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Further Papers relative to the Native Insurrection [Correspondence relating to the fall of Rangiriri and Ngāruawāhia]

No. 4

No. 4.

W. J. Gundry to the Honorable the Native Minister.

Rangiriri, Novermber 22, 1863.


I have the honor to report for your information that Rangiriri has been taken. The position of the Maoris was very strong. The fight lasted sixteen hours; commencing on the afternoon of the 20th and lasting until 6 o'clock, a.m., on the 21st, the casualties on our side being very heavy,—3 or 4 officers dead and 7 or 8 badly wounded—38 men killed. The loss of the Maoris, 39 killed, 5 or 6 wounded. The killed were buried to-day. There are a great many more dead in the Waikare lake, who were shot when swimming across. Their loss altogether I should estimate to be 40 to 50 killed and wounded. The enemy's position was first shelled and then rushed by the troops and carried, except the centre portion of the rifle pits, which the Maoris held with great obstinacy, keeping up a deadly fire. Several attempts were made by the troops to dislodge them, but failed, owing to the intricate way the rifle pits were made. About 6 o'clock in the morning, just when the troops were going to drive the Maoris out, a Maori came forward with a white flag, on which the soldiers sprang in amongst them and commenced shaking hands with the Maoris. Soon after the General came and ordered them to give up their arms, and he would treat them well as prisoners because of their brave conduct. They wanted to make peace, as they were the principal Chiefs of Waikato. The General told them he could not do that until the Governor arrived. The Chiefs who were taken are Ta Kerei, Tioriori, Tarahawaiki, Wiremu Kumete, Waikato, Te Kihirini, Te Aho, Te Rakatau, Puiroroku, Tapihana, Raniera Te Whiti, Maihi Katipa, and several minor chiefs. The number of prisoners taken altogether was 175. Several men escaped during the night, amongst whom were Tamihana and Te Wharepu, the latter badly wounded. White flags are flying all about the native settlements. The prisoners seem very well contented at present, as the soldiers treat them well. Te Wheoro accompanied the General from Meremere to Rangiriri, and was very useful as a guide; and also Mr. Edwards did good service as a guide. In my opinion the Maories will give up their arms when His Excellency comes up here. I could not write before, as I had so much to do in looking after the prisoners, the wounded, and looking for and burying the dead Maoris. The Chiefs that are dead are Te Herewini, of Ngatinoho; Raniera, of Ngaungan; Mokena, of Ngatimahuta; Te Tutere, of Ngatihaua; Amukete Ta Kerei, son of Ta Kerei; and Hori Maneha.

I have, &c.,

W. J. Gundry,

The Honorable the Native Minister, Auckland.