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



A widespread belief that some of the settlers took refuge in the church at Matawhero is without foundation.

Apart from Robert Atkins, the only Europeans who are known to have passed through Matawhero within a few hours of the tragedy were Harry Elston and Miss Jeanette Dunlop, who made a journey from Turanganui to Te Arai in a dray late on the previous evening.

John Maynard, who went over to Mahia in the Rover on the day of the Massacre, returned on horseback to Turanganui in the evening. There were then only 17 Europeans at Wilson's Redoubt. It was only by chance that he had been absent from Matawhero on the morning of the tragedy. He had had to go into Turanganui on the previous evening to discuss business matters with Captain Read, and his host had pressed him to stay overnight.