Encircled Lands

Te Urewera, 1820–1921

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Print publication:

eBook publication:

Pages: 670

RRP: $89.99

ISBN: 9781877242441

ISTC: A022012000021121

DOI: 10.7810/9781877242441

Out of print – digital edition available through ebook retailers and our BWB Collections platform.


For Europeans during the nineteenth century, the Urewera was a remote wilderness; for those who lived there, it was a sheltering heartland. This history documents the first hundred years of the ‘Rohe Pōtae’ (the ‘encircled lands’ of the Urewera) following European contact.

After large areas of land were lost, the Urewera became for a brief period an autonomous district, governed by its own leaders. But in 1921–22, the Urewera District Native Reserve was abolished in law. Its very existence became largely forgotten – except in local memory.

Recovering this history from a wealth of contemporary documents, many written by Urewera leaders, Encircled Lands contextualises Tūhoe’s quest for a constitutional agreement that restores their authority in their lands.

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1. He Mana Tawhito – An Ancient Authority
2. The Land and its Leaders
3. Strange Men and Gods
4. The Coming of War, 1864–1866
5. Confiscation and Defence, 1866–1868
6. The Conflict Expands, 1867–1870
7. Peace Born of War, 1871–1872
8. Te Whitu Tekau (The Seventy), 1872–1878
9. The Ring of Fire, 1878–1891
10. The Rohe Potae and ‘The Small War’, 1891–1896
11. The Urewera District Native Reserve, 1896–1907 398
12. The Urewera Native Schools and the Famine, 1896–1909
13. The Governor and ‘Nga Rawa Kore’ – Two Narratives
14. The Struggle for Authority, 1906–1909
15. The First Land Sales, 1909–1912
16. The Law against the Prophet, 1911–1916
17. Legacies of the Past

Appendix 1 William Colenso’s Survey of the Urewera, 1843–1844
Appendix 2 C. Hunter Brown’s Urewera Survey, 1862
Appendix 3 Population of the Urewera, 1870–1907
Appendix 4 Elsdon Best’s List of the Urewera Hapu, Chiefs and Kainga, March 1896
Appendix 5 The Urewera District Native Reserve Act, 1896 632