Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.
Chapter XXV — Under the Hauhau Banner
Under the Hauhau Banner
Disciples of Te Ua Stir Up Unrest—Murder of Rev. C. S. Volkner—War Breaks Out on East Coast—Spread of Strife to Poverty Bay—Siege of Waerenga-a-Hika.
Disaffection in a more virulent form spread like wildfire throughout the East Coast districts following upon the arrival at Opotiki on 28 February, 1865, of Kereopa and Patara (Butler) and some other Taranaki adherents of Horopapera te Ua (the originator of Hauhauism). The party, which was accompanied by two white men (believed to be military deserters) had journeyed via Taupo and Whakatane. Many Bay of Plenty natives at once embraced the new cult. The movement also bestirred the Kingites and those who had never accepted British rule. Bishop W. Williams held that a common fear—that the Europeans intended to deprive them of their land and impose their domination over them—bound the various sections.
On 1 March the Rev. C. S. Volkner returned to Opotiki from Auckland. He had been to see his wife, whom he had taken to the northern centre early in 1864 on account of the growing unrest. The Rev. T. S. Grace (who had only recently been driven from Pukawa, Taupo) accompanied him. During Mr. Volkner's absence the contents of his home had been put up by auction. Upon Kereopa's orders—Patara was away on a visit to Tunapahore—the missionaries were at once seized.
Next day Mr. Volkner was taken to his church. Kereopa said that it was a command from the Hauhau god (spoken through a European soldier's head which he and Patara had brought with them) that the minister should be hanged. Mr. Volkner was escorted to a willow tree nearby. He asked for his prayer book, which was sent for. Then he knelt down and prayed for himself and for those who were about to slay him. Whilst he was shaking hands with those standing about, a rope, which had been attached to one of the stoutest branches of the tree, was placed around his neck by Pokeno and he was hoisted up.
When the body was taken down the head was removed by Heremitu and taken into the crowded church. Kereopa filled the chalice with blood from it. The head was then placed on the shelf of the pulpit. Even to-day the stains show where blood trickled down the front. Taking up the chalice, Kereopa (who was standing in the pulpit) drank from it. He then sprinkled his deluded converts with some of the blood. He gained the designation “Kai-whatu” (“The Eye-Eater”) because he page 216 swallowed the missionary's eyes. Eleven days after the shocking murder the head and body were buried at the back of the church. Mr. Grace conducted the funeral. Some years later, when it became necessary to enlarge the church, the remains were not disturbed. The grave now occupies a position inside the rails of the altar.
In a letter to Mr. McLean (1/4/1865), Captain Harris commented: “Mr. Volkner's death is very sad. He, poor fellow! differed from many of his cloth. He always held the Waitara war to be just, and that the only way to save these people would be to subject them.”
The Hauhau emissaries turned up on the outskirts of Poverty Bay on 13 March as the guests of T'Aitanga-a-Mahaki. Two days later a second contingent from Taranaki, which had journeyed via Ruatahuna, arrived. W. Williams (Christianity Among the New Zealanders) says that even the better-disposed local natives, although disgusted on account of the murder of Mr. Volkner, became spellbound.
“When the worship of these fanatics was practised in Poverty Bay,” he added, “it was followed by a most bitter lamentation unlike anything ever witnessed there before. It was a kind of mourning on account of those who had been slain in the war with the English and for the land which had been taken from them in the Waikato. It was commenced by the Taranaki natives, but the effect was overpowering upon the bystanders, who joined in it by degrees … There was a chord touched which vibrated in the native breast. It was that of aroha ki te iwi (love of country) and they could not resist it.”
Bishop Williams informed Sir George Grey that, at a meeting on 14 March, he came in contact with Kereopa, who endeavoured to excuse himself by averring that it was the Opotiki natives who had killed Mr. Volkner. When Kereopa had wished to shake hands and make peace, he had told him that he could not shake hands with a murderer—and that he could see the blood still wet upon his hands. Kereopa had then adopted a threatening attitude. It was the Bishop's opinion that Patara, who was absent when the murder was committed, must have known of the intention to commit it. [Subsequently, Patara obtained a Government appointment in Taranaki!]
