Richard Lewer


Rewi’s last stand. Battle of Orakau

  • Year.

  • Medium.

    Acrylic on canvas
  • Series.

    The Waikato Wars
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  • Category.


Rewi never wanted to take a stand at Orakau. This was his land, he knew the land and good places, and he already had the plan to meet Tamihana and not be so opportunistic. General Cameron was quick to seize on the strategic mistake. Imperial troops arrived on the scene before the Pa was finished. Rewi and his people ran out of ammunition, food and water and the way the land was shaped around Orakau made it easy for the British to surround the Pa.
The siege lasted three days.
Eventually General Cameron called for a cease fire, demanding that Rewi surrender. They replied 'Ka whawhai tonumātou, Ake! Ake! Ake! - We will fight on for ever and ever!' Struggle for your rights, for the treaty, for your humanity.