The New Zealand Wars Interpretation Centre at Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno
Queen's Redoubt Trust
The Queen's Redoubt Trust owns, maintains, manages, promotes and the New Zealand War site of Queen's Redoubt. The redoubt site is a national landmark one hour south of Auckland adjacent to State Highway 1 at Pokeno.
The Queen's Redoubt Trust was incorporated on 19 February 1999 (AK/948008) as a charitable trust under the Charitable Trust Act 1957.
To preserve Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno, and to develop the heritage site as a nationally significant visitor and education centre for learning about the New Zealand Wars and understanding their place in our history, and as a memorial to all those who losttheir lives.
The objectives of the Queen's Redoubt Trust are:
Queen's Redoubt Trustees recognise that an undertaking of this nature requires input and support from many interested parties and will be actively working with these communities and organisations to achieve the strategic initiatives of the Trust.
When the Queen's Redoubt Trust was incorporated as a charitable trust in February 1999, the first goal was to raise funds to buy the historic Queen's Redoubt site at Pokeno, South Auckland. Purchase of the land was achieved in March 2001. The Trust isnow focused on the preservation, maintenance and development of the site as a major educational and visitor destination.
The objective of the Queen's Redoubt Trust is to develop and run at the site a major visitor attraction to be known as 'The New Zealand Wars Interpretation Centre at Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno'.
Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno, was the headquarters for the July 1863 invasion of the Waikato by the British Army. The Waikato War of 1863-64 was the major campaign of 19th century New Zealand Wars between Maori and European, which has shaped the subsequenthistory of this country. Queen's Redoubt is thus a key site relating to a critical point in New Zealand history. It is one of our country's most important historic places.
The site is ideally situated in terms of location and history to tell the story of the most important military campaign fought in New Zealand, including tactical and strategic aspects, success and failure, the personal stories of participants, the heroismand tragedy.
Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno, is 45 minutes south of Auckland at the junction of State Highway 1 (to Hamilton, Waitomo and beyond), and State Highway 2 (to the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, etc.). Approximately 1.5 million people live within an hoursdrive. Heavy traffic volumes pass the site every day to provide a strong basis for good visitor numbers. A high proportion of overseas tourists in New Zealand pass by the site in the course of their visit.
Development of a Queen's Redoubt interpretation centre in the future will facilitate the telling of the wider story of the New Zealand Wars fought between Maori and Päkehä from the 1840s to early 1870s in the Bay of Islands, Bay of Plenty, East Coast,Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Tä ranaki, Wanganui and Wellington districts. The history and outcome of the New Zealand Wars is very relevant to New Zealand in the 21st century. The historic site will be promoted as 'The New Zealand Wars Interpretation Centreat Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno'.
A focussed and successful visitor attraction at Queen's Redoubt, will be a major new element in the mix of visitor attractions in the Auckland and Waikato regions, as an excursion destination in itself, and the start of a Waikato War Historic Trail southto Te Awamutu and beyond, and as a stopover for travellers to other destinations south of Auckland.
The New Zealand Historic Places Trust has a statutory role under the Historic Places Act 1993 to assess historic significance, and this makes it the New Zealand authority in this matter. The current Trust assessment criteria are presented in the RegistrationProposal form. These criteria are: Historical, cultural, aesthetic, archaeological, architectural, scientific, social, spiritual, technological and traditions significance or value.
Based on these criteria, the New Zealand Historic Places Trust considers the site of Queen's Redoubt is of national significance.
The Queen's Redoubt Trust in March 2001 purchased 1.7778 ha (ca 4.4 acres) including the greater part of the Queen's Redoubt site, lying between the Great South Road at the south end of the township of Pokeno, the rear of houses along the east side ofSelby Street, an unformed legal road and the motorway (State Highway 1). The property includes Part of Lot 14 (DP 13817), and Lots 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 (DP 21310).
The property described above is owned freehold by the Queen's Redoubt Trust. After protracted discussions initially with the Franklin District Council; in September 2012 the Waikato District Council vested management of the unformed legal roadon the south side of the redoubt to the Queen's Redoubt Trust. The Trust has formed a metalled road on the paper road to provide vehicular access and parking at the redoubt site.
The property is under grass, and largely level but for a slight dip to the Great South Road on the south-west side. There is a house on Lot 14 DP 13817.
The Queen's Redoubt site is recorded in the New Zealand Archaeological Association site record scheme as site number S12/23 (formerly N46-47/188).
The Queen's Redoubt Trust (QRT) was formed in February 1999 with the aim of raising the money required to purchase the site of Queen's Redoubt and develop the site as a visitor attraction. The QRT purchased the Redoubt property on 28 March 2001, afteralmost five years of fund-raising and negotiations.
In June 1999 the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board gave the Trust its first $100,000 towards a purchase price of $310,000. Discussions with the ASB Bank Community Trust indicated its potential support for funding half of the purchase cost; thisleft us with a shortfall of over $50,000 to make up the other 50%. The Queen's Redoubt Trust then went back to the Lottery Grants Board and obtained another grant to cover the shortfall in November 2000. The Trust then made a formal application to theASB Bank Community Trust for the balance of the funds. On 8 March 2001 we received formal confirmation of our successful application.
On 14 March 2001 the Queen's Redoubt Trust went unconditional on its sale and purchase agreement with the owners, with a settlement date of 28 March.