“A pole on which the Pai-marire flag was hoisted had been set up. The party marched up and stood around. A tiu (priest) stood by the pole on ground a little above the rest. The party marched around three times, their eyes fixed, with steady gaze, upon the pole as they chanted a song. Then they gathered into a compact mass while the tiu gave out a prayer from a book, the people making the responses in unison with great earnestness and with many inflexions of the page 217 voice. Towards the close, the priest buried his face in a cambric handkerchief, his breast heaving deep with emotion. Up jumped an old cannibal heathen in pure Maori costume—kokowai (red ochre)—and all sang a song of the old time. The friendly bystanders could no longer resist and came rushing into the ring. Kereopa the Eyeeater now came forward. Those who desired to see the head of Captain Lloyd were invited into an adjoining house, where, by ventriloquism, it was made to speak … This all occurred about two miles from the Bishop's mission station at Waerenga-a-Hika.”
None of the more important natives who temporarily turned to Hauhauism was more ashamed in later years than Henare Ruru, senior. Just before his death in February, 1873, he explained that the reason why he enlisted under the Hauhau banner was that Kereopa told him that he would be cured of his lameness if he made a nightly bed companion of the murdered pakeha's preserved head, which had been brought from Taranaki. However, as the presence of the gruesome trophy failed to relieve him of his malady, he had, he said, cast it aside with disgust.
Mission Station Abandoned
The missionaries and settlers had hoped that Hirini te Kani would at once order the Hauhau emissaries to leave the district. After the lapse of a few days, he went over to them and told them that he did not approve of their visit. He refused to accept two Hauhau flags from them, and declined to take charge of Brown (one of the Europeans attached to their party), whom they intended to leave in the district. [During H.M.S. Esk's visit in the following May, Brown, who denied that he was a deserter from the 57th Regiment, was captured by a party of marines, which also secured a white man's head that had been left behind by the Hauhaus. The other renegade was Louis Baker, who was of Canadian-Red Indian extraction.]
Patara informed the settlers on 25 March that they had no real grounds for fear. “There is,” he said, “only one person implicated in the murder of the minister, and I dare say you know his name. So you must not blame a whole flock because there is one scabby sheep in it.” Much to the satisfaction of the settlers, a party of influential southern anti-Hauhau chiefs arrived in Poverty Bay on 31 March. Their leader (Wi Tako) ordered Patara (who was a tribal connection) to leave the district. Kereopa went off on 13 April and Patara a few days afterwards.
Writing to Mr. McLean, Captain Harris (1 April) said that he had been assured by Paratene Turangi and others that the settlers had no cause for alarm. However, it was a matter of grave concern that so many natives—young and old—had embraced the new faith. He considered that Sydney [Hirini te page 218 Kani] had assisted the Hauhaus. Both Lazarus and Matete had become converts. Many of the settlers had become panicky and were leaving, as also were some of the Bishop's family. “There is,” he added, “a most decided feeling against the clerical body in Maori minds just now. I don't think they will much care over losing their pastors. How little hold the Christian faith has had on these people cannot be better shown than by the late evidence! I fear that I am not wrong in what I have ever thought: that there is really not one Christian native in New Zealand.”
“About this time came up Karaitiana, Wi Tako and others on a long-promised visit. They said: ‘These men [the Taranaki intruders] must go, or we go.’ When Kereopa and his party were apprised of this they sent messengers after the second Taranaki contingent, who were on their way home, bidding them return. An attack in two parties—by one upon the Bishop's College and by the other on Wi Tako's party—was then arranged. The Hauhaus spent the night casting bullets and making up cartridges. Some of their conversation was overheard by a Turanga native and was reported to Bishop Williams. Moreover, the chiefs upon whom he mainly relied had been seen drinking with Patara.
