, Te Mamaku.
The British authorities were forced to deploy troops to the area, where they built a ford, known as the Rutland Stockade, in April, 1847. The fort was completed just in time. An accidental shooting incident that month sparked off a mass Mãori uprising. Within the space of a few days, a number of farms were attacked, numerous settlers killed and the Rutland Stockade besieged.
A nineteenth century photograph of the massive Rutland Stockade, a fort purpose-built to protect the white settlers of the Wanganui District. The fort was attacked in May 1847, shortly after its completion, but was never taken.
On May 19, the Mãori launched a fierce assault on the British fort. They were unable to break through and were driven off with heavy losses. The tribesmen withdrew and started building a pa outside the town. The British decided to attack the pa before it was completed, and engaged the Mãori in the open outside their fort. The tribesmen were driven back into the half-prepared fortifications and awaited what they presumed would be the inevitable final assault.
By now, however, the British military had learned that a frontal assault on a well-prepared pa was tantamount to suicide, so they withdrew to their fort to await developments. After several days of inactivity, Te Mamaku advised the British that he was withdrawing from the battle and as far as he was concerned, the war was over. The British pardoned him upon his undertaking that he would not take up arms again, and this phase of the Mãori Wars came to an end.
The First Taranaki War 1860–1861
The outbreak of the conflict called the First Taranaki War in March 1860 was the first major campaign of the Mãori Wars which involved thousands of troops. A dispute over land ownership erupted into violence after a local chief, Pokikake Te Teira, sold land to the British in the Taranaki district of New Zealand’s North Island, despite being specifically instructed not to do so by his senior chief, Wiremu Kingi.
The British moved troops into the area to secure the purchase, and in response, Kingi and a force of warriors erected a pa at a strategic point on the disputed land and ripped out the British surveyors’ boundary markers. The British troops moved to meet the Mãori and ordered them to surrender. The natives refused and a fight broke out which saw the British use cannon against the pa. After several hours of bombardment, the Mãori abandoned their fort and fled.
It was not the end of the uprising. Isolated farms in the area came under attack from roving Mãori gangs and half a dozen whites were killed. Invigorated, the Mãori reassembled, acquired new reinforcements, and built another pa. British troops stormed the fort and drove the natives out once again. Flushed with their victory at Waireka, the British attacked another pa at Puketakauere, but were this time driven off by a skillful Mãori defense. For the next two months, Mãori forces carried out hit-and-run harassment attacks on white settlers, killing several dozen Europeans and burning a number of farms.
The defeat at Puketakauere made the British governor appreciate the seriousness of the situation, and over two thousand troops were deployed in the region to crush the uprising. Given that the Mãori forces were never more than eight hundred at their absolute maximum, the British deployment indicated their desire to bring matters to a head. Several Mãori settlements and a number of new pas were destroyed in quick succession.
The British forces, under the command of Major-General Pratt, began a slow, measured advance toward Te Arei, the main Mãori base. Each step of the way was covered by the construction of a purpose-built fort designed to secure their flanks and rear. Finally, faced with imminent destruction, the Mãori asked for a ceasefire. The British agreed and the war officially ended on March 18, 1861.
The Invasion of Waikato 1863–1864
By 1860, the number of whites in New Zealand had reached sixty thousand, a figure which equaled the number of Mãori. The demographic tide had turned and the Mãori leadership, determining that the opportunity to retain control over their lands was slipping from their grasp, formed an alliance of tribes known as the King Movement, or Kingitanga.
This alliance was meant to be a supreme Mãori authority which would oppose all further sale of land to the Europeans. Its influence soon spread, and the Kingitanga openly flaunted British authority and was found to be behind an ever-growing number of disorders and criminal attacks upon whites.
The Kingitanga stronghold was to the south of Auckland on the North Island. After a significant troop buildup, Governor Sir George Grey expelled all the Mãori from the area around Auckland on July 9, 1863, and then engaged the main Mãori force—and defeated them—at the Battle of Koheroa.
Despite the overwhelming British numbers, the Mãori tribesmen proved cunning foes, and for the next two months carried out a series of attacks which killed a number of Europeans. They also seized a supply depot at a small settlement named Camerontown in an engagement which saw a Mãori tribe, the Ngati Whauroa, pretend to be British allies but then switch sides at a critical moment.
