Battle of Gate Pa - The Founding of Our City

Kia ora and welcome to the official website of the Battle of Gate Pa (Pukehinahina), which has been created for the 150th Commemoration on 29 April 2014 and as an ongoing historical and educational resource. This also includes the 150th Commemoration for the Battle of Te Ranga on 21 June 2014.


A depiction of a Maori warrior and British soldier at the Battle of Gate Pa

Why Commemorate the Battles

A local historian quotes ‘One of the most often recounted stories of the Land Wars of the 1860's is the Battle of Gate Pa.  It has captured people’s imagination for two reasons – firstly because of the defeat of an elite force of professional British solders by Maori irregulars, and secondly, because of the honourable conduct of Maori towards the dead and wounded soldiers.’

In commemorating the Battle of Gate Pa and Te Ranga we honour our Maori tipuna and British forbears who fought and died in Tauranga. These significant historical events were the founding