“After long consultation, an unwilling departure was resolved upon to take place at night. But to this the native ministers demurred. One of them, Mohi [Turei] spoke out: ‘No, we will stay and die like men!’ But it was not for the mission to fight. Endurance had been their badge from the first, and had to be still. ‘At least,’ said Mohi, ‘do not go by night. If you do, you will be overtaken and tomahawked. Go in the face of day!’ The advice was taken, and the party was not molested.”
It is stated by W. L. Williams that his father's decision soon became widely known, and that, at an early hour in the morning [3 April], a number of people who had been dallying with the Hauhaus came to reassure them, urging them to stay. They tried to defend their own conduct, but found it impossible to explain away the fact that the success which Patara and Kereopa had achieved was owing to the encouragement which they themselves had given them. In the afternoon Bishop Williams and the Rev. E. B. Clarke, with their families, embarked on s.s. St. Kilda, which sailed in the evening for Napier. Four staunch supporters—Wi Haronga, Pita te Huhu, Paora Matuakore and Matenga Toti—took charge of the mission property.
Little is known concerning Kereopa's movements after he left on 13 April. Patara returned to Opotiki, which again became a centre for his proselytizing activities. The European settlement in Poverty Bay became completely disorganised; some more families left the district. As the situation on the western side of page 219 the island was even more serious, Premier Weld handed over the management of the East Coast to Mr. McLean, informing him that, unless prompt and successful measures could be taken, that portion of the colony might have to be sacrificed temporarily.
On 10 April, Captain Harris wrote privately to Mr. McLean, suggesting that he should be given authority to incur the expense that would be entailed in getting the loyal natives to build and garrison a stockade at Turanganui and to arrange with Captain Read to detain any of his vessels if there appeared to be a likelihood that its services might be required. Mr. McLean sent H.M.S. Esk to Poverty Bay on 4 May. Her commander (Captain Luce) went to Whakato and, besides delivering a letter from Bishop W. Williams to the Rongowhakaata chiefs urging them to throw their weight on the side of the Government, made a personal appeal to them, but neither representation had any appreciable effect. When Mr. McLean paid a visit on 4 June, some of the principal chiefs took the oath of allegiance before him. Hirini te Kani declined to do so unless Mokena Kohere took down a flagstaff bearing a Union Jack which he had erected on Waikanae without consulting him. Harris told Mr. McLean that the district then had fewer Europeans than in 1840.
June, 1865, was a red-letter month for the Ngati-Porou people. The rebel Kingites, together with the Hauhau section, hived off from the Queenites, occupied separate pas and set about to make aggressive preparations. So quickly did the rebellion spread that but few of the chiefs dared to resist it. Among those who did so were: Iharaira te Houkamau, at Te Araroa; Mokena Kohere, at Rangitukia; and Henare Potae, at Tokomaru Bay. With a party of Taranaki Hauhaus and some Bay of Plenty converts, Patara contrived to slip past Te Houkamau at Te Araroa. He was joined by some of the disaffected Ngati-Porou, and they all made off for Waiapu. Mokena was the first of the Queenite chiefs to attract their fanatical wrath.
Major Ropata (Waiapu Native Land Court minute book, No. 8) says that he and his sub-tribe (Te Aowera) were at Popoti pa on 9 June, holding a feast in connection with the new church [the Church of St. Michael] at Tuparoa. Next day the Rev. Mohi Turei brought word that the rebels had arrived at Waiapu. The Aowera reached Te Hatepe that evening. In the morning they went to assist in fighting the rebels at Mangaone. Tuta Nihoniho's father and Makoare were among the eight loyalists who were slain. It was believed that the rebel losses came to 13. After the loyalists had retreated, Patara and his party left on their return to Opotiki.page 220
Elated over their victory, the Waiapu rebels occupied the whole of the Pukemaire tableland. The reinforced loyalists encamped at Tikitiki. Slight skirmishes at Te Rahui and Taraketiti followed. On 21 June, whilst the loyalists were reconnoitring near Pukemaire, they were surprised by the rebels, who chased them back first to Tikitiki and then to Te Hatepe. At Tikitiki, the rebels butchered Huaki (one of Mokena's relatives) and carried off some women and children, besides four kegs of ammunition.