In mid-September, a Mãori attack on the British fort at Tuakau was repulsed, but this did not stop the tribesmen from attacking white settlers in the countryside at random. Nearly two dozen Europeans were killed in less than two weeks, and across the region, settlers were advised to retreat into fortified locations until the Mãori had been suppressed. One of the more famous incidents of this period included a Mãori attack on the fortified church at Pukekohe. The Mãori were routed at this battle, and forty tribesmen were killed but there were no settler casualties.
By now, British preparations for the war had been finalized. Thousands of soldiers were brought in and the next Mãori defense line at Mere Mere was broken after a savage bombardment from the British ships. The Mãori retreated to another defensive line they had built a distance away at Rangiriri. The series of defeats had demoralized the Mãori forces, and hundreds deserted, leaving just a few hundred to fight off the British advance.
The British deployed gunboats against the Mãori stronghold at Mere Mere in October 1860, as depicted above. Two ironclad ships, the Avon and the Pioneer, and four armored barges brought more than 1,200 British soldiers to bear against the Mãori defenses, which were broken after a bombardment from the sea.
By November 20, the Rangiriri line had also fallen to the Europeans, and by early December, the Mãori settlement of Ngaruawahia, the center of the Kingitanga movement, had been taken. The British pursued the fleeing rebels further south and defeated them once again at the settlement of Rangiawahia.
The Mãori prepared one last defensive pa, at Orakau. This fortification, however, was taken by the British after a three-day siege in which nearly two hundred of the Mãori defenders were killed. After this defeat, the Mãori formally surrendered and peace was declared. The area to the south of Orakau was marked off by another Mãori line and left under tribal control until 1885.
The Tauranga Campaign 1864
The Kingitanga received supplies and warriors from the Mãori tribes at Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty, and as a result, British troops were dispatched there to secure the area and prevent further reinforcements from reaching the rebels to the west.
Upon the British force’s arrival, the Mãori began construction of a pa which overlooked Tauranga Harbour. This defensive position was cunningly built to provide the maximum protection against British artillery, and contained deep bunkers in which the Mãori warriors could shelter. It was called the Gate Pa, because the center of its construction resembled a gate.
The British forces comprised 1,700 men, while the Mãori defenders were only a few hundred strong. The Europeans expected an easy victory, especially after an eight-hour bombardment by some of the heaviest cannon yet deployed in New Zealand. The Mãori, however, were safe in their bunkers, and when the British stormed what they expected to be a devastated pa, they were instead ambushed, and over one hundred men were killed. It was the worst defeat ever suffered by the British forces in New Zealand.
The Mãori defenders fled, and even though the British forces had suffered grievous losses, they pursued the tribesmen and defeated them at the Battle of Te Ranga, a few miles away from the GatePa, on June 21, 1864. During this battle, the Mãori suffered over one hundred dead and were utterly demoralized.
By the end of August, the uprising in the area was at an end. The British punished the Mãori by confiscating the one thing which both sides wanted: land. Some fifty thousand acres were seized and handed over for white settlement.
The Second Taranaki War 1863–1866
The confiscation of Mãori land which followed the end of the First Taranaki War laid the basis for the outbreak of the second war. The Mãori had never accepted the unilateral seizure of their land and disputed the land claims south of the settlement of New Plymouth, and in the Waitara area.
The ongoing unrest provoked the legislative assembly of New Zealand, which had been created in 1852, to pass the New Zealand Settlements Act in December 1863. In terms of this law, Mãori land which was under the control of those tribes who engaged in “rebellion” could be confiscated. The law was given immediate force in Taranaki and before the end of the following year, some 1,800 square miles of land had been seized and distributed to white farmers.
In the interim, a virulent religion, known as the Hau Hau Movement, emerged among the Mãori. It advocated violence against the hated pakeha, or white people. The Hau Hau Movement made use of ritual slaughter, castrations, beheadings, the removal of hearts and other body parts, and traditional Mãori cannibalism. In addition, the Hau Hau priests taught that their incantations and spells would provide protection against bullets. The religion spread rapidly throughout the North Island and was dominant among the tribes by 1864.
These factors combined to spark a new conflict, centered on the disputed land at Waitara. The British governor, Sir George Grey, announced on May 11, 1863, that the land would be returned to the Mãori, but he simultaneously deployed troops in the area to protect the white settlers. The Mãori responded by attacking the British soldiers, an act which Grey used to declare a new Taranaki war. A series of small engagements took place, most of which ended with the Mãori fleeing—but not until dozens of European settlers and soldiers had been killed.
