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    6 November 1860 AWMM
    Mahoetahi (6 November 1860) AWMM
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    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

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  • Te Wetini Taiporutu, according to Cowan (1922-23 I:188-189), lead the taua of 80 Ngati Haua, plus smaller contingents from Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Koroki, and the Waikato sub-tribes, Ngati Apakura from Rangiaowhia, Ngati Ruru (Te Awamutu), Ngati Koura (Orakau), Ngati Kahukura, Ngati Mahuta and other hapu that enagaged with troops on Tuesday, 6 November 1860 at Mahoetahi, by Devon Road between Bell Block and Waitara, half-way between the Mangaoraka and Waiongana Rivers.

    Te Wetini Taiporutu, chief, is named as "Waikato fallen" in a letter from Wiremu Kingi to Topeora, Epiha and Te Hoia, dated at Huirangi, 14 November 1860 (GBPP 1862).

    Te Wetini is named in another Maori letter, from Rewi at Huirangi, dated 13 November 1860, to Wi One who was wounded and taken to the New Plymouth hospital: ‘Listen, ... Te Wetini ...-the whole of you, thirty seven, are completely taken away by the Pakeha.’ published in The Taranaki Herald 17 November 1860.

    Wetini Taiporutu is listed in the detailed information on Maori casualties in General Pratt’s report to Browne, dated New Plymouth, 6 November 1860 (GBPP 1861), the names are published in The New Zealand Gazette, number 33, dated 7 November 1860, and published as Te Wetini Taiporutu in The Taranaki Herald of 10 November 1860. Identifications in both lists were made by Renata, who was the only unwounded prisoner and said to be a Ngati Haua of rank (Maunsell to Richmond 15 November 1860, Scholefield 1960 I:659). The names were recorded by Robert Parris of the Native Department.

    Robert Parris writing to the Native Secretary (GBPP 1861) writing of the Maori losses states that Wetini Taiporutu was a casualty on the road to Huirangi before the Waiongana ford.

    The Taranaki Herald reported on 10 November 1860 that Te Wetini Taiporutu, the head chief of the tribe (Ngatihaua), was one of three chiefs being put into a cart for interment in town, the lists is that identified by Renata, who was ordered to pass along the row of bodies and give their names to Mr Parris and Mr Hay.

    He is named Wetini Taiporutu of Ngati Haua a significant chiefly casualty in Cowan (1922-23 I:193); Grayling (1862:93; Fig. 3), names him as Te Wetini Taiporutu, one of Ngatihaua’s seven ‘leading chiefs’ among the dead, the information said to be ‘…derived from native sources’.

    The Taranaki Herald, 10 November 1860, also reported the death his son, Hemi Taiporutu, on the morning of 7 November in hospital in New Plymouth.

    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. Great Britain Parliamentary Papers (GBPP)1861 [2798] Vol. XLI, pp. 167–168. Grayling, W.I. 1862. The War in Taranaki, During the Years 1860–61. New Plymouth, G.W. Woon. War Office. 1865. Selections from Despatches and Letters Relative to the Conduct of Military Operations in New Zealand 1860–5. War Office, 0270 II.[Microfilm]. Cowan, J. 1922–23 The New Zealand Wars (2 vols). Wellington, Government Printer. Scholefield, G.H. 1960. The Richmond–Atkinson Papers. 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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Death

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    6 November 1860 Prickett, (2005).
    MahoetahiTaranaki Prickett, (2005).
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    St Mary's Anglican Church, 204 Princes Street, Hawera, South Taranaki AWMM Mass/Collective Grave AWMM
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    Mahoetahi Cross, Mahoetahi, Junction SHW 3/3A, Taranaki, New Zealand AWMM

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Sources

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    Prickett, N. (2005). Maori Casualties of the First Taranaki War, 1860-61. Records of the Auckland Museum 42: 81-124. AWMM

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