wairau incident

Events In History


The Wairau incident

  • The Wairau incident

    On 17 June 1843, 22 European settlers and four Māori died when an armed party of New Zealand Company settlers clashed with Ngāti Toa over the purchase of land in the Wairau valley, near modern-day Blenheim.

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  • Page 2 – Ngāti Toa and the New Zealand Company

    The Wairau incident had its origins in the migration of Ngāti Toa and its allies from Kāwhia to the Kāpiti coast in the southern North Island.

  • Page 3 – Violence erupts

    When Te Rauparaha and Te Rangihaeata told William Wakefield to stop the survey, he told his brother Arthur to ignore them.

  • Page 4 – The fallout from Wairau

    The news from Wairau shocked settlers throughout the colony. The killing of men who had surrendered was viewed as cold-blooded murder. Many feared that these events signalled


  • Te Whiwhi, Hēnare Mātene

    Hēnare Mātene Te Whiwhi promoted the idea of a Māori monarch, which he believed would be vital to protect Māori land.

  • FitzRoy, Robert

    Robert FitzRoy, who first visited New Zealand as commander of the Beagle in 1835, was Governor from 1843, succeeding the late William Hobson. He served until 1845, when he was recalled to Britain and replaced by George Grey.

  • Main image: William Wakefield

    William Wakefield, drawn as he appeared at his trial in 1826 for helping his brother Edward Gibbon Wakefield abduct a young heiress.