Five years after the Treaty of Waitangi's signing, tension between British and Māori was at boiling point. In the middle of nowhere in Northland, chief Te Ruki Kawiti devised a plan to fight back. His masterpiece was Ruapekapeka, a state of the art pā with underground tunnels, deep trenches and artillery bunkers. Journalist Mihingarangi Forbes visits the site to investigate how Māori — outnumbered four to one — survived a 10 day British bombardment. Produced by Great Southern Television and Radio NZ, NZ Wars won awards for Best Documentary, Māori Programme and Presenter.
It’s one of pain, sorrow and determination. Pain because of what our tipuna endured here, sorrow because of that enduring loss post the battle of Ruapekapeka. It’s inspirational, it’s a legacy, it’s something that shines as a beacon of hope for our people…– Ruapekapeka trustee Peeni Henare, on the battle's legacy