The Wairau Affray (called the Wairau Massacre in many older texts), on 17 June 1843, was the first serious clash of arms between Māori and the British settlers in New Zealand after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and the only one to take place in the South Island. The incident was sparked when a magistrate and a representative of the New Zealand Company, who held an invalid deed to land in the Wairau Valley in the north of the South Island, led a group of European settlers to attempt to clear Māori off the land and arrest Ngāti Toa chiefs Te Rauparaha and Te Rangihaeata. Fighting broke out and 22 British settlers were killed, several after their surrender. Four Māori were killed, including the wife of Te Rangihaeata and the wife of Te Rauparaha.

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  • The Wairau Affray (called the Wairau Massacre in many older texts), on 17 June 1843, was the first serious clash of arms between Māori and the British settlers in New Zealand after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and the only one to take place in the South Island. The incident was sparked when a magistrate and a representative of the New Zealand Company, who held an invalid deed to land in the Wairau Valley in the north of the South Island, led a group of European settlers to attempt to clear Māori off the land and arrest Ngāti Toa chiefs Te Rauparaha and Te Rangihaeata. Fighting broke out and 22 British settlers were killed, several after their surrender. Four Māori were killed, including the wife of Te Rangihaeata and the wife of Te Rauparaha. The incident heightened fears among settlers of an armed Māori insurrection. It created the first major challenge for Governor Robert FitzRoy, who took up his posting in New Zealand six months later. FitzRoy investigated the incident and exonerated Te Rauparaha and Te Rangihaeata, for which he was strongly criticised by settlers and the New Zealand Company. In 1844 a land claims commission investigation determined that the Wairau Valley had not been legally sold. The government was to pay compensation to the Rangitane iwi, determined to be the original owners. (en)
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  • The Wairau Affray (called the Wairau Massacre in many older texts), on 17 June 1843, was the first serious clash of arms between Māori and the British settlers in New Zealand after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and the only one to take place in the South Island. The incident was sparked when a magistrate and a representative of the New Zealand Company, who held an invalid deed to land in the Wairau Valley in the north of the South Island, led a group of European settlers to attempt to clear Māori off the land and arrest Ngāti Toa chiefs Te Rauparaha and Te Rangihaeata. Fighting broke out and 22 British settlers were killed, several after their surrender. Four Māori were killed, including the wife of Te Rangihaeata and the wife of Te Rauparaha. (en)
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  • Wairau Affray (en)
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