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

The Saps at Te Teko

The Saps at Te Teko.

This spot is in the present little township of Te Teko, where the main road from Rotorua to the East Coast crosses the river. It was a most skilful piece of work, indeed brilliant. Mair profited by what he had seen in the way of sapping in the British regulars’ operations at Orakau. He had five clans of the Arawa under his command, and he directed each to drive a separate trench, zigzag fashion, up to the rebel palisades. The rival sappers-women as well as men-went at the spade work with tremendous zest, under fire. When the saps were close up to the pa, and preparations were being made for the final attack, a white flag was hoisted and the whole garrison surrendered, and at Mair's order marched out, tribe by tribe, and laid down their arms.

Those lines of sap are still to be traced in the turf of the old fighting ground, where the farmers’ cows graze peacefully on the scenes of Mair's triumph that combined military science with consummate, tactful leadership after the Maori manner.