Ngā Tohuwhenua Mai Te Rangi: A New Zealand Archeology in Aerial Photographs
The South Island did not see widespread military conflict between Māori and European forces, such as the North Island suffered. However, earlier in the century the general north-to-south imbalance in the availability of muskets, and the subsequent raiding of the south by northern tribes, caused devastation in the main Ngāi Tahu villages. The principal sites date to the period when Te Rauparaha of Ngāti Toa was trying to establish his mana whenua over the South Island. This was after the initial raids of the early 1820s when Ngāti Koata, allied with Ngāti Toa, occupied much of Nelson-Marlborough.
Kaiapoi, site of the defeat of Ngāi Tahu by Te Rauparaha in 1832
The perimeter bank by the edge of the swamp shows clearly following recent clearance of willows from the site. The swamp at rear still remains while, on this side, the original strip of swamp and stream is marked by the open drain in the foreground. The pā originally extended in another complete segment over the area where the house and sheep are at right. The bank casting a strong shadow by the road is 90 m long. One of the original gateways through the bank by the road shows clearly. Te Rauparaha's saps occupied the lefthand edge of the rectangular paddock on this side of the road and led in towards this gateway. The view is from the south-west. A colour photograph with interpretative drawing is on page 213.
Onāwe pā, Banks Peninsula, attacked by Te Rauparaha after the sacking of Kaiapoi
The defences of the pā are in part natural, using the steep cliffs of the peninsula (at top, in scrub). A ditch and bank, partly obscured by the scrub, extends along this cliff edge with a short field of close fire against any attack from that quarter. The distinct ribbon-like line is a path through long grass. On the near side of the main rectangular block of fortified perimeter are trenches which give access to water and the shoreline (foreground). The total defended area on the peninsula is about 450 m long by 40 m (width varies). The rectangular enclosure seen here (ditch and bank out of view at left) is 130 by 40 m. The view is to the north-east. For a wider view of the pā, see the illustration of the fish trap (here out of picture, bottom left) in chapter 5.
Onāwe appears on first sight to have been a good defensive position, and it was not taken by a direct assault. Te Rauparaha had gathered at Onāwe with his own forces and many prisoners from his earlier defeat of Kaiapoi. The prisoners were Ngāi Tahu and closely re- page break lated to the occupants of Onāwe. They were brought forward to open a discussion with the defenders. In the confusion and reluctance of the defenders to fire on their own people, the Ngāti Toa were able to enter Onāwe. Once inside, they turned on the defenders and many Ngāi Tahu were killed. Following these two incidents, Ngāi Tahu abandoned their other central Canterbury pā, such as those at Taumutu, and fled further south. 28
The early nineteenth-century pā at Taumutu (near Lake Ellesmere), Wairewa (Lake Forsythe) and Waiteruaiti (near Timaru), have massive defensive ditches and banks. The defensive significance of the position of one of the sites at Taumutu, Orariki, is not obvious at first sight. From the air, however, it can be seen to lie across a narrow neck of dry land formed where the mudflats of the margins of Lake Ellesmere (Waihora) finger into the land. 29 This locality was first settled by the chiefs Te Ruahikihiki and Kaweriri.
Orariki, a pā near Taumutu at the southern end and outlet of Waihora (Lake Ellesmere)
The church and graveyard at top right are within the bounds of the defensive ditch and bank, immediately left of the road at top. Built in the early nineteenth century by the Ngāi Tahu hapū, Ngāti Ruahikihiki, the pā originally occupied the neck of dry land that extended out into the lake between mudflats. The Waikewai Stream bed and mudflat show clearly on the near side of the church. The defences may originally have been dogleg in plan, with the modern road obscuring a large part of the original defences. The view is to the north-west.
Oruaka, a pre-European pā above Wairewa (Lake Forsythe), Banks Peninsula
Running up through the centre is the pre-European ditch and bank, with the pits and terraces of the settlement on the slope top right. Outside the major ditch and bank, and postdating it, are irregular ditch and bank enclosures. They may relate to early or mid-nineteenth century Maori settlement; they may be of European origin. The view is to the east.