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JonS

Jon writes about war

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On 08/12/2017 at 9:27 AM, JonS said:

You might enjoy this

http://www.radionz.co.nz/programmes/nz-wars

I'm looking forward to digging in to it

Thanks @JonS, the show was very enjoyable - worked very well for a long drive I did this weekend. Didn't get what was all the fuss about "Maoris inventing trench warfare", probably I missed some context to the discussion, the claim itself sounded a bit far fetched.

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1 hour ago, Michael Emrys said:

Trenches were used in the American Civil War, I believe in the Revolutionary War as well. When did the Maoris begin using theirs?

Michael

The battle discussed in the podcast took place in 1845.

Trenches had been long used before that during sieges, with M. Vauban's well known treatise on the siege of Maastricht 

trench-21.jpg

compiles the practical knowledge accumulated on siegecraft in the age of gunpowder. I couldn't find anything on the internet but I do recall reading about similar tactics being employed by the Ming, Japanese and Korean armies during the Imjin Wars (1592-1598).  

Ellaborate fieldworks and their assault were a prominent feature in Yorktown (1781)

Yrktn-1170x841.jpg

and Borodino (1812)

Battle_of_Borodino.jpg

 

Edited by BletchleyGeek

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Having said this re: antecedents, I find the fact that Maoris used earthworks to great effect is just the result of human intellect coming to the realisation that terrain can be engineered to enhance the defensive capabilities of a force equipped with fire arms in very specific ways. I doubt very much any Maoris were at Borodino or under Wellington under the Peninsular War investing Ciudad Rodrigo. But it is obvious that there were a number of very talented Maori individuals, who grasped very well the "tactical facts" of firepower,  and came up with methods which were similar to those used elsewhere in the world. 

The interesting thing is that they certainly seemed to grasp these "tactical verities" better than the average British officer of the time. 

Edited by BletchleyGeek

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It's probably a little overstated ;) One specific element I believe was first introduced by the Maori was overhead cover.  Artillery had come a long way since the Napoleonic wars, and bomb-proof dug outs rapidly became a feature of the Maori way of war.

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3 hours ago, JonS said:

It's probably a little overstated ;) One specific element I believe was first introduced by the Maori was overhead cover.  Artillery had come a long way since the Napoleonic wars, and bomb-proof dug outs rapidly became a feature of the Maori way of war.

That's pretty interesting @JonS.

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Kūpapa

The third force in the New Zealand Wars

 

What I shall do now is to set to work with all the Chiefs who will help me, and do all the good I can; and those who will not aid me, I shall not care for.

Governor Grey, 18611


 

Māori warriors formed an element of the Crown forces in practically all of the New Zealand Wars, and during some of campaigns in the late 1860s and early 1870s their numbers were a significant proportion of the total force. The Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 bound the British and Māori together, and the British believed – or deluded themselves into believing – that any Māori fighting for the Crown would henceforth be primarily motivated by their loyalty to the crown. The truth appears to have been more complex.

Māori fighting with or alongside the British came to be known as kūpapa. This can be either a noun or a verb – referring to the warriors themselves and their action of fighting alongside the British – and the term can be translated as being either neutral in a quarrel, colluding, or actively collaborating. The Māori Dictionary uses a more robust definition;

collaborator, ally, fifth column - a term that came to be applied to Māori who sided with Pākehā opposition or the Government. There has been a shift from a general meaning of neutrality to the modern use, which now sometimes has derogative connotations, similar to such terms as 'turncoat', 'traitor', 'quisling' and 'Uncle Tom'.2

This unflattering modern translation implies kūpapa were working against their own interests, or at least selling out their fellow Māori for some illusory advantage. Again, the truth appears to have been more complex. This essay will investigate the impact of kūpapa in the New Zealand Wars, the motivations behind Māori choices to become kūpapa, and assess whether this choice was primarily due to their loyalty to the Crown.

