The year is 1861. In the north, conflict between British-led government forces and Taranaki iwi has taken a brief pause. In April, several Te Ātiawa rangatira agree on terms of peace with the Crown. Wiremu Kingi, a notable exception, declares his consent for the peace but declines to sign and retreats into the Waikato. Grievances over land at Waitara in Taranaki continue to generate tension, the truce is uneasy, and the British military presence in the colony of New Zealand remains substantial.
Post by Summer Scholar Lily Pare Hall-Butcher
It’s 1860 and the Crown has just declared war on its Māori subjects in the province of Taranaki, Aotearoa New Zealand. In response, thousands of men from throughout the British Empire come to New Zealand as soldiers of the British Imperial Army. Over the next few years the Army fights battles all over the North Island and bolsters the white settler presence in the South Island. While the majority of these men leave Aotearoa with their regiments, others are officially discharged and stay as settlers. Yet another group left their regiments unofficially – the deserters. Elusive in the archives as they often were in life, most simply disappear from the records. Some became infamous, while others rose to positions of prominence in settler society.