waikato wars

Events In History


Māori King movement - 1860-94

War in Waikato

  • War in Waikato

    After fighting broke out again in Taranaki in early 1863, Governor George Grey turned his attention to the region he saw as the root of his problems with Māori: Waikato, the heartland of the anti-landselling King Movement. Grey vowed to ‘dig around’ the Kīngitanga until it fell.

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  • Page 2 – Invasion plans

    Governor Gore Browne demanded that the Kīngitanga submit ‘without reserve’ to the British Queen and began planning an invasion of Waikato shortly before his reassignment to

  • Page 3 – The opening phase

    The British invasion of Waikato began on 12 July 1863. The first Māori line of defence was at Meremere. After this was bypassed, Rangiriri and Pāterangi provided a second and

  • Page 4 – Rangiriri

    The decisive battle for Waikato was fought at Rangiriri in November 1863.

  • Page 5 – The invasion continues

    After the British victory at Rangiriri, Wiremu Tāmihana tried to negotiate peace. He sent his greenstone mere (club) to Cameron as a token of his good faith. But neither Grey

  • Page 6 – The Battle of Ōrākau

    James Belich argues that the British victory at Ōrākau was also their ‘cruellest disappointment of the entire war’. Chris Pugsley, on the other hand, sees Ōrākau as the ‘

  • Page 7 – Further information

    Books and links relating to the Waikato War

The Treaty in practice

  • The Treaty in practice

    Amalgamating Māori into colonial settler society was a key part of British policy in New Zealand after 1840. Economic and social change, along with land-purchase programmes, were central to this process.

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  • Page 2 - Slide to warWar raged in the North Island in the mid-19th century. The period from 1860, when conflict broke out in Taranaki, through to about 1872, is commonly called the New Zealand Wars.


  • Gorst, John Eldon

    John Gorst was a Waikato politician who sympathised to some extent with the Kīngitanga and its political aspirations.

  • Cameron, Duncan Alexander

    The historian James Belich believed Cameron was not only the best European commander to serve in New Zealand but ‘among the best of Victorian generals’.