- Military leader of THE LAST STAND – BATTLE OF ORAKAU
- Ngati Maniapoto chief Rewi Maniapoto memorial erected in 1894. It is also his grave site. A military strategist and prominent Kingitanga leader, he is well known for his famous rallying cry during the siege of Orakau Pa (5km from Kihikihi). Previously his house and that of his followers had been torched with extensive crops destroyed. Today the site of his home is the Rewi Maniapoto reserve where you will find the monument for Rewi Maniapoto’s tomb donated by Sir George Grey, his former foe.
Rewi took a leading role in the Waikato war (1863–64). When called upon to surrender at Orākau in 1864 he uttered the famous words, ‘Ka whawhai tonu mātou, Ake! Ake! Ake! – We will fight on forever and ever!’ It is estimated that of the Pa’s defendants over 160 of the pā’s occupants were killed mostly as they streamed out of the Pa. Interpreter William Mair expressed his ‘disgust at the generally obscene and profane behaviour of the troops’.
Rewi later played a key role in establishing and expanding the Rohe Pōtae (King Country). He was one of the architects of the new line in the sand for the Waikato tribes. There continues to be debate and discussion about the actions of participants in the Land Wars.