Plan Change 42 (Franklin District Council, 2008) created the Queen's Redoubt Special Heritage Zone which allows all the proposed developments on the site to create a nationally significant heritage site. Prior to that the property was zoned rural withallowance for development.
Waikato District Council gives rate relief on the Queen's Redoubt Trust property.
There are four parts to development of 'The New Zealand Wars Interpretation Centre at Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno'.
The 'New Zealand Wars Interpretation Centre at Queen's Redoubt' will be developed first and foremost as a visitor attraction. This is in order to:
The Queen's Redoubt project depends therefore on site development of international class in terms of:
The 'New Zealand Wars Interpretation Centre at Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno' will consist of:
The first phase of the development requires considerable research to underpin effective presentation of the site as a visitor attraction from opening day. Archaeological and historical research will increase knowledge of the site, andalso enable the recovery of the maximum archaeological knowledge of the site prior to development of visitor facilities which might otherwise destroy valuable archaeological information. Continued archaeological excavations after opening day will be ofinterest to many visitors. Subsequently there will be on-going research into Queen's Redoubt, the Waikato Campaign and New Zealand Wars as a whole to continue development of knowledge of the subject. The Queen's Redoubt Trust sees itself as having animportant role in undertaking or commissioning research into the New Zealand Wars, and will be a centre for such research and its dissemination.
Development of Queen's Redoubt as a major visitor and educational facility will be carried out in conjunction with prior archaeological excavation in order to maximise knowledge of the historic site for future exhibition and interpretation. At the sametime, historical research will continue into Queen's Redoubt itself, the Pokeno district, the Waikato Campaign of 1863-64 and the New Zealand Wars as a whole.
Three archaeological excavations have so far been carried out at Queen's Redoubt. A two-week excavation directed by Nigel Prickett, Curator of Archaeology, Auckland War Memorial Museum, took place in February 1992 as a condition of the New Zealand HistoricPlaces Trust in granting an authority to the then land-owner to modify the archaeological site. This included a small area of redoubt interior, two trenches excavated across the defensive ditch, and some exploration of the eastern corner bastion defense.This has been reported in, 'The history and archaeology of Queen's Redoubt, South Auckland' (Records of the Auckland Museum (2003), Vol. 40, pp. 5-37).
The second excavation took place after acquisition of the property by the Queen's Redoubt Trust in April 2004, directed by Warren Gumbley, a Hamilton-based archaeological consultant. Approximately 425 m2 of redoubt interior was stripped by machine andthen hand excavated, between the house on the property and Great South Road. Two trenches were excavated across nearby defensive ditch. An unpublished report to the Queen's Redoubt Trust describes the work (Warren Gumbley, 'Queen's Redoubt; report onthe 2004 archaeological excavation', Hamilton, 7 pp. plus illustrations and table of finds).
The third excavation was directed by Dr Neville Ritchie in January 2010. It involved extending the area excavated in 1992 and trying to ascertain the extent and construction of the SE bastion (Ritchie 2012)
The three excavations to date have total ca 600 m2 of the interior of the redoubt which is characterised by shallow postholes in linear arrangements from the numerous huts, carefully arranged to make best use of the available area. In the areas so farexcavated there are some drains and rare scattered broken glass, ceramics and other items. Exploration of the defenses has revealed a massive ditch 8 ft (2.4 m) deep and ca 18 ft (5.5 m) across. Broken glass, ceramics and other items are found at thebottom of the original ditch and in the material with which it was filled in the 1920s.
It is important that archaeological excavation gives us a full and accurate plan of the redoubt interior, and also fully describes the defensive works. Archaeological exploration of the area outside the actual redoubt is also needed prior to any development,which is destructive of the archaeological resource, in order to fully interpret the site. It is anticipated that for some years an important part of both the development and visitor attraction of Queen's Redoubt will be annual volunteer excavations undertakento complete excavation of the redoubt area.
A start to historical research has been made in the report of the 1992 excavation referred to above. Queen's Redoubt is a major historic place in the historic landscape of the period, which includes Maori settlements and other sites and pre- and post-warEuropean farming and other settlement as well as the associated military sites dating from the early and mid-1860s. Some of these are shown on a May 1862 map by Captain George Richard Greaves (70th Regiment).
Maori settlements prior to the war were Mangatawhiri and Pokino (the current spelling of 'Pokeno' is incorrect). Near Mangatawhiri was a flourmill of which archaeological remains are still visible on Tani Te Whiora (Leatham's) Stream, a tributary ofMangatawhiri River. Three pre-war European farmhouses in the district belonged to Sagg, Selby and Austin. Camp Pokino, on today's Helenslee Road, was the first British Army military establishment in the district, and dates from construction of the GreatSouth Road in early 1862. The original Great South Road traversed the high ground west of today's Pokeno township to reach the Waikato River at Te Ia, where Bluff Stockade was put up to protect the landing place. At the Mangatawhiri River crossing weremore camps and defensive works dating from July 1863. For some weeks before the war moved to the south three redoubts defended an extensive camp at Koheroa, on the terrace above today's road and railway.
At the heart of Queen's Redoubt as a visitor attraction will be reconstruction of the fortification earthworks and selected reconstruction of barrack and other buildings within the redoubt. A major part of this must be achieved by openingday, but continued development of earthworks and historic buildings will provide for continuing visitor interest, and further development of effective methods of reconstruction. The major task in on-site development for successful interpretation of thehistoric Queen's Redoubt site will be reconstruction of the fort earthworks. This will be central to public interpretation of the site.
