Published: Dec 15 2016
After months of posturing, dissimulation and broken promises, Rangatira Riwha Titokowaru has finally had enough of Pakeha greed. Determined that they will ‘confiscate’ no more of his land, he turns at bay. South Taranaki is plunged into war once again. A successful attack upon the Armed Constabulary redoubt at Turuturu Mokai infuriates Lieutenant-Colonel McDonnell, the Constabulary commander. Provoked into attacking Te Ngutu o to Manu, Titokowaru’s fortified pa, McDonnell is bloodily defeated time and again. With the Wanganui Rifle Corps to the fore in these engagements, the Barr family are in the thick of it. Colonel Thomas McDonnell ‘resigns’. Colonel George Whitmore takes command and is in turn beaten at Moturoa. When forces are diverted to face Te Kooti’s rebels on the east coast, the west coast war hangs in the balance. Titokowaru sends a war-party to kill John Barr. The bloody battle of Homefields Farm ensues. Finally, secure in his mighty fortress of Tauranga-Ika, the last fighting Rangatira confidently awaits Whitmore’s attack.