Friday, 18 May 2012

maori war

Jackson, Mason, 1819-1903. The war in New Zealand : surrender of the Tauranga natives at the Te Papa station [picture]the wilson edwars soldiers here are eeasily convertible to plastic using them as an example, acw will suffice for the conversion.Calvert, Samuel, 1828-1913. The war in New Zealand, storming rifle pits at Te Ranga, June 21, 1864 [picture]To some extent conflict was inevitable. When the Treaty of Waitangi was signed on February 6 1840 between the British Crown and the Maori tribes, both parties; and indeed most of the signatories; had different understandings of its meaning. The Maori believed that it guaranteed them the continued possession of their land and the preservation of their customs. Many of the British thought that it had opened up the country to mass immigration and settlement. On May 21 1840 New Zealand was formally annexed by the British Crown and the capital moved to Auckland, some 200 km south of Waitangi.
Meanwhile the New Zealand Company was aggressively purchasing land and bringing settlers to New Zealand. It maintained that the Treaty was not legally binding upon them and continued their activities in defiance of the new government.
In June 1843 the company attempted to survey some land that was still subject to dispute about its ownership. In the ensuing melee 23 Englishmen and four Maoris were killed. This became known as the Wairau Massacre.
In the Bay of Islands, Hone Heke, one of the original signatories to the Treaty, was becoming increasingly unhappy with the outcome. Among other things, the relocation of the capital had resulted in a decline of the European population of the bay, a reduction in the number of visiting ships and a serious loss of revenue. Furthermore he was told by American and French traders that the British flag flying over the town of Kororareka signified slavery for the Maori. What made this intolerable was that the flag pole had itself been a gift from Hone Heke to the first British Resident.
Then in June 1844 a girl from his tribe went to live with an English butcher in Kororareka and defied his orders to return to the tribe. Heke and his men went into the town, looted the butcher's shop and recovered the girl. Almost as an afterthought they cut down the flag pole. This is depicted in a painting by Arthur David McCormick, Hone Heke fells the flag pole at Kororareka
In August 1844 Governor FitzRoy arrived in the bay backed by the navy and 170 men of the 96th Regiment. He summoned the Maori chiefs to a conference which apparently defused the situation. Hone Heke did not himself attend but sent a conciliatory letter and offered to replace the flag pole.
The new accord did not last. Rumours that their land was going to be confiscated were given credence by the large number of European settlers pouring into the country. More to the point, there had not been a trial of strength between the Maori and the British. Kawiti, one of the leaders of local tribe, the Ngapuhi, had spent his whole life in inter-tribal warfare in which Ngapuhi were usually the winners. Encouraged by Heke's defiance he decided to test his strength against the white tribe. Meanwhile Hone Heke cut down the flag pole a second time.
Once again troops of the 96th Regiment were sent to replace it, and almost immediately it was cut down again.
Reinforcements were called in. A new and stronger pole sheathed in iron was erected and a guard post built around it. Meanwhile 

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