Queen's Redoubt had the most massive defences of any European earthwork fort put up in the New Zealand Wars. The defensive ditches of most earthwork redoubts were 6 ft (1.8 m) deep and 9-10 ft (2.7-3. m) wide. Archaeological excavation has showed theditch at Queen's Redoubt to be 8 ft (2.4 m) deep and ca 18 ft (5.5 m) across at ground level. The scale of the Queen's Redoubt earthworks is in line with the historical importance of the fort. Three-quarters of the 100 x 100 m Queen's Redoubt, includingca 60% of the length of the defences, is on land owned by the Queen's Redoubt Trust. The rest is in private properties on the south side of Selby Street and east of Great South Road.
Successful reconstruction of the Queen's Redoubt defences will depend on the development of pioneering techniques for New Zealand in the stabilisation of historic earthworks. Considerable progress has already been made in this with reconstruction ofthe ditch and wall between the house and the Great South Road. This has required the major volunteer labour input of the project thus far.
The second part of Queen's Redoubt reconstruction will be the erection of one or more replica buildings within the earthworks. These will replicate as near as possible the original buildings in the fort, which were prefabricated in Onehunga from Waitakarekauri and carted down the Great South Road. There were 27 wooden buildings inside the fort which served as barracks for 450 soldiers, plus officer's quarters, guardrooms, hospital, storerooms, etc. The exact location of all buildings in the redoubtwill be revealed by archaeology and reconstructed buildings will occupy exactly the location of one or more of the original building locations. Building interiors will provide an opportunity for display of material and information relating to the camplife of troops in the period.
Part of the QRT's vision for 'The New Zealand Wars Interpretation Centre at Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno' will be the establishment a purpose-built visitor centre. Ultimately this will be a significant stand-alone building of international quality, but which clearly references this country and the particular stories with which Queen's Redoubt is concerned. The outstanding architectural qualities of the visitor centre will play an important part in the overall visitor attraction. The visitor centre will provide for the following facilities: interpretation centre and museum; New Zealand Wars research centre; café and food outlet; office of Queen's Redoubt Trust; and information centre and toilet facilities
The visitor centre will eventually include:
Because the funds required to build the proposed visitor centre will be substantial and well beyond the capabilities of the Queen's redoubt Trust for many years to come, it was decided to build a more modest visitor centre in a form characteristic of 1860's buildings, as an interim measure. This building has now been erected and includes a meeting room with storage and work areas and an adjacent display area where the story of the NZ Land Wars will be told.
Outside the redoubt earthworks, and sited for separate access, will be a memorial to all Maori and Pakeha who were killed in the New Zealand Wars. The memorial itself will be subject to a design competition and is intended to be a powerfulremembrance of all who lost their lives in the conflict, so that we are reminded of what they were fighting for and their part in making our country what it is today.
The New Zealand Wars Memorial/Whakamaharatanga is the third major element in the physical development at the Queen's Redoubt site. Those who gave their lives in the wars deserve respect and deserve to be remembered. New Zealanders who lost their livesin overseas wars are rightly known and honoured. Their names are recorded on memorials and in published works. Maori and Pakeha who lost their lives in the New Zealand Wars deserve no less.
There are three parts to the development of the Memorial:
Background research into those who lost their lives in the wars is aimed at developing a resource of information on the individuals involved. This will include their birthplace, circumstances and place of death, whakapapa/ genealogy, whanau, hapu andiwi links, regiment or other military unit, rank, etc. It is also intended to include later whakapapa and genealogical information so that whanau/ families can relate to those who died.
The research will depend largely on official (government) and unofficial (newspapers, etc.) published resources. Where there are gaps in the record, particularly for Maori who are not as well recorded as Pakeha, oral history may be used.
The development of a user-friendly digital data-base is seen as essential for public use of the information resource, especially whanau/ family. A paper and image file will provide further information and historical context of home background, war history,major battles and other circumstances of the service and death of individuals as can be established.
The focus of the New Zealand Wars Memorial/ Whakamaharatanga will be the physical monument itself. The actual form of this will depend on tangata whenua, the Queen's Redoubt Trust, and the designer expression of ideas and concepts that develop from thewider discussion. The actual design will be subject to open competition. The aim is to create a monument which will be a powerful and inclusive statement of commitment and sacrifice, which will serve to remind us of the war that took place in this countryand also of significant on-going matters of fairness and mutual respect. Like all memorials it will be a statement not just about the past but also about the present and the future.
The Queen's Redoubt Trust currently has a small income from rent of the house on the property and from a grazing lease. This covers ongoing property maintenance, rates, and some development costs.
Development of the 'New Zealand Wars Interpretation Centre at Queen's Redoubt' will require considerable on-going grant funding until the centre is established and providing sufficient revenue for its own operation and continued development. Fundingwill be required for major items (visitor centre, New Zealand Wars Memorial and other on-site facilities, car park, etc,), and a huge range of minor funding proposals.
There are two major phases to funding of the project:
The development and targeting of proposals will be carried out by a funding sub-committee at the direction of the Trustees.
Considerable planning is required to manage the assets and business opportunities that will arise as a result of the redevelopment of the Queen's Redoubt into an economic and focal point for cultural, social, business and daily life. This will include corporate governance and the policies, practices and procedures required to manage the Queen's Redoubt as a sustainable business venture.
