17 – Rawiri Puhirake i Pukehinahina

17 – Rāwiri Puhirake i Pukehinahina

Oil and charcoal on canvas
  • Painting 200x200mm
  • Framed 410x410mm
  • $650

Aerial View of Key Battle in the NZ Wars

At daybreak on 29 April 1864, British Lieutenant-General Duncan Cameron ordered an attack on Pukehinahina (Gate Pā, Tauranga) which began with an artillery barrage followed by an infantry assault however Rāwiri Tuaia Puhirake had gathered 250 Māori at Pukehinahina to resist the British encroachment. They defended the pā from a network of underground anti-artillery bunkers and concealed trenches, causing heavy casualties for the British.

The British retreated leaving their dead and wounded behind. Overnight, wounded British soldiers were tended to by Māori, and most of the defenders escaped. The next day, the British found the pā abandoned. Thirty-five British regulars died during the engagement and 75 were wounded.

This painting is part of the Ngā Puke o Aotearoa exhibition that opened at Comber Street Studios in Paddington, Sydney on 31 March 2023.

Ngā Puke o Aotearoa, The Hills of New Zealand in Māori, continued the exploration of attachment to the New Zealand landscape and was made all the more personal by the discovery of Guy’s Māori heritage during the time these works were being produced.

Leave a Reply