By the 1850s a number of North Island
tribes realised that their land and society were at risk from the rapid growth of the new colony. Rather than concentrating on inter-tribal rivalries, they drew together to appoint a king who would represent them in land negotiations with the British crown, and provide political cohesion among the Maori people.
In the 1860s the New Zealand
government, acting on behalf of Queen Victoria
, used British and colonial troops in the North Island
to quell resistance by Maori to land purchases they saw as Treaty breaches. Te Awamutu was at the heart of the region in which the Waikato Campaign was fought. For this reason Te Awamutu Museum holds an outstanding collection of military objects from the New Zealand Wars. Some of the objects in the collection can be seen in these web pages.
This exhibition includes the printing press on which the Kingite newspaper Te Hokioi was published, as well as the rival government printing press set up in Te Awamutu. The exhibition also includes an Armstrong 12-pounder gun, uniforms and examples of the arms used during the battles by the British regiments and the Forest