In the pre-dawn darkness on Sunday 12 July 1868, 60 of Tītokowaru’s warriors led by Haowhenua bypassed the large colonial force at Waihī Redoubt and struck at nearby Turuturumōkai, which was garrisoned by 22 men
In the 1980s James Belich argued that Tītokowaru’s war had become a ‘dark secret’ of New Zealand history, ‘forgotten by the Pākehā as a child forgets a nightmare’. For Belich, Tītokowaru was ‘arguably the best general New Zealand has ever produced’.
Many battles have been fought near the north Taranaki town of Waitara, including major conflict between Waikato war parties and the local Te Ātiawa people. In 1860 a dispute over land ownership at Waitara led to the First Taranaki War between Māori and the government.
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