Did confiscation cause the armed conflict in the Waikato, as the Waikato-Tainui annual report 2014 claims, or was it the other way around? History shows that the Waikato-Tainui version is wrong because government troops entered the Waikato region on July 12, 1863, while a proclamation confiscating land was issued in December 1864, after the fighting was over. The Waikato-Tainui report said on page 27:
But Waikato-Tainui were not hapless victims of the land-hungry wicked white colonizer. The Waikato armed conflict had its roots in the 1860 Taranaki war and Waikato fighters were involved in Taranaki fighting from 1860.In 1863 the Crown confiscated over 1.2 million acres of Waikato-Tainui land and resources spanning from Tamaki Makaurau, through the Waikato Valley to north of the Mokau River. This confiscation resulted in the Waikato Land Wars and led to significant loss of life and property, crippling the welfare, economy, and development of Waikato-Tainui.
Waikato warriors drove resident magistrate John Gorst and his family out of the Waikato area on April 18, 1863.
Supporters of Maori king Tawhiao developed two plans of attack on Auckland, and letters from Waikato chiefs Taati Te Waru and Porokuru Titipa to tribes in the southern part of the North Island called for a general war.
Before any such uprising could occur the government issued an order, on July 9, 1863, requiring all Maori living north of the Mangatawhiri River to take an oath of allegiance to the Queen and give up their weapons. Those refusing to do so were required to retire to the Waikato. A further proclamation dated July 11, 1863, warned that those who wage war against the government would have their lands confiscated.
Colonial government soldiers crossed the Mangatawhiri River on July 12, 1863. Maori unwilling to take the oath were evicted as the colonial force advanced. Fighting occurred at Meremere, Ngaruawahia, Rangiaowhia (southwest of Cambridge) and at Orakau (near Te Awamutu) during 1863 and 1864. The final action in the Waikato war was on April 2, 1864, at Orakau.
The proclamation confiscating land was issued in December 1864 under the New Zealand Settlements Act 1863 eight months after fighting ceased in the Waikato.
Waikato-Tainui annual report 2014 is also incorrect on the area of land confiscated. The confiscated Waikato territory initially comprised 1,202,172 acres, including virtually all of Waikato north of a line drawn from Raglan to Tauranga. Approximately 314,364 acres were returned to those Waikato Maori who were judged not to have rebelled. The area that remained confiscated totalled 887,808 acres.
Another interesting detail in the report that despite the so-called full-and-final settlement of $170-million in 1995, the report confirms that Waikato-Tainui negotiated three further historical treaty settlements over the past financial year, with Ngati Haua ($13-million), Koroki Kahukura ($3-million), and Te Kawerau a Maki ($6.5-million).
The report also confirms that the $70-million relativity payment that the tribe has received that was “ingeniously negotiated” by the late Sir Robert Mahuta and Sir Douglas Graham as part of the 1995 full-and-final settlement remains in dispute. Waikato-Tainui appear to want more.
The 2014 report that celebrates 150 years of the kingitanga movement is also a reminder that the Maori king was set up in 1858 solely to oppose the British Queen.
Celebrating an asset base of $1.1-billion, Waikato Tainui chairman Rahui Papa said "Getting to a billion dollar platform was something that was dreamed about prior to settlement - getting back to Waikato Tainui's success, pre colonization."
Papa may be unaware that Waikato Tainui's “success pre colonization” was epitomized in the actions of the first Maori king, Potatau Te Wherowhero, who personally clubbed 150 unarmed Maori captives to death at the second siege of Pukerangiora Pa at Waitara in 1831.
Waikato-Tainui 2014 annual report http://www.wrrt.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/waikato-tainui-annual-report-2014.pdf,