riwha titokowaru

Personal details

Full Name:

  • Riwha Tītokowaru


  • ?1888

Ngā Ruahine prophet, military leader, master tactician, peacemaker and Parihaka supporter, Tītokowaru was one of New Zealand's most important nineteenth-century figures.

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Events In History


Tītokowaru's war

  • Tītokowaru's war

    In the 1980s James Belich argued that Tītokowaru’s war had become a ‘dark secret’ of New Zealand history, ‘forgotten by the Pākehā as a child forgets a nightmare’. For Belich, Tītokowaru was ‘arguably the best general New Zealand has ever produced’.

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  • Page 2 – Early years

    Tītokowaru’s commitment to missionary Christianity was showing signs of strain by the 1850s as a Māori nationalist movement emerged.

  • Page 3 – The year of the lamb

    Tītokowaru proclaimed 1867 as ‘the year of the daughters … the year of the lamb’. His efforts for ‘reconciliation and peace’ were remarkable, given the events of the previous

  • Page 4 – The war begins

    In March 1868 Tītokowaru authorised a muru (punitive plunder) against Pākehā involved in the confiscation of land at Ketemarae (Normanby).

  • Page 5 – Turuturumōkai to Moturoa

    Before dawn on Sunday 12 July 1868, 60 of Tītokowaru’s men led by Haowhenua bypassed the large colonial force in Waihī Redoubt and attacked nearby Turuturumōkai, which was

  • Page 6 – Crisis of confidence

    News of Te Kooti’s assault on Matawhero in Poverty Bay a few days after the defeat at Moturoa raised serious questions about the Armed Constabulary’s ability to protect

  • Page 7 – Taurangaika

    Taurangaika measured 140 m across at its widest point and was without doubt Tītokowaru’s ‘most formidable fortress’.

  • Page 8 – A return to peace

    In late 1869 Tītokowaru had his third conversion to peace, after which his relationship with Te Whiti-o-Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi of Parihaka strengthened.

  • Page 9 – Further information

    Links to further information and books about Tītokowaru

Treaty timeline

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 5 – End of the New Zealand Wars

    The New Zealand Wars ended in 1872. European settlers prevailed through weight of numbers and economic power. By 1900, New Zealand was a settler society, with Māori pushed out