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Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.



“A Taranaki chief, Horopapera te Ua, having shown symptoms of insanity, his people bound him with ropes. On account of the fact that he got free, they secured him with a chain and padlock, but he broke the chain. He claimed that it was the Angel Gabriel who had freed him. It was then said that, in a fit of frenzy, he had severed his child's leg with an axe, but, when the people went to lament, they found the child playing and only a scar was visible. He was now regarded not as a maniac, but as a prophet.”—W. Williams (Christianity Among the New Zealanders, p. 366).

In March, 1874, one of H.M.S. Eclipse's unexploded shells was found by some Waiapu natives. In order to obtain the lead, a large fire was built around it. A large number of men, women and children sat close by. The shell exploded, killing 20 and injuring a number of others.

The redoubt built on Kaiti by Lieutenant Wilson became known as “Wilson's Redoubt.” It was 93 feet square, with towers at the angles. In the enclosure there was a wooden building 60 feet by 16 feet and also a powder magazine. The troops used tents.

“In the construction of Waerenga-a-Hika pa, many large puriri posts were used, the whole trunk being set up without being split or reduced in size. Some years later I utilised many of these timbers as straining posts for wire fences and, in squaring them, cut through many bullets, which had just penetrated the thin covering of sap wood.”—Elsdon Best (Journal of the Polynesian Society, December, 1903).

page 226

Some unusual weapons were among the firearms given up by the rebels at Waerenga-a-Hika. One muzzle loader had six fixed barrels, but only one nipple. All the strange guns had been obtained, some years earlier, from the captain of a vessel which had called in on the East Coast from a South American port.

A few nights before the commencement of the siege, a party comprising Tom and Robert Goldsmith, Tom U'Ren and John Brooking was sent, under Lieutenant George, to reconnoitre in the vicinity of the pa, as it had been reported that the rebels had mounted troops. It secured about 100 horses, together with the rebel who was in charge of them.

“The Hauhaus have not done us one-tenth of the damage that has been inflicted by Mokena and his Ngati-Porou. Stock of all descriptions has been killed; fences, crops, gardens and orchards have been destroyed in a spirit of pure wantonness. Some of our settlers may now be said to have lost their all. My own homestead is in ruins.”—Captain Harris, in a letter to Mr. McLean (25/11/1865).