The first main cluster of reasons for Māori support of the British was for temporal reasons – either financial, or to protect Māori autonomy. The kūpapa who hunted Te Kooti through the Ureweras in the early 1870s did so at least in part for the money being offered by the Crown – in particular the £5,000 bounty on Te Kooti’s head.3

Māori along the lower Whanganui also supported the Crown for financial reasons. When they sold the land that would become Whanganui, they had good reason to be pleased with themselves. By attracting British settlers,

the real price for the town was its existence as an outlet for Maori products, a source of European goods, and the ultimate status symbol. The Maori would probably have paid to have it, … Lower Whanganui consider the town to be their property, Pakeha and all.4

In order to protect their investment they defended Whanganui against tribes from upriver in 1847 and 1864, and against Titokowaru in 1868. The British settlers directly benefited from this protection, but it was their investment the lower Whanganui kūpapa were protecting, not the settlers per se.

The Northern War in 1845-46 was fought between what were effectively three sides. Hōne Heke resisted the British in order to maintain mana and rangatiratanga in accordance with his understanding of the Treaty. The British under Governor FitzRoy of course opposed them in order to maintain law and order and Imperial control. Tāmati Wāka Nene provided the third force. Like Heke, Wāka Nene also fought to maintain mana and rangatiratanga, however he felt this goal was best achieved by working with the British.5 Wāka Nene therefore resisted Heke’s rebellion in order to maintain his own relationship with the colonial government. In some ways the Northern War was almost a tribal war between Wāka Nene and Heke over whether to resist the changes that had occurred since the signing of the Treaty, or to work with them. Wāka Nene’s men were present at the major battles and supported the British, although not always directly. Indeed Wāka Nene’s men at Ohaewai fought what almost amounted to a separate action, while the battle at Te Ahuahu involved no British forces at all.6 During the course of the Northern War, Wāka Nene supplied approximately as many men as the British were able to field on each of their main expeditions – about 1,000 men each.

Eventually both Heke and Wāka Nene each felt they had proved their point and established a peace, and it is notable that Heke never submitted to the British. Instead Governor Grey was invited to share the peace established between the Māori combatants.7

On the East Coast Rapata Wahawaha saved Ngati Porou from Te Kooti’s depredations by becoming actively involved in blocking his moves, then hunting him through the Ureweras. In resisting Te Kooti, Wahawaha also aligned his tribe with the Crown’s interests, thus safeguarding Ngati Porou from land confiscations.8 Further south, Te Hapuku Ngai Te Whatuiapiti and a number of other Māori chiefs fought with the British at Omarunui in 1866 against the Pai Marire there as a means of restoring the mana lost in the inter-tribal fighting a decade earlier.9

The other cluster of reasons for supporting the British was for spiritual or pragmatic reasons. Although not strictly kūpapa, and ultimately unsuccessful, both Te Ua Haumene and Titokowaru campaigned extensively for peace between the British and Māori, despite considerable provocation. Similarly, as early as 1843 Te Rauparaha sought to avoid conflict with the Crown, until it was forced on him at Wairau.10 Even so, in the subsequent conflict in the Hutt Valley Te Rauparaha sought to avoid conflict due to the influence of the missionary Octavius Hadfield and a belief that a war with the British would be too costly.11 He took this position even at the cost of his relationship with his close confederate Te Rangiheata.12

The support provided by kūpapa could be either military or non-military, or a mix. Nene also provided military support in the Northland War, although he generally fought alongside the British as a peer, rather than with them as a subordinate. The Lower Whanganui provided direct military support, as did the flying columns that scoured the Ureweras for Te Kooti.

In the run up to the Waikato War these was considerable discussion amongst the various tribes, and one of the key points of difference to emerge was how to respond to Grey encroachments into Kingitanga land. Construction of the Great South Road, the use of steamers on the Waikato River, and the construction of the government building at Te Kohekohe all caused friction. The ‘moderate’ leader Wiremu Te Whēoro was reported as saying the presence of the colonial government was a ‘treasure’ and ‘a precious thing’.13 Te Whēoro did not want to lose access to the advantages that access to the government bought, and in the subsequent war he would assist the logistic effort supporting Cameron’s forces invading the Waikato by providing labour for the distribution network from the Waikato Heads to Queens Redoubt at the southern end of The Great South Road.14 Alongside Te Whēoro were several hundred other so-called ‘Queenites’ who sided with the British, out of a total government force of around 10,000 men.

