This 1908 illustration depicts the scene on a hilltop above Kororāreka (Russell) in the Bay of Islands in 1845. Hōne Heke was the first of more than 40 powerful northern rangatira to sign te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) at Waitangi. He later became disappointed at the loss of trade with European ships, and at challenges to his authority. From late 1844 he and his men repeatedly cut down the flagpole above the bay at Kororāreka. In March 1845 Heke cut it down again and fighting broke out at Kororāreka, then spread throughout the Bay of Islands.
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