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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 8 (December 1, 1933)

In Pursuit of Te Kooti

In Pursuit of Te Kooti.

But there is not anything like enough space now to tell of all Mair's fighting exploits. He fought in Whitmore's invasion of the Urewera country in 1869, and in the following year he once more saved Rotorua from the Hauhaus. That great running fight, Mair and a few men pursuing Te Kooti and his two hundred, was the greatest feat in his career, and it won him his captaincy and the New Zealand Cross. For twenty miles he and his fastest runners of the Arawa followed Te Kooti, frequently engaging his rearguard and killing his best fighting man, the notorious Eru Peka, and nearly twenty others. Most of these fell to Mair's own rifle.

Now came the most arduous campaigning cf all, when Mair and his comrade Captain Preece for two years led their Arawa soldiers and scoured the Urewera forests and mountains in chase of Te Kooti. It was fearfully difficult work, sometimes carried on in the depth of winter, often without any food but what the wild country could give them, fernroot and hinau berries. In one of the last fights (August, 1871) Mair and Preece rushed Te Kooti's well-hidden bush camp on the Waipaoa River and killed several men. So the guerilla war went on until in 1872 Te Kooti was finally driven out of the Urewera and took refuge in the King Country.