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

In the Taupo Campaign

In the Taupo Campaign.

Peita went on, when we resumed our talk, to describe the Maoris’ surprise of the cavalry camp at Opepe, when nine out of fourteen troopers were killed (as narrated in a recent story of mine in the “Railways Magazine”). Te Kooti and all his force now were engaged by the Colonial forces in the South Taupo country. Peita fought at Te Ponanga and other skirmishes; then came the sharp action at Te Porere, close to the foot of Tongariro Mountain.

“There at Te Porere,” said Peita, “west of Tongariro and Ngauruhoe Mountains, we built a strong redoubt. It was a massive earthwork—it is standing there to-day—but it had one defect which resulted in our defeat. In making the loopholes (haarahi-pu) in the sod and pumice walls, interlaid with fern, we made them straight (horizontal), and could not depress the muzzles of our guns to fire into the ditch. The Government troops, pakeha and Maori, got up under the parapets and many of them snatched up lumps of pumice and stuffed up the firing apertures with them. We therefore could not see our attackers unless we exposed ourselves over the top of the parapets.