Author(s): Buddy Makaere
The Battle of Pukehinahina-Gate Pa was a defining moment in New Zealand history. It brought together forces representing the British Empire's military machine, political manoeuvering and settler land hunger, Maori notions of sovereignty and self-determination, Christian ideals, and blood and death on a rainy afternoon in Tauranga in 1864. The battle had immediate repercussions for Maori land ownership and brought into question the value of the Treaty of Waitangi and the idea that New Zealanders were now One people. Although Maori technically won the battle in a humiliating defeat of the British troops, the long-term cost was high. Over 50,000 acres of their land was confiscated as punishment for rebellion.