Topic: Battle of Te Ranga (21 June 1864)

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Two months after the Battle of Gate Pa, the British were to have utu for their loss when they attacked unprepared Māori on 21 June 1864 in what has become known as the Battle of Te Ranga.

This content is from a 2011 essay on the Battle of Gate Pa by Debbie McCauley:  Identity and the Battle of Gate Pā (Pukehinahina), 29 April 1864.

On that morning Greer had left Te Papa on a reconnaissance mission with a force of 600 men from the 43rd, 68th and 1st Waikato Militia (Belich, 1998, p. 189). Five kilometres inland from Gate Pā, they discovered 500 Māori working on a new fortification. Greer sent for reinforcements and when an extra 220 men arrived two hours later the British charged.

The war in New Zealand, storming rifle pits at Te Ranga, June 21, 1864 [picture] / drawn by Chevalier from a sketch by G. Lewis; Calvert

The war in New Zealand, storming rifle pits at Te Ranga, June 21, 1864 drawn by Chevalier from a sketch by G. Lewis; Calvert (Image: National Library of Australia)

Unlike Gate Pā they charged across the whole of the Māori line. The battle rates amongst the bloodiest of the New Zealand Wars. In desperate hand-to-hand fighting, ‘British troops exacted terrible vengeance for their defeat at Gate Pā’ (Cowan, 1983, p. 439).

Maori arms taken at Te Ranga fight, 21st June 1864 [picture] / by Major General H.G. Robley (Click here to see this on the National Library of Australia website).

Maori arms taken at Te Ranga fight, 21st June 1864 [picture] / by Major General H.G. Robley (Image: National Library of Australia). 1. Toki Patiti (hatchet), 2. Cartridge box, 3. Patu/Mere (clubs), 4. Kotiate, 5. Koikoi hand spears, 6. Toki Kakauroa (long handled hatchet/spear), 7. Tupara (double barreled guns), 8.Taiaha (long club/spear) 9. Enfield rifle bayonet, 10 / 10A. Tewhatewha, 11. Rifle cartridges.

The Māori garrison was unable to hold the incomplete defences and retreated when Puhirake was killed. Taratoa was also among 68 Māori killed, then subsequently buried in the trenches at Te Ranga (Belich, 1998, p. 193). Ngāi Te Rangi had ‘lost some of their finest chiefs’ (Waitangi Tribunal, 2004, p. 107).

Mourning over the spear of a Ngaiterangi warrior killed at the Battle of Te Ranga (21 June 1864) (click to see this image on the National Library of New Zealand website)

Mourning over the spear of a Ngaiterangi warrior killed at the Battle of Te Ranga (21 June 1864) (Image: Alexander Turnbull Library).

View from rifle pits, Te Ranga, scene of engagement June 21st, 1864 (Click here to see this image on the National Library of Australia website)

View from rifle pits, Te Ranga, scene of engagement June 21st, 1864 (Image: National Library of Australia) 

Te Ranga Battle Site marker

Te Ranga Battle Site marker (Photo: Debbie McCauley)

 

How to cite this page: McCauley, Debbie (2014).  Battle of Te Ranga (21 June 1864). Retrieved from http://tauranga.kete.net.nz/battles_of_gate_pa_and_te_ranga_1864/topics/show/1685 (Tauranga Memories, last updated: *insert date*). In-text citation: (McCauley, 2014).

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Battle of Te Ranga (21 June 1864)


Year:1864