No Victor. The Battle
Ten days of near-constant bombardment smashed through the outer defences. The following day (a Sunday), the British stormed the pā to find it almost empty. The warriors were out behind the pā resting and preparing defences to cover an orderly withdrawal. There was a fierce and bloody battle, mostly in the forest outside. Twelve British were killed and Kawiti lost perhaps a similar number of his warriors. Eventually, the defenders melted away into the bush, taking their dead and wounded with them.
Who won? There wasn’t a clear victor. The British claimed a great victory, but all they’d won was an empty pā in the middle of nowhere. Kawiti was careful to build his pa in a non-strategic location. His purpose was to draw the enemy into battle, cause them a great deal of trouble, and to withdraw if necessary. In that, he succeeded.
A digital impression of the pā (overview).
This video is protected by copyright owned by the Department of Conservation and Te Ruapekapeka Trust 10 January 2014. All rights reserved.