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The Story Of Gate Pa, April 29th, 1864

East Coast Rebels Arrive

East Coast Rebels Arrive.

About this time the large body of East Coast rebels above alluded to, had landed from their war canoes at Otamarakau, and marched inland, but were driven back by the Arawa with severe loss from Tarua, Rotoiki Lake, after three days' fighting. They resumed their march, and brushing aside the weak resistance of the Arawa, crossed the Waihi lagoon, and took up a position facing Pukemaire Pa on the Whareo Te Rangimarere ridge. Fired on page 12 by loyal natives and by the Armstrong guns, and shelled by H.M.S. “Falcon” from seaward at 1600 yards, they were driven back along the beach, followed by about 400 Arawa, who attacked them in the act of embarking at Otamarakau, and forced them to retreat. They lost their finest war canoes, and finally took up a strong position along a deep stream from the foot of the 600 feet high cliffs to the sea beach, 150 yards in length, near where the Matata railway station is now situated. Here they gave battle, and this fight is known as the Kaokaoroa (the “long ribs.”) The Arawa were directed by their grand old chief, Tohi Te Uruangi, from the top of a small sandhill. He fell mortally wounded; then a brave young Taupo chief, Para Pahupahu, broke through the enemy's line, killing two men with his Taiaha. They were then pursued as far as Matata, where they lost the remainder of their canoes. Their total killed during this expedition was about 125 men, including their noted chief Te Aporotanga, who was shot by Mata, the widow of Tohi Te Uruangi, in revenge for her husband. By this time the First Waikato Regiment, under Colonel Harington, had arrived at Te Papa, increasing the force there to 2000 men.