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Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.

Maori King's Flag Hoisted at Waiapu

Maori King's Flag Hoisted at Waiapu

During 1862, Tamatatai, a Waiapu native, attended a Kingite meeting in the Waikato. He brought back with him two Maori king flags. As he had travelled back home along the shores of the Bay of Plenty he had proclaimed that the Maori king desired that all the pakehas, including the missionaries, should be sent away. When the Maori king flags were hoisted at Wai-o-matatini, Mokena Kohere raised the Queen's flag at Rangitukia. A Kingite delegation from the Waikato attended the consecration ceremony in connection with the new Anglican church at Manutuke on 19 April, 1863. They brought with them a Maori king flag. Henare Apatere—known as “Bottle of Smoke”—came from Wairoa in May, and delivered a series of fiery speeches in support of the King movement.

Shortly after the outbreak of war in the Waikato in July, 1863, between forty and fifty Ngati-Porou left Waiapu to assist the rebels. They were followed in January, 1864, by another contingent which had been recruited by Kingite emissaries. The Southern Cross (Auckland) published a letter from a Poverty Bay settler, stating that he and his fellow-residents “would give half they possessed in return for more protection.” Governor Grey wrote to Bishop W. Williams, W. L. Williams and Captain Harris for their views, which he sent to the Home authorities. They were agreed that Poverty Bay was not in danger of molestation and that, if an armed force were sent for its protection, the reaction among the natives might take the form of greatly increased excitement. In his reply, W. L. Williams stated that page 214 one old settler had told him “that he for one would be sorry to give one half of his possessions to make sure of losing the other half!”