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The New Zealand Wars: A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period: Volume II: The Hauhau Wars, (1864–72)



Major-General Chute, in a despatch dated 15th January, 1866, reporting his operations in South Taranaki after the storming of Otapawa pa, wrote:—

“On the evening of the 14th January I directed the Native Contingent to ascertain the position of Ketemarae, and instructed them to remain near it during the night and to send me information which would enable me to move against it early on the following morning. The force as below [three 6-pounder guns, 510 Imperial troops, 40 Forest Rangers, and 150 Native Contingent] marched at 4.15 a.m. this day and, proceeding over the plains in a northerly direction for two miles, came in front of a line of stockading and earthwork, flanked on either side by bush, and extending across the main track leading into the clearing in which Ketemarae is situated. The position was carried without opposition, though it had evidently been the intention of the rebels to defend it, for we found provisions, and fires still alight within the work. I can only account for their not availing themselves of so formidable a position for opposing our advance by attributing it to the dispiriting effect of their severe loss at Otapawa. The force then advanced on Ketemarae itself, which is about a mile within this entrenchment, and consisted of four palisaded pas in echelon, enclosing a large number of whares; these were all burnt, and as far as practicable the cultivations destroyed.”

page 505

The Forest Rangers and Native Contingent then searched the bush about Ketemarae, destroyed some villages, and fought small parties of Maoris; twenty-one Hauhaus were reported killed.