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Te Ruki Kawiti

Personal details

Full Name:

Te Ruki Kawiti


unspecified year in 177X – 3 May 1854


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

Events In History

11 March 1845

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.


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. Read the full article

Page 2 - Pre-1860 conflicts

During 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, Europeans

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. Read the full article

Page 3 - The sacking of Kororāreka

The sacking of Kororāreka (Russell) shook the settler population. About £50,000 worth of property was destroyed, and there was panic in Auckland. Some settlers sold their land for

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

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

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 of

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 Grey's

Charles Heaphy's reworking of contemporary drawings show a cross-section of the defences at Kawiti's pā at Ruapekapeka