Topic: Henare Wiremu Taratoa: Noble Warrior (2014) by Patricia Brooks

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The life and times of a young New Zealander who in the 1840s adopted a European lifestyle. He was New Zealand's first overseas missionary, a teacher and a patriot who fought for his people and his country.

Patricia Brooks grew up at Pyes Pa near the battle site of Te Ranga. Like many at that time, she knew little of the heroic stand made by Maori in defence of their land. Over the years she has sought information on the life of Henare Wireum Taratoa, a Christian whose faith was tested by those who had first inspired him.

ISBN: 978-0-473-28544-9

Published: May 2014

Printed by: Kale Print (Tauranga)

Price: $15.


Henare Wiremu Taratoa: Noble Warrior by Patricia Brooks

This biography commemorates the life of Henare Wiremu Taratoa a noble warrior who adopted a European lifestyle but when war broke out sided with his countrymen and fought at the Battles of Gate Pa and Te Ranga where he died on 21 June 1864.

Born in the 1830’s Taratoa was educated at Tauranga, Paihia and St John’s College Auckland where his marriage was solemnised by Bishop Selwyn at a double wedding ceremony with the Deputy Governor and his English bride. In 1852 Taratoa went as a missionary to Mare Island, one of the Loyalty Islands off the coast of New Caledonia. He was a teacher at Octavius Hadfield’s school at Otaki where he wrote a book on the teaching of arithmetic.

When war broke out Taratoa returned to support his iwi in Tauranga, setting up a school and a Maori council exhorting peace. Before the Battle of Gate Pa Taratoa wrote several letters to the British military that included the rules of conduct for war, predating the similar Geneva Convention. Impressed with the gallant chivalry of Taratoa the British soldiers later donated a day’s pay which enabled Bishop Selwyn to install memorial stained glass windows in his chapel at Lichfield Cathedral.

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Henare Wiremu Taratoa: Noble Warrior (2014) by Patricia Brooks