Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Katikara Memorial Unveiling

Friday 14 June 2002

The deaths in battle of more than twenty Mâori in 1863 will be marked by the unveiling of a new memorial on Sunday, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Judith Tizard and Associate Minister of Mâori Affairs Tariana Turia announced today.

The Ministers said that the memorial was the first to be created as a joint project between Mâori and the Crown.

“139 years ago these men were killed in the Battle of Katikara, part of the New Zealand Wars,” said Tariana Turia. “They died in defence of their land and mana, and have since lain in an unmarked grave. Now the government has worked with Te Kotahitanga o Ngâ Mâhanga a Tairi, the tangata whenua, to erect this memorial.”

“New Zealanders have a strong interest in the history of this country,” said Judith Tizard. “It is important that we recognise significant places where that history has been made.”

“By examining our history, acknowledging injustice and making conciliatory gestures such as this, the descendants of both sides can relieve each other of the burdens of the past,” added Tariana Turia. “This memorial is a foundation stone for our shared future.”

The memorial is located at the gravesite at the Fort St George Redoubt Reserve at Tataraimaka. It will be maintained by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, which has responsibility for looking after the graves and memorials of all those who died in the New Zealand Wars of the 1800s.

Unveiling of the memorial will take place at 1 pm on Sunday 16 June, at a ceremony to be attended by local iwi and Crown representatives.

Further information about the Battle of Katikara and Katikara Memorial follows.
History leading up to the Battle of Katikara

During the first Taranaki land wars of 1860-1861, settlers were driven off the prime Tataraimaka land block, which was bound on its southern border by the Katikara river. Governor Grey decided to return the Waitara land block to Taranaki Mâori, acknowledging that it had been wrongly purchased. However, before he did so, and without warning, Grey mobilised the Militia to reoccupy the Tataraimaka block and set up a redoubt.

Mâori saw this an aggressive act, which, according to historian Chris Pugsley in his 1998 article, is what Grey had intended, to forward his plan enticing Taranaki Mâori and their allies to war. The plan anticipated that Ngâti Maniapoto would come to the assistance of their Taranaki allies, and through them Waikato would be enticed and implicated in fighting against the Crown. This would give Grey a reason to start a war as he originally intended, with Waikato, on prime Waikato soil. The victor would then have a reason to confiscate land for settlement on the fertile Waikato river plain.

Local Taranaki Mâori plotted to kill Grey by ambushing him as he travelled the road from New Plymouth to Tataraimaka. However on May 4 1863, two officers with a small party of soldiers were ambushed instead whilst escorting a prisoner back to New Plymouth. All but one of the party were killed. This incident, known as the Oakura ambush, provided Grey with a reason to mobilise his troops again.

New Plymouth settlers called for revenge and on 4 June 1863 a regiment of 873 officers and men marched on Fort St George just north of the Katikara river. They were supported by artillery from the steamship HMS Eclipse, positioned just off shore. Governor Grey was aboard observing the bombardment by the steamship of the palisaded Mâori pa.

The cover fire from HMS Eclipse enabled the ground troops to storm the Mâori pa site. Against very heavy odds Mâori retreated from the palisades to the inner earthworks. Those who were able to flee to the bushes were fortunate. Those who sought refuge in the earthworks found themselves in a trap. The Mâori dead were later gathered and buried in a pit close to the redoubt.

History records that the warriors fought and died bravely against overwhelming odds. The memorial is a dedication to their bravery, as noted after the battle by the Militia.

The Katikara Memorial

The memorial consists of a renewed concrete slab, a large boulder and a granite tablet mounted on a sloping desk, which carries the following inscription:

4th JUNE 1863.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election