As the rebels around Te Araroa were numerous, Te Houkamau moved to Hicks Bay, where he built a pa which he named “Makeronia” (“Macedonia”). Mokena made Te Hatepe his headquarters and the rebels built a second pa at Kairomiromi, about two miles from Te Hatepe. The loyalists between Waiapu and Waipiro Bay were served by a pa at Tuparoa. In the Tokomaru Bay district Henare Potae built a pa at Mawhai and the rebels occupied a fort at Pukepapa. Between Tokomaru Bay and Poverty Bay the natives generally were well disposed towards the Crown.
None of the Colonial forces engaged on the other side of the island could be spared to assist Mokena. However, Mr. McLean sent a consignment of arms and ammunition; it reached Port Awanui on 21 June. He also recruited a force of 70 Hawke's Bay Military Settlers (under Captain Fraser) and 50 Hawke's Bay Volunteers (under Captain Biggs). It landed from H.M.S. Eclipse at Port Awanui early on the evening of 5 July and reached Te Hatepe just before midnight. Next day the rebels attacked Te Hatepe. Standing close in, the gunboat joined in the fray, but, as two of her shells dropped near the loyalists' pa, she was signalled to cease firing. After slaying one loyalist, the rebels retired. A further rebel attack on 18 July also failed. The loyalists lost two men and the rebels seven. Engagements at Tikapa and Te Horo followed on 31 July. Te Houkamau was attacked shortly afterwards, but Makeronia pa proved impregnable.
The Crown troops, with their native allies, marched in two columns, by different routes, to make a surprise attack on Pa Kairomiromi at daylight on 2 August. Fraser's force attacked from the front and Biggs's contingent went round to the right. The pa was taken and destroyed. Rebel losses were 19 killed, besides many wounded and 30 taken prisoner. Only eight of the attackers became casualties. This sharp and very successful engagement did much to restore the prestige of the Crown. The Waiapu rebels now took refuge in Pukemaire pa.
The southern rebels unsuccessfully attacked Potae's pa at Mawhai on 17–18 August. In turn, Potae, on the 20th, drove page 221 them out of their pa at Pukepapa. He reattacked them at Tahu-tahupo (on the Hikuwai Stream) on the 24th and at Pakura (inland from Anaura) on the 25th. Among the 11 rebels slain at Tahutahupo were two women, who had been mistaken for men, and also Paora Haupa, a Poverty Bay prophet. On 28 September, whilst Potae was absent in Poverty Bay, the rebels reattacked Mawhai pa, but without success, losing nine men. On that occasion the pa was garrisoned by only a small number of old men and by some women led by Mere Arihi (one of Potae's cousins), who became the wife of Hati te Houkamau. They were assisted by three whalers—Robert Waddy, John Anderson (not “Henderson,” the name which appears in some accounts) and Cassidy. Earlier in the day the rebels had slain Anderson's son Henry whilst he was out with George Gilman (another half-caste lad) looking for their horses. Anderson senior, who was shot in the face during the attack on the pa, died whilst being taken to Auckland.
Reinforced by 45 Forest Rangers under Captain Westrup, the Crown troops attacked Pukemaire on 3 October, but their efforts were spoiled by incessant rain. On the 9th they returned to the pa, found it deserted, and set it on fire. A crowning stroke on Fraser's part followed on the 11th, when he forced the rebels to surrender their new stronghold at Pukeamaru after 20 had been slain. Ropata distinguished himself during this attack. When the force got back to Te Hatepe, Mokena hoisted two Union Jacks, placed an open Bible beneath, and compelled the prisoners (about 200) to take the oath of allegiance and salute the flags. They were then placed on parole. A guard of 30 Military Settlers was left at Port Awanui to assist Mr. Campbell, R.M., in supervising their conduct.
