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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 9 (December 1, 1938)

Battle of Wai-o-rua

Battle of Wai-o-rua.

About a year after Te Rauparaha's occupation of Kapiti, the island was
The Taj.

The Taj.

page 38 raided by a Heet of several hundred canoes manned by warriors representing nearly every tribe on both sides of Cook Strait. The raiders fought their way ashore at Wai-o-rua, at the northern end of the island, and, after a fierce struggle on the beach, were rap-
Berries on the Porokaiwhiri. (Hedycarya arborea).

Berries on the Porokaiwhiri.
(Hedycarya arborea).

idly driving the defenders back, when, most opportunely, Te Rauparaha arrived with strong reinforcements from Taepiro. Then occurred what is described as one of the most terrific intertribal battles that had ever taken place. In most of Te Rauparaha's previous conflicts he had overpowered his enemies by superiority of numbers, treachery, surprise attacks, and the use of firearms. At Wai-o-rua he had to face foes heartened by the belief that victory was theirs, and spurred on by the memory of disastrous defeats in flicted on them by the raiders from the north. Newly-arrived Ngatitoas rallied their disheartened comrades, and axe, mere and spear quickly took toll in the ranks of both invaders and defenders. Finally, the attackers were driven back, the survivors escaping in their canoes, leaving large numbers of dead on the beach. The Ngatitoas suffered almost equal losses, but never again was an attempt made to oust them from Kapiti. Indeed, Te Rauparaha is reported to have made systematic raids on the tribes whose warriors participated in the battle.

On many parts of the island there remain small patches of cleared land, remnants of the villages of the various native residents, but these clearings are gradually getting fewer and smaller as the bush growth takes possession.