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

Daring Exploits

page 20

Daring Exploits.

When operations were set on foot against the Piri-Rakau natives, all Hauhaus, in the forest country inland of Tauranga, Mair accompanied the expeditions, at first as volunteer and interpreter, and soon distinguished himself by his dash and daring and his intrepidity and enterprise in bush scouting. He served as volunteer with the 1st Battalion, 1st Waikato Regiment, taking part in the bush action at Te Irihanga in 1867, and from that time on he used his carbine in many a skirmish in that rugged country of forest, range and gorge, between the Tauranga slopes and Rotorua. Once he had his horse shot under him; that was at Whakamarama, up in the hills at the rear of Tauranga. He was pinned down by the weight of his horse, but he kept the Hauhaus off with his revolver until his comrades came up. On another occasion, when commanding forty Arawa friendlies, he swam the Kaituna River at night, carrying arms and ammunition across on a raft made of dry flax-stalks. He led an attack on the Maori rifle pits at Taumata, and at a dozen other places in that perilous bush country he fought the Maoris after their own manner, and acquired a reputation for dash and vigour which distinguished him all his fighting career. More than once he helped to carry off wounded men under fire at close quarters. It was perilous work in the extreme, campaigning in that Piri-rakau bush, where any moment a volley might come from ambush in the twilight depths.