te ruki kawiti

Personal details

Full Name:

  • Te Ruki Kawiti


  • 177X3 May 1854

A notable Ngāpuhi chief and warrior and a skilled military tactician who reluctantly signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.

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Events In History

  • 11 March 1845
    The fall of Kororāreka

    After hundreds of Ngāpuhi fighters led by Kawiti and Hōne Heke attacked Kororāreka (Russell), most of its inhabitants were evacuated by sea. The flagstaff on nearby Maiki Hill was cut down for the fourth and last time. Read more...


New Zealand's 19th-century wars

  • New Zealand's 19th-century wars

    War changed the face of New Zealand in the 19th century. Many thousands of Māori died in the intertribal Musket Wars between the 1810s and the 1830s. There were more deaths during the New Zealand Wars of the 1840s to 1870s between some Māori and the Crown, which for many tribes had dire consequences.

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  • Page 2 - Pre-1860 conflictsDuring the Musket Wars of the 1810s-1830s thousands of Māori fled from their traditional lands, opening large areas to potential Pākehā (European) settlement. In 1840,

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 signing of 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 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

    Keen to cash in on Heke’s setback at Te Ahuahu, Henry Despard assembled the largest British force yet seen in the colony and moved to attack Kawiti’s new pā at Ōhaeawai.

  • 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

  • Main image: Ruapekapeka

    The last battle of the Northern War was fought at Ruapekapeka Pā, the distinctive features of which are well preserved.