By 1845 tensions were mounting in the Wellington region as the Ngāti Toa chief Te Rangihaeata backed local Māori opposed to European settlement in the Hutt Valley. Many settlers felt that Te Rangihaeata should have been punished for his involvement in the killing of 22 settlers in a dispute with Ngāti Toa over land at Wairau in 1843. They were looking for signs that he would not be permitted to continue to disrupt settlement.

Following a number of skirmishes in the region in early 1846, Governor George Grey moved troops to Wellington. In July Grey arrested Te Rauparaha. By mid-August, following fighting at Battle Hill, Ngāti Toa resistance in the region was effectively ended, with Te Rangihaeata retreating north into Horowhenua.

This campaign claimed few lives. Its real significance was the reassurance it gave settlers that their needs were slowly but surely being met by the Crown. Coming so quickly after the conclusion of the fighting in the Far North, the pacification of Te Rauparaha and Te Rangihaeata did much to enhance Grey’s reputation with the settler population. Conflict in two key areas of European settlement had now been resolved.

How to cite this page: 'War in Wellington', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/wellington-war, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 25-Jun-2014