The most significant single contribution to the commercial potential of the 'The New Zealand Wars Interpretation Centre at Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno' is its location next to State Highway 1 between Hamilton and Auckland, and less than 2 km from the junction with State Highway 2 which is the main route east to Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty. The considerable traffic flows of both roads depend on approximately 1.5 million people, including the greater Auckland region and Hamilton, living within an hour's drive. At 50 km south of New Zealand's major international airport, the location is also within easy reach of international visitors on their route south from Auckland or in day visits from Auckland.
Transit New Zealand 'State Highway Traffic Volumes 2000-2004' on-line data gives traffic flows relevant to the Queen's Redoubt development. Annual average daily traffic figures are averaged over the calendar year. The 2004 figures are as follows.
The figures show a daily average of 32,500 vehicles using the State Highway 1 and 2 junction 2 km from the Queen's Redoubt site; 19590 vehicles travel north and south on State Highway 1 adjacent to the site.
The most recent traffic figures on Great South Road through Pokeno on the west side of the site are dated June 2004, when north and south vehicle movements totalled 2292 daily. This information is provided by Opus International Consultants Ltd.
Section still to be written
Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno, is an historic place of great importance. The New Zealand Wars mark a huge change in the history of this country. The key campaign was the struggle for the Waikato. Queen's Redoubt was the launching pad for the July 1863 British invasion, which began the Waikato War.
Queen's Redoubt is one of the two largest European campaign forts in New Zealand. From July 1863 to the Battle of Rangiriri, 20-21 November the same year, it was General Cameron's headquarters. Because of its role in the Waikato War, and the scale of the old earthworks and fort, and its ideal location today south of Auckland at the junction of State Highways 1 and 2, it is the best possible place to tell New Zealanders and visitors to the country the story of the Waikato campaign and the New Zealand Wars as a whole.
Knowledge of this very important part of our history, of the courage and sacrifice, and hopes and dreams, of Maori and Pakeha alike, should not just enrich our lives, but also encourage understanding of New Zealand in the 21st century. This is not unrelated to the events which took place at Queen's Redoubt 150 years ago.
New Zealand's first settlers arrived about 800 years ago; bringing with them the same East Polynesian arts and way of life as the people they left behind. Over many centuries they learned the ways of a unique southern land - to become distinctively Maori.
At the end of the 18th century Europeans began to arrive: British and French explorers, followed by sealers and whalers, traders for flax and provisions, timber cutters for spars from the great northern forests, and missionaries preaching Christianity. In 1840 the newcomers' presence was formalised by the Treaty of Waitangi, signed by the British Crown and Maori tribes.
At first a conflict of interests was not always evident. But many Maori soon saw that the newcomers who came in such numbers would not be content for long with living on the fringes of a Maori land. For their part the new arrivals saw large areas, which appeared to them under-used - or unused, and which might be developed for the prosperity of all. Formerly independent tribes resented the fact that decisions affecting them were made after 1840 by the colonial government in Auckland.
In an attempt to prevent the imposition of British government and law throughout New Zealand, the Waikato chief Potatau Te Wherowhero was proclaimed King in 1858, to head a separate Maori state. So the Waikato tribes took on a big responsibility for continued Maori independence - which resulted a few years later in the invasion of their lands by a large British army.
Mid-19th century warfare between Maori and Pakeha for many years has defined the relationship between the races. Fighting began in the 1840s and did not finish until the early 1870s. The most important of many campaigns was the Waikato War of 1863-64, by which the colonial government aimed to destroy the power of the Maori King. War shifted the balance of power from Maori to Pakeha, putting land and government alike in European hands. Only now is the relationship being renegotiated through the hearings and recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal and by growing Maori political strength.
The Waikato War took place over nine months, beginning when British troops crossed the Mangatawhiri River to Maori land in July 1863. The critical battles were at Rangiriri in November and Orakau over three days in March and April 1864. When fighting came to an end European troops held the confiscation ('Aukati') line from Pirongia to Cambridge, behind which the land was taken up European settlers. Supporters of Tawhiao, the second Maori King, withdrew south, into what became known as 'King Country'.
The story of Queen's Redoubt begins in September 1861 when Sir George Grey returned to New Zealand to begin his second term as Governor, replacing Gore Browne who had got himself into a war over land in Taranaki. The Colonial Office in London hoped that Grey might mediate between the New Zealand Government and Maori. The reverse, however, was soon the case. Grey saw that the Waikato tribes and King Movement lay at the heart of resistance to British law and government, and blocked the expansion of Pakeha Auckland into the rich lands to the south. Grey resolved to overcome the challenge of the King Movement, even if it meant war.
After a December 1861 visit to the Waikato, Grey asked General Cameron, in command of British troops in New Zealand, to put his men to work on constructing a road from Drury to the Waikato River, in order to, '…undertake either defensive or aggressive operations against an enemy as circumstances may require' (1). At the time there was a metalled road from Auckland as far as Papakura, and a clay road a further three miles to Drury. In May 1853 a surveyor by the name of Hayr had fixed on a route through the ranges between Ramarama and Pokeno, which was soon after made into a bridle track (2). But this was not an all-weather road for wheeled transport and large bodies of men as was now required.
