The policy of war cartoon

The policy of war cartoon

A cartoon from Taranaki Punch, early 1861. It shows a British colonel ordering troops to a distant stockade while ignoring the fact that nearby houses are being attacked. During the war Taranaki settlers regularly criticised the Imperial military leadership for its inability or unwillingness to deal with the constant attacks on settler property and farms.

Tensions also emerged during the war between the Imperial forces and the settler militia and Volunteers. This was highlighted by the confused fighting at Waireka on 28 March 1860, when many of New Plymouth's inhabitants felt that their men had been abandoned by Colonel Murray in their hour of need.

In the final months of the war there was criticism that Major-General Pratt focused too much on capturing pā - often temporary fortifications that Māori abandoned before a final assault - while ignoring the continuing raids on settler farms.

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