hone heke

Personal details

Full Name:

  • Hōne Wiremu Heke Pōkai


  • ?1850
Hōne Heke

Ngāpuhi chief Hōne Heke was an influential northern Māori voice in favour of the Treaty of Waitangi. However, he later became a leading opponent of British rule in New Zealand.

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Events In History


The Northern War

  • The Northern War

    The Northern War, fought in the Bay of Islands in 1845-46, was the first serious challenge to the Crown in the years after the Treaty of Waitangi. Its opening shots marked the beginning of the wider North Island conflicts that are often referred to as the New Zealand Wars.

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  • Page 2 – Origins of the Northern War

    Actions by the colonial government cost Māori in the Bay of Islands trade and other opportunities. Heke feared that chiefly authority was now subservient to that of the British

  • Page 3 – The sacking of Kororāreka

    The sacking of Kororāreka (Russell) shook the settler population. Over £50,000 worth of property was lost. In Auckland panic set in. Some settlers sold their land for whatever

  • Page 4 – Puketutu and Te Ahuahu

    Māori learnt an important lesson at Puketutu: the British were a formidable foe in open battle. This would influence Māori tactics in future clashes

  • Page 5 – Ōhaeawai

    The vastly experienced Henry Despard had now arrived to command all the British troops in New Zealand. Keen to cash in on Heke’s setback at Te Ahuahu, he assembled the

  • Page 6 – The quest for peace

    George Grey became governor in November 1845. When talks with the 'rebels' broke down in early December, Grey ordered Despard to move against Kawiti's new pa, Ruapekapeka.

  • Page 7 – Ruapekapeka

    Ruapekapeka may have been a tactical victory for the British, but many consider the outcome a draw. Heke and Kawiti had escaped with their forces largely intact, and the terms

  • Page 8 – Peace breaks out

    Historian James Belich contends that Grey won the propaganda war and Kawiti and Heke won the real war. Others argue that Belich's revisionism goes too far and maintain that

New Zealand's 19th-century wars

  • New Zealand's 19th-century wars

    War changed the face of New Zealand in the 19th century. Tens of thousands of Māori died in the intertribal Musket Wars from the 1810s to the 1830s. There were fewer deaths during the New Zealand Wars (1840s-1870s) between Māori and the Crown, but the consequences were still dire for many tribes.

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  • Page 2 - Pre-1860 conflictsThe Musket Wars of the 1810s-1830s caused thousands of Māori to flee their traditional lands, freeing large areas for Pākehā (European) settlement. In 1840, Europeans bought

A frontier of chaos?

  • A frontier of chaos?

    In the years before the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, relations between Māori and Europeans were marred by a number of high-profile incidents.

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  • Page 7 - KororārekaThe missionaries divided the Europeans who came to New Zealand in the early 19th century into two groups: the agents of virtue (themselves) and the agents of vice (almost everyone