Historical Revisionism – The Acceptable Variety

The British Crown’s recent apology for its suppression of violent and murderous Maori cults in New Zealand during the nineteenth century is the latest manifestation of the global assault against those of European descent for the supposed crimes of their ancestors.

The re-writing of history to accord heroic status to non-Europeans and villainy to Europeans regardless of the circumstances is part of a world-wide offensive. Afrikaners have the “guilt” of apartheid and Soweto, Americans the “guilt” of many myths surrounding Negro slavery and of Wounded Knee, Australians the extermination of the Tasmanians, Germans and other Europeans as well as the Catholic Church the Holocaust (the one with a capitalized “H”), and the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Belgian, and Dutch….imperialism. In New Zealand the process is given State sanction through a long-running process under the auspices of the Treaty of Waitangi, which was signed between Maori tribes and the Crown in 1840, which was a well-intentioned effort to protect the Maori from speculators and to bring order out of chaos. Rather, it has become an inter-generational rip-off with the billions in compensation awarded to often bickering Maori tribes and factions as part of recurring, farcically named “full and final settlements.” Of more significance than the mere monetary aspect is the Crown’s apology, which must accompany every settlement, acknowledging White villainy. The latest stage of this process is the settlement reached with the Ngati Hineuru, whose forefathers had been part of the lunatic cult called Hauhau.

The Hauhau was one of several Maori cults which were influenced by the Old Testament, and by identifying Maori as warrior Israelites driving out the heathen White from the promised land, it was a kind of Maori version of Christian Identity. The Hauhau made no bones about being bloodthirsty. The other cult, that of Te Whiti, centered at the settlement of Parihaka, claimed to be pacifistic, and historians consider Re Whiti to be a precursor of Gandhi and Martin Luther King; and a pioneer of “passive resistance.” Te Whiti, like other Maori leaders, claimed to be a prophet of God. This “pacifist” caused much trouble for settlers for years, specializing in destroying the farmland of hapless pioneers while the government did nothing. Eventually the government acted, in 1881, and peaceably dispersed the Parihaka settlement, which was denuding the surrounding Maori settlements by Te Whiti’s continual demands for food to supply his increasingly lavish banquets, and undermining the traditional authority of the chiefs. Te Whiti and his fellow prophet and later antagonist Tohu were detained by the government for several years, dressed in tweed, and escorted around New Zealand on tour. However, Parihaka, which in Te Whiti’s time was rife with disease, filth, and gut-rot alcohol, has become a symbol of White colonial oppression, and Te Whiti, who was seen at the time as a money-grabbing, mentally-unbalanced cult leader, has become an iconic figure of New Zealand history, studied with awe by schoolchildren.[i]

Having written the Parihaka book, and in spite of a few mentally questionable Left-wing smears to the contrary, I do not have a particular fixation on Maori issues, and I would be fine with the Maori taking back New Zealand if a program of “repatriation ” could be worked out for the colonial oppressors to be shipped “back” to Europe. However, what I do find objectionable are the distortions of history that are increasing rather than dissipating in regard to the alleged injustices perpetrated against the Maori by poor settlers, that is, our forefathers who supposedly “raped and pillaged” the land, from which today’s European-descended New Zealanders are claimed to have profited. The most significant and cogent statement that has ever been made about New Zealand history in regard to the Land Wars of the nineteenth century was that of the famous New Zealand Labour Member of Parliament, John A Lee, a strong opponent of usury, who said, “The Maori thinks the Pakeha [Maori word for New Zealand White] won the Land Wars, but he only won the debt.”

The Hineuru Massacre – Another Anti-White Myth

In the course of compensating the Maori for land confiscations under the Waitangi Tribunal, today’s generation is seeing yet another “full and final settlement,” among the multitudes of “full and final settlements” that have compensated Maori for the same grievances repeatedly for generations. The latest of these is a State settlement with Ngati Hineuru. These “full and final settlements” not only involve millions of dollars of State funds awarded to Maori tribes, but are accompanied by an official “apology.” The apology to the Ngati Hineuru is particularly interesting. When someone asked me whether I had heard of the massacre of 130 Ngati Hineuru prisoners in 1869, I replied I had not. However, based on studying the Parihaka matter, my interest was piqued as to whether this is yet another historical distortion. The newspaper report to which my correspondent referred reads:

Labour MP Louisa Wall wept during her iwi settlement Bill’s third reading. She recounted the tragic deaths in the history of her iwi Ngati Hineuru. During the siege of Ngatapa in 1869 up to 130 Maori were stripped naked, lined up beside a cliff and ‘shot like dog’s,’ Wall said. ‘New Zealanders do not know their history. What the Treaty settlement process enables is for us to reclaim our history’. A Crown apology was part of the redress.[ii]

Ngati Hineuru stated of the final reading at Parliament of the settlement, involving $NZ50,000,000, “It was a momentous occasion that recognised the many atrocities that have been faced by Hineuru and also a strong and prosperous vision for the future.”[iii] What is of interest here is the reference to “the many atrocities that have been faced by Hineuru,” a further mystification of New Zealand history that has been sanctioned by the State as “official.” Like the legends surrounding Parihaka, the court historians laid the groundwork for the historical revision.


The Government’s “Deed of Settlement” is a white-wash of the Ngati Hineuru, although hinting at the shambles that was inherent in attempts to negotiate land purchases from multiple Maori land claimants during the nineteenth century. The document refers to the Hauhau movement, founded in 1862 and originally, and rather ironically, called “Good and Peaceful.” This was a very bloody, apocalyptic cult, although one would not recognise it as such from the State document. “Some Hineuru” converted under the leadership of Panapa, who established a cult centre at Pai Mārire, complete with a niu pole, which formed the focus for frenzied rituals. In 1865 a missionary Carl Völkner had been killed by the Hauhau, and there was disquiet among some Pai Mārire Maoris that they would be associated with Hauhau atrocities. The German missionary had been hanged, decapitated, and his eyeballs swallowed by Kereopa Te Rau, who said one represented Parliament and the other the Queen and English law. “As part of the settlement of Ngāti Rangiwewehi’s Treaty of Waitangi claim, in 2014 Kereopa was pardoned for his role in Völkner’s death,” according to official New Zealand history.[iv]

The State document, which is the Crown’s settlement with Ngati Hineuru, claims that Hauhau intentions were peaceful and that a party, including the Hineuru and their leader Panapa, had gone to Hawke’s Bay in September 1866 to meet the government agent McLean at his invitation. This State document claims that McLean, without reason, concluded that the Hauhau party were about to attack Napier, and neutralized them. During the skirmish, Panapa was killed. The Crown captured 86 prisoners including 34 Hineuru, who were detained on Chatham Island, along with another “Maori prophet,” Te Kooti.  Under Lt. Col. Whitmore, the remnants of the Hauhau, including the Hineuru adherents, were pursued by Crown forces, which consisted in part of loyal Maori. On the Chatham Islands, the Hauhau, including the Hineuru, converted to Te Kooti, who led an escape of 298 prisoners in 1868. Peace terms were offered by the Crown and accepted, but Te Kooti broke the accord and killed more than 50 men, women, and children at Matahero, then proceeded onto other settlements. It is at Ngatapa that the remnants of these merciless woman- and baby-killers suffered a major defeat. This State document concedes all of this but does not regard it as anything exceptional.

It is here that we are supposed to feign outrage that some of these butchers were allegedly shot as prisoners, without any cognizance taken of their atrocities, but rather that this was an atrocity by the Crown and one of enduring lamentation. It is also acknowledged that the numbers and identities of those who were shot are unknown. It is indicative of the blasé attitude by which the Waitangi historical process is recorded and becomes official.

After defeat a few years later, Te Kooti settled in the King Country in 1872. In 1883 the Crown issued a general pardon of those Maori who had fought against the Crown in the Land Wars. However, over a century later, a Crown apology is required for defeating this savagery. The Crown apology in relation to the Hineuru element in the Hahuhau/Te Kooti cults reads:

The Crown profoundly regrets its unjust attacks at Ōmarunui and near Pētane that took the lives of your rangatira Te Rangihīroa and others, and the devastation and grief Hineuru suffered through loss of life and exile. You suffered further prejudice when the Crown plundered your kāinga, detained your ancestors without trial, and carried out dishonourable summary executions at Ngātapa. For its actions, and the immense hurt the Crown has caused you and your tipuna, the Crown apologises.[v]

Of the Hauhau cult, the Maori chief Reweti T Kohere had a less flattering portrait of Waitangi state history. Writing during the late 1940s, when those involved could still be interviewed, Korehe stated:

The sect known by the euphonious name Pai Marire (Good and Peaceful) was later called Hauhau, from the repeated use of the phrase, “Rire, Rire, Hau,” by the worshippers. It means nothing. The founder of the sect was a half-witted old man of Opunake, Taranaki, named Te Ua Haumene. At Pukemaire a tall pole or niu was erected in the centre of the pa. A few feet from the ground a staging was erected on which the conductor of the ceremony, called “Tiu” or “Jew,” stood. First he calls out to the people:

“Po-po rini, hoia, Tiu.”
(“Fa-fall in, soldiers, Jew.”)