The troops marched out from quarters at Auckland and Otahuhu on Christmas Eve 1861. Two days later there were 2300 men in four camps between Drury and Pokeno. Work on the road itself began on 1 January 1862. The story of road-work south of Drury in the summer, autumn and early winter of 1862, is given in reports by Colonel Gamble, Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General in New Zealand (3). The task of cutting through thick bush country and over steep hills, and forming and metalling the new road to Pokeno and the Waikato River, was completed at one o'clock on 18 June 1862.
On 20 March 1862 General Cameron reconnoitred a '…proposed line of extension from Great South Road, to the Mangatawhiri River, by which route any military operations in the Waikato country would be undertaken'. Four days later Grey wrote to Cameron asking that a post for 500 men be established near the Mangatawhiri River. Cameron replied, agreeing with Grey, and adding that he wished also to establish a post on the Waikato River near Havelock. This was to be the Bluff Stockade (4).
On April 12 Cameron decided on the location of a military post for 450 men near the Ngati Tamaoho village of Pokino (5). On May 28 Cameron again visited the site, fixing the position of the redoubt and encampment for the men. Cowan (6) gives the name 'Te Kui' at the redoubt site, and Lennard (7) gives 'Te Ruato', but neither gives their source for the names.
Colonel Gamble tells of some considerations regarding the location of the new post:
'…the force at [Queen's Redoubt] would be immediately available fora forward movement, and the position itself become favourable for the formation of a military depôt. The situation is open, clear of the bush, and the nearest commanding height in the neighbourhood is 800 yards distant.'
Work began immediately on supplying necessary timber, but the contractors soon encountered problems. Those who had agreed to deliver 100,000 feet of sawn timber to Pokeno by 1 June gave up their contract after visiting in late April, and discovering unmetalled sections of road that were virtually impassable after two or three days of rain.
On 9 June 1862 the site was occupied by 150 men of the 70th Regiment from the Baird's Farm camp at Ramarama near Drury, and 140 of the 14th from Camp Pokino (8). On 13 June General Cameron inspected work on the new post. Colonel Gamble writes:
'This redoubt will be 100 yards square, with a caponnière at each of two opposite angles for the defence of the ditch. A commissariat store, hospital, and huts, for the accommodation of the troops, will be provided inside.'
On 18 June, 120 men of the 65th Regiment from a camp at Baird's Farm on the north side of Bombay Hill joined the troops at Queen's Redoubt, so that there were more than 400 men working on the fort defences, buildings and other facilities. Rank and file were all housed by 28 September, and officers three weeks later.
Orders were given on 1 November 1862 for a 30 ft (9 m) wide road to the Mangatawhiri River, begun two days later. At the end of November another company of the 40th Regiment arrived at Queen's Redoubt, and by early December there were 370 men working on the road south. This section of road was completed on 31 March 1863.
On 19 February orders were given for putting up an 'electric telegraph' wire between Auckland and Pokeno. Construction began on 17 March, and by early July it had reached Drury, just in time for use in organising troop movements between Auckland, Otahuhu and Drury in the lead-up to the Waikato War. On 15 August the line of telegraph was surveyed from Drury to Pokeno.
On 12 July 1863 the 14th (Buckinghamshire) Regiment crossed the Mangatawhiri River and occupied the spur beyond (overlooking the present railway line and State Highway 1), signaling the start of the Waikato War. Over the following spring, summer and autumn British troops and local forces advanced south to Te Awamutu and beyond, many thousands passing through Pokeno on their way to war.
On 11 July, General Cameron moved to Queen's Redoubt, which was then headquarters of the British Army in New Zealand until the Battle of Rangiriri, 20-21 November, when Cameron shifted up the Waikato River to Rangiriri for the next phase of the war.
For some time Queen's Redoubt was itself in the front line. In July, August and September 1863 there was fighting on or near the Great South Road north of the fort, and Maori attacks on European farmhouses and outposts in South Auckland districts. Bush was felled on both sides of the road to prevent ambushes of military and other parties on the road. On 2 September Ensign Dawson of the 2nd Battalion 18th Royal Irish was in charge of a patrol from Queen's Redoubt that came under attack near the Ngati Tamaoho village of Pokino, from which the inhabitants had been driven when the war began.
On 7 September the supply depot at Camerontown, down the Waikato River from Tuakau, was taken and sacked by Maori. Firing was heard at Alexandra Redoubt (above the river at the present Tuakau bridge) and Captain Swift led a party from that post. In the skirmish that followed Swift was killed and his second-in-command, Lieutenant Butler, wounded. It was left to Colour-Sergeant McKenna to extricate the small force - for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. McKenna's V.C. and New Zealand War Medal are on display in the Auckland Museum.
In November Cameron's army overcame the Maori defensive line at Rangiriri and the way was opened to the Waikato heartland. At the same time troops landed on the western side of the Firth of Thames and three new redoubts - the Miranda, Esk and Surrey - were thrown up between there and Queen's Redoubt. These were to put an end to Maori control of the Hunua Ranges, from which the Great South Road had come under attack earlier in the war.
Thus Queen's Redoubt was at the heart of a network of European military posts - down the Great South Road from Auckland, west to the rich lowlands between Manukau Harbour and the Waikato River, east to the Firth of Thames, and south to the campaigning troops. Nearby Bluff Stockade controlled a Waikato River landing where men and stores were loaded into transport vessels for passage up-river to the war.
