Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mission Cemetery, Tauranga (Part 2)

Further to Part 1.

On 21 June 1914, Colonel Logan, ADC, Officer commanding the Auckland Military District, unveiling this monument to Rawiri Puhiraki.

The monument is the work of Messrs Parkinson and Co., monumental sculptors of Auckland, and is of striking appearance. It is of red granite, and the total height of the column is 20 feet 4 inches resting on a concrete base 10 feet square, rising in two steps, the base being surrounded by black and white marble tiles. The plinth rises from three diminishing square bases, and on the front face of tho lowest one is engraved a portrayal of the battlefield. A British officer, presumably Colonel Booth, is lying on the ground close to the stockade. Rawiri is standing over him, ordering his followers to bring the General water, which is being conveyed by the natives in a gourd, thus signifying the kind treatment that was meted out to the prisoners. The British camp is seen in the distance, with the hills as a background.
Bay of Plenty Times, 22 June 1914

Advertisement, The Tablet, 31 December 1903

On the front of the plinth is engraved a taiaha, or Maori spear, round the shaft of which is entwined a spray of oak as a symbol of strength.
BOP Times 1914

On three panels on the western side of the column is the following inscription: — 'Sacred to the memory of Rawiri Puhiraki, a chief of the Ngaiterangi tribe, who led the Maoris into battle at Gate Pa on April 20th, and at Te Ranga on June 21st, 1864 being killed in the latter engagement. This monument was erected on the fiftieth anniversary of his death by people of the British and Maori races to commemorate his chivalrous and humane orders for the protection of unarmed or wounded men who fell into the hands of the Maoris, and for the respectful treatment of the bodies of any of their enemies slain in battle. This order, framed by Rawiri with the assistance and approval of Henare Taratoa and other Chiefs, was loyally observed by his followers, and after the repulse of the assault on Gate Pa, the British wounded, who lay all night in and around the Pa, were given water and treated with kindness. This chivalrous conduct of the Maori leader and his people so impressed their contemporaries that Rawiri's body was exhumed in 1870 from the trenches of Te Ranga; and re-interred at this spot with befitting ceremonies. The seeds of better  feelings between the two races thus sown on the battlefield have since borne ample fruit; disaffection has given place to loyalty, and hostility to friendship, British and Maori now living together as one united people. June 21st, 1914."
BOP Times 1914

Another monument by Parkinson, this one to the Imperial forces who fell at Gate Pa.

43rd Light Infantry monument, Battle of Gate Pa.

Monument to Hori Ngatai.


The death occurred at Whareroa on Saturday morning of Hori Ngatai, the well-known chief of the Ngaiterangi tribe, at the age of 88 years. About two years ago deceased met with a severe accident through being dragged for some distance by a horse which he was engaged harnessing to a vehicle. The shock proved too much for the aged chief, and he never recovered from the effects of the accident, and his health gradually failed. Everything possible was done for his comfort by the numerous members of his family but the end, which was not unexpected, took place as above stated. Prior to his death Hori Ngatai completed all arrangements in regard to property matters with any family, Rewiti Ngatai becoming director of the hapu's affairs. Deceased fought against the Europeans at Gate Pa and Te Ranga, but a few months afterwards took a prominent part in the peace negotiations, the influence exerted by him being no small factor in bringing about friendly relations between the European and Maori races. Thereafter, he took a great interest in Native affairs, and was appointed by the Government as an Assessor of the Native Land Court, Magisterial Assessor, and Licensing Assessor. The Ngaiterangis showed great faith in the deceased chief, and on numerous occasions sent him to Wellington to represent many matters to the Government. The late Hori Ngatai was born in the Tauranga district, and always took considerable interest in the affairs of the Church of England. He was always noted for his generous hospitality. At the time of the visit of the Duke and Duchess of York to Rotorua he proceeded thither with a number of his people and presented the Duke with valuable presents, receiving in return a medal. Deceased's wife, a woman of high rank, predeceased him five years ago. He is survived by four sons, three daughters, arid numerous and great grandchildren. The tangi will be on a most extensive scale, and hundreds of mourners are expected to attend from all parts of New Zealand.
Bay of Plenty Times, 26 August 1912

Above, graves of the family of John Alexander Wilson.