Captain Read Fears a General Massacre
Whilst hostilities were proceeding on the East Coast, the Kingites and Hauhaus in Poverty Bay adopted an increasingly unfriendly attitude. By August it appeared practically certain that Poverty Bay would also become the scene of strife. As Pukeamionga pa lacked a water supply, the rebels began to strengthen the big pa which stood on the bank of the old riverbed near the Waerenga-a-Hika mission station. Hirini te Kani now declared himself on the side of the Crown, and sought aid for the protection of Poverty Bay. On 15 September Mr. McLean sent up 26 Military Settlers, under Lieutenant Wilson, from Hawke's Bay. They built a stockade on Kaiti about 200 yards east of the site now occupied by the War Memorial. Harris urged Mr. McLean to increase Wilson's contingent to 50. Seven of the 41 adult males left in the district would, he said, be of page 222 little use outside a stockade. He also reported that Hauhaus from the East Coast were reaching Waerenga-a-Hika by the inland route. It was imperative, he added, that the St. Kilda should call as she passed both north and south as, sometimes, weeks went by without a vessel of any sort being seen.
Towards the end of September it became evident that the rebels who had rallied at Waerenga-a-Hika had the active sympathy not only of the bulk of T'Aitanga-a-Mahaki, but also of a majority of Rongowhakaata. On 27 September, Wilson's small force was augmented by 30 members of the Hawke's Bay C.D.C. under Captain La Serre. The Rongowhakaata loyalists built a pa at Oweta (about two miles from the mouth of the Waipaoa River) and, on 11 October, hoisted a Union Jack and saluted it. Henare Potae reached Poverty Bay with 30 Ngati-Porou loyalists on 30 October. As the settlers' homes on the Flats were vacated they were looted. By 1 November only Robert Read, who lived at Manutuke, had not come into Turanganui. Anaru Matete, who had 150 rebels under him, now threatened to build a redoubt at Makaraka and block the road between Turanganui and Waerenga-a-Hika.
Fearing that a general massacre was imminent, Captain Read went to Napier on one of his own vessels to warn the authorities. Mr. McLean gave orders that the European troops who had been so successful on the East Coast should be drafted to Poverty Bay. He also went up to Waiapu on H.M.S. Esk to fetch Ropata, Mokena and Potae and 260 Ngati-Porou. They were landed at Poverty Bay on 9 November, and, on the same day, the Sturt arrived from Waiapu with 100 Forest Rangers under Major Fraser. Lazarus, who professed to be angry on account of the settlers' homes having been plundered, promised to counsel his people (the Ngati-Maru) to agree that all rebels should lay down their arms, take the oath of allegiance, give up Hauhauism, and make restitution in land for the damage that had been wrought.
Rebels Attacked at Waerenga-a-Hika
An ultimatum was issued on 13 November by Mr. McLean, warning the rebels that, if they remained adamant, Waerenga-a-Hika pa would be attacked at noon on the 15th. Lazarus sent word that 270 rebels would come in from his district on the 14th, but they did not do so. The period of grace was extended for 24 hours. On the morning of the 16th it was reported that some of the mission station buildings had been burned down. When the time limit had expired, McLean, acting on Captain Read's advice to “Go straight at 'em!” instructed Major Fraser to move the troops out and engage the enemy.page 223
On the night of the first day's march the troops camped at C. G. Goldsmith's property at Huiatoa, on the left bank of the Waipaoa River, and not a great distance, as the crow flies, from the rebels' smaller pa at Pukeamionga. During the night the whole camp was aroused by the sounds of musketry. Observing a movement on a spit in the river, a sentry had fired, and the others had followed his example. Daylight revealed that Captain Winter's horse had been shot dead whilst down at the river drinking.
