Story: New Zealand identity

Memorial at Gate Pā

Memorial at Gate Pā

This very modest memorial on the outskirts of Tauranga marks the site of one of the most famous battles of the New Zealand wars.  At Gate Pā in April 1864 Māori defenders, heavily outnumbered and faced with a strong artillery barrage, managed to throw back an assault by British troops. They eventually evacuated the , but not before inflicting over 100 casualties on the British. The earthwork defences at Gate Pā became well-known in military circles in Britain, but Pākehā New Zealanders preferred to forget the conflict and the earthworks were destroyed. The New Zealand wars never became central to the identity of European New Zealanders, although they continue to be remembered by Māori.

Using this item

Private collection
Photograph by Jock Phillips and Chris Maclean

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How to cite this page:

Fiona Barker, 'New Zealand identity - War and sport', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 April 2024)

Story by Fiona Barker, published 20 Jun 2012