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.
The pay is terrible, the food and housing conditions are terrible. Alcoholism is rife and the officers still buy their commission so they’re not appointed on the basis of merit.– Historian Dr Vincent O'Malley on British troops fighting in New Zealand in 1845
Made with funding from NZ On Air