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Historical 1820 Maori Battle at Mount Maunganui
   
FROM THE NEW ZEALAND RAILWAYS MAGAZINE, VOLUME 13, ISSUE 1 (APRIL 1, 1938.)
The battle of Pilot Bay, at Mount Maunganui, Tauranga, in 1820, is a magnificent, if terrible epic in our New Zealand history.

Under Te Morenga, that raider chief of the Northern tribes, the Ngapuhi fleet sailed for Tauranga, and fell upon the Ngaiterangi at Pilot Bay, that lovely and peaceful anchorage beneath the shadow of the Mount. In the fierce strife between the armed men of the North and the Ngaiterangi with their native weapons, three hundred warriors of the Tauranga tribe were slain.

The Ngapuhi halted in their triumphal advance to prepare a great canriibal feast of the bodies, and their chief went out upon a scouting expedition across the harbour to Otumoetai, that long slender finger of land which runs out opposite to the Tauranga point, across the narrow estuary of Waikareao. He left his men in the canoe, and sat down under a ngaio tree to think over his triumphs, and fell asleep. As he slept, Te Waro, the head chief of the Ngaiterangi, crept upon him alone, and made him a prisoner. The Ngapuhi prepared to meet death as a chief should, but amazingly enough Te Waro led him down to the Waikareao within sight of the canoe and warriors, and cut his bonds.

“Now bind me …” said Te Waro, “And carry me back to your people at the camp beside the Mount.”

When they landed, and the warriors gathered round swinging their long-handled tomahawks, and exulting over the capture, Te Morenga held up his hand for silence.

“Now hear how this man treated me when I was bound and at his mercy!” he cried.

The old Mount must have looked down upon a strange scene, as the two stood there in the ring of blood-thirsty fighting men, in the flickering gleam of the fires from the cannibal ovens, that fierce raider Te Morenga, and Te Maru, with his bearing of a chief, bound, and calm and dignified.

Te Morenga cried aloud the. story, and when the Ngapuhi men heard it, they threw down their spears and tomahawks, and the guns of the white man, and said … “We cannot fight against such a man as this. Let there now be a covenant of peace between the Ngapuhi and the Ngaiterangi.”

As the seal of their good faith, the Ngapuhi went to the ovens, and took out the bodies prepared for the feast, and gave them honourable burial in the rock caves, and, in the dying smoke of the quenched fires, the treaty of peace was pledged.