Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno

Queen's Redoubt
Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno. Image: Amanda Trayesexpand/collapse

Partially restored earthworks near Pokeno mark where the British launched their crushing invasion of the Waikato.  Queen’s Redoubt was the largest built by Imperial troops in New Zealand. Here, some 450 men waited for word to attack.  The redoubt lay just north of the Mangatāwhiri stream, the aukati – a 'line that should not be crossed' – between settler Auckland and the Māori King’s lands.  On 11 July 1863, Governor Grey ordered the Waikato chiefs to pledge allegiance to Queen Victoria.

When he issued his ultimatum, Governor Grey also accused Waikato Māori of planning 'to ravage the Settlement of Auckland and to murder peaceable settlers'.  The accusations were unfounded.  The next day – before the message had been received – his soldiers crossed the stream.  War had begun.