Talk:New Zealand Wars

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Page One[edit]

I would prefer a more detailed and fact filled account of the lead up to the wars. In particular some detail about the whole sorry history of the wairau land purchases would be nice. Hawthorn

Hello again Hawthorn, I tend to agree with you and if no on else does it I will try and do something later, right now I dont feel qualified. So far as the Wairau massacre goes I think the best way to tackle that would be an article on the Wakefields and the New Zealand Company, their cavalier attitude towards the Tangata whenua created the situation. That was why I left out so much of the background. The First War wasn't about land at all, as much as anything it was because Hone Heke was pissed off with FitzRoy moving the capital to Auckland plus some serious stiring by the American consul. Cheers Ping 11:06 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Oh, and - they always turn out longer than anticipated! Sort of a law of nature, I think. Possibly the same law that says if you buy three bags of cement to concrete a path, you'll have to go back to the timber yard twice more to buy extra. And you finish it three weeks after the day you promised your Significant Other it would be ready. :) Tannin

It's still coming, geting longer and longer and this is only the first war, However I know the last war, the Dog Tax War will be very short because it only lasted one afernoon. Ping aka

modern NZ history[edit]

It's going well, Ping. I know very little of modern NZ history (bar what I've learned from this page), but if I may suggest something, I think the entry could use some background, so that we can see not just what happened but why it happened. What was the attitude of the settlers in general? Were the military authorities in their offices in ... er ... wherever they had their offices ... reluctant? Gung ho? At the end of the wars (when you get to that bit), did things settle down quickly? Or were there festering resentments that went on for years/decades?

Not a violent and primitive nature[edit]

Also, I know it's an entire different subject in itself, but one of the few things I do know about the Maori is that their incessant wars with one another were not caused by a "violent and primitive nature" (as Captain Cook no doubt liked to think) but by their economic circumstances: lots of people, and very little to eat. In particular, a severe shortage of protein. When the Maori first arrived from further north, they brought the standard Polynesian "package" of crops, none of which were really suited to the relatively cold climate of NZ, especially not the South Island. To begin with, this was no problem: they were rew in number and there was any amount of animal protein to be had for the taking. But as the population grew, they wiped out the various Moa species, and a few others as well, and not having cold climate crops like (e.g) wheat or barley, ran into a severe protein shortage, making human meat highly desirable. As I said, this is a matter for a seperate article, but I think a brief mention of it should be worked in somewhere. Otherwise, it's too easy to see the Maori as just "mad savages".

Tannin 11:23 Apr 2, 2003 (UTC)

While a shortage of protein might help explain the cannabalism, I don't think for example that the musket wars were caused simply by the desire for a good feed. It would be wrong to portray the maori of the time as essentially peaceful people driven to war purely by a shortage of protein. There was an undoubted enthusiasm for war and battle within the culture, a glorification of combat which was not unique to maori and which the British of the time also shared. Which may explain why they generally got on so well - when they weren't busy killing each other that is.

Thanks Tannin. Fair comment and I will think about how to do that. The Flag Pole still gets chopped down from time to time, 1974 was the last time I think. I hope the way I described the last siege ending goes some way towardds giving a better picture of the Maori. Basically it was two very different cultures that simply did not understand each other backed up by a fair degree of arrogance on both sides. I don't think protein was short for the coastal Maori as there was abundant sea food. The canabalism was largely ritual ,by eating your enemy you aquired his strengths. I suspect, although almost no one agrees with me, that the tribal wars were an important form of population control

First Maori War[edit]

I have rewrtten Maori Wars as a very brief summary, one that still needs a lot of work and expansion. The First Maori War I have redirected to stand as an article in its own right as perhaps should the accounts of the other NZ wars if and when their articles appear appear. I see this aa an ongoing projest unless someone else wants to take over Ping 08:21 Apr 14, 2003 (UTC)

No no. You go right ahead, Ping. You are doing great. I'll come along and do my customary copyediting thing a little later. (I'm knee deep in bird taxonomy right now.) There is no need to have the entire project finished too fast. Anytime before ... oh ... about Wednesday will be fine. :) Tannin

which wednesday of 2005 did you have in mind?Ping 09:17 Apr 14, 2003 (UTC)

