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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 11 (February 1, 1938)

The Raid on Mohaka

The Raid on Mohaka.

“Now Te Kooti led us on a very rapid march right across to the East Coast, by way of Waikaremoana and down the Mohaka Valley. His object was to work vengeance upon the Ngati-Pahauwera tribe, because they had opposed our march inland after we landed at Whare-ongaonga from the schooner. I took part in the fighting at Mohaka. We attacked two pas there; one surrendered to us, the other held out. Many men, women and children were killed after being captured in the undefended open kaingas. It was the Tuhoe chiefly who killed these people, who were imprisoned in a woolshed, because they and Ngati-Pahauwera were ancient enemies. A number of Europeans also were killed. There was a hotel in Mohaka, and this was looted. Three of our men got very drunk on the rum in the hotel, and when they joined in the attack on the pa near the mouth of the river, they behaved so recklessly, heedless of cover that they were shot dead. Te Kooti was very angry at his men getting drunk while they were fighting. But after the return march was commenced, with our looted horses and other plunder, we halted a few miles inland to enjoy the liquor from the hotel.

“After Mohaka, we took shelter in the Urewera country once more, taking some of the looted horses with us (we swam them across a narrow arm of Lake Waikaremoana). Then it was that Te Kooti decided to make for Taupo and the Waikato. We were in the ranges at Heruiwi overlooking the Kaingaroa Plain for some time, and it was near there, scouting down in the valley, that I and a man named Te Makarini, out scouting, killed a European mounted soldier, who, with a companion was riding up the Rangitaiki from Fort Galatea, and took his despatches to Te Kooti. In this affair I was mounted and was armed with a carbine and revolver taken in a previous fight. Besides my pakeha clothing I wore a silver-laced cap; it had been part of the spoil taken at Pipi-whakao in the raid on Poverty Bay.”