When the people, men, women and children, have fallen in he recites the following, the audience meanwhile marching round the niu:

“Po-po rini, hoia, Tiu.
E-whe, era, teihana,
Ta te Munu, tana niu.
Ingiki, teihana.
Rauna hanati, hau mene,
Tiurai, Tiamana, teihana.
Mene pana, riki mene,
Nama wana, nama tu, teihana.
Puritene, wai, kei,
O pi teihana,
Kiu, wana, tu, teri, po teihana.
Rewa, piki rewa, rongo rewa,
Tone, piki tone, teihana.
Mautini, piki mautini, rongo mautini.
Etc., etc.

I give what I think is the translation of this utter rubbish. It is simply transliterations of foreign words, strung together.

“Fa-fall in, soldiers, Jew,
F. L. attention!
It’s Munu’s, his niu.
Ink, attention!
Round shanty, how many.
Jews, Germans, attention!
Many fun, little many.
Number one, number two, attention!
Britain, Y. K.
O. P. attention!
Q. one, two, three, fa(all), attention!
River, big river, long river,
Stone, big stone, attention!
Mountain, big mountain, long mountain.
Etc., etc.

The people were so worked up after going round the niu so many times that they became giddy and frenzied.

I have taken the trouble to quote and translate a portion of the so-called incantation to show its absolute absurdity, and yet I have been told more than once that my grandfather was disloyal to his own race by fighting for the pakeha. I could hardly imagine my grandfather spinning round the niu with hundreds of frenzied fanatics. He was for his period of time remarkably free from superstition.[vi]

Here we see the same nonsense that also excited the Maori at Parihaka under Te Whiti, and it is all supposed to be treated as a commendable feature of Maori history which was suppressed by White colonialism. These activities and beliefs had the same level of credibility as Jim Jones.

The Original Historical Record

As with the search for the facts about Te Whiti and Parihaka, one must examine the histories, records, and testimonies prior to the hegemony of the court historians and Waitangi agenda for an understanding of the times. The original historical records for the Hineuru and their involvement in the Hauhau and Te Kooti atrocities are not even considered by the document that has become official history with the approval of Parliament.

James Cowan undertook an immense effort to record early New Zealand history and Maori folklore. Cowan had a pro-Maori bias to the point of writing an apologia for Te Kooti. It is erroneous to assume that early historians, journalists, politicians, and other colonials of prominence were anti-Maori “racists,” and that accounts of the time are therefore inaccurately biased. Reading the newspapers of the day, one sees journalistic sympathy and government forbearance even during the nineteenth century for the rogue Te Whiti, for example. Like that “pacifist prophet,” Te Kooti was fond of quoting the Old Testament and in order to relate the Maori to the Israelites, citing The Book of Joshua: “And the Lord your God He shall expel them from before you and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the Lord your God hath promised unto you.”[vii]

Te Kooti’s Hauhau comrades moved on the Poverty Bay region, and singled out colonial homesteads for attack. Te Kooti split his warriors into units, one being led by Petera Kahuroa, of Ngati-Hineuru. “The Patutahi Maoris, who were friendly with the Government, were taken prisoner, and three of the chiefs were ordered for execution by Te Kooti, and were led away and shot.” The first to be slaughtered in November 1868 were Major Biggs, his family, and neighbours.

Volleys were fired into the house after the door was broken open, and Biggs and his wife and child and several occupants of the place were killed with rifle-shot and bayonet. Next the home of “Wirihana” (Captain Wilson), a mile or more away, was surrounded and fired into, and after the place was set on fire the Wilsons were killed in the same way as the Biggs family.[viii]

After killing Biggs:

Mrs. Biggs and her baby were killed, and also two servants, a married couple. A half-caste girl was killed outside the house. A boy named James escaped by the back door, and succeeded in warning many of the neighbours … and thus enabling them to evade the Hauhaus. This boy’s mother, Mrs. James, who was living near Mr. Goldsmith’s house, was roused by the shooting at Wilson’s and escaped with her eight children.[ix]

Captain Wilson’s homestead was set afire, and he and his family were led out for about 200 yards, then:

