The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 8 (December 1, 1933)
Defence of Whakatane
Defence of Whakatane.
In the Whakatane campaign, 1869, Lieutenant Mair further distinguished himself. Te Kooti, with six hundred men, was attacking the friendly Ngatiawa and Ngati-Pukeko tribes in their pa at Rauporoa, near Whakatane, and Lieutenant Mair was despatched from Tauranga to raise a force of Arawas and go to their succour. By riding forty miles during the night, swimming the rivers, he reached Matata, raised 150 men of the Ngati-Rangitihi tribe, and marching them seventeen miles, reached the scene of action in the forenoon next day, but too late to save the pa. The garrison, having been forced to abandon it, were being pursued by Te Kooti's cavalry, who were slaughtering the old men, women and children. Most of the friendly natives were saved, and Te Kooti forced to retire, leaving twenty-eight dead, besides having many wounded. Lieut. Mair assisted in the defence of Whakatane township against Te Kooti's second attack. He commanded a force of Arawa natives in an all-day skirmish with Te Kooti's war party on the hills surrounding Whakatane, giving time for an Opotiki column to arrive in support, when the enemy was finally expelled.