As the war moved south, troop numbers at Queen's Redoubt were reduced. In June 1864 it was reported that very few soldiers were at the post, and that there were few convoys from Drury since river transport was now used from the Waikato Heads to supply the occupation army in the Waikato (9).
Nonetheless, in January 1865 the Rev. Vicesimus Lush described Queen's Redoubt as being 'alive with soldiers' (10). On 19 August 1865 he returned to the redoubt and dined in the officers' mess on whitebait soup, eels and roast beef. With the commanding officer, Major Thomas Miller, absent in Auckland, Lush's host was Lieutenant Arthur Brittain. Both officers were of the 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment, which provided the post's garrison at that time.
Major Miller was still at the post in June 1866, when Lush again visited. While there, Lush learned that Governor Grey had issued a proclamation to the effect that the war was at an end. He remarks that, 'The Officers at Mess hoped that now they should escape from what they were pleased to call "this horrid country".' By March 1867 the military had quit Queen's Redoubt and Lush had to find other accommodation.
The end of Queen's Redoubt is signalled by an advertisement in The New Zealand Herald of Wednesday 13 March 1867, for an auction of buildings to take place at the site the following Saturday at 10 a.m. In the same notice imperial authorities advertise the sale of '…all the houses, stores and buildings' at Te Rore, Whatawhata and Ngaruawahia. This marks the departure of imperial (i.e. British) troops from the Waikato.
The advertisement lists 22 buildings to be sold, 'with other lots too numerous to particularise'. The list of buildings is given here exactly as presented in the advertisement, since building sizes are not always clear - to the writer at least. Measurements include feet and inches.
A look at the figures gives the size of all the buildings - assuming a consistent order of dimensions - except for nine buildings in the third and fifth lines. In November 1867, the Rev. Lush found the redoubt 'fast crumbling into ruins'.
In late 1868 a stockade was put up at Pokeno, '…on a hill west of the Queen's Redoubt…' to reassure Europeans in the district at that time (11). Next year, settlers were alarmed at news of Te Kooti being in the Waikato. Pukekohe settler and newspaper correspondent William Morgan wrote in his diary on 24 July 1869: 'Waiuku and Wairoa Volunteers and Militia have…been sent up to Mercer and the Queen's Redoubt' (12). It is unclear if this reference is to a still defensible fortification or just to the general location.
The late Mr M.R. Dean, who was born in 1914 into an old Pokeno family and lived most of his life in the district, remembered the redoubt ditch full of water and that it was filled in by Johnny Cronin in the 1920s by means of a horse and scoop. At that time the land was owned by 'old McDonald', presumably of the family remembered by 'McDonald Road', the name until recently given to the start of Hitchen's Road on the other side of Great South Road from Queen's Redoubt.
Earthwork redoubts have a long history in European warfare, and in colonial wars of the 19th century and earlier. The plan - or 'trace' - was marked out on the ground, usually square or rectangular, but of other shapes as well depending on the lie of the land the engineer's wishes. In the British Army, men of the Royal Engineers would then supervise the troops digging out a defensive ditch, in New Zealand usually 6 ft (1.8 m) deep and about 8 ft (2.4 m) across. The spoil was thrown up on the inner side to a height of 8 ft (2.4 m), to present an attacking force with a 14 ft (4.2 m) obstacle from the bottom of the ditch. Behind the parapet was a raised 'tread' on which defenders stood to fire over the wall if necessary.
Projecting bastions at two or more corners allowed the garrison to fire into the ditch if attackers got in beneath the walls. These were commonly in the form of an earthwork, although in some cases, where a long-term role was planned, loop-holed blockhouses were used, as at Queen's Redoubt (and Manaia Redoubt, south Taranaki, where they can still be seen). There was usually just one entry to redoubts, this being a weak point. Queen's Redoubt was one of only two in New Zealand known to have more than one entry, the other being Camp Waitara in Taranaki, dating from 1860.
Most New Zealand redoubts were small. One and two company earthworks were ca 35 yards (32 m) and 42 yards (38.4 m) square respectively - giving internal areas of about 1024 and 1475 square metres. A company in the British army comprised about 120 officers and men. Redoubts were mostly located in open country, on level or nearly level ground, to give a good field of fire for defenders. Like other Pakeha and Maori New Zealand War fortifications, redoubts could have a variety of roles, tactical - that is, for short-term battlefield advantage, or strategic - designed to hold a frontier, protect communications, or occupy land.
Queen's Redoubt was 100 yards (91.4 m) square within the defences. At 8360 m2 it was one of the largest British Army redoubts of any New Zealand campaign. The only one to match it in size was Camp Waitara, which was of an irregular shape, and built in two stages to total ca 8500 m2 internally. The defences of Queen's Redoubt were also larger than the standard, the ditch being ca 18 ft (5.5 m) across and 8 ft (2.4 m) deep. Inside Queen's Redoubt there was a central parade area, and 27 huts, which served as guardrooms, officers' quarters, stores, hospital, and accommodation for 450 men.
Two photographs of Queen's Redoubt and its associated camp date from winter or spring 1863 when there were large numbers of troops in the district, before the war moved on to Rangiriri, Ngaruawahia and, in early 1864, to the Te Awamutu district.
