In 1821, wanting to avenge previous defeats by Tāmaki tribes, the Ngāpuhi leader Hongi Hika launched a series of attacks on the region. With 2,000 men and 1,000 muskets he stormed two Ngāti Paoa pā (fortified settlements), Mauinaina and Mokoia, killing hundreds and enslaving hundreds more. Hika repeated the slaughter at Te Tōtara, the Ngāti Maru fortress near Thames. In 1825 Ngāpuhi attacked again. This time the target was Ngāti Whātua. The battle – known as Te Ika-a-ranganui – was fought near Kaiwaka. Although Ngāti Whātua had over 1,000 warriors, the 500-strong invading force was armed with muskets and crushed their old foe. Ngāti Whātua survivors fled into exile.
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