Regardless of the nature of support provided the reasons remained the same, to the frustration of the British. The support was conditional, and if those conditions weren’t met, then support from kūpapa tended to become reluctant or non-existent, such as when Nene established a separate peace with Heke.

From the Northern War fought between Hone Heke, Waka Nene, and the Crown, in the Bay of Islands during 1845-1846, down to the final manhunt for Te Kooti in the Ureweras by Wahawaha and Major Kemp in the early 1870s, it was usual for the opposing forces in the New Zealand Wars to consist of three sides, not two. Instead of a simplistic alignment of 'crown and kūpapa allied against the rebels', it is more useful to frame the fighting as the Crown fighting with and/or against Māori.

Kūpapa generally did not support the British out of simple loyalty to the crown, despite widespread respect for the person of Queen Victoria. Some leaders avoided conflict out of respect for British and their catholic faith, but when they fought it was for the advantages that accrued to them, and providing assistance to the Crown was incidental. Kūpapa didn't 'owe' the British anything. They were a third force in the New Zealand Wars, who fought on their own terms, and for their own objectives. Both kūpapa and 'rebel' Māori sought to protect their mana and their rangatiratanga, in order to protect a way of life they all felt slipping away.

 

Bibliography

anon., Te Aka Māori-English, English-Māori Dictionary, http://Māoridictionary.co.nz, accessed May 2017

Battersby, John (2000). The one day war; the Battle of Omarunui, 1866, Auckland, Reed

Belich, J. (1983). The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian interpretation of racial conflict (2015). Auckland: Auckland University Press.

Belich, J. (1989). I shall not die, Titokowaru’s War, New Zealand, 1868-1869. Wellington, N.Z.: Allen & Unwin Ltd.

Keenan, D. (2009). Wars without end : the land wars in nineteenth-century New Zealand. Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin.

misc., Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/biographies/, accessed June 2017

Moon, P. (2009). Hone Heke : Nga Puhi warrior. Auckland, N.Z.: D. Ling.

Paterson, Lachy, Colonial Discourses: Niupepa Maori 1855-1863, Otago University Press, Dunedin, 2006

Riseborough, Hazel (2002). Days of darkness: Taranaki 1878-1884. Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin

Taylor, Richard, Logistical operations in the Waikato War, 1863-64, Military Studies Institute Occasional Paper Series, No. 9, August 2005


 

Notes

1 Quoted in Paterson, Lachy, Colonial Discourses: Niupepa Maori 1855-1863, Otago University Press, Dunedin, 2006, p.174

3 Belich, James, The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian interpretation of racial conflict, Auckland University Press, Auckland, 2015 (1986), p.285

4 Belich, J. (1989). I shall not die, Titokowaru’s War, New Zealand, 1868-1869. Wellington, N.Z.: Allen & Unwin Ltd., p.26

5 Moon, P. (2009). Hone Heke : Nga Puhi warrior. Auckland, N.Z.: D. Ling., p.53-55, 97-104

6 Belich, James, The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian interpretation of racial conflict, Auckland University Press, Auckland, 2015 (1986), p.45-47

7 Riseborough, Hazel, Days of darkness; Taranaki 1878-1884, Auckland, Penguin, 2002, p.39

8 Steven Oliver. 'Wahawaha, Rapata', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/biographies/1w1/wahawaha-rapata (accessed 31 May 2017)

9 Battersby, John, The one day way; the Battle of Omarunui, 1866, Auckland, Reed, 2000, p.24-27

10 Keenan, D. (2009). Wars without end : the land wars in nineteenth-century New Zealand. Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin, p.135-138

11 Steven Oliver. 'Te Rauparaha', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/biographies/1t74/te-rauparaha (accessed 2 June 2017)

12 Angela Ballara. 'Te Rangihaeata', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/biographies/1t63/te-rangihaeata (accessed 2 June 2017)

13 Paterson, Lachy, Colonial Discourses: Niupepa Maori 1855-1863, Otago University Press, Dunedin, 2006, p.190

14 Belich, James, The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian interpretation of racial conflict, Auckland University Press, Auckland, 2015 (1986), p.136. Taylor, Richard, Logistical operations in the Waikato War, 1863-64, Military Studies Institute Occasional Paper Series, No. 9, August 2005, p12-13.

 

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Edited by JonS

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