As the troops neared the mission station next morning, a bullock-dray, laden with furniture, was espied coming towards them. It was in charge of Wi Haronga, who was attempting to save some of the Bishop's furniture. He and his wife were walking beside the dray and their two children lay among the furniture. Before Wi was recognised, several shots—all of which fortunately missed—were fired in his direction, causing the bullocks to stampede. Soon afterwards the mission station came into view. Some rebels who were on the roofs removing lead and zinc hastened down and scampered off to the pa, where the main body was giving a war dance and shouting defiance.
In front of the mission station there was a quickset hedge. Between the hedge and the pa lay a flat, open space about 150 yards deep. The main defence system of the pa was a double palisade, about 12 feet high, the uprights being puriri logs, between which manuka stakes were interwoven. On the outside there was a manuka apron, designed to deflect bullets into the air. Thick scrub stood to the north of the pa and there was an extensive orchard to the south. The rebels were able to get water from a lagoon at the rear of the pa. Some of the troops used the upper rooms of the Bishop's residence and those of the girls' school as vantage points from which to fire into the pa. As it had been expected that the rebels would at once surrender, no spades had been taken. Messengers were sent back for a supply and to complete arrangements for additional ammunition and regular supplies of food to be brought up. A flock of sheep and a large garden were also at the disposal of the troops, who fared well. The Military Settlers entrenched behind the hedge facing the pa; the Forest Rangers took up a position on their left, and the Hawke's Bay C.D.F. (flanked by the Ngati-Porou) on their right.
On the second day of the attack, Lieutenant Wilson, with a party of 20 Military Settlers, was sent into the scrub on the right of the pa to a point from which it could command the rebels' water supply. His party was discovered by some rebels who had crept out of the pa, and soon it also came under fire page 224 from the main body of defenders. Owing to a misunderstanding, Wilson did not receive support from the Ngati-Porou. In fighting its way out, his party lost five killed and had several wounded. The losses would have been much heavier if the Defence Corps had not at once responded to a bugle call for immediate support. Sergeant Doonan was among the slain. The rebels stripped off his tunic and sent it to Pukeamionga pa with an invitation to the rebels there to rally in a determined attack upon the besiegers.
On the following day between 150 and 200 reinforcements, under Anaru Matete, got into the pa from the rear. Instead of joining the defenders, the newcomers moved, in three waves, towards the attackers' main line. These rebels carried white flags with what appeared to be moons and stars upon them. It was, at first, thought that they were genuine white flags. When it became clear to Ropata that they were Hauhau standards, he ordered the loyal natives to open fire. As their fire was returned the pakeha troops joined in. The first wave suffered severely; the second broke, but lost some men; the third advanced only slightly.
After the siege, W. A. Graham complained that the Crown troops should have accepted the rebels' white flags as tokens of surrender. In a letter to Mr. McLean, Captain Harris said: “The natives tell me that three distinct parties were sent out to the attack under Hauhau flags, which were simply strips of white calico, with a red or black cross and, perhaps, a couple of Cs (crescents) in the corner … So much for the flags of truce! I was glad to see that rap you gave that confirmed meddler, Graham.”
On 22 November the rebels hoisted a genuine white flag. They were told that surrender must be unconditional. It was the sixth day of the siege. After a short delay, which enabled Anaru Matete and about 30 other rebels to escape from the back of the pa, the others came out and laid down their arms. According to the prisoners, those rebels who had been slain could not have been true Hauhau believers.
Colonel T. W. Porter (Gisborne Times, 21/2/1914) says that, towards the close of the siege, a six-pounder howitzer from the Sturt was brought to bear on the pa. Plenty of powder had been sent along with the gun, but no ball ammunition. The deficiency was made good by the manufacture, with the aid of salmon tins and bullets, of canister shot. No allowance for recoil was made for the first shot, and the gun reared up and toppled down the parapet, the charge flying high above the pa. The defect was remedied, and two more shots were fired, each making a breach in the pa. The defenders then raised a white flag.
