Australasia 1868: ‘Hauhau’ Wars
After the British victory in the Waikato in 1864, King Tāwhiao withdrew south—where he would hold out in the ‘King Country’ until the 1880s—and British troops departed New Zealand, leaving remaining operations to the NZ colonial government. When the government attempted to confiscate lands from tribes it accused of supporting the King, Māori resistance revived under prophet-leaders like Tītokowaru and Te Kooti. The government called these resisters ‘Hauhau’ after a syncretic religion many of them adopted, defeating them with the aid of Māori allies by 1872.
26 Jul 1865 Wellington parliament▲
Arguments over the location of New Zealand’s seat of government first began in 1854, with many politicians complaining that the current site of Auckland was too far from the southern half of the country—where the bulk of the European population was located at the time. Following a number of rejected proposals, Premier Alfred Domett asked the colonial governors of New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania to send three commissioners to resolve the matter. After examining sites, the Australian commissioners unanimously chose Wellington as the best location. In July 1865 the NZ Parliament opened in Wellington, marking the transfer of the colony’s capital from Auckland.
13 Feb 1867 Lau Confederation▲
Resentful of Bau dominance in the Fijian Confederacy, the chiefs of Lau, Cakaudrove, Macuata, and Bua established the separate Tovata Ko Natokalau Kei Viti (Confederation of North and East Fiji)—commonly referred to as the Tovata or Lau Confederation. The new confederation effectively fell under the leadership of Ma‘afu, Tongan prince and Lau chief, and would last four years before agreeing to become part of the new Kingdom of Fiji. In February 1869 King George Tupou of Tonga ceded all Tongan claims in Fiji to Ma‘afu, ending any direct involvement of the Tongan government in Fiji.
2 May 1867 Kingdom of Bau▲
Following the secession of the Lau Confederation, President Cakobau of the Fijian Confederacy was instead crowned King of Bau and its Dependencies in the church in Levuka. The coronation was supported by the US Consul and local settlers, whereas the Lau Confederation had been quickly recognized by the British Consul. The kingdom lasted for four years until an agreement between the chiefs allowed for it to be succeeded by the Kingdom of Fiji.
30 Jul 1867–1882 Coromandel Gold Rush▲
Although there was a month-long gold rush near Coromandel town in 1852, the real Coromandel Gold Rush in New Zealand began in July 1867 with the discovery of gold in Grahamstown and Shortland, both on the outskirts of Thames. By 1868 the population of Thames and its vicinity had risen to 18,000, rivalling Auckland across the Hauraki Gulf. The boom subsided in the 1880s as companies and machinery took over the more difficult excavations; nonetheless, Coromandel would become New Zealand’s dominant gold producer from the late 1890s into the 20th century.
10 Jan 1868 End of convict era in Western Australia▲
In 1865 Britain advised Western Australia that due to British policy changes penal transportations to the colony would end in 1867. The last convict ship, the Hogoumont, left Britain in October 1867 and arrived in Western Australia on 10 January 1868. This was the last shipment of convicts to any of the Australian colonies, although 3,168 previously shipped convicts would continue to live in Western Australian prisons until their eventual death or release.
9 Jun 1868–Mar 1869 Tītokowaru’s War▲
The Ngāti Ruanui chief Tītokowaru led a revival of Māori resistance in South Taranaki, twice defeating New Zealand colonial government forces at Ngutu-o-te-Manu and then again at Moturoa. By December 1868 Tītokowaru had advanced to threaten the town of Wanganui only to have his internal support suddenly collapse in February. With most of his followers abandoning him, Tītokowaru fled to refuge among the Ngāti Maru of the upper Waitara Valley, bringing the war to an end.
4 Jul 1868–15 May 1872 Te Kooti’s War▲
In 1868 the Māori prophet Te Kooti Rikirangi and 300 fellow prisoners escaped from imprisonment in the Chatham Islands, seizing the schooner Rifleman and disembarking at Whareongaonga on New Zealand’s east coast. After defeating colonial government attempts to capture him, Te Kooti raided Poverty Bay (Gisborne), the Bay of Plenty, and Hawke’s Bay as he crisscrossed eastern and central North Island. Eventually beaten by colonial troops and allied Māori forces, Te Kooti fled to refuge in the King Country in 1872.