Article name "Maori Wars", "New Zealand Wars" etc[edit]

I'm very surprised to see the Anglo-centric title of this article. It was common for the Brits to name wars after the people on the other side but those days are past. I propose changing the title to New Zealand Wars. Nurg 07:25, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

OK. ping 06:35, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

They are now in a category with the more neutral term [:Category: New Zealand land wars]]. "New Zealand wars" could be confusing for people from overseas, who might assume it was wars involving NZ. "Maori Wars" is definitely a dated name for them, though. Grutness 06:43, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I'm only an Aussie :-), but how about "Anglo-Maori Wars" as a suggestion, since Australasian colonials generally regraded themselves as "British" at the time? Grant65 (Talk) 16:16, Nov 20, 2004 (UTC)
Try telling the people in this part of New Zealand that their British ancestors were "Anglo" and see how far you get! On a more serious note, why give it a name that no-one uses? There are three names by which the conflict was known: Maori wars, New Zealand Wars, and New Zealand land wars. The last of these seems the least ambiguous and most even-handed. Grutness (in the deep Scottish south).
With a redirect from Aoteroa land wars to be truly PC perhaps? ;-) Methinks the Gaelo-Kiwis do protest too much... Seriously, wouldn't "British-Maori wars" be more descriptive? Grant65 (Talk) 02:30, Nov 21, 2004 (UTC)

No because 1. That ignores and also serves to hide the Maori participation on both sides. In the latter wars the majority of the fighting was done by Maori fighting on behalf of themselves and the NZ Government. 2 During the Second Taranaki War the British wiithdrew and refused to participate any furhter. The latter wars involved the NZ Government as a protagonist not the British Colonial Office. ping 07:28, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

It's neither here nor there that there were Maori fighting Maori. For example, there were also Chinese people fighting for Japan in the Sino-Japanese war and, as I said before, Australasian colonials — unless they were member of minorities like Irish Catholics etc — generally saw themselves as "British" at the time. Grant65 (Talk) 14:07, Nov 21, 2004 (UTC)
I'll weigh in with my opinion, FWIW. If the article is to be renamed, the already familiar "New Zealand land wars" is much preferred to inventing some new name. Follows WP naming conventions of using the most familiar name. olderwiser 15:43, Nov 21, 2004 (UTC)

Agreed. ping 07:32, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This discussion fizzled out without any conclusion being reached. Does anyone have any major objection if I rename the article to "New Zealand land wars", which seems to be the most accepted name. I'll leave a redirect from "Maori Wars", and anyone can create any other redirects they wish to, within reason.-gadfium 08:33, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I've renamed it.-gadfium 09:17, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)
fine ping 07:40, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I hate to restart an old argument here, but can I suggest that the word 'Land' be removed from the title. This isn't a personal thing, but James Belich and Micheal King (the two pre-eminent New Zealand historians) have both stated their belief to be that the wars should be referred to as the New Zealand wars, along with the Ringatu religion, founded by Te Kooti (one of the Maori leaders).

I agree - it is misleading to suggest that land was the sole issue (sovereignty and governance were, if not equally important, certainly major issues) - it's like saying that the American Civil War was about slavery, accurate in what it affirms but inaccurate in what it omits.


The problem is that two names are needed for the same series of conflicts. We need one name for use here in NZ, an appropriate PC name that is accurate without offending any one. But we also need a name that tells the rest of the world what the hell we are talking about. New Zealand Wars is bland and uninformative; New Zealand Land Wars is closer to what the conflicts were about but not wholly accurate. Similarly Maori Wars could also mean the Musket Wars but is assumed by most of the world, and many people in NZ to mean exactly these conflicts.

