The arrival of British rule in New Zealand in the wake of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 did not immediately spread throughout the country as qualified manpower was scarce. Some Maori in the Waikato were dissatisfied that lawlessness still prevailed in the back areas and so the idea of having their own “king” and government was floated. Not all Maori – not even in the Waikato – accepted the idea. Chiefs at the Kohimarama (Auckland) conference in 1860, the largest conference of chiefs ever held in New Zealand, affirmed the desirability of British rule and voiced their dismay and opposition to the new “king movement”.
After the Kingites joined the Taranaki rebellion the movement split, with Tamehana Te Rauparaha (son of the cannibal chief) withdrawing his support for it, Wiremu Tamehana (the “kingmaker”) advocating the absurdity of having two co-existent sovereigns, and Rewi Maniapoto taking up arms and attacking government agents.
This book explains the reasons for the rebellion, the battles and their outcome. The rebellion cost lives and caused widespread disruption, and the divided king movement failed in all its objectives.
Publisher: Tross Publishing, Wellington