352 forced to make peace whether they would or not. Our losses

forced to make peace whether they would or not. Our
losses were small, being three killed and one wounded,
while the enemy had twenty-three killed and lost eightynine prisoners.
DURING the month of May, 1870, Ngatiporou resumed their
search after Te Kooti.
The principal object in this expedition was, however,
the capture of the fugitives of the Wairoa, Ngatikowhatu,
and Poverty B a y tribes, who had been more or less implicated in the Poverty Bay or Mohaka massacres, and
were hiding in the same forest-clad ranges that still
sheltered Te Kooti, and were always available as a reinforcement for his murderous raids. They were, moreover,
a source of annoyance and confusion to those searching for
Te Kooti. Often, after following a trail for days, our men
would find that they had been in pursuit of one of these
small parties of rebels, and thus perhaps lost the opportunity
of capturing the arch-rebel himself. Under these circumstances, Ropata decided to capture and make prisoners the
scattered bands inhabiting the district lying between
Maungapohatu and Te Reinga, and take them to Waiapu,
where they would be under the surveillance of Ngatiporou.
On the 13th, the main body camped at the Waihau lakes,
and a kokiri of seventy men proceeded to the Anapu-a-tai
village, but found it deserted, the inhabitants having
been warned by the man who escaped from the former
expedition. "
A second kokiri sent to Whenuakura was more successful,
for they took twelve prisoners, and learnt that others of
the tribes were living at Whakapunaki, a remarkable
limestone mountain, distinguished in Maori tradition as
being the home of the last moa.
A party started in pursuit that same evening, and
succeeded in capturing the people of a small village, from
whom they received information that there was another
village some distance up the Ruakiture river, near Puketapu. This place was also surrounded; many of the people
were too old to be mischievous, but eight men, two women,
and twelve children were brought away. One of the
prisoners informed Rapata that the villages of Whataroa
and Orewha had been burnt or destroyed by a Wairoa
expedition, and that heavy firing had been heard in the
direction of Waikare Moana. This intelligence so annoyed
the chief, who had hoped to capture the people living in
that neighbourhood, that he returned, to Poverty Bay,
with the intention of starting again in the spring. Before
returning, he left a letter addressed to the remnant of
Ngatikowhatu, advising them to surrender, and assuring
them of fair treatment.
This letter soon bore fruit, for
hardly had the expedition reached Poverty Bay when the
chief, Rakiroa, five men, and a woman, arrived and surrendered themselves, handing in six rifles as a proof of
their sincerity. Thus the whole of the Ngatikowhatu
tribe, eighty-six in number, wero now in our hands, and
powerless for harm; in fact, like true Maories, they were
now anxious to guide us, and fight against those with
whom they had so lately consorted.
No further movement was made during the winter, but
in December of the same year Rapata received orders to
proceed with 200 men of his tribe to Ruatahuna, with a
view to collecting the scattered Uriwera, and thus withdrawing them from the influence of Te Kooti. It was
further proposed that Rapata should remain at Ruatahuna
for some time, so as to prevent Te Kooti receiving recruits,
either by force or enticement. These views were approved
by both Paerau and Te Whenuanui, chiefs of Ruatahuna,
who were in Napier on a peace mission at that period.
T h e expedition started on the 14th of January, 1871, for Te
Wera, where it was reported that Te Kooti was then living,
and on the 25th the column reached the watershed between
the two coasts.
Te Rakiroa, late Hauhau, and personal
friend of T e Kooti, acted as g u i d e ; and although he was
travelling through his own country, so dense was the forest
that he lost his way continually, rendering frequent halts
necessary that he might climb trees so as to get the
general direction of their march. Nothing could be worse
than the travelling through this country. Thick scrubby
bush interlaced with supplejacks covered the hillsides,
which were excessively steep, so that for days the column
had. to follow the narrow beds of mountain torrents, over
slippery rocks, where a false step might be serious, for each
man carried nearly forty pounds of biscuit, besides blankets,
ammunition, & c None of these things could be replaced in
a black birch forest, where a rat can barely live, and where
the traveller will hardly ever hear either bird or insect.
An extract from Rapata's journal is worth repeating here,
so characteristic is it of the man, and of the difficulties encountered by him, during some of the winter expeditions:
" Perhaps we shall all die from the cold and snow brought
by the southerly wind ! N o ; we will not die from the cold:
if w e were the descendants of Ruaimoko w e might do so,
but w e are the offspring of Tongia, who thought only
of weaving, and making the rough garment the paki.