Ask yourself, 'what is the purpose of a title?'. If, as I believe, it is to lead people into the article then the article can be relied upon to correct any misconceptions created by the title. A title should be able to tell as many people as possible what the article is about. Not exactly what the article is about but approximately so. ping 07:30, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree all titles are less than ideal - to be honest associating conflicts of the 1840s with those of the 1860s seems to me inappropriate as well - but I do think the New Zealand Land Wars is misleading - land was not the central issue for many combatants in many actions. I feel if they are to be all combined in one section, New Zealand Wars is appropriate and I don't think the title would confuse strangers to the subject. After all, people are not confused about the Battle of Britain, even though it was hardly the only battle in Britian. If further qualification is needed, perhaps it could take the forms of dates or a list of the separate conflicts, rather than an overly simplistic assertion of causation. Winstonwolfe 01:39, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm on the side of New Zealand Wars. This is increasingly what they are called, "land" and "Maori" are misleading. Ping I understand your point of view but surely if that was the case this article should be called "Nicky Watson Naked Wars" to lead people in and then we could correct their misapprehensions in the article. Accuracy of title is important or people will be prejudiced about what the article will contain. NZ forever 03:50, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree that "New Zealand Wars" is preferable. For instance, see the section of the NZ Electronic Text Centre's site, where they are called that, and also in the "New Zealand Wars" website [1] and in the Min of Culture and Heritage's "NZHistory" site [2], and also throughout Te Ara [3]. I could go on and on, but essentially it's clear that "The New Zealand Wars" is _the_ term in current use. Perhaps the term could be said to be "bland and uninformative", but so what? at least it's not misleading as "NZ Land Wars" is. In any case, the purpose of the title is to accurately and concisely label the article, rather than to inform - that's the purpose of the article itself. Cheers! Con

I hate to wade in on this but the total casualty figures mean the conflict(s) scarely merit the title 'war'; four decades of conflict in NZ amounted to no more than a couple of hours of a single major battle in, say, the American Civil War. It is almost worth renaming them the New Zealand Insurgencies or similar. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:19, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I'll bite. The American Civil War pales in comparison to a single theatre in the Second Sino-Japanese War, in terms of casualties. So what? The American Civil War and the NZ Wars were quite similar in terms of the proportion of the population involved in fighting, and had equally important effects on the histories of their respective countries. Also, the definition given in our war article says nothing about the size of the conflict. -- Avenue (talk) 13:14, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
You don't even need to go that far. The forces involved in the Waikato War alone were as large as those in the Great Sioux War, with Rangiriri being a battle on the scale of Little Bighorn. So even in comparison to some famous U.S. wars, the New Zealand Wars are wars. Rwestera (talk) 07:49, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

This article should be renamed "The New Zealand Wars". That's how they're referred to by the NZ Army [4] and others as mentioned a few paragraphs earlier -- TimClicks (talk) 22:13, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

The army huh! Sanitises the reality a bit, doesn't it. Like, can you imagine the army admitting "most of our first wars against the New Zealanders were fought because they were trying to protect their lands from Europeans." An article about wars over land without the word "land" in the title would be half-pied indeed. Moriori (talk) 23:39, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Whatever the result of this discussion, could someone make the name consistent in the article name, first paragraph and the infobox? FWIW I'd prefer New Zealand Wars, the most general and inclusive title. Land Wars implies the conflicts were solely about land. Huttoldboys (talk) 02:03, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Gate Pa[edit]

Gate Pa has had a a possible copyright infringement template put on in. Unfortunatly the article was a word for copy of this site Could someone who is editing the New Zealand land wars please nock up a paragraph or two for that article to replace the copyright infringement template? --Philip Baird Shearer 09:34, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

It might be best to merge the article on Gate Pa with the Tauranga Campaign. Or make it a straight forward Redirect. ping 08:07, 19 September 2005 (UTC)


The passage

There were a few Pākehā who fought for Māori; not many, but .... Perhaps the most notorious was Kimball Bent, who acted as Titokowaru's armourer and later became a noted tohunga (priest).

strikes me as very, very POV. (The other use of "notorious" seems OK to me though.) May I suggest "famous" instead? (Or even just "best known".) Petrouchka 03:10, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Fair enough. I've chosen "well-known" as a neutral descriptor. --Tirana 23:10, 25 September 2006 (UTC)


