The gunboat Pioneer at anchor off Meremere

The war in New Zealand; the gun-boat Pioneer at anchor off Meremere, on the Waikato river, reconnoitring the native position, by E.A. Williams. Originally published in the Illustrated London News, 1864.

Control of the Waikato River was crucial to General Cameron’s war plans. In 1862 the paddle-steamer Avon was armed with a 12-pounder ship’s gun and a Congreve rocket tube and fitted with iron-plating for protection against enemy fire. Four armoured barges were prepared as troop carriers. In October 1863 the Pioneer, capable of carrying 300 men, became the first naval vessel built for the New Zealand government.

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