The British forces took pa after pa from the Mãori through 1863 and 1864, and at one stage employed a warship to shell Mãori positions from the sea. At the same time, detachments of locally recruited militia from the ever-growing European settler population swept though Mãori settlements, destroying villages and seizing land. The Mãori scored some successes, and in one notable incident captured and killed seven British soldiers. They were beheaded and the heads paraded around the island to gain recruits for the Hau Hau Movement.
The violent struggle continued all through 1864, but by now the British had perfected the art of using the wars as a way of taking more land from the Mãori. After each skirmish, they would build a series of forts, and the land would be cleared of Mãori and settled by white farmers. The progress was slow but relentless, and the Mãori were steadily pushed back.
By April 1865, most of the coast eighty miles north of New Plymouth had been seized in this way. Despite a British offer of peace in September, the war continued into 1866. Ultimately, the white settlers and the British troops proved too powerful to overcome, and after several engagements where the bulletproof incantations failed with disastrous consequences for the Mãori warriors, disillusionment with the Hau Hau religion and successive defeats forced the rebellion to end. In November 1866, a peace treaty formally ended the war.
The Ngai Te Rangi tribe surrenders at Tauranga following their defeat at Te Ranga in June 1864. The tribesmen surrendered both their weapons and those they had captured from the British at the earlier Battle of the Gate Pa. This sketch was made by a British soldier at the scene.
Hau Hau Civil War Breaks out among Mãori
Not all the Mãori tribes on the North Island acknowledged the peace of 1866, particularly those who were still involved in the Hau Hau Movement. Those Mãori who had come to understand that the violent religion was a hoax, became strongly opposed to it. This caused many Taranaki Mãori to join government forces and take part in suppressing uprisings by Hau Hau-supporting tribes.
As a result, when government forces were deployed to hunt down the murderers of a German Christian missionary, Carl Völkner (who was ritually killed and had his eyeballs publicly eaten by a Hau Hau leader, Kereopa Te Rau, in March 1865), Taranaki Mãori were deployed alongside colonial militia and together they waged a highly effective campaign against the local Mãori in Opotiki. The Hau Hau-related uprising was crushed within a few weeks.
From left to right: the Mãori leader Kereopa Te Rau, photographed just before he was hanged; the church where the event occurred; and Carl Völkner, the victim. The German missionary had built a church in Opotiki and drawn a number of Mãori adherents to Christianity by 1865. In February that year, Kereopa Te Rau arrived in Opotiki and quickly converted Völkner’s congregation to the Hau Hau religion. The next month, Völkner was seized by his former flock and decapitated. Kereopa Te Rau?then held a Hau Hau service inside Völkner’s church, with Völkner’s head in the pulpit. During the Hau Hau service, Kereopa Te Rau plucked both eyeballs out of Völkner’s head and ate them. The atrocity provoked a new campaign from the British to stamp out the Hau Hau rebels in the area, an objective which was achieved some seven years later. Kereopa Te Rau was hanged in 1872.
A mini-civil war then erupted among the Mãori on the North Island, fought between Hau Hau adherents and nonbelievers. The sceptics called on the white government for help, which was duly forthcoming. The whites armed “loyal” Mãori who then took part in a series of battles with Hau Hau-supporting tribes at Poverty Bay, Hawke’s Bay, Napier, and Tauranaga. In many of these clashes, colonial white militia fought alongside the “loyal” Mãori forces. The Hau Hau tribes were utterly defeated, their traditional Mãori military craftiness submerged in reckless open charges driven by their belief that they were impervious to bullets.
The last phase of the Mãori civil war took place during an anti-white uprising led by the charismatic chief Te Kooti in 1868. Te Kooti established yet another religious cult and led his supporters in a killing spree which murdered dozens of whites. He often killed other Mãori as well, and eventually a combination of government forces and Mãori opponents destroyed his power base. Eventually, Te Kooti’s cult ran out of followers, and he faded into insignificance after being granted amnesty in 1883.
The Third Taranaki War 1868–1869
The Third Taranaki War was the final stage in the race wars in New Zealand. Often called Titokowaru’s War, after its chief protagonist, this conflict was a revival of the Second Taranaki War. Titokowaru had, in fact, been a warrior in that earlier war—and had converted to the Hau Hau religion when it swept the North Island.