Ruaimoko was lazy, and cared only for fine clothes, so that
the women might take a fancy to his party. When he got
to Te Pakira, near Hikurangi mountain, he was pursued by
Tongia, who found the whole party frozen to death; and
their bones lie there to this day. I t is from thinking of our
ancestor Tongia I have made these remarks. His thoughtfulness has descended to us, who now carry tents and clothing to protect us from the c o l d ; and it is only by these means
we shall be able to carry out this great work.
some of our friends think that what w e are going through
is only the ordinary work of a campaign. Can it be decided
by those who live in comfortable houses what the extent
of this work is ? N o ; the magnitude can only be ascertained
by treading it with the feet. "
On the 22nd, Henare Potae, second in charge of the
expedition, knocked up and was unable to march. This
delayed the main body, but Rapata, with 100 men, started
in light marching order to search for indications of the
Some of his men returned the same evening, having
separated from the main body and lost their way. They
had wandered about the forest for nine hours before
they could find their way back to camp.
The wonder is
that, they should ever have found it in such a country, for
Europeans never would have done so. On the following
day twenty-five of Rapata's men returned, with orders for
the main body to join him and bring on the rations. He
had surrounded Te Kooti's pah at Te Wera, and, finding it
deserted, was about to follow a recent trail, which he
hoped would lead him to the arch-rebel's stronghold.
The tracks led in the direction of Maraetahi, which was
out of the direct line to Ruatahuna; but the prospect of
catching a prisoner from whom information might be
extracted a Ia Maori, was too alluring, and the trail was
quickly followed.
On the 30th another of Te Kooti's deserted pahs was
found, and in one of the whares two letters were discovered,
addressed to Te Turuki (one of Te Kooti's names). One of
these letters was from an Uriwera chief of Maungapohatu,
asking for information as to his future movements.
second was from one of the Chatham Islands prisoners,
named Maika, who informed his leader that the Uriwera
were going over to the Pakeha. A t the junction of the
Kahunui and Waioeka rivers, the recent sleeping-place of
the three men was found. They had evidently only left
that morning, and, not knowing they were followed, had
written their names with charcoal on a piece of board.
One of the Hauhau guides recognised them as men who
2 A 2
had separated from Te Kooti after bis* escape from Tologa
Bay, some months previously. Ngatiporou had now been
eighteen days on the march, and had nearly finished their
supply of biscuits; and as it was necessary to replenish
before going further, Rapata decided to send to Opotiki
for supplies.
Captain Porter with eighty of the strongest men went
on this duty, while Rapata proceeded to the Waimana, to
interview the Uriwera chief Tamaikowha, and ascertain
his feelings towards Te Kooti. Porter started from Maraetahi on February 2nd, and shortly after found tracks of
men, one of whom wore boots. This fact led him to suspect
that they must, be Government natives, who had been sent
up from the coast; under these circumstances he ordered
his men not to fire, but to take the intruders prisoners.
Ngatiporou started in pursuit, and in a very short time came
up with Captain Swindley and four natives, who had come
up from the Bay of Plenty to reconnoitre. They probably
owed their lives to Swindley's boots and Porter's prudence.
After resting a few days, the eighty men started again,
each man carrying fifty pounds of biscuits, which would,
with his arms and other impedimenta, amount to about
ninety pounds per man, and on the 9th, they reached the
mouth of the Waimana gorge, whore they found Rapata.
The meeting between this chief and Tamaikowha had
been stormy, but had ended satisfactorily. While at the
village of Tauwharemanuka an answer was received to a
letter written by Rapata, asking the Uriwera to assemble
at Tanaki to meet Ngatiporou. The answer was insolent; they simply refused to allow booted feet to pass the
boundaries of
Rapata took but little
notice of this message, and, resuming his march, arrived
at Tawhana on the 13th. Here they met the Tuhoe tribe,
wildest and most savage of bushmen.
A spectator might well have fancied himself in the New
Zealand of Captain Cook's time, so wild and fierce was the
appearance of these people. Their long hair was tied up in
a bunch, like the scalp lock of the American Indians, and
ornamented with white feathers; the effect was ferocious
in the extreme. In their speeches to Ngatiporou they
denied that Te Kooti was a man of crime, arguing that the
slaughter of women and children was only an old Maori
custom. Like all the inland tribes, who could have no
grievance against us, they expressed undying hatred to
the Pakeha.
On the 14th, another letter was received from the Uriwera,
stating that if Rapaoa persisted in going to Te Tanaki they
should leave the place. Ngatiporou still advanced, and
found that the Hauhaus had done as they threatened, for
there were none but very old people in the village, who
informed the invaders that all the fighting men had retired
to Te Kakari.