The Crown forces lost seven killed and had about as many page 225 wounded. It was estimated that the rebels' losses in killed and wounded exceeded 130. Accounts vary as to the number of rebels who surrendered, the figure ranging from 600 to 800. The occupants of Pukeamionga pa fled with Anaru Matete's party towards Wairoa, where there was a rebellious element led by Te Waru, who had become a Hauhau. Kopu, Apatu, Ihaka Whaanga and Te Wainohu had remained loyal.
When Te Waru staged a hostile demonstration at Wairoa, Major Fraser assembled a force which included some Ngati-Porou under Ropata as well as friendly Wairoa and Mahia natives and drove the rebels away. On Christmas Day, 1865, he routed them at Omaruhakeke, where Captain W. A. Hussey (Taranaki Military Settlers) was killed. An even more severe drubbing was inflicted upon them on 12 January, 1866, at Te Kopane, 40 of them being slain.
During the struggle, which lasted less than eight months, seven fortified pas were destroyed, close upon 1,300 rebels surrendered or were captured, and 600 stands of arms were given up. Only 31 members of the Crown forces were, killed, whilst the number of rebels known to have been buried ran to 223. In Parliament, Premier Stafford (19/8/1868) said:
“Never before in the history of the colony has there been so memorable and so creditable a series of military operations as those which were carried out by Colonel Fraser on the East Coast in 1865. European forces, which had totalled in all rarely above 130, had, with native allies, subjected the whole of the country between Cape Runaway and Hawke's Bay in less than 12 months.”
“A Taranaki chief, Horopapera te Ua, having shown symptoms of insanity, his people bound him with ropes. On account of the fact that he got free, they secured him with a chain and padlock, but he broke the chain. He claimed that it was the Angel Gabriel who had freed him. It was then said that, in a fit of frenzy, he had severed his child's leg with an axe, but, when the people went to lament, they found the child playing and only a scar was visible. He was now regarded not as a maniac, but as a prophet.”—W. Williams (Christianity Among the New Zealanders, p. 366).
In March, 1874, one of H.M.S. Eclipse's unexploded shells was found by some Waiapu natives. In order to obtain the lead, a large fire was built around it. A large number of men, women and children sat close by. The shell exploded, killing 20 and injuring a number of others.
The redoubt built on Kaiti by Lieutenant Wilson became known as “Wilson's Redoubt.” It was 93 feet square, with towers at the angles. In the enclosure there was a wooden building 60 feet by 16 feet and also a powder magazine. The troops used tents.
“In the construction of Waerenga-a-Hika pa, many large puriri posts were used, the whole trunk being set up without being split or reduced in size. Some years later I utilised many of these timbers as straining posts for wire fences and, in squaring them, cut through many bullets, which had just penetrated the thin covering of sap wood.”—Elsdon Best (Journal of the Polynesian Society, December, 1903).page 226
Some unusual weapons were among the firearms given up by the rebels at Waerenga-a-Hika. One muzzle loader had six fixed barrels, but only one nipple. All the strange guns had been obtained, some years earlier, from the captain of a vessel which had called in on the East Coast from a South American port.
A few nights before the commencement of the siege, a party comprising Tom and Robert Goldsmith, Tom U'Ren and John Brooking was sent, under Lieutenant George, to reconnoitre in the vicinity of the pa, as it had been reported that the rebels had mounted troops. It secured about 100 horses, together with the rebel who was in charge of them.
“The Hauhaus have not done us one-tenth of the damage that has been inflicted by Mokena and his Ngati-Porou. Stock of all descriptions has been killed; fences, crops, gardens and orchards have been destroyed in a spirit of pure wantonness. Some of our settlers may now be said to have lost their all. My own homestead is in ruins.”—Captain Harris, in a letter to Mr. McLean (25/11/1865).
