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History and traditions of the Maoris of the West Coast, North Island of New Zealand, prior to 1840



A few pages back it was stated that the great taua of Waikato had divided into two parties, the first of which under Te Hiakai and others fought Ngati-Toa at Taharoa, as described above, whilst the second proceeded by another route up the Waipa valley and then crossed the forest plateau to the Wai-kawau pa, situated on the coast fourteen miles north of the Mokau River. This place they proceeded to besiege, and whilst doing so a number of fugitives from the battle of Te Kakara arrived there and succeeded in making their way into the pa. These people were Ngati-Rarua (of Ngati-Toa) and others. During the night the besiegers heard the people of the pa lamenting the dead, and they therefore knew at once that the other taua had been successful, and Ngati-Toa defeated. So next morning the Waikato and Ngati-Maniapoto taua stormed Wai-kawau and took the place, killing all the inhabitants besides the fugitives, amongst whom where two chiefs, one of whom was slain by Tu-korehu, another by Te Au of Ngati-Hikairo, which tribe now for the first time joined in the war against Ngati-Toa, for generally they had supported the latter tribe in case of outside invasion. "It was," says Te Wheoro, "at these two fights, Te Kakara and Wai-kawau, that many chiefs of Kawhia were killed. After this, the two tauas, one from Te Kakara, the other from Wai-kawau, returned page 333to their homes." Thus Tu-korehu obtained revenge for the insult offered him by the people of Wai-kawau.