Ruapekapeka

Ruapekapeka Pa

The battle of Ruapekapeka took place in January 1846 and it was the last battle of the "Northern War".  A force of around 400 Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Hine had built large earthern fortifications called a pā, which they had designed to defend against the British strategy and armaments of the day. The Māori warriors were fighting for rights guaranteed to them under Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi). The British forces where there to put down the "native rebellion" that they viewed as a threat to the authority of the Crown. The Māori forces entrenched at Ruapekapeka were continually bombarded by British cannon fire for over a week and the Ngati Hine chief, Te Ruki Kawiti, planned to withdraw from the pa from 8th January. What happens next and why is somewhat in debate. What we do know is that reinforcements arrived in the form of Ngāpuhi tribal chief, Hone Heke and his men. On 10th January, the British officer in charge, Colonel Despard had all his guns in positio…