The photographer D.M. Beere pictures Queen's Redoubt from the south, looking west of north. The Great South Road to the Mangatawhiri River runs across the picture, with a post and rail fence to one side of it in the right foreground. At the far left a farmhouse and shed owned by a settler named Sagg are visible against trees in the distance. A gap in the trees on the skyline (above the right corner of the redoubt) shows where the Great South Road crosses the distant ridge.
The earth wall of the redoubt can be seen from the north-east to the south-west angles of the fort. At the extremities are small buildings, with gable ends facing into the redoubt interior and a hipped style of roof at the other (outer) end. These were the blockhouse bastions, which sat on a platform jutting out from square of the redoubt, with access by way of a gap in the earth wall. The blockhouses would have had loop-holed walls, packed with earth, sand or gravel to stop incoming fire. The redoubt interior is tightly packed with huts, the smaller ones apparently clustered at the Great South Road end, where the main access would have been.
On the other side of Great South Road is a camp of ca 30 round bell-tents and six larger tents, plus large and small wooden sheds. The tents would have accommodated troops who were part of the build-up at the post early in the Waikato War. More sheds can be seen on the redoubt side of the road. The redoubt and camp area is cropped grassland, with the foreground dominated by bracken and tutu.
The second photograph is from the Ruck Album in the Auckland Museum library. The photographer was further from the redoubt than in the Beere picture, and slightly further east - so that the view is more to the north-west. From the greater number of tents, the Ruck picture may be the earlier, and date from the height of the build-up of troops at the redoubt in July. Again the Great South Road and fence can be seen to the right, and Sagg's homestead is at the upper left. As in the Beere picture the bastion blockhouses delineate the redoubt.
A third view of Queen's Redoubt is a copy of an original drawing by Lieutenant Henry Stratton Bates. Bates was commissioned in the 65th Regiment in 1854, took part in the 1860-61 Taranaki War, and was Native Interpreter on Cameron's staff from 1861 to October 1863. There is a camp south of the stream, and tents on the north side at the right, where none are shown in the two photographs. The Beere photograph has additions at both ends of a shed at the right, to show that Bates' sketch is earlier. Bates is known to have been at Queen's Redoubt in July and August 1863.
One more picture is from a broadsheet advertisement: 'Queen's Redoubt. Pokeno. Plan of Allotments for sale. Saturday 9th July 1864 at 12 o'clock.' The perspective drawing shows the redoubt from the north, a year after the other pictures. Across Great South Road is Queen's Hotel. A church is shown on the east side of today's Selby Street. The 'Presbyterian Church Site' is marked on a May 1879 plan (SO 2024, Land Information New Zealand). Although we cannot be certain of the drawing's accuracy, it is possible the earthwork bastions shown may by then have replaced the blockhouses pictured in 1863. The arrangement of 27 huts inside the redoubt conforms to the Beere picture. Two huts between the fort and the stream may represent buildings visible in the photographs.
QUEEN'S REDOUBT 1863 Looking north
Sketch of Queen's Redoubt looking north By Lt Bates
Sketch plan (probably inaccurate) which accompanied notice of sale of redoubt buildings in March 1867
Queen's Redoubt, Pokeno, was the British Army headquarters for the July 1863 invasion of the Waikato. It is one of New Zealand's important historic places.
The 1863-64 WaikatoWar was the critical campaign of the New Zealand Wars, which were fought intermittently in various parts of the North Island from the mid-1840s to the early seventies. It was the Waikato campaign that decided the outstanding issues of governance, law and land in favour of European settlers.
Queen's Redoubt is a key site for both European and Maori in New Zealand. It reflects the clash of two cultures as growing numbers of European sought land for settlement, and the Waikato Maori resisted this process.
The Queen's Redoubt was the launching point for the European invasion of the Waikato in 1863. After the 10 month conflict a large part of the best Waikato land was confiscated and given to European settlers. This created today's Waikato landscape of towns and farms. While many of the injustices were settled by the Raupatu Settlement Act of 1996, the consequences of the confiscations are with us still.
Today almost none of the thousands of motorists who pass the site every day know that it is there. Such important places of the 19th century armed struggle between Pakeha and Maori offer New Zealanders an opportunity to think again about what was taking place, and draw their own conclusions. This is not irrelevant in the 21st century.
Redoubts had a variety of roles: tactical (for short-term battlefield advantage), or strategic (to protect communications, hold a frontier, or occupy land), or a mixture of both.
Queen's Redoubt was the largest redoubt built by British forces in New Zealand. It was strategically placed as a springboard for the invasion of the Waikato. Its defences were the most substantial of any redoubt in New Zealand.
Queen's Redoubt is ideally situated for public access, being adjacent to State Highway 1 and only half an hour's drive south of Auckland. Auckland is the main population centre and tourist arrival point in New Zealand.
Its pivotal location is ideally suited to interpret the events and introduce the other key sites associated with the Waikato War. These include garrison sites extending from Auckland to Pokeno along the Great South Road, and the key sites further south in the Waikato. The publicly accessible sites (owned by the Department of Conservation and New Zealand Historic Places Trust) include Alexandra Redoubt at Tuakau, Whangamarino Redoubt, Meremere, Rangiriri, and Pirongia Redoubt.
Management will be consistent with the requirements of applicable legislation. Queen's Redoubt is an archaeological site as defined by the Historic Places Act 1993, where an "archaeological site" means any place in New Zealand that:
"Either- Was associated with human activity that occurred before 1900; or- Is the site of the wreck of any vessel where that wreck occurred before 1900; and is or may be able through investigation by archaeological methods to provide evidence relating to the history of New Zealand."
