Te Rangihaeata and McKillop, Bottle Creek 1847

Te Rangihaeata was the nephew of the great Ngati Toa warrior Te Rauparaha. Te Rangihaeata’s pa/village was at the head of the Pautahanui arm of Porirua harbour, on the left of this picture. McKillop was an ambitious young midshipman on HMS Calliope who had been involved in the arrest of Te Rauparaha at his pa at Plimmerton, mainly to take him out of circulation (whereas Te Rauparaha had been quite restrained about the recklessness of the New Zealand Company settlers about native/title rights).

As tensions escalated, McKillop rigged a small boat with short sail and canvas rigging sufficient to protect his crew against musket fire – and went on scouting missions from the (shambolic) Paremata Barracks, located on the headland at the bottom of this image, into the larger expanse of the harbour.  At least twice, he  narrowly escaped from Te Rangihaeata’s much larger fighting waka/warships – which must have been a stirring sight coming across the water after him, 50 paddlers in each.

On 17 July 1847 he spotted (by telescope from the Barracks) activity in the bushes at Ivey Bay, at the southern end of the Golden Gate peninsula. He sailed across and fired small cannon into the bushes. Numerous Maori emerged from hiding and stormed across the shallows towards the boat. In the confusion, a small cannon exploded, McKillop’s face was injured and the British beat a hasty retreat. The cannon balls are now in the Devonport Navy museum in Auckland.

All at the bottom of my street. The aerial view is based on the Mayor’s Xmas card of 2011. Its in oils, 12″x 36″

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