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Mokau, chief, is named in a Maori letter, from Rewi at Huirangi, dated 13 November 1860, to Wi One who was wounded and taken to the New Plymouth hospital: ‘Listen, ... Mokau ...- the whole of you, thirty seven, are completely taken away by the Pakeha.’ published in The Taranaki Herald 17 November 1860.
He is named Ngati Raukawa chief Mokau te Matapuna (Orakau) as a significant chiefly casualty in Cowan (1922-23 I:193); Grayling (1862:93; Fig. 3), names him simply as Mokau, one of seven ‘leading chiefs’ among the dead, the information said to be ‘…derived from native sources’.
Mokau, Ngatiparitekawa tribe is one of the chiefs named in the 10 December 'Journal of Events' published by The Taranaki Herald, 10 November 1860, as dying on the Tuesday.
Prickett (2005) writes "Paetae and Mokau are important chiefs (and named by Cowan and Grayling among Mahoetahi casualties), although the shared hapu attribution needs explanation since other sources give the two men as Ngati Maniapoto and Ngati Raukawa respectively"
The burials took place on Thursday, 8 November, two days after the battle, The Taranaki Herald (10 November 1860) reporting: ‘At 12 o’clock, noon, the bodies of the three chiefs, and the three natives who died from their wounds, were buried in St. Mary’s Churchyard, the funeral service (in Maori) being read by Archdeacon Govett. The bodies were placed in coffins, and buried in two graves.’ The graves were unmarked until 1929 when W.H. Skinner arranged with the Department of Internal Affairs to have the present stone in red Balmoral granite put in place. It was unveiled on 28 January 1930 by Mrs Mary Evans, daughter of Archdeacon Govett (Alington 1988:71).
Two monuments remember Maori killed at Mahoetahi. At the battlefield is a concrete cross erected in 1941 with the words: HE WHAKAMAHARATANGA I NGA RANGATIRA TOA O WAIKATO. A WETINI TAIPORUTU MA I HINGA KI KONEI TATA, I TE PAREKURA I TURIA TE 6 NOWEMA 1860. This is translated by Cowan (1922–23 I:193): ‘In remembrance of the brave chiefs of Waikato, of Wetini Taiporutu and his comrades, who fell close to this spot in the battle fought on the 6th November 1860. The older, wooden cross with the same words is now housed at Puke Ariki.
The second monument is in the St Mary's vicarage garden, Vivian Street, New Plymouth, where the chiefs and mortally wounded men brought into town were buried. At the time this was part of the churchyard and not the vicarage garden which it was to become (Alington 1988:71).
The Taranaki Herald 10 November 1860, 17 November 1860. Grayling, W.I. 1862. The War in Taranaki, During the Years 1860–61. New Plymouth, G.W. Woon. Cowan, J. 1922–23 The New Zealand Wars (2 vols). Wellington, Government Printer. Prickett, Nigel. 1994. Pakeha and Maori fortifications of the First Taranaki War, 1860–61. Records of the Auckland Institute and Museum 31: 1-87. Belich, J. 1986. The New Zealand Wars: and the Victorian interpretation of racial conflict. Auckland, Auckland University Press. Alington, M.H. 1988. Goodly Stones and Timbers. New Plymouth, St Mary’s Church. AWMM
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