Sap at Te Ārei today

By the end of 1860, Major General Pratt decided to employ a new tactic in a bid to achieve victory in the Taranaki War. Instead of sporadic assaults he now endeavoured to bring continuous pressure to bear on the Māori cordon around New Plymouth by using the systematic siege warfare tactic of sapping. A sap or long, covered trench would be dug towards the intended target allowing men to move closer to their target without being exposed to direct fire. A redoubt to cover each sap would be built with the intention of forcing Māori back or tempting them into an attack.

The last section of 'Pratt's long sap' below his final target of the pā at Te Ārei has been preserved. A traverse was dug to the left, towards Māori rifle pits that extended from the left of the pā on the crest of the hill.

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