Story: Māori–Pākehā relations

Wairau affray, 1843

Wairau affray, 1843

Relations between Māori and Europeans were badly shaken by the 'Wairau affray' of June 1843. A group of Europeans led by Captain Arthur Wakefield hoped to acquire land in the fertile Wairau plains, near present-day Blenheim. When they attempted to arrest the chiefs Te Rangihaeata and Te Rauparaha a gun battle broke out and 22 settlers, including Wakefield, and four Māori were killed. This is the grave site of the European victims in 1851.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-329-014
Watercolour by Charles Emilius Gold

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Māori–Pākehā relations - Military conflicts', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 8 December 2021)

Story by Mark Derby, published 5 May 2011