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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)


page 547


Major J. T. Large supplied the following notes explanatory of the sketch-map of Lake Waikare-moana, showing scenes in the operations of Hamlin's and Witty's expedition in 1870 described on pages 401–408.—

“Our first main camp (marked 1 on map) in the expedition of 1870 was on the east side of the small lake called Roto-kiri-o-Pukai (near Raekahu Mountain, 2,421 feet). In the bush on the west side of the lake two large kahikatea (white-pine) trees were felled, and canoes were made; these hewn-out craft and the dinghy made by Herrick's men the previous year were used in expeditions on the lake. About the first of these expeditions was that across the Whanganui-a-Parua branch of the lake from Motakitaki to Te Mara-o-te-Atua (“The Garden of the Gods”) (2).

“The middle of the lake, as indicated on the map (3), was the scene of the engagement between the Hauhaus in their war-canoes and the whaleboat they had found (one of those built in 1869) and a party of the Government natives, led by me (then Acting-Lieutenant), in the two new kakikatea canoes and the dinghy.

“Our shooting was too good for the Hauhaus, whom we chased back under the shelter of their pa at Matuahu; casualties unknown. They apparently had intended to land a force at Ohiringa, on the steep shore below the Panekiri Range, and then work round to the rear of our camp at Onepoto, as they did during Herrick's time the previous year, when they shot Trooper Noonan, engaged in despatch duty between Onepoto and Wairoa.

“Soon after our engagement on the lake our picked fighting-men, under Lieutenant Witty, started on a foraging raid which culminated in our defeat of the Hauhaus. We landed at Te Mara-o-te-Atua and fell into an ambush laid by the enemy. In this affair we had a few men wounded but none killed. We drove the Maoris out of their position at Taumataua (marked 4 on map). They returned on the following day and attacked us again, when their fighting-chief Enoka was killed; he was left in our hands when they retreated, having, it was reported, suffered other casualties. At any rate they were so disheartened at our success that when we rushed the Matuahu pa (5) on the following day we found it deserted.

“The number 6 near the head of the northern arm, not far from the canoe landing-place at Hereheretau, indicates the scene of our most successful surprise expedition from our new main camp in the captured Matuaha pa. Setting out at 3 o'clock one morning in the two canoes and the dinghy, we went high up the northern inlet and captured the Hauhau village on a foreland. We took the inmates prisoners without a fight, and also captured a number of fine canoes and the whaleboat, which we took home in triumph to Matuahu. This enterprise gave us the complete command of the lake.

“Matuahu was a roughly palisaded pa on the low headland running into the lake; rather a good position, as it commanded the north inlet. Tikitiki, on the opposite side of the entrance to this arm, was occupied as a Constabulary post for a short time in 1871. There were settlements all the way up the inlet on both sides. At Pukehuia (7) there was a large tribal meeting-house, which we burned down before we left.”

Major Large died at Auckland in July, 1923.