Story: Waikato tribes

Plan of the pā at Ōrākau (2nd of 2)

Plan of the pā at Ōrākau

The defenders of Ōrākau were outnumbered by government forces, and after a three-day siege, lack of food, water and ammunition forced them to abandon the and flee to safety across the Pūniu River. Before this, however, an opportunity to surrender was rejected with the famous words of defiance: ‘Ka whawhai tonu mātou, āke, āke!’ (‘We shall fight on forever!’).

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: MapColl-832.14hkm 1864 36888 Acc 4317.

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How to cite this page:

Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, 'Waikato tribes - War and its aftermath', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 December 2023)

Story by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 1 Mar 2017