Born in Hesse Cassel (Germany), the fair-complexioned, grey-eyed and kindly disposed Carl Sylvius Volkner was sent out to Taranaki as a Lutheran missionary. On account of lack of support from the North German Missionary Society, he joined up with the Church Missionary Society. He laboured at Kohanga (Lower Waikato) from 1851 till 1854; was assistant to Archdeacon Brown at Tauranga from 1855 till 1859; and was in charge of the boys at Waerenga-a-Hika during 1860. In August, 1861, he was sent to Opotiki, where he supervised the erection of the historic church which now bears the name “St. Stephen the Martyr,” but which, originally, was called by the natives “Hiona” (“Zion”). The Volkner Islets, immediately to the north-west of White Island, were named after him.
Rev. Thomas Samuel Grace (born at Liverpool on 16 February, 1815) became the principal of his employer's business when he was 24 years old. In 1844 he offered his services to the Church Missionary Society; in 1848 he was ordained deacon and appointed to the curacy of Tideswell (Derbyshire). He was elevated to the priesthood in 1849, and, on 11 February, 1850, he sailed for Auckland with his wife and two children. He served in Poverty Bay from 1850 till 1853, and then conducted a mission station at Pukawa (Taupo) until early in 1865, when the Hauhaus drove him away. At Opotiki, in 1865, he narrowly escaped the shocking fate which befell Mr. Volkner. He died at Tauranga on 30 April, 1879.
Hirini te Kani (born in 1826) was a son of Rawiri te Eke by his principal wife (Riria). His birthname was Hirini Tuahine, but Te Kani-a-Takirau, just before he died, changed it. Hirini, who was Te Kani's successor, died on 5 July, 1896. A monument in his honour stands on Kaiti Hill.
Colonel James Fraser (born in Nova Scotia in 1841) claimed descent from the Lovats. He gained a commission in the 73rd Highlanders in 1858, and saw service in India. In 1864 he took up land in Hawke's Bay, and became captain of the Hawke's Bay Militia. His conduct of the East Coast campaign in 1865 was brilliant. At the Battle of Omarunui (1866) he cut off the rebels' mounted force which intended to attack Napier from the direction of Petane. He took part in the Ruakituri fight and the Siege of Ngatapa (1868). He was then transferred to Taranaki and, later, to the Bay of Plenty, where he died from fever on 10 March, 1870.page 227
William Australia Graham (born at Auckland in 1841) spent some years in Poverty Bay as a surveyor and as an intermediary for the natives. Some years later, King Mahuta presented a white mere to him to mark his services as a mediator between natives and Europeans in the Waikato. From 1884 till 1887 he was Mayor of Hamilton. His father (Geo. Graham, M.H.R.) came out to New Zealand as a member of Lieutenant-Governor Hobson's staff in 1840.
Anaru Matete (who introduced the first sheep into Poverty Bay in 1850) assisted in establishing the Poverty Bay mission station in 1840. In 1865 he turned Hauhau, and escaped from Waerenga-a-Hika pa during the surrender negotiations. When Te Kooti and his followers returned from the Chatham Islands in 1868 he joined them. Eventually, he was cut off from his leader at Mangaone, and made his way out to Te Reinga, where he gave himself up and was pardoned.
John Brooking (born at Dartmouth, England, in 1843) migrated to Hawke's Bay with his parents in 1857. He served in the East Coast War (1865), was a sergeant of the original guard sent to the Chatham Islands with the Hauhau prisoners (1866), and fought against the Te Kooti rebels (1868). He then joined the Native Land Department, and was a Native Lands Commissioner when he retired in 1909. He died on 2 September, 1913.
Matthew Hall (born in England in 1840) settled in Gisborne in 1867 and saw active service against the Te Kooti rebels in 1868. His saddlery business was the first to be established in Poverty Bay. In 1873 he took out the first auctioneer's license in the district. He was a foundation member of St. Andrew's Church, first secretary of the A. and P. Association, and a warm supporter of the Turf. His death occurred on 4 July, 1915.