This reads a little like one of 'grandpa's tall stories' told around a fireplace, can we get some citations in, just where is this information coming from? 15:05, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Which bits seem implausable to you? Virtually everything that's been tagged 'sources needed' is in Belich's New Zealand Wars. I would put footnotes in myself, but I don't have a copy close to hand. --Helenalex 05:57, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

I think the problem stems from the fact no references are given - the reader doesn't know if this is from books or written from an editors own knowledge and recollection. Anything used should at least be put in a references section, though citations are ideal. Richard001 05:46, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
With 19 further reading references and 7 external sources, it shouldn't be too hard to get some references. The 'citation needed' tag is being used far too excessively though, as a trivial reading of the history would indicate (ie. Belich's New Zealand Wars as Helenalex stated). This article is accurate without the excessive tags, but some references won't hurt. As I'm not an authority on NZ history, just having a passing interest I can't chase up most of these sources but I've made a start with what I could find.Nazlfrag 04:00, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Well one problem is that Belich is not an original source but an interpretation, and a fairly tendentious one at that. Things like the supposed comparison with the bombardment on the Somme is a bit far fetched:

"One authority calculated that Gate Pa absorbed in one day a greater weight of explosives per square metre than did the German trenches in the week-long bombardment leading up to the Battle of the Somme[citation needed]."

This sort of point worthless without discussing the type of shells for a start (explosives of different types on the Somme, many of which didn't work because of manufacturing problems, etc etc). Best to leave that out I would have thought. It is a non-stat. You could say the same about just about any occasion when a single cannon fired on one fixed position. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:55, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

What is intended?[edit]

A recent edit left us with "early colonial land-sale deals had had a dubious basis, and the parties involved sometimes concluded sales before the signing of the Treaty". Because this particular par is about the treaty in relations to land sales, the word "early" should be earlier. But that's not my point, which is, is it intended that the second part of the sentence is trying to say some sales were rushed through to be fait accompli before the treaty signing? I'm not sure, so won't change anything before getting comment. Moriori 01:42, 31 October 2007 (UTC)


This article could do with a timeline - either as part of the article or as a separate article. I don't know enough about the NZ wars to be able to write such an article, but if there's anyone out there that does, it'd be very useful... Grutness...wha? 21:47, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

New page Battle of Battle Hill in need of first aid[edit]

Perhaps a knowledable editor here could apply some first aid to this article, or at least come with a savy assessment of whether the article should survive or not (was PRODded recently). thanks. Power.corrupts (talk) 22:23, 12 January 2009 (UTC)


A knowlegable informant would be of major use in creating a time line here (14:12, 3,April, 2010) jarram11.PS happy easter everbody jarram11-- (talk) 19:15, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Article assessment[edit]

The article had been assessed as B class. I've dropped this back to C class - it can't be B class when inline citations are missing. Inline referencing should be a priority for editors interested in this subject. WP:CITE shows how it's done. And Wikipedia:WikiProject New Zealand/Assessment gives background to assessment if anybody is interested. I'm sure that with a bit of effort, this article could reach GA class. Schwede66 20:24, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

In fact, I've dropped it back to start class now. It really needs inline citations. Given that it's such an important NZ topic, there's be lots of people who know the history well, have read some of the books given in the reference list, and could make this a rainy Sunday project. Schwede66 07:15, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Underway... --Lholden (talk) 20:52, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Editors -keep up to date with your history[edit]

Since 2005 there have been significant leaps forward in out understanding of Nz's early history.Information from the treaty office has allowed historians to more accurately report what actually happened rather than repeat many of the history myths that passed as facts.Also NZETC is a wonderful source for revealing many of the subtle points.I think it is fair to say that originally most of this article reflected the old myths that are simply not true ,though still passing as truth in some quarters. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:40, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Modern Maori myths[edit]

  • Myth 1-Maori had all their land stolen by the government.No they didnt-about 90% including all the South Island was freely sold. In 1863 after a fair warning was given that land would be confiscated -before the war against the kingitanga started. Kingitanga were given ample opportunity to show their commitment to peace but refused to swear oath of allegiance to the crown and refused to surrender weapons.

