Picket at Nukumaru

Picket at Nukumaru, 30 January 1865.

In January 1865 General Duncan Cameron and 2000 British troops marched from Whanganui to reclaim the Waitōtara block for the Crown from Pai Mārire supporters. Governor George Grey was determined to end the Pai Mārire threat in Whanganui and south Taranaki with a decisive military action.

Cameron gave the governor cause for hope when he defeated Pai Mārire forces at Nukumaru in January and Te Ngaio in March. These victories were achieved by fighting in open country. Cameron’s experiences in Waikato and Bay of Plenty in 1863–64 made him reluctant to attack pā directly. 

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