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The Story Of Gate Pa, April 29th, 1864

The Warrior Speaks

The Warrior Speaks

“I was a young man of about twenty five when we fought the Pakeha at the Gate Pa. I had already seen some service with my tupara (d.b. fowling piece). When the war began I and some of my people went to assist our kinsmen and joined the Kingites at Meremere in the Waikato River. There we exchanged shots with the British gunboats on the river, and were under rifle and shell fire. My second engagement was at Otahu. The Gate Pa was my third fight, and then came our repulse at Te Ranga, where over one hundred and fifty of our people were slain by the Imperial and Colonial soldiers, who stormed our unfinished position at the point of the bayonet. That was a black day for Ngaiterangi, but I will tell of that another time. I will speak of the Gate Pa engagement.

In the New Year many of our people had gone to assist the Waikato natives. We were waiting to be attacked by the Imperial Troops at Te Tiki-o-te Ihinga-Rangi, between Cambridge and Maungatautari, when news came that soldiers had been landed at Te Papa, Tauranga, so we hurried back across country to defend our own homes.

On arrival in our homeland we decided to fortify our pas and fight to the last against the pakeha. The majority of Ngaiterangi selected a strong old pa at Waoku at upper Waimapu, which we strengthened and there waited to be attacked. Other sections took up positions at Kaimai, Poripori, and Wairoa, etc., on the main roads leading from Tauranga to Waikato. My own people occupied Te Wairoa. There we were joined by two noted fighting men of the Whakatohea (Opotiki) tribe, named Tamaki and Te Poihipi. Meetings were held and a plan of action agreed upon.