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The Taranaki War 1860-1861

This pathfinder relates to what is known as the “First Taranaki War” and includes resources that explain and describe the conflicts between Maori and the Crown.  The battles include Te Kohia, Puketakauere, Mahoetahi, No. 3 Redoubt, Te Arei and Waireka.  This is not an exhaustive list but provides some reliable and sound information specifically about the Taranaki land conflicts.  Books about New Zealand history in general, will discuss Taranaki conflicts also, as these were relatively notable in New Zealand’s History.


Browne, Harriet Louisa Gore 1965, Narrative of the Waitara Purchase and the Taranaki War, (Ed. W.P. Morrell), University of Otago Press, Dunedin.
TRCT993.48022 BRO

Cowan, J. 1923, The New Zealand Wars, Volume i 1845-64, Government Printing Office, Wellington, Chapters 17-24.
z993.022 COW

Finlay, Neil.  1998,  “The first Taranaki war” in Sacred soil : images and stories of the New Zealand Wars, Random House, Auckland, pp. 29-44.
z993.022 FIN

Lambert, Ron and Gail Henry 2000, Taranaki : an Illustrated History, Reed Publishing, Auckland.
TRCT993.48 LAM

Marjouram, R. A. 1990, Sergeant, Sinner, Saint, and Spy – The Taranaki War Diary of Sergeant William Marjouram R. A. Random Century, Auckland.
TRCT993.48022 MAR

Martin, W. 1967, The Taranaki Question, Hocken Library, Dunedin.
TRCT 993.022 MAR

Missen, E.A. 1936,  The Life and Times of Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake E Whiti, M.A. Thesis, Victoria University, Wellington
TRCM993.482 MIS

Moorhead, Murray 2004, First and Strong, New Zealand’s Colonial Fighters Taranaki War 1860-61, Zenith, New Plymouth.

Prickett, Nigel 1990, Historic Taranaki: an archaeological guide, GP Books, Wellington.
TRCT993.48 PRI

Prickett, Nigel 1981, The archaeology of a military frontier: Taranaki, New Zealand, 1860-1861 Auckland University, Auckland.
TRCT993.48 PRI

Prickett, Nigel 2002, Landscapes of Conflict, A Field Guide to the New Zealand Wars, Random House, Auckland.
TRCT993.022 PRI

Ryan,  T. and Parham,  B. 1986, ‘ The Taranaki saga begins’ in  The Colonial New Zealand Wars, Grantham House, Wellington, pp. 39-48.
TRC993.022 RYA 

Wilton, H. G. 1973, The South Island and the Taranaki War 1860 -1861 University of Otago, Dunedin.
TRCT993.022 WIL

Woods, Sarah E. 1972, Octavius Hadfield and the Waitara dispute, University of Canterbury, Christchurch.
TRCT993.022 WOO


A digitized version of “The New Zealand Wars” by Cowan from the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre Website.

From the New Zealand Wars Website, this brings together information relating to the New Zealand Wars in general.

A Taranaki War Timeline

History Online website, which contains content suitable for Secondary School history students, this link focuses on the Taranaki War of 1860-1861.

Te Ara:  The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. A general discussion of land conflicts on New Zealand, which also discusses the Taranaki Wars.

Detailed story about Pukerangiora, chronicling the history of the Pa and it part in the First Taranaki War.

The Wikipedia reference.

Taranaki Information Files

Military   Incidents  Waireka
Military   Incidents  Mahoetahi
Military   Incidents  Death during the Taranaki Wars
Military   Fortifications  Waireka
Maori     Pa-Marae  Mahoetahi
Maori     Pa-Marae  Te Kohia


Pugsley, C. 1995-2000, Walking the Taranaki Wars, The Ministry of Defence, Wellington, photocopied articles from the New Zealand Defence Quarterly.
TRCT993.022 PUG

Prickett, Nigel, 2005, ‘Maori Casualties of the First Taranaki War, 1860-61’, Records of the Auckland Institute Museum, 42   pp 81-124.
TRCM993.022 PRI

Prickett, Nigel, 1999, ‘British Army and Colonial Fortifications in North Taranaki, 1865 – 1869.’
TRCT993.48 PRI

Prickett, Nigel, 1994, Fortifications of the First Taranaki War 1860 – 61,’ Records Auckland Institute Museum, 31 pp.1-87
TRCT993.48 PRI


Selected items from the Taranaki Herald 1859-1860

The Taranaki Herald is available on microfilm in Puke Ariki or selected copies are online at   http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast

Dec 3 1859      p. 3  Original correspondence 30,000 idle acres

Dec 17 1859    p. 3  Taranaki Rifle Volunteers

Dec 24 1859    p. 4  Taranaki Rifle Volunteers

Feb 11 1860    Supplement on role of Volunteers

Mar 10 1860    p. 2  Editorial

Mar 17 1860    p. 2  Editorial

Mar 24 1860    p. 2  Journal of events since 17.3.1860
                           p.3  The war from our own correspondent …

Mar 31 1860    p. 2  Battle of Waireka
                                 Journal of events since 24.3.1860
                           p. 3  Battle of Waireka

Archival Resources

ARC2001-94 The first Taranaki War
Written in 1946, the speech describes the reasons for the outbreak of the 1860 Taranaki land wars, as seen through the eyes of a twelve year old (?) girl.

ARC2005-72 Plan of the ground covered by action at Waireka
Copy of a map drawn by W.E. Gordon showing the military routes and position, pa sites and redoubts that were part of the Battle of Waireka 28 March 1860.

ARC2001-101 The battle of Mahoetahi
A paper prepared and read by Mr B. A. Norman at the meeting of the New Plymouth Historical Society on Sept 10 1945.



  Last edited: 8 February 2016