Um, most land was taken after the wars through the Maori Land Court Huttoldboys (talk) 02:33, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

I was referring to land confiscated after the land wars.The Maori land Court gave Maori who wished to sell land the legal right .Selling land was VERY popular among Maori. - Claudia 1 July 2011

Te Puni Kokiri -the Maori bank says that Maori has 2.7% of their land confiscated.They sold about 86% (even they couldn't figure out all the deals done in the past).Land continued to be freely sold until 1984!They still own the rest.Land owned by Maori has doubled since 1995.Claudia Nov 2014.

  • Myth 2 - The Government started the war in the Waikato.-no they didnt-Maniapoto ambushed and killed soldiers in Taranaki well after the end of the 1st Taranaki war. Maniapoto then tried to kill the missionary Gorst at Te Awamutu. Then they burnt down the station and stole the press.Then they threatened all the other settlers that they would be killed if they stayed.

Uh, uh, Grey planned the war for some. The resumption of fighting in Tarankai provided an opportunity to launch the invasion.Huttoldboys (talk) 02:33, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Grey was not even in Nz then!! - Claudia 1 July 2011
  • Myth 3 The Waikato was not part of NZ: In 1840 40 Waikato chiefs signed the Treaty signed.Te Whero Whero, who was living at Manakau didnt sign -saying he was insulted by the lack of gifts.The agents refused to bribe him.
  • Myth 4 Kingitanga never threatened Auckland. Kingtanga murdered about 15 settlers on farms around the fringe of Auckland. In addition there were about 10 battles fought in Auckland such as the one at East Pukekohe. The army was forced to construct about 12 stockades in Auckland to defend the city.During one reconnaissance the bush rangers found a secret hidden Kingitanga forward military base in the hills SE of Auckland designed to hold 1500 warriors.

Actually, the redoubts were constructed to protect the lines of communication for the invading army - Auckland faced no direct threat.Huttoldboys (talk)

Sorry you dont know your history or Geography-Auckland had already been threatened and attacked prior to 1863- it was only the intervention of British troops and warships that stopped previous conflict. About 22 settlers in the Auckland area were killed by Maori during attacks by Maori rebels in 1863-some of the killed were children. - Claudia 1 July 2011
  • Myth 5 The rebels were superior fighters. No they weren't. Kingitanga preferred to murder unarmed settlers. In the battle at Camerontown they relied on treachery. At East Pukekohe they were annihilated.In the lower Waikato they were consistently outsmarted.

In fact, the Maori defence of the Waikato was characterised by skilful use of fortifications to delay the British advance. Cameron discovered that it was nigh impossible to assault a modern pa and achieve a decisive victory.Huttoldboys (talk)

Nonsense-you cant call 18 defeats in a row a success!The rebels did not ever defeat a British force.They were out thought ,out weaponed, out manuovered-they never stood a chance against the British. - Claudia 1 July 2011 Winston Churchill:"you never win a war by running away!"Claudia 2014
  • Myth 6 Orakau was a kingitanga tiumph.No it wasnt -it was their death knell.They selected a terrible site too small to take all the defenders,with no water,overlooked from a hill,with very litle food or ammunition. The Ake Ake speech was not made by Rewi and only 2 hours after saying they would fight on for ever, they all ran away.

Most of the Orakau garrison escaped after breaking through the British cordon, negating any chance of a decisive stroke.Huttoldboys (talk)

