Image Mäori weapons taken at Te Ranga, 1864

TLF ID R3715

This is an ink watercolour by Lieutenant Horatio Robley entitled 'Mäori arms taken at Te Ranga 21 June 1864', which appeared in 'The Illustrated London News' of September 1864. It shows weapons captured after the British victory over Ngäi Te Rangi (a Mäori tribe) at Te Ranga on 21 June 1864. The weapons are numbered and include a mixture of those introduced by Europeans, including muskets, tomahawks and bayonets, as well as a variety of traditional hand-held Mäori weapons such as mere and patu (clubs), a taiaha (long-handled striking weapon) and tao (spears). Some of the traditional Mäori weapons have been modified to incorporate European materials.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This asset illustrates weapons used in a significant event in New Zealand history - the Te Ranga battle (coastal Bay of Plenty near Tauranga, east coast of the North Island) was part of a wider conflict now referred to as the New Zealand Wars (1845-72) in which some iwi (tribes) in the North Island resisted European expansion.
  • It shows weapons collected by British soldiers after their victory in a significant battle of the New Zealand Wars - the victory led to the conclusion of fighting between Mäori and Päkehä (Europeans) in the Bay of Plenty region; in April 1864 Ngäi Te Rangi had inflicted a heavy defeat on the British at nearby Gate Pä, severely denting British pride, but victory at Te Ranga was considered by the British to be suitable revenge for Gate Pä, thereby making a peace settlement possible.
  • It reveals the influence of European contact on warfare and weapons, important aspects of Mäori society - the weapons illustrated include not only the European musket, but also show the incorporation of introduced iron into the construction of traditional weapons like the taiaha and tao, revealing the mixed technologies in use at Te Ranga.
  • It provides primary evidence that gives some insight into the nature of fighting during this campaign.
  • It illustrates the personal insight of a combatant from this battle - Lieutenant Horatio Robley, of the 68th Durham Light Infantry, made numerous sketches associated with his experiences of the New Zealand Wars, as well as of aspects of Mäori life, from carvings and tattoos to village life, thus providing a record of life in New Zealand at this time.

Other details

  • Author
  • Person: Horatio Gordon Robley
  • Description: Author
  • Contributor
  • Name: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Organization: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
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  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Person: Horatio Gordon Robley
  • Description: Author
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Organization: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
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  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
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Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements