We use cookies to help us understand how you use our site, and make your experience better. To find out more read our privacy policy.




Full screen
Video quality

Low 0 MB

High 0 MB


Hero image for The New Zealand Wars 1 - The War that Britain Lost (First Episode)

The New Zealand Wars 1 - The War that Britain Lost (First Episode)

Television (Excerpts) – 1998

This excerpt from the first episode of James Belich’s award-winning history of Māori vs Pākehā armed conflict looks at growing Māori resentment, after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. The focus is on Ngā Puhi chief Hōne Heke, who sees few concessions to partnership. He is especially incensed by the refusal of the British to fly a Māori flag alongside the Union Jack. His celebrated acts of civil disobedience directed at this symbol of imperial rule flying over Kororāreka (now Russell) lead to the outbreak of war in the north.

Each amputation asked this question — if the British could not protect their own flag, in the midst of one of their largest settlements, what could they protect?
– James Belich on Hōne Heke’s felling of the flagstaffs

Key Cast & Crew

Profile image for Tainui Stephens

Tainui Stephens


Profile image for Colin McRae

Colin McRae


Profile image for James Belich

James Belich

Writer, Presenter

Generic Profile image for Whirimako Black

Whirimako Black


Generic Profile image for Billy Kristian

Billy Kristian


Profile image for Tom Finlayson

Tom Finlayson

Network Executive

See all 11 credits

Produced by

Logo for Landmark Productions

Landmark Productions