Yes -never to take the field of battle again-though they did still manage to kill a few unarmed settlers - Claudia 1 July 2011
  • Myth 7 The Battle at Rangiowhia was unfair because the village was neutral.2 loyal Maori guided the army past the rebels Pa so the army could capture their supply base. When called on to surrender villagers fired at the soldiers from whare which were partly built in the ground, setting fire to the dry vegetation in the huts.They continued to shoot at the soldiers.Soldiers did not set fire to the church-it was still standing many years later. The village was the main base for the Maniapoto kingitanga.
  • Myth 8 Cameron was a poor General.In fact his campaign in the Waikato could not be faulted-it is a model of how to fight a Maori rebel force. He was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Cameron realised that it was highly unlikely that a full victory could be achieved.Huttoldboys (talk) 02:33, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Yet this is what happened.The King movement was spent force and was never again a threat to Nz.In the 70s the King country was a hot bed of alcoholism and anger between the Northern Waikato Kingites who claimed man over the Maniapoto - Claudia 1 July 2011
  • Myth 9 W Tamehana was a peaceloving man. Possibly he was but only on his terms. He wrote a series of letters to Grey in 1862-63 which were interpreted as threatening Auckland .It is interesting that he appears to have sold land to settlers at both Morrinsville and Matamata.It is clear the rebel warriors thought he was a dim wit when it came to war.

Any more myths?

Claudia Feb 2011 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:01, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Please address specific changes you think should be made to the article, rather than debating the whole topic.-gadfium 21:55, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Proposal to rename[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Vegaswikian (talk) 20:55, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

New Zealand land warsNew Zealand wars

In the section above, #Article name "Maori Wars", "New Zealand Wars" etc, the original title of this article of "Maori Wars" was considered inappropriate, but there was no clear consensus on whether the title should be the present "New Zealand land wars" or just "New Zealand wars", with a few other possibilities thrown in. I moved it to the current title in 2005, but there has been a number of comments over the years that this is not the best title, and "New Zealand wars" is the most accepted name. I think it is appropriate to revisit the question and get fresh or reconsidered opinions.-gadfium 21:52, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Support "New Zealand wars" seems to have become the standard name for this period of NZ's history (thanks largely to the James Belich TV series). Grutness...wha? 01:15, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Support I agree that the suggested name meets the criteria of WP:COMMONNAME. Schwede66 22:04, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Support on the basis that "New Zealand wars" is the more commonly used term. If this article is renamed, then the category with this name (Category:New Zealand land wars) should be changed accordingly. --Pakaraki (talk) 03:21, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Support - given that the wars were known by a number of names, there is no one definitive term for them; the fighting wasn't neccessarily always about land either. --LJ Holden 00:48, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Good point. Grutness...wha? 00:50, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Support. It's not the most informative title but it satisfies WP:COMMONNAME and doesn't omit anything by being too specific like "New Zealand land wars". Might be a bit unclear, but the same can be said for "Māori Wars", which could be interpreted as referring to the Musket Wars. Liveste (talkedits) 23:36, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Support per all the above. --Avenue (talk) 11:01, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
Support. New information shows that land was not really the key issue. It was an outcome of a political power struggle. Claudia August 2011 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:38, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
"New information" that's been known for over 100 years... have proposed the relevant categories for speedy renaming (Criterion 2D), BTW. Grutness...wha? 10:12, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Land not the most important isue?[edit]

The first paragraph states that land was the most important issue.I think this is misleading.The war was about power.It is clear that rebel Maori had second thoughts about the treaty and allowing Pakeha into NZ at all. This anti pakeha feeling is a recurring theme in Wellington, Taranaki ,Waikato. Many of the rebels wished to retain ancient Maori ways(tikanga). When the war in the Waikato was lost it was revived by Hau Hau who were reverting back to their cultural, pre missionary past, by blood licking and eye eating etc. One editor says this has been known for 100 years- so why is it still in the leading paragraph that it was mainly about land? It seems that the majority of Maori either sided with the government or at least remained neutral. I propose the opening paragraph be changed to reflect what is apparently"well known". Mention of the land can be made later to put it in context.If keeping land was THE key thing why did so many Maori-even rebel Maori, sell land both before and after the Waikato War?It seem that the break down of relationships between the Kingitanga and Maniapoto in the 1870s was about mana over the land and who had the right to sell "King Country"/Maniapoto land for the new railway.Claudia Sept 2011 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:33, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

