The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 1 (May 1, 1928)
Along Waikato's Banks
Along Waikato's Banks.
That slow-running, muddy creek we cross just as the glimmering Waikato River comes in sight is the Mangatawhiri, a name of much significance in the early “sixties.” Power-launches now ply up and down the curving stream, taking stores to the farmers up-river, bringing down their cream to the dairy factory. Maori canoes and British cargo boats made lively business here in 1863, and British regiments went marching over the Royal Engineers’ bridge; for this was the frontier then. This inconspicuous creek was the border-line between pakeha and Maori before the great invasion. The crossing of the Mangatawhiri by Cameron's forces, in July, 1863, was the signal for fighting. The building of redoubts on the northern horn of the Koheroa Range, just over there on our left, was quickly followed by a battle on the summit of the clay ridge, where British bayonets put the Maori trench-fighters to the rightabout.
A few minutes’ traversing of a swampy flat brings us alongside the broad stream of the Waikato, New Zealand's most historic and most commercially useful river.