Story: New Zealand wars

The end of the war

James Belich's 1986 book The New Zealand wars and the Victorian interpretation of racial conflict was a radical new look at the New Zealand wars. Belich presented the Māori as fine strategists who came very close to winning several campaigns. Subsequently his research was presented in a television series, The New Zealand wars. In the first episode Belich argued that the battle of Ruapekapeka was not a glorious victory for the British, but a strategic defeat – and that the peace that followed the northern war gave Hōne Heke Pōkai and his followers much of what they had fought for.  

Using this item

Landmark Productions

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Danny Keenan, 'New Zealand wars - Northern war, 1845–1846', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 May 2022)

Story by Danny Keenan, published 20 Jun 2012, reviewed & revised 8 Feb 2017