Here, on a summer night in 1864, some 2000 Māori warriors were hoodwinked by their colonial foe.
The Pāterangi line, with its formidable trenches and palisades, was the largest Māori fortification ever built in New Zealand. On 20 February it was bristling with fighters from a dozen iwi. The British had no intention of attacking. Instead, under cover of darkness, 1200 imperial soldiers and dozens of horses shuffled silently past in single file. It was a bloodless victory. There had already been casualties, however. This memorial marks the graves of six British soldiers killed some nine days earlier at a bathing hole nearby Waiari.