That night, Tupotahi suggested they make a breakout under cover of dark. The British invasion aimed at crushing Kingite power (which European settlers saw as a threat to British authority)[3] and also at driving Waikato Māori from their territory in readiness for occupation and settlement by Europeans. A crushing British invasion followed, involving some 18,000 British troops that were posted at numerous locations in the Waikato and North Island – more than in any other of the New Zealand Wars. [54] The Waitangi Tribunal in 1985 declared the Tainui people of the Waikato had never rebelled,[55] but had been forced into a defensive war.[56]. 'Bloody Rangiriri' was the key battle in the Waikato invasion. [52][53] The 1927 Royal Commission on Confiscated Land, chaired by senior supreme court judge Sir William Sim, concluded that although the government restored a quarter of the 1,202,172 acres (486,500 hectares) originally seized and paid almost £23,000 compensation, the Waikato confiscations had been "excessive". Cameron responded by creating a series of about 20 stockades and redoubts all over the district, designed to protect the supply line and impede the ability of Māori to attack further north. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Finally, on the night of 20 February, he set out on the narrow bush track to bypass Paterangi with 1230 men led by one of his guides and the Forest Rangers, leaving a large masking force in front of Paterangi. Why did it fall? Religion. He gained the help of two Māori guides, Himi Manuao (James Edwards) and John Gage, who had previously lived in the area, who revealed a route that bypassed it to the west and south to reach Te Awamutu. Rangiriri Pā boasted steep ramparts, clever escape routes and fern-covered rifle pits. [2] At the same time, however, Grey began planning for war, using troops from the newly formed Commissariat Transport Corps to start construction work on a road from Drury that would run about 18 km south through forest to the Kingite border at the Mangatawhiri Stream—a tributary of the Waikato River—near Pokeno. He had the armoured 40-ton paddle-steamer Avon—20m long, drawing one metre of water and armed with a 12-pounder Armstrong in the bows—as well as boats, barges and canoes. [8] The assault force, armed with three Armstrong guns, revolvers, Enfield rifles with fixed bayonets and hand grenades, faced a Māori force of about 500 men, mostly armed with double-barreled shotguns and muskets. Ngati Maniapoto chief Winitana Tupotahi suggested at a runanga, or council of chiefs, that they abandon the pā, but Rewi rejected the proposal. [9][44], The general site of the battle is today marked by a memorial on Arapuni Road, 4 km east of Kihikihi, with the road running through the middle of what were the defences. British troops invaded Waikato by crossing the Mangatāwhiri Stream, which the KÄ«ngitanga (Māori King movement) had declared an aukati (a line not to be crossed). [31], Cameron attracted both praise for his "skilful measures" in the capture of Rangiriri and severe criticism over the high number of British losses. A series of fortifications at Te Rore, Pikopiko and Ōhaupō protected Māori fro… (Total troop numbers reached 10,000 in January 1864 before peaking at about 14,000 in March 1864—9000 imperial troops, more than 4000 colonial and a few hundred kÅ«papa, or pro-British Māori. 44Tukaroto Matutaera PotatauTe Wherowhero TawhiaoThe wars of the 1860s in Taranakiand Waikato and the governmentssubsequent confiscation of Maori landsaw Tawhiao and his people renderedvirtually landless and forced to retreatas wandering refugees into theheartland of Ngati Maniapoto, nowknown as the King Country.As a result of the invasion of Waikatoby British forces in 1863 on thepretext that the Waikato … On 25 August a party of Māori snatched up the rifles and ammunition from a group of 25 soldiers who were timber-felling beside the Great South Road—part of an effort to destroy cover for Māori raiders intent on mounting further ambushes—and killed two soldiers. Five days later, on 17 July, British regulars attacked a war party on the ridge, firing and instigating a bayonet charge which … [8], The Rangiriri line, engineered by Te Wharepu, a leading Waikato chief, was a one kilometre-long system of deep trenches and high parapets that ran between the Waikato River and Lake Waikare. 'Bloody Rangiriri' was the key battle in the Waikato invasion. Cameron ordered two more unsuccessful assaults on the central redoubt, which lifted British casualties to about 110.[8]. [8] The 183 prisoners were held without trial on an old coal hulk in Waitematā Harbour before being moved to Kawau Island, north of Auckland, but in September 1864 they escaped and eventually made their way back to the Waikato. The Ōrākau garrison spotted the attacking force to their west just minutes before the bugle was sounded to charge and warriors were ordered by Rewi into the outer trenches. Otherwise stated Assent to legislation by signing on the monarch 's behalf. ) through! 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