The New Zealand Wars: A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period: Volume II: The Hauhau Wars, (1864–72)
CAPTURE OF THE PAKAKOHI TRIBE, PATEA
CAPTURE OF THE PAKAKOHI TRIBE, PATEA
Although actual fighting had ceased, several important expeditions were carried out by the colonial forces in the South Taranaki and Waitotara districts during April, May, June, and July, 1869. The Pakakohi and Nga-Rauru Tribes, who had not remained with Titokowaru after the final defeat at Whakamara, page 311 had taken shelter up the Patea, Whenuakura, and Waitotara Rivers, where they considered themselves safe from further molestation. In April a force of sixty men, under Major Noake, Captain Kells, and Captain John Bryce, ascended the Waitotara by canoe for many miles in pursuit of Nga-Rauru, but found only deserted settlements. Captain Hawes, of the Wairoa, with ninety men, chiefly Ngati-Porou, scouted the banks of the Whenuakura, and Colonel Lyon examined the Patea country. The Ngati-Porou company, searching the bush along the Patea, shot four Hauhaus. Colonel Lyon was highly pleased with Ngati-Porou; he wrote of them “as the best body of natives it had ever been my fortune to command.” In June Major Noake made a canoe expedition up the Patea, taking two hundred and seventy men in his flotilla, and captured the old chief Nga-waka-taurua and many of his Pakakohi Tribe. The warriors surrendered their arms, and were taken out to Patea. Gradually other sections of the tribe were rounded up on the Patea and the Whenuakura, until practically the whole of the fighting-men of the Pakakohi were captured, to the number of over a hundred, besides most of the women and children. The men, to their great disgust, were transported to Otago, and were not released until peace was thoroughly established on the West Coast. Had the Pakakohi anticipated this imprisonment it is extremely unlikely that they would have surrendered as they did.
Major M. Noake
William Kelly, of Stratford, Taranaki, who had been an American man-of-war sailor before he enlisted in the New Zealand forces, gave the following account of the last expedition after the remnant of the Pakakohi, who were sheltering on the upper part of the Whenuakura River:—
“In July, 1869, a detachment of twenty of us (Patea Rangers and Armed Constabulary), under Captain Kells, went up the Whenuakura River in canoes in order to try and capture the chief Te Onekura, who was concerned in the murder of Mr. Broughton, the previous Government interpreter, on the Patea in 1865. Te Onekura was supposed to have taken the Government money—a large sum—with which Broughton had intended to pay for a block of land. All the members of our expedition were experienced canoe-men. I had learned to paddle and pole when we were at Pipiriki, on the Wanganui. We reached a good-sized settlement some miles up the river, and took the Maoris there by surprise, but there was no firing except by way of ‘bluff.’ We found an old Maori there, one of the Hauhaus, who, we thought, would be able to tell us something. Captain Kells, Tom Adamson, and I took him out into the bush a little distance from the settlement, within gun-shot sound. We stood him out there and told him that we'd shoot him unless he told us where Te Onekura had hidden the stolen money. The old man could not or would not tell. He maintained a stubborn silence. We told him he was about to be killed for his failure to answer us, and I slowly levelled my carbine and fired just past his ear. The plucky old man never moved. The shot was heard in the village as we intended; the idea was to compel the Hauhaus to divulge the secret of the money and to impress them with the belief that we had shot the old fellow for his obstinate silence. We kept the first Maori back in the bush a while, and dealt with another Hauhau in the same way, but with no success. Returning to the settlement, we got a boy to show us the track down through the bush to another place on the river-bank. There we took the people by surprise; they were all gathered in a large wharepuni, which was partly dug out of the ground, with the sides earthed up, so that the floor was a foot or two below the level of the ground outside. We interrogated these people also, but to no effect; the Government never recovered the looted money. We took a number of prisoners here and brought them down to Patea.”