Waikato War map

Waikato War map

On 12 July 1863, Lieutenant-General Duncan Cameron’s forces crossed the Mangatāwhiri Stream and invaded Waikato. Adapted from plate 38 of the New Zealand historical atlas (Bateman, 1997), this map is oriented to the troops’ direction of travel, with north at the bottom.

After his return as governor in 1861, George Grey decided that the Kīngitanga, with its determination not to sell land, presented a serious challenge to imperial authority.

In 1862 and 1863 troops extended the Great South Road from Auckland and built a string of redoubts as a forward base for the invasion. Between July 1863 and April 1864 imperial troops, accompanied by locally raised Pākehā units, advanced as far south as Kihikihi.

Major battles were fought at Rangiriri on the Waikato River and at Ōrākau on the southern edge of the central Waikato district, which was occupied by British troops. Māori from lower and central Waikato took refuge in lands to the south and east. The conflict also spread into Bay of Plenty in 1864.

The Waikato campaign was the largest and most successful of the British military operations in the colony between 1845 and 1866. Although one of the government’s main aims was achieved the Waikato basin was largely cleared of Māori for European settlement the King movement was not vanquished.

Community contributions

15 comments have been posted about Waikato War map

What do you know?

Jacob O’Brien

Posted: 10 Mar 2021

No mention of the British massacre of Rangioawhia - a safe haven for children, women and elderly.

No mention of the massacre of children and women retreating from Rangiriri.

No mention of the false claims by Govt. Grey to initiate the whole invasion of Waikato.


Posted: 22 Oct 2019


Jamie M

Posted: 08 Jul 2019

Hi Kayla - yes, that is fine


Posted: 03 Jul 2019

Kia Ora,

Just wondering what the copyright is on this map image, is it allowed to be used in a presentation for mahi, not being used commercially to make profit?

Nāku Noa

James B

Posted: 03 Aug 2010

Thanks for this, this helped me out alot with my assignment

Whetu Marama

Posted: 30 May 2010

Kia Ora. Im apprehensive to mention the following written avoidance of the "LAND CONFISCATIONS in TAURANGA" that resulted in participation of the Pukihinahina-Tauranga support for the Maori/British land wars. I understand my youth may hold some naivety, but does generations of korero hold any facts? Please advise me of any truth beholding "LAND CONFISCATIONS to the Tauranga Moana Regions" participation in the Pukehinahina Battle of this time era? Your Knowledge & resource arena in this area would be helpful in ascertaining any truth for me. Thank You W Marama


Posted: 03 Sep 2009

Kia ora Brett

Have you seen our features about the King Mvt?

See also the Te Ara entry

For print see: Te Kīngitanga: the people of the Maori King movement. Auckland University Press/Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, 1996.

Hei kona, Jamie Mackay

Brett Taylor (Ngati Tua)

Posted: 03 Sep 2009

Kia Ora Admin, I have found this map very useful but am possibly needing more resources on the King Movement. I am finding it hard at Wellington Library to find much, Any ideas on where I could look?


Posted: 20 Aug 2009

Hi Brad - a more detailed version of this map appears in the NZ Historical Atlas (1997)


Posted: 17 Aug 2009

Any more advanced versions of this Map? Cheers