In June 1868, Titokowaru launched a series of attacks against white settlers along the Waingongoro River. Shortly afterward, news of a cannibalistic feast and ritual murders reached the ears of the white authorities, and government troops were mobilized to defeat the new menace. However, Titokowaru was an experienced fighter and, although a Hau Hau adherent, did not believe in the bullet immunity legend. The Mãori leader prepared his defenses well and routed the colonial forces (which included a small detachment of “loyal” Mãori) in a series of clashes at Turuturu-Mokai and Te Ngutu o Te Manu.
The defeated colonial forces were forced to retreat after suffering dozens of casualties. The defeats were made worse by the fact that the retreating European soldiers witnessed the ritual murder of white prisoners by Titokowaru’s warriors, who specialized in cutting out the hearts of the their enemies.
Titokowaru’s victories encouraged other Mãori tribes to join his uprising, and many “loyal” Mãori deserted the colonial forces. It took months for the government forces to recover from these defeats, and it was only in January 1869 that an attack was launched on Titokowaru’s new fort at Moturoa. The Battle of Moturoa, as it became known, resulted in yet another catastrophic defeat for the government forces.
At the height of his victories, Titokowaru suddenly lost his ability to motivate and direct his followers. The collapse of his formidable army is shrouded in mystery, but the most likely explanation is that intertribal conflict finally brought about his downfall. Whatever the cause, by the end of 1869, the last effective Mãori resistance to the Europeans had faded away.
Crown Colony of New Zealand Constituted in 1841
The growing number of white settlers in New Zealand and the country’s distance from New South Wales in Australia made the initial plan of administrative union between the regions increasingly cumbersome. As a result, New Zealand was reconstituted as a separate crown colony with Wellington as its capital in 1841.
In 1852, the British parliament passed the New Zealand Constitution Act, which enabled a representative government in the colony. The first elections were held in 1853, and the first meeting of members of Parliament took place in 1854. By 1865, the New Zealand Parliament had moved to Wellington.
Mãori Given Racially-Exclusive Seats in New Zealand Parliament
Although there was no specific clause which forbade Mãori from having the vote, the first New Zealand parliament was elected on a strict property-owning qualified franchise. This had the practical effect of disqualifying most Mãori because, even then, they had little concept of the idea of private ownership of property in the European sense. The closest concept to property ownership which the Mãori possessed was in the form of tribal lands which belonged to chiefs. As a result, about one hundred Mãori chieftains did have the vote at the time of the first elections. The qualified franchise was applied without racial prejudice, however, and even among white settlers, the total number of voters in 1853 was 5,749.
The ongoing wars with the Mãori convinced many Europeans that the natives had to be accommodated in one form or another in parliament. As a result, the New Zealand parliament created four seats reserved specifically for the Mãori, and for which all adult male Mãori could vote.
Even though it was on a separate voters’ roll, the irony of universal male suffrage being granted to Mãori before it was granted to whites in New Zealand, was not lost on the rest of the population. In addition to the reserved seats, those Mãori who qualified for the franchise under the property-owning restrictions were given a second vote in the “ordinary” elections as well, effectively doubling their vote. This disparity was made even more glaring when the property qualification for obtaining the franchise was abolished in 1879.
The separate seats arrangement was meant to last for only five years, as it was presumed that the Mãori would soon own land on an individual basis as the Europeans did. This did not occur as expected, and the reserved seats were extended in 1872 and made permanent in 1876.
The Mãori have been given seven racially-exclusive seats in the New Zealand parliament, for which they alone can vote. While whites are specifically excluded from voting in the Mãori seats, all Mãori can vote in the “general” seats. This has inevitably led to the rise of Mãori ethno-nationalism, and the creation of a Mãori Party. Above: A Mãori Party demonstration outside the New Zealand parliament building in Wellington in 2004. The statue of New Zealand Prime Minister Richard Seddon was adorned with a Mãori Party flag for the occasion. Attempts by small groups of white New Zealanders to form racially-exclusive parties have been dismissed as “racist” but no such smear is used against the Mãori-only groups.
Mãori have been eligible to vote on both the Mãori roll and the “general” voters’ roll since 1879, and in 1893, a new law ruled that only full-blooded Mãori would automatically be put on the reserved seat election rolls. “Half–castes,” or mixed European-Mãori people, were given the right to choose if they wanted to be enrolled upon the Mãori-only voters’ roll.
