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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Maori Wars

The New Zealand Medal, 1845–66. This medal was instituted in 1869 and was made retrospective to the First Maori War of 1845–47. The reverse of the medal bears the year or years during which the recipients served in New Zealand. As the records of the Imperial Army troops who served in the war of 1845–47 were incomplete, undated medals were awarded to them, but the Royal Navy received dated medals. The following 28 date combinations were awarded:

1845–46, 1845–47, 1846, 1846–47, 1847, 1860 1860–61, 1860–63, 1860–64, 1860–65, 1860–66, 1861, 1861–63, 1861–64, 1861–65, 1861–66, 1862–63, 1863, 1863–64, 1863–65, 1863–66, 1864, 1864–65, 1864–66, 1865, 1865–66, 1866, and undated medals.

There were two distinct issues of the New Zealand Medal for the Second Maori War, one by the Imperial Government to the Royal Navy, the Imperial Army, and New Zealand troops who served with the British Army; and the other was made by the New Zealand Government to locally raised forces who served independently of the Imperial troops. The former issue was made to all who served in any capacity, irrespective of whether they were engaged in actual combat or not, while the latter issue was made only to those who came under enemy fire. The Imperial issue to New Zealand troops was dated 1861–66, but the New Zealand Government issue was of the undated variety. No campaign or battle clasps were awarded for this medal, but many men had special clasps which they wore unofficially. All issues to New Zealand troops were recorded in the New Zealand Gazette from 31 May 1871 and continued for many years as claims were received and checked. The Master Medal Roll is deposited with National Archives.