Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Wild Wind from the North Hongi Hika’s 1823 invasion of Rotorua

One of the greatest military undertakings in NZ retold in the last book by the renowned Rotorua historian
A Wild Wind from the North: Hongi Hika’s 1823 invasion of Rotorua
Don Stafford
Published by Oratia Books
ISBN: 978-0-947506-23-0\
$39.99 HB

Hongi Hika’s invasion of the Rotorua area in 1823 is one of the most dramatic and daring assaults in New Zealand history. Yet like much of our early history, the details are unknown to many New Zealanders.

The late Don Stafford committed himself to redress that imbalance – arguing throughout his distinguished career that events like the Musket Wars deserve to be studied no less than the Napoleonic Wars of the same period.
Armed with muskets, Hongi’s Ngāpuhi forces had roamed the North Island seeking utu (revenge) for past slights. Te Arawa, inland and with their island stronghold of Mokoia
on Lake Rotorua, felt impregnable. They did not count on Hongi’s epic portage of canoes to the lake shores, from which an attack on Mokoia became inevitable.

A Wild Wind from the North not only tells the story with Stafford’s flair and, but is also richly illustrated, including modern photos of the locations depicted. Launch of the book in 2007 occasioned a major meeting of Ngāpuhi and Te Arawa that aided reconciliation for the past conflict. This new printing aims to keep alive the memory of this remarkable slice of our past.

The author
Don Stafford (1927–2010) was an historian and writer who dedicated his life and work to the Rotorua district. Through a long and distinguished career, he wrote over 20 books on Rotorua and its history. Fluent in Māori, Don travelled on foot to every corner of Te Arawa’s rohe, and played a major role in preservation of historical sites and objects. He was Rotorua’s official historian, and his honours included an MBE, CBE and honorary doctorate.

No comments: