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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 75

Expedition against Waikare-moana, 1870.—Fall of Matuahu

Expedition against Waikare-moana, 1870.—Fall of Matuahu.

In this year some three hundred and fifty friendly Natives of Ngati-Kahungungu and Ngati-Pahau-wera were led by Native chiefs and three European officers—Messrs. Hamlin, Witty, and Large—against the Waikare-moana rebels. They went into camp at One-poto, from which base they proposed to proceed against the Hauhau stronghold of Matuahu. Their fleet was by no means a large one, consisting merely of two canoes and one small boat. The rebels, seeing these signs of a hostile demonstration, sent two men over to One-poto under a flag of truce. These men lay off the camp in their canoe, and pretended to have been sent for the purpose of opening negotiations for peace, but their real object was to spy out the position and numbers of the invading force. Shortly after their departure, a force of about a hundred and fifty Hauhaus crossed the pie from Matuahu, and landed at Ohiringi, their object probably being to ascertain if there was any chance of surprising the camp or of intercepting stragglers.

Early in June a start was made from One-poto. The two canoes and boat were manned by a portion of the force, under Lieutenant Large, and the remainder marched across the rugged hills to Mau-taketake. From this place a force of eighty men were conveyed across the lake and landed on the western shore. These were accompanied by Messrs. Witty, Large, and Saunders. On reaching Taumata-taua, a Native clearing, they received a volley from the bush, but held the Hauhaus in check while the balance of the men were landing. Then they advanced on the enemy and drove them back on Matuahu, upon which, as darkness was setting in, the force returned to the clearing and camped for the night, Another skirmish took place next day, in which Enoka, a leading man of the enemy, was killed. An advance was then made on Matuahu, and, after spending some time in planning and carrying out a careful advance, the famous pa of Matuahu was rushed and--found empty.