All archaeological sites are protected under the provisions of the Act. It is an offence to modify, damage or destroy any archaeological site, whether the site is recorded or not. Application must be made to the New Zealand Historic Places Trust for an authority to modify, damage or destroy an archaeological site or sites where avoidance of effect cannot be achieved. In practical terms this means that before any physical modification can be made to the redoubt or associated evidence permission needs to be acquired from the Historic Places Trust.
The only way to ensure the long-term protection of the site of Queen's Redoubt was to secure it in public ownership. While it remained in private hands there was an on-going threat from subdivision, intensive horticulture or other incompatible uses. Any of these developments could destroy large amounts of original historic fabric and the sites integrity.
The redoubt and associated remains have already been damaged by the siting of a residential dwelling, sub-division and the motorway development.
Ay the time of acquisition the redoubt site is in a near level paddock. Natural erosion will only occur when earthworks are restored to their original steep profile.
Erosion will be minimised by appropriate site drainage, bank stabilisation and vegetation management through regular maintenance. This work may need to include design modifications and the introduction of modern material conservation technologies. Requirements will be specifically addressed on an issue by issue basis.
It is impossible to have visitation to an historic earthworks site without some visitor impact. These will be managed by directing and controlling access on the site, by provision of footpaths and appropriate barriers.
The long term public preservation of a historic place requires public understanding, support, and involvement. If this is absent it may be difficult to sustain the required level of core funding. Publicise the Trust's work conserving this historic heritage and encourage public visitation. Ensure that the heritage of Queen's Redoubt is interpreted to visitors in an effective way. Involve volunteers in repair and maintenance projects wherever possible.
The objectives of the Queen's Redoubt Trust are set out in the Trust deed, dated 10 February 1999:
The foremost objective which was achieved in 2002 was to acquire the property, without which nothing else could be achieved.
The international organisation which develops conservation policies is ICOMOS, the International Committee on Monuments and Sites. It has established an International Charter of guiding principles, the New Zealand derivation of which is the ICOMOS New Zealand Charter 1993. The standards of this charter will guide the management of Queen's Redoubt.
Archaeological work on the site will undertaken to professional standards as endorsed by the New Zealand Archaeological Association. and as required by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust under the Historic Places Act 1993.
Conservation work will be based on adequate and reliable information being first obtained and critically analysed. The main sources of information are archival, oral, and information derived from archaeological survey and excavations. There is also a large body of information available on the restoration, management and presentation of earthwork sites in New Zealand and overseas.
To date three excavations have been undertaken on Queen's Redoubt to provide information about the historic activities there (se Prickett 19 , Gumbley 2003, Ritchie 2011) This research has provided much of the information necessary for conservation work.
Conservation planning and work can require special skills. Where those skills are available within the Trust they may be utilised. Otherwise suitable outside specialists will be engaged. The skills of special relevance to this project are archaeological, historical, land management, promotion and interpretation.
This historic place will be conserved to appear as close as possible to its original form. The original form will be determined by archaeological investigations and historic research.
Increasing levels of intervention are defined by ICOMOS as maintenance, stabilisation, repair, restoration, reconstruction and adaptation. The Queen's Redoubt Trust believes that some restoration is essential for successful public interpretation. Archaeological investigations will precede any restoration and reconstruction on the site.
Restoration involves the reintroduction of genuine material elements, which were once part of the place but were later removed. In the case of Queen's Redoubt, restoration will involve the partial reformation of the earthworks (ditches, banks and corner bastions).
During the restoration of the earthworks some modern materials, such as geotextiles and novoflow drain pipes, will be used to ensure adequate ground drainage and long term slope stability.
This involves the introduction of elements of new material where loss has occurred. It will only be used where repair and restoration are not possible. Reconstruction will be with original or similar materials and to the same standards as the original. Reconstructed elements will be easily identifiable. Reconstruction on Queen's Redoubt will be limited to buildings (none of the original buildings remain).
A maintenance plan will guide the long-term maintenance of Queen's Redoubt, including vegetation management, grazing, site security and safe visitor access. The goal of maintenance is to preserve the significant fabric of this historic place.
In the short term the site will be maintained by light stock or horses, and the house on the property will be rented to provide an income stream. This will also provide some security for the site.
Adaptation refers to changes required solely to meet continued use requirements. The conservation of a place of heritage value is usually facilitated by it serving a useful purpose and possibly generating some income, and this may require some change. In this case alterations and additions are only acceptable where they are essential to continued use. In particular adaptation will not detract from the significant qualities of the place, it should be reversible, and the disturbance of significant material should be kept to a minimum.
Visitor facilities will be designed to maximise the quality of the visitor experience, while avoiding any adverse impacts on the place. Visitor facilities may include carparks, public toilets, pathways and safety barriers, an information centre, and possibly retail outlet or outlets.
Material remains that contribute to the heritage value of this place are regarded as an integral part of it and will be conserved with it.
The qualities of the setting of this historic place are integral to the authenticity of the place, and will be identified and maintained where practicable, along with the place itself.
Interpretation of Queen's Redoubt will be designed to maximise the quality of the visitor experience. The site will be interpreted by means of the restored features, signage, and eventually an interpretation centre (which may use the existing house on the property.
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