William Mair, after Orakau, was Resident Magistrate and Government Native Agent in various districts.
As an officer in command of Arawa
and other Maori contingents he
fought the Hauhaus
in the Bay of Plenty and the Urewera country, 1865,69.One notable success was his
capture of Te Teko pa, on the Rangitaiki River, by means of sap, which forced a surrender (described in Vol.II).For many years after the wars he was Judge of the Native Land Court.
The buglers sounded the ,Cease fire,, and two interpreters of the staff, Mr. William G. Mair
(afterwards Major Mair), then an ensign in the Colonial Defence Force Cavalry, and Mr. Mainwaring were sent into the sap with a white flag to invite the natives to capitulate.
wrote the account in the form of a letter to a relative shortly after the capture of the pa:, ,I got up on the edge of the sap and looked through a gap in the gabions made for the field-piece.
reported the interview to General Cameron, who was greatly impressed with the stubborn devotion of the Maoris.
Raureti returned to the outer parapet, stood up on the firing-step a few yards from Mair
, and delivered this decision, and all the people shouted with one voice, ,Kaore e mau te rongo,ake, ake, ake!, Rewi came out to the north-west angle when the final decision had been made, and stood in the trench a few yards in rear of Raureti. ,As to the reported words, ,Ka whawhai tonu matou, ake, ake, ake!,, says Te Huia, ,I did not hear them uttered.,
That is the version of Ngati-Maniapoto.But a different story is given by some of the Ngati-te-Kohera and Ngati-Tuwharetoa.Moetu te Mahia (died 1921), whose home was at Kauriki, near Manunui, on the Main Trunk Railway, declared that it was Hauraki Tonganui who delivered Rewi's reply to Mr. Mair
.Moetu fought at Orakau; he
was then about twenty years old.He
were both of Ngati-Tuwharetoa and Ngati-te-Kohera, and were first cousins.
then, after inquiry, came to the conclusion that it was Hauraki
who spoke to him from the parapet and delivered the Maori reply to the demand for surrender.No doubt more than one man spoke to Mair
, rushing in with the stormers, found some Regulars about to bayonet a wounded woman who had scraped away the light layer of earth covering the body of her
slain husband for a last look at him, weeping as she
brushed the soil from his
tried to beat the men back with his
carbine, and knocked one of them into the ditch; then he
turned to attend to the poor woman.She
was Hine-i-turama, a high chieftainess of the Arawa
people, ninth in direct descent from Hinemoa, and celebrated as a composer of songs; she
had been the wife of Hans Tapsel, the trader of Maketu, and on coming to Orakau
to visit her
daughter, the wife of Dr. Hooper, had been detained by the Kingites, and married another man, Ropata, who fell in the siege.Mr. Mair
to an angle, and then went to attend to another wounded woman; but when he
returned Hine-i-turama had been bayoneted to death by some brutal soldiers in avengement of fallen comrades.*
The splendid devotion and fearlessness displayed by the Maori heroes of that retreat aroused the admiration of their enemies.Colonel Roberts, N.Z.C.,the ,Deerfoot, of Von Tempsky's journal
,narrates one poignant episode of the Forest Rangers' chase. ,Most of the troops,, he
says, ,abandoned the pursuit at the Puniu River, but several of us Forest Rangers and two or three men of Rait's Artillery crossed the river and went on in chase for a little distance.We caught up on one Maori, who repeatedly turned and deliberately knelt and levelled his
single-barrel shot-gun (he was endeavouring to cover the retreat of some