22 Apr 2024

Introducing: NZ Wars: Stories of Tauranga Moana

From NZ Wars: Stories of Tauranga Moana, 5:00 am on 22 April 2024
A 19th century Maori warrior leaps over trench with a rifle in hand. Text reads "NZ Wars, Stories of Tauranga Moana"

Photo: RNZ / Robert Trathen

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On the morning of 29 April 1864, British colonial forces opened fire on Pukehinahina Gate Pā. This was the first engagement of a military campaign waged against the iwi of Tauranga Moana and their allies. Pukehinahina was followed by the Battle of Te Ranga, one of the bloodiest clashes of the NZ Wars, then Te Weranga the 1867 Tauranga Bush Campaign aimed to crush Māori resistance to the surveying and confiscation of lands. 

On the 160th anniversary of this momentous event, RNZ will launch Stories of Tauranga Moana, the next chapter of the award-winning NZ Wars series. 

RNZ Podcasts Senior Producer Justine Murray (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi te Rangi) presents her own personal connection to these stories through her tupuna Pāraone Koikoi in a two-part podcast series. An ariki of the hapū Ngāi Tamarāwaho, Paraone was there at the Battle of Gate Pā. His son Ihakara would be killed in the battle, but afterwards his young daughter Te Auetu and wife Matatu would help the wounded on both sides. These stories are recorded in raupatu evidence in Waitangi Tribunal reports, given by Paraone's descendants. 
Over the past few months, Murray has interviewed her whānau about Paraone. While the stories are vague at times, this story hopes to paint a picture of this tupuna, who lived in Tauranga Moana at a time where conflict and the subsequent land confiscations would have tragic consequences.