The reserved Mãori seats have remained in place ever since, despite suggestions that they are racially discriminatory. The number of Mãori-only seats was increased to seven in 2002 after New Zealand switched to a proportional representation system of elections.
New Zealand also became the first country in the world to give the franchise to women in 1893, although bizarrely, females were forbidden from standing as candidates until 1919.
Gold and Sheep Farming Boost White Numbers
White population numbers in New Zealand were boosted after sheep farming was started in the 1850s and gold was discovered in 1852. For many decades, wool accounted for more than one third of New Zealand’s exports, and after the first successful transcontinental exportation of frozen meat in 1882, mutton and lamb became another major revenue stream.
Several gold rushes took place after 1852, all of which attracted a large number of fortune seekers to New Zealand. By 1866, the amount of gold produced reached a record 735,000 ounces, or more than twenty-two tons. Gold mining continued to play an important part in New Zealand’s economy, and in 2000, the Macraes and Martha mines each produced their one millionth ounce.
New Zealanders Fight for Britain in Both World Wars
During the First World War, troops from New Zealand took part in the disastrous Gallipoli campaign against Ottoman Turkey. The campaign was the first combined mission carried out by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) and is widely credited with cementing New Zealand’s national consciousness. ANZAC Day is still celebrated on April 25 each year to honor New Zealand’s military dead.
Troops from New Zealand disembark at a French port after a sea journey around the globe to fight for the Allies in World War I.
An astonishing 103,000 New Zealanders served in the armed forces during the First World War—out of a total population of one million. Of this number, 16,697 were killed. This meant that 1.6 percent of all New Zealanders died in the conflict, one of the highest death rates per capita of any country in the war.
An even greater number of New Zealanders served in World War II. Some 140,000 soldiers fought overseas in Europe, North Africa, and in the Pacific during the war. Of this number, some 11,928 were killed, or just under 1 percent of the total population of New Zealand in 1939.
The Mãori—Social Disaster
According to the 2006 Census, Mãori made up 14.6 percent of New Zealand’s population. As is the case with the Australian Aborigines, the Mãori community has extremely high rates of unemployment, imprisonment, alcoholism, drug dependency, and violence. A report issued on Mãori crime in October 2005, for example, revealed that they comprised over half of New Zealand’s prison population and 45 percent of offenders serving community based sentences. This means that Mãori are responsible for more than 65 percent of all criminal offences in New Zealand.
The deplorable state of the Maori community overall led to the creation of the Ministry of Maori Development by the New Zealand government in 1992. This government department, devoted exclusively to Mãori upliftment programs, has a budget of millions of New Zealand dollars, promotes Mãori-only businesses, and provides scholarships and welfare funding. None of these measures appear to have had much effect.
New Zealand: First World Nation Because of First World Population
Despite only coming into existence in the mid-nineteenth century, New Zealand was regarded as a First World nation within a few decades of its creation. By the end of the twentieth century, New Zealand was so advanced that it provided foreign aid to thirty-two countries around the world, all of which are Second or Third World nations.
The obvious question which must spring to the mind of any objective observer is this: how could a small island nation barely 150 years old, become so advanced in such a short period of time that it now provides foreign aid to other nations, many of which were established long before New Zealand?
The answer, as politically incorrect as it may be, is simply that New Zealand became a First World nation because it was majority populated by First World people.
New Zealand serves as yet another example of how a territory’s culture and civilization is determined exclusively by who makes up the majority population, regardless of environmental circumstances.
Auckland, New Zealand, was founded in 1840. By 1900, it was the largest city in the country. Within a century, Auckland became a mighty First World city, built literally out of the untamed bush. This and the many other achievements of present-day New Zealand are evidence that a culture is a reflection of the people who majority occupy a region. New Zealand became a First World nation because it was occupied by First World people.
Nonwhite Immigration Increases after 1980
Third World immigration into New Zealand started in earnest in the last two decades of the twentieth century and has continued ever since. This influx, combined with the Mãori population, has reversed the Europeanization of New Zealand so that by the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, less than two-thirds of New Zealand’s population was white. The extent and implications of this development are discussed later in this work.
This is a chapter from March of the Titans, The Complete History of the White Race, available here.