By Rebecca Nuttall, Historic Intern
Unrest surrounding the Treaty of Waitangi was to blame for the nearly two years of fighting between British authorities and Māori iwi of the northern North Island.
View of Ruapekapeka pa at the time it was entered and captured. By artist Cyprian Bridge (Lieutenant-Colonel), 1807-1885
While the British claimed victory following the battle, the strategic location and abandonment of the pā by the Māori warriors suggest another side to the story. Who won the Battle of Ruapekapeka?
Fence surrounding the one remaining well at the pā
DOC actively manages Ruapekapeka Pā in the hope to conserve this nationally significant site for today and future generations. DOC’s work, alongside Te Ruapekapeka Trust, has brought the pā back to life so that we can better understand our heritage.
The pits, trenches and tunnels that gave Ruapekapeka its name (the bats’ nest), are still visible today
Why not visit the pā yourself and see the tunnels, rifle pits and trenches used as defensive tactics by Māori warriors.
Overseen by Te Warihi Hetaraka, the figures on this carved gateway represent Te Ruki Kawiti and the Māori chiefs who defended the pā
A carronade still sits at the pā that is thought to have been owned by Ngāpuhi chief, Te Ruki Kawiti, at the time of the battle.
Stunning views from Ruapekapeka Pā