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11 Bay of Plenty heritage attractions to visit: DAY 2 - Stop 2

The Battle of Gate Pa

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Maori pou, or carved pillars, erected at the site of the Battle of Gate Pa (1864). Tauranga, New Zealand Maori pou, or carved pillars, erected at the site of the Battle of Gate Pa (1864). Tauranga, New Zealand

Explore and absorb the narratives of the NZ Land Wars. The 19th century Land Wars had one urban battle and the site was the gate at the southern boundary of The Elms. The gate was the site for the battle between the Imperial troops and Maori 21 April 1864. It is a sombre moment for visitors, among the weeping willows thinking about the loss of life. For military heritage visitors The Elms, Gate Pa and the Monmouth Redoubt are must-go destinations around Aotearoa New Zealand.

Gate Pa

NZ Land Wars fundamentally altered the lives of the missionaries and the converts with the dispossession of lands and forced land confiscations. Inevitably the relationship between the mission and the locals declined.


Intertwined lives led to tragedy. Of all the guests at The Elms Anglican Te Papa Mission Station dinner table the night before the Battle of Gate Pa only one survived the next day. The battle was remarkable for its strong ethical code of conduct towards the enemy. Henare Taratoa, on behalf of the Ngāi Te Rangi leader, Rāwiri Puhirake delivered instructions water was to be provided to fallen soldiers and injured were to be treated and not summarily dispatched. Henare Taratoa was known for his devotion.


Henare Wiremu Taratoa (1830-1864) epitaph reads, A devout christian who presented The Code of Conduct (on behalf of the Ngāi Te Rangi leader, Rāwiri Puhirake) before the Battle of Gate Pā … mission cemetery.

The Mission Cemetery (also known as the Military Cemetery) has monuments to the Naval Brigade, 43rd Monmouth Regiment and a mass Maori grave. Rawiri Puhirake, leader of the iwi at Gate Pā, who was killed at Te Ranga, was exhumed and reinterred here in 1874….


Tauranga mission cemetery @NZPlaces
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