Life of Sir George Grey: Governor, High commissioner, and Premier. An Historical Biography.
War' at Wanganui
War' at Wanganui.
In 1847 hostilities broke out afresh in the neighbourhood of Wanganui, a nascent settlement 120 miles to the north of Wellington. The provocation, as was too often the case, was given by a heedless act on the part of the English, and the passions of the Maoris blazed out in deeds of vengeance. Whole tribes took up the cause of individual members, and the conflagration spread. Grey himself, always ready for a bit of fighting, by tongue or gun, took the field and arrived on the scene with troops. He was effectually aided by friendly Native chiefs, and these of the greatest—Waka Nene and Te Whero Whero, who came from the north and the centre of the North Island in order to aid the Governor. The war thus contributed to amalgamate the Maori race, all broken up into tribes, and give it a sense of unity. The alliance of friendly natives with an invader has been a feature of page 41almost all wars of conquest, from the time of the Romans onwards, and in none was it more helpful than in New Zealand. In the North, Waka Nene saved the Colony to the British in the dark days that followed the sack of Kororareka; Te Rangitake saved the more southern parts a year and two years later; and when Te Kooti's rising terrified the colonists and almost scared the English Government into sending out a dictator, it was Rangihiwinui who played the part of the avenger and at the same time kept the loyal tribes from revolting. The debt of the New Zealand colonists to the friendly Maoris is immeasurable. On this occasion Grey bore generous testimony to their "activity and gallantly." "We could not have dispensed with their services," he honourably acknowledged. Once more, towards the end of the year? the war gradually died out.