From what I've read of history of that time, and from talking with Taranaki tangata whenua, it is clear that land was the most important issue. For example, see Danny Keenan's chapter in; Kelvin Day, ed. (2010). Contested Ground, Te Whenua I Tohea: The Taranaki Wars 1860 - 1881. Huia Publishers. ISBN 978-1-86969-411-1.. --Pakaraki (talk) 19:16, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
It's clear that land was the most important issue, but not the only one. There seems to be a lot written about the Hau Hau which is unverified, hardly a surprise given the angst generated by the settler media at the time. --LJ Holden 22:44, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Land was the source of mana and for Maori mana was the most important concept.The key component of mana is power or authority to control how one lived.The war was about a clash of wills to determine whose power would be triumphant.British power, and perhaps more importantly, Western culture, prevailed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:05, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

New Zealand Civil War?[edit]

The 1860s wars seem to have had many, if not most of the features of a civil war. It is interesting and probably not coincidental that it took place at the same time as the US Civil War. Both the government and the rebels were aware of the US civil war. On the one hand you had the legitimate elected government backed by the majority of settlers and the majority of Maori. On the other you had an armed insurrection aimed at setting up an alternative but Maori monarchy representing a belligerent minority whose key policy was the prevention of Maori selling land to the state. The crux of the matter is that the government was bound to maintain law and order and uphold the Treaty of Waitangi which gave citizenship and British rights to all Maori as well as Europeans. This was tempered somewhat after the spectacular victory over the rebels in the Waikato by the extreme cost of the War. The government wisely decided not to follow the rebels into the King country hills-it had learnt its lesson in Taranaki and General Cameron was too clever to get to far from his Waikato River supply line.

Like the Confederates in the US the Kingites wanted to do their own thing regardless of the law of the land.

It has often been argued that the Nz wars were only about land but that flies in the face of reality. What really ended the King Country Civil war was the infighting between the tangata whenua and the manuhiri. Strangely the issue in dispute was the desire to sell land! There seems to have been a rude awakening in the KC bought on by the realization that the rest of NZ had moved on and the Kingities were living in a time warp.

It should never be forgotten that all along the vaste majority of Maori simply wanted to live in peace and take advantage of all the huge benefits in such things as technology,law,food production,housing,health services and education that Europeans had bought to Nz. The proof of this is the delight with which Maori welcomed the Land Courts and the opportunity to settle sometimes centuries old land ownership disputes.It is hard for kiwis today to realise how popular these courts were with Maori. Maori grasped the opportunity to take part in these legal proceedings with both hands. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:57, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

This is not a forum. --LJ Holden 21:34, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Interesting irony concerning Mr. Bent[edit]

Nice job on this article. I made only a few minor edits from a copyediting perspective, and to resolve my personal angst in using the singular when referring to a people. To wit: the Maori v. the Maoris. We don't say the German; we say the Germans, and so on.

But on to Mr. Bent. As a student of Native American history I was surprised and tickled to see that yet another Bent has contributed to Native history. George Bent ( built Bent's Fort in southeastern Colorado in 1833 and later married a Cheyenne woman. Two of George's sons later decided to join their fellow Cheyennes against the U.S. Army. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Histfic (talkcontribs) 16:18, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

The article is written using New Zealand English, and the plural of Māori in New Zealand English is Māori, not Māoris. The Māori language does not change words to form plurals, and New Zealanders have accepted this for Māori words taken into English.
A partial exception is the word Kiwi, which is not modified when referring to several of the birds, but in its secondary meaning of Kiwi (people), becomes Kiwis to refer to more than one.-gadfium 22:18, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Orphaned references in New Zealand wars[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of New Zealand wars's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "kaupapa4":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 21:36, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Should there be additions to belligerants?[edit]

It can't just say British vs Maori. There were multiple parties who fought the New Zealand Wars such as the Kings movement, the Queenites, Kupapa and the Waikato. --Snugglbunny (talk) 03:35, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Agreed, it should also acknowledge the NZ Government's own militia. --LJ Holden 01:52, 12 September 2012 (UTC)--LJ Holden 01:52, 12 September 2012 (UTC)