Captain Wilson, who was carrying one of the children, was bayoneted in the back, and fell dead with the little boy in his arms. Mrs. Wilson was then savagely bayoneted, and was left for dead, stabbed in several places. Three of the children and the servant Moran were killed; the little boy, James Wilson, whom the father was carrying when he fell, was the only one who escaped unhurt. He hid in the scrub, and after wandering about for two days he returned and discovered his mother still alive; she had crawled into a shed. The poor lady contrived to write a note and despatched her son with it to Turanganui, but the little fellow lost his way and was found at last near Makaraka. After lying in the shed for several days Mrs. Wilson was rescued by the search-parties and taken to hospital at Napier, but died from her terrible wounds.[x]

After the Wilson homestead, numerous scattered homesteads were attacked, as were “the friendly natives … and many were despatched with rifle, bayonet, tomahawk, or patu. House after house was looted and burned after its occupants had either been killed or had almost miraculously eluded the murderous kokiri bands.” In total, 33 Europeans and 37 friendly Maoris were slaughtered, including women and children. Prisoners were dispatched with the patu (a sharp-edged stone club). Te Kooti moved inland, pursued by Colonial troops and allied Maoris.

Siege of Ngatapa

The Hauhau were well-armed, but were driven from their positions, retreating to the Ngatapa mountain fortress. The Colonial forces regrouped and a month later attacked Ngatapa with 400 Armed Constabulary and 350 Ngati Porou under the command of Major Ropata, who was awarded the New Zealand Cross for his bravery in the Hauhau campaign.

Although the Maori are credited as being brilliant military tacticians, and indeed for being the inventors of modern trench warfare, one significant oversight was their failure to ensure a water source within his fortifications. Hence the siege of Ngatapa included the cutting off of the Hauhhau’s spring water supply. This led to a night-time escape down a cliff and into the forest. Some succeeded, while others were captured, the women and wounded having been left at the pa. On discovery that the pa had been evacuated, the Ngati-Pouru and Arawa Division under Major Ropata pursued Te Kooti and his men through the bush. Many were captured and shot on the spot, or taken back to near Ngatapa and executed. It is this execution of Hineruru prisoners by Major Ropata and his Maori division that has prompted the recent Crown apology. Cowan writes of the executions:

Ropata’s methods in ordering the summary execution of all the Hauhaus captured by Ngati-Porou may have been ruthless, but the memory of the massacre at Poverty Bay was still raw in every mind. The principal chief overtaken and killed was Nikora te Whakaunua, the head rangatira of the Ngati-Hineuru Tribe, of Te Haroto, on the Napier-Taupo track. He was one of the prisoners taken at Omarunui in 1866…[xi]

Te Kooti continued his terror for three more years, but the Hauhau defeat at Ngatapa, which was thanks largely to Ropata’s Maori division, was the beginning of the end.


In this latest apologia, where the victims become the villains because they are White, the common theme is that any actions by the colonized peoples are excusable because of White men’s villainy, even if the victims include non-Whites, as with the Maoris killed by Te Kooti’s Hauhau followers. In this instance, even the executioners of the Hineuru prisoners were Maori, under the command of Major Ropata. The action was symptomatic of the bloody feuds that existed among the Maori, but the White colonialists are still held responsible, and moreover, so are subsequent generations, in perpetuity, on the basis of collective, hereditary guilt. It is part of the same world-wide offensive that obtained the ignominious pulling down of the Confederate flag at the heart of the former Confederacy in recent months. A world-wide offensive requires a world-wide defense.


[i] I attempted to restore some balance by writing a book a few years ago on Parihaka and Te Whiti, which seems to be the only one yet written to question the mythic status accorded by the State’s court historians. See: K R Bolton, The Parihaka Cult (London: Black House Publishing, 2012).

[ii] “Treaty Settlements let us reclaim our history: MP,” Dominion Post, June 30, 2016.

[iii] “Hineuru claims settlement bill 29 June 2016”.

[iv] “Carl Völkner,” Ministry for Culture and Heritage, New Zealand.

[v] “Hineuru and the Crown, Deed of Settlement of Historical Claims,” 3.18, p. 48.

[vi] Reweti T Kohere, The Story of a Maori Chief (Wellington, New Zealand: Reed, 1949), pp. 61-62.

[vii] James Cowan, The New Zealand Wars, Vol. II: The Hauhau Wars 1864-72 (Wellington: Owen, 1956), p. 264.

[viii] Cowan, p. 265.

[ix] Cowan, p. 266.

[x] Cowan, p. 267.

[xi] Cowan, p. 281.

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