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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)



In the Ngapuhi country, North Auckland, the Maoris set a chivalrous example to the pakeha in the care of their antagonists' graves. At Ohaeawai, near Kaikohe (see Vol. I), a monument to the Imperial soldiers who fell there stands in the Maoris church cemetery which occupies the site of the fortification of 1845. Governor Sir George F. Bowen, in a despatch in 1870 to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, mentioned a visit he had recently made to Ohaeawai, North Auckland, and said that the Maoris there had lately erected a pretty church “among the now decayed palisades and rifle-pits,” and that they had reserved the whole of this pa as a cemetery. The Governor continued: “When the Bishop of Auckland shall have consecrated this new burial ground the Maoris intend to remove into it the remains of our soldiers who now lie in unmarked graves in the neighbouring forest, and to erect a monument over them; so that, as an aged chief, formerly conspicuous among our enemies, said to me, ‘The brave warriors of both races, the white skin and the brown, now that all strife between them is forgotten, may sleep side by side until the end of the world.’

“I question,” the Governor concluded, “if there be a more touching episode in the annals of the warfare of even civilized nations in either ancient or modern times.” (Appendices to Journal of the House of Representatives, 1871.)