I'm going to give the Weapons section a significant trim. The section has several problems: it's too long and contains excessive detail for the article's current length, it lacks paragraphs, rendering it almost unreadable, and it is largely unsourced. The four sources it does cite have no page numbers, and much of it looks like original research. BlackCab (talk) 23:33, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

One comment on the weapons section: it describes the British weapons, but not what the Māori used. I don't know the answer, but it's just something that I noticed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:30, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

Orphaned references in New Zealand Wars[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of New Zealand Wars's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "CARv2":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 08:41, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Compensation Court[edit]

I have twice now [5][6] removed from the "Aftermath" section a statement that reads: "In 1865 a new government set up a compensation court in Auckland to hear claims from citizens affected by the war. Both Māori and settlers could claim. The court found that both soldiers and Māori rebels had caused damage to property during the course of the war. Māori were paid nearly 2000 pounds in compensation about 1/3 of what they had claimed."

The statement cites Richard Stowers' self-published 1996 book, Forest Rangers as its source, but provides no page number. I have skimmed through the book and can find no reference to the Compensation Court that was established as part of the land confiscation legislation. Given the subject of his book, discussion of Compensation Court decisions would be a surprise inclusion. Michael Belgrave's Historical Frictions does make several references to the operations of the Compensation Court but nowhere hints that its decisions cover damage to property by Maori or soldiers. And what was the ₤2000? Was that the total awarded (Maori were generally seeking not cash but land); to whom and over what period? How much land was given in compensation? Were Maori friendly to the government compensated for the confiscation of their land?

After all that, the issue of "property to damage" in the context of military actions, deaths and wholesale land loss is irrelevant to the broad subject of the aftermath of the New Zealand land wars, and the reference to Maori being awarded "1/3 of what they claimed" appears to be a statement denigrating the worth of their claims — which of course have largely been upheld by the Waitangi Tribunal, with subsequent Crown apologies.

All in all, it's a statement of dubious fact from a probably faked source on an irrelevant issue. BlackCab (talk) 05:26, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Maori weapons[edit]

An IP user added this comment on the absence of detail on Maori weapons. A slightly awry conclusion but a fair point, and I'll try to address it. Those details may be contained in the articles on the distinct campaigns. BlackCab (TALK) 04:53, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Numbering style[edit]

An editor has decided [7] that four-digit numbers such as 4000 and 1800 will be rendered with commas, as 4,000 and 1,800. The style on dates and numbers stipulates that "Numbers with exactly four digits left of the decimal point may optionally be grouped (either 1,250 or 1250), provided that this is consistent within each article." Those numbers are consistently numbered through the article without the comma. MOSNUM also states: "The Arbitration Committee has ruled that editors should not change an article from one guideline-defined style to another without a substantial reason unrelated to mere choice of style, and that revert-warring over optional styles is unacceptable. If discussion cannot determine which style to use in an article, defer to the style used by the first major contributor." Since 2012, when concerted efforts began to cleanup the article, four-digit numbers have remained the consistent style. Please don't start an edit war over a personal preference at an article to which you have made little or no previous contribution. BlackCab (TALK) 00:57, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

I care about digit grouping. Does anyone else care? Does anyone have any reason why it should be without digit grouping? If not, then what is the problem? --Hibernian (talk) 17:10, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
It has been pointed out that either style conforms to the Wikipedia style guide, so there would need to be a good reason to make a change the way that this article has been for some time. --Pakaraki (talk) 18:40, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified (February 2018)[edit]

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There is a section in A history of the British army (maps) by Sir John William Fortescue(1859-1933) at the Internet Archive website, about the New Zealand Wars which could be downloaded onto commons and used in this article or some of the more detailed articles.


-- PBS (talk) 11:21, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

Thanks, but unless I'm missing something I don't see any map there that would add value to the article. BlackCab (TALK) 08:41, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

Hutt Valley and Wanganui campaigns[edit]

kūpapa needs to be explained in English (collaborator).Yonk (talk) 07:29, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

The word includes a link to the Kūpapa page which explains the meaning of the word in this context in greater detail. Daveosaurus (talk) 07:44, 17 August 2018 (UTC)