Ngatiporou followed, and this persistence
had the desired effect, for the meeting came off at last.
Although the Uriwera showed great distrust, they behaved
quietly, but. firmly refused to go to Ruatahuna, and would
acknowledge no authority but that of their own chiefs.
They also denied all knowledge of Te Kooti, with such an
air of sincerity that it puzzled Ngatiporou to decide as to
whether they were speaking the truth or not. An accident
decided the question. Some of Rapata's people came across
a half-mad woman, who mistook them for To Kooti's followers, and a few judicious questions elicited the fact that
Te Kooti was at the Papuni. This clue was followed up,
and it was ascertained from an old man that Te Kooti had
been at Te Tanaki a few weeks previously, and that his
hiding-place was somewhere near To Haupapa. No time
was lost in starting; and during the first day's march the
tracks of a man were seen—proof positive that some of the
Uriweras had preceded them, to warn Te Kooti. The trail
was followed until the 2nd of March, when it became evident
to Rapata that his men, who had been living on hinau
berries for some days, could not hold out much longer.
They had been on half rations for some time previously,
and were so much exhausted by want of food that it was
doubtful if they could reach the nearest settlement, Te
The pursuit was consequently abandoned for
the present, and thirty picked men, under Captain Porter,
were sent to Te Wairoa, to get biscuit brought out to the
main body, who could hardly crawl. The thirty men were
not in much better condition, and would hardly have
reached their destination had they not come across a few
self-sown potatoes in a small clearing. This helped them
on to the Waihau lakes, where fortune placed a small
pig in their way, which raised their spirits mightily. At
Whenuakura some of the old people of Ngatikowhatu informed Captain Porter that the Maungapohatu people kept
Te Kooti regularly informed as to the movements of the
A plentiful supply of biscuit having been
received, Ngatiporou resumed the chase on the 19th. At
Orewha the fresh tracks of a man were found; a few active
men were sent in pursuit, and on the second day captured
one of the enemy, who had only left Te Kooti a fortnight
before. His information was to the effect, that Te Kooti
was at Te Haupapa, to which place he offered to guide the
column. He also stated that there were three pahs there,
but, that only twenty-four of the Hauhaus had guns, and
that they were supplied with clothing by the Wairoa tribes.
The weather at this period was abominable, and the discomfort was increased by Rapata refusing to allow fires,
for fear of being discovered by the enemy. On the third
day the column reached Te Haupapa, which was silently
surrounded, but was found to be deserted, and showed no
signs of occupation for at least a fortnight. This was a
bitter disappointment to men who had been nearly three
months marching through dense forests, nearly always wet
through and often half-starved, only to find the enemy's
stronghold deserted. The Hauhau guide (Tautata) did his
work well throughout the march, and, after reaching Te
Haupapa, guided Rapata to a cave where Te Kooti kept
his valuables.
Six rifles, two watches, some money, and other articles,
were found here, and taken possession of. The position
of Te Haupapa was admirably chosen as a hiding-place.
Situated in the least known part of the Uriwera country,
the small piece of open fernland, surrounded by high
mountains, was hardly likely to be discovered except by
accident. Again Te Kooti had escaped the best laid plans
of his enemies; but there was still a chance of capturing
him at Anaru Matete's pah, which Tautata stated W a s on
the crest of the Mokonuiarangi range, at no great distance
from Te Haupapa.
The column started at once, and, on reaching the summit
of the range, divided into two parties; the one under
Rapata proceeded to Wharekopae the other, under Captain
Porter, to Anaru Matete's pah. The latter party was so far
unfortunate as to be discovered by a woman who had been
placed as sentry on a high rock above the pah.
Hauhaus, alarmed in time, escaped to the bush; but, in the
chase that ensued, two men and several women and children
were captured. Anaru Matete and his brother escaped by
sliding over a cliff, and thus shook off Ngatiporou.
On the following day Rapata returned successful; he had
surrounded Wharekopai and captured all the inhabitants,
viz., the chief Tamati, twelve men, and the usual number
of women and children. One of the prisoners, when
questioned, stated that he had heard Te Kooti say that he
would go to Tahuna Taua. This was enough for Rapata,
who at once told off three parties of thirty men each to
scout the forest in search of this place.
Only one of the detachments found the village in question,
and captured a man; but Te Kooti was not there; and as
none of the prisoners seemed to know his hiding-place,
Rapata concluded that he had left the district, and ordered
his men to return homewards.