After the wars of the 1860s Wilson was employed in government positions over a period of 35 years. Much of his service was in the Bay of Plenty, East Coast and Poverty Bay areas, where he was special commissioner for settlement of Bay of Plenty confiscated land from 1866 to 1868, and land purchase officer for the East Coast and Bay of Plenty district from 1873 to 1876. His criticism of Judge John Rogan and the workings of the Native Land Court on the East Coast, first published as a series of letters to the Otago Daily Times

Despite this he was appointed a judge of the Native Land Court in 1878, a position that was terminated in 1880. Wilson claimed in a pamphlet published in 1884 that his dismissal was due to false representations and the animosity of the chief judge. The judge in question was F. D. Fenton, who dismissed Wilson on the grounds that he had no legal training ...

In 1874 Wilson, in partnership with William Kelly, had purchased the volcanic White Island from George Simpkins. In 1878 he bought land in Tauranga on which to build a sulphur works and acquired a 43-foot cutter, the Tamaki Packet. He began to export White Island sulphur to Australia ...
... handicapped by the depression and an unrealistic contract with Wilson the company failed to prosper. Wilson's directors complained that they found great difficulty in acting cordially with him, and he showed he did not trust them. Refusing to compromise, Wilson resigned, and the company went into liquidation in 1886. The shareholders, mostly leading citizens of the Tauranga district, suffered great losses.

Wilson continued to work the White Island sulphur deposits, but refused to let Tauranga people land on the island. A town meeting was held at which it was resolved to send a letter to the minister of justice censuring Wilson's behaviour. A bonfire was built on the beach, on which his effigy was burned, and sulphur stored in a shed on the mainland was set alight on several occasions. Wilson retained his share of White Island until about 1901, when he sold it to the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company.

Wilson was fortunate perhaps to have missed the disastrous eruption of White Island, September 1914, dying five years before it happened.

Above, the grave of Rev Alfred Nesbit Brown, noted CMS missionary and best known for The Elms today.

John Lees Faulkner. His homestead is now at the Historic Village in Tauranga.

Above: The grave of Selina Hannah Gellibrand.

The inquest on the body of Selina Hannah Gellibrand was held at the Tauranga Hotel on Saturday afternoon, at four o'clock, before Captain Tovey, JP, Coroner, and an intelligent jury, of whom Mr Norris was elected Foreman.

The jury having viewed the body the following evidence was taken. Edward Castaing deposed: On Friday morning 1 , about half-past eleven, I started from the wharf in my boat, with Mrs Gellibrand. I was engaged to go to Omokoroa, to bring her there. At the time I started there was a very moderate breeze. I reefed the sail before starting to give all the comfort I could to the lady as it was a head wind. The wind was the same till we got to Otumoetai, then the wind fell light, and I let go the reef. As soon as I got a little past the Wairoa the wind came strong. I took down the sprit, and went on in that way till a little past Oponui, and as I thought it was blowing a little strong I took a reef in the sail. After this we went along about a quarter of a milo from Oponui on the same tack, then we tacked and were quite in shallow water. On that tack we went about half a mile, and then suddenly a strong puff of wind — a sort of whirlwind — caught the sail. I had the sheet in my hand and let it go at once, but the boat had gone over too far, and would not rise again, and she capsized, after filling with water. As soon as the boat capsized, I and Mrs Gellibrand got hold of her, and then the boat turned over again, and we got on the top of her. All at once the mast caught the ground and the boat was thrown, sideways. Mrs Gellibrand told me she was on the mast, and I told her not to be frightened, that I would do all I could to save her. I was hanging on to the boat. We kept in that position for about an hour, and then the boat commenced to turn round owing to the tide rising, and we were thrown into the water. Every time the boat turned round we were washed away from her, and were struggling in the water. I could not swim, nor could Mrs Gellibrand. In the space of half an hour the boat may have turned perhaps twenty times, and every time she turned we were both of us, more or less, under the water. I mostly got on the boat first and helped Mrs Gellibrand on. The last time Mrs Gellibrand was lying with her face on the water, I tried to take her by the foot, but I saw she was gone, and the boat then turned again and I had to do the best I could for myself. Mrs Gellibrand was on the mast for about an hour, and we were struggling together for another half hour. Then I struggled for another half -hour by myself, the boat still turning round, until the mast took the ground again, and the boat remained in that position till I got picked up. It was then about half-past three in the afternoon, I should suppose from the tide. I was picked up by natives in a canoe, and was brought ashore at Opureore, about half way between Motuhoa and Oponui. On landing I tried to walk but could not.

By the Foreman : I saw the body of Mrs Gellibrand afterwards floating in the water about 200 yards from the boat. We were in the channel. If either of us could have swam we could have got ashore.

Mr J. C. Young interpreted the next witnesses' evidence.

Rameka deposed : On Friday afternoon a woman came and informed us that a boat had upset. I went to the settlement at Opureore and found that a canoe had started. They brought Castaing in their canoe, and towed the boat ashore. I went out early this morning in company with two others to search for the body of Mrs Gellibrand. I was ahead of my companions, and after I going a certain distance, I saw the body, but did not go near it. I returned to my companions, and the three of us went back to where the body was in the water. We sent for an older native named Kareti, who told us to bring the body on shore and wrap a shawl round it. Five of us carried the body to Oturu. It was found by us about half a mile from Rangiwae. Some of our party then went over to tell Mr Gellibrand; and when he arrived, the body was placed in his boat, and conveyed to Opureora.

Dr Armitage, M.R.C.S., deposed that he had examined the body of the deceased, and from the appearance presented, death had evidently been caused by drowning. The body must have been submerged for some hours. There were no marks of violence, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, on the body.

After a short deliberation, the jury gave their verdict "That Mrs Gellibrand met with her death by drowning on March the 1st by the accidental capsizing of a waterman's boat at or near Oponui, and that no apparent blame is attributable to the boatman." A rider was added, "That the jury desired to express their appreciation of the humanity shewn by the natives of Tauranga harbour, in putting off to save the occupants of the boat."

At the request of the jury, the following Maori translation, of the rider is published : — "I whakaaturia hoki te hiahia o to Runanga, i ta ratou tino whakapai ki te mahi a nga Maori o Tauranga moana, i runga i ta ratou hoenga atu lei te whakaora i nga tangata o te poti tahuri."

Bay of Plenty Times 6 March 1878

Her husband was Joseph Tice Gellibrand. 


The gentleman who has so lately passed away from our midst after a painful illness of some weeks duration, was the third son of Joseph Tice Gellibrand, of Derwent Park, Newtown, Tasmania, who was appointed Attorney General of that Colony by Lord Liverpool in 1823, and who subsequently lost his life in so melancholy a manner in exploring Port Phillip in 1837.

His son, named after him who died on Monday last, was born at Hobart in 1826, and spent his early years in that town where he received his early education, obtaining a scholarship at Queen's school in 1842. Two years later he started for England in the ship Duke of Roxburgh and landing at Penzance after a voyage of nearly five months duration, he immediately matriculated at St. Johns College, Oxford. In 1845 he paid a somewhat lengthy visit to Russia, staying with his uncle William Gellibrand, who was living at St.Petersburgh. During 1847-48 he made a voyage out to Tasmania and back to England taking his B.A. degree at Oxford in October; the following year he was ordained deacon |by the Bishop of Bath and Wells, and in December of that year married Selina Hannah Evans, second daughter of Samuel Evans, Esq., of Cambridge.

In 1850 he was ordained Priest, and two years later took his MA degree at Oxford, and then returned to Tasmania where he held various appointments in the church until 1871 when he finally retired from the ministry, having declined the Canonry offered to him by Bishop Bromley. In 1875 he left Tasmania for a tour round New Zealand, finally settling at Omokoroa, Tauranga in the following year. In 1878 he lost his wife by the capsizing of a boat off Oponui point, and this melancholy loss of the companion of thirty years of active life cast a shadow over his remaining years.

In the same year he occupied a seat in the Tauranga County Council. In 1881 he paid a visit to Tasmania and stood to represent North Hobart in the Assembly, but without success; since then he made several voyages backwards and forwards between Tasmania and New Zealand, and in 1886 acted for some months as editor of the "Tasmanian News" and on resigning that post towards the close of the year he returned to Omokoroa. There he resided until his death on the 10th inst.

Apparently with a strange prevision of his approaching end he had made memoranda of all particulars likely to be useful to his successors and jotted down in a note book all the principal events of his life concluding with the following epitaph, "In memory of Joseph Tice Gellibrand, born May 1st 1826.  'To live in hearts we leave behind is not to doe." 
 Bay of Plenty Times, 14 October 1887

He was also buried at the Mission Cemetery.

Grave of Thomas Dale Wrigley. He met with an accident one day in August 1878, involving ducks and a piece of timber.
A serious accident happened on Monday evening to Mr T D Wrigley, of this town. While driving some ducks into his yard he trod upon a piece of timber which turned with him and he fell to the ground, breaking his right leg just above the ankle. One can hardly fancy how so slight an accident could terminate so seriously. We fear it will be some time before Mr Wrigley will be able to resume his business, though we heartily wish him a speedy recovery.
Bay of Plenty Times 21 August 1878

Our readers will, we are sure, be sorry to learn that Mr T D Wrigley has not been progressing very favorably of late. Throughout last week he suffered great pain, and the fracture showed no signs of improving in any way. This being so his relatives and friends thought it desirable to send him to Auckland, where he will be within the reach of the best surgical aid. He was therefore very carefully moved on board the Wanaka on Sunday afternoon, and accompanied to Auckland by Dr. Armitage and Mr Ellis. We hope to hear before long that a decided improvement has taken place. 
 Bay of Plenty Times 10 September1878

The friends of Mr T D Wrigley (and their name is legion) will be glad to hear that an operation has been successfully performed, and that he is out of danger, and progressing very favourably. Mr Wrigley desires to return thanks to Captain McGillivray and tho officers of the Wanaka for the extreme kindness and consideration shewn him on the trip to Auckland. 
 Bay of Plenty Times 14 September 1878

All, therefore, must have seemed well. But such was not to be.

Although still dangerously ill, Mr T D Wrigley was, according to latest advices, a little easier.
Bay of Plenty Times 29 October 1878

Mr T D Wrigley was brought down in the Taupo, and arrived yesterday morning. He was made as comfortable as circumstances would permit, and if no better is at any rate no worse.

Bay of Plenty Times 2 November 1878

After a long and painful illness Mr Thomas Dale Wrigley, than whom no man was better beloved in Tauranga, passed yesterday morning to "where beyond these voices there is peace." His sufferings, more especially towards the last, were agonising, so that when the end came, it was a blessed release not only for himself, but also for those around him.

Mr Wrigley was born in Manchester about 1828. He sailed for Melbourne in 1853, and, with the exception of a visit home in 1857, remained there till 1871, when he came over to Auckland. For some time after he was in business at Waiwera, and did well there, but getting tired of the place, visited and finally settled at Tauranga in 1874. From that time till the day of the accident Mr Wrigley's first thought seemed to be for the prosperity of the district in which he resided. As a member of the Town Board he was indefatigable, and together with the present Chairman, may be said to have made Tauranga what it is to-day.

In private life Mr Wrigley was greatly esteemed. The best of husbands and the kindest of fathers, a sterling friend, and a jovial boon companion, he will be constantly missed for a long time to come both at home and abroad. In the hour of trouble one could always turn with safety to T D Wrigley... Many a time and oft has he lent a helping hand to men in difficulties, indeed there are some in Tauranga to-day who owe their present position to his kindly aid. Liberal to a degree himself Mr Wrigley had also the faculty of conjuring money out of other's pockets; in fact no one could equal him with a subscription list. At regattas, balls, races, and picnics he seemed a host of himself, and his presence was always eagerly sought.

As a business man, too, his tact and judgement were remarkable, and the mede of success which the Brewery achieved he richly earned. His loss is deeply felt by the whole community. In fact we might almost say "take him for all in all, we ne'er shall look upon his like again."

Bay of Plenty Times 9 November 1878

Finally, a mass grave memorial. According to the war memorials site, this was simple a circle of agapanthus with a concrete marker before 1997.



"The Ultimate Sacrifice
So Noble A Cause
Proud And Defiant
You Have Inspired
We Shall Always Remember."



  1. Fabulous commentary and monuments as always! Very impressive cemetery!

    Thanks for going to the effort.


  2. He Rawe, great work.
    Nga mihi nui.

  3. well done Lisa, awesome post, very well researched as usual :-)