The New Zealand Wars

Uncover the conflicts between Māori and Pākehā in the last century when a small group of tribal people clashed with the worlds largest empire. Made with the support of NZ On Air.

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Episode guide

The first New Zealand war between the British and Māori ended in 1916.  Despite the odds, the British didn’t win. Their victory came in history books, won by the pen where the sword had failed.

In 1840 the lands as far as the eye could see were part of a Māori empire. The great Māori chief Te Rauparaha was the greatest empire builder in Māori history, and also a famous poet.

On July 15 1863, 16 Māori missionaries had an audience with Queen Victoria who recorded, “They all kissed my hand and behaved extremely well.”  Three days before her soldiers invaded Waikato.

The story of the battle between a patrol of Colonial infantry under Captain T.J.W. Lloyd of the 57th who had just arrived from England and were attacked by Māori warriors at Kaitake.

The East Coast Wars raged from Taupo to East Cape, Hauraki to Hawke’s Bay, over seven years, from 1865 to 1872, and killed more non-combatants than the rest of the New Zealand Wars combined.