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Te Kooti's Little Spree


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‘Te Kooti’s little spree, as told by extracts from telegrams and the daily papers’. This sequence of nine cartoons shows how Te Kooti was prevented by the government from going to Poverty Bay in 1889. It shows police, including Inspector Samuel Goodall and Constable Cavanagh, and East Coast Hussars, as well as the Premier, Sir Harry Atkinson.

Te Kooti was arrested to prevent him from attending the opening of the meeting house Rongopai (Gospel), one of four houses built for him in Poverty Bay. After convicting him of unlawful assembly, the resident magistrate at Ōpōtiki ordered that he be sent to Mount Eden gaol in Auckland. He was released after only two days on the condition that he never returned to Poverty Bay. Though the sentence was overturned in the Supreme Court, in 1890 the Court of Appeal reinstated the original decision.

By now Te Kooti was an object of ridicule in the popular press and for many in the Pākehā community. No longer the ‘bogeyman’ used to scare children in Poverty Bay, he was dismissed as a ‘drunken ruffian’.


Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: C-034-005-b
Artist: Joseph Stuart Allen (1861-1930).
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any reuse of this image.

How to cite this page

Te Kooti's Little Spree, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated