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Maori Wars of the Nineteenth Century:

Early Northern Expeditions to the South

Early Northern Expeditions to the South.

It will now be necessary to go back for a few years to notice some events that had a great influence on the Nga-Puhi tribe, indeed, on all New Zealand in the end, but Nga-Puhi was the first affected. This was because the Bay of Islands presented a safe harbour for the vessels of the whaling fleet, where they could secure abundant refreshments in the shape of kumaras, taros, potatoes and pigs.

First, it will be necessary to call attention to an event that occurred outside of New Zealand altogether, but the consequences of which were very momentous to the Maoris.

In the year 1806, the “Venus” brig was taken by convicts at Port Dalrymple in Van Diemen’s Land. They brought her to New Zealand, where, at the North Cape, they took page 57 away two women belonging to Te Au-pouri tribe. Calling at the Bay of Islands, they took some more women away, one of whom was a sister of Te Morenga’s,* and another a relative of Hongi-Hika’s. At Whangarei, again they took two women away, one of whom was a niece of Te Morenga’s. We shall see later on what these abductions led to. From Whangarei the brig went up the Hauraki Gulf, and whilst there her crew captured several people, and amongst them the principal chief of Ngati-Paoa—Te Haupa. As the vessel put to sea she was followed by a canoe, and Te Haupa, watching his opportunity, jumped overboard, where he was picked up by the crew of the canoe and thus escaped to obtain some utu for the unfortunates taken away by the brig. Most of these people were subsequently landed at or near the East Cape, where, after a time, Ngati-Porou killed and ate them. Te Morenga’s niece, whose name was, I believe, Tawaputa, was killed at Tauranga by Te Waru, of the Ngai-Te-Rangi tribe. This death also, as we shall see, led to some momentous results. Unfortunately for the ends of justice, the originators of all this villainy escaped punishment—at any rate, at the hands of the Maoris.

In 1809 the “Boyd” was taken at Whangaroa by Te Puhi, Tara (George) and others of the Ngati-Pou tribe.

* Te Morenga was Marsden’s great friend. He belonged to the Uri-Kapana hapu of Tai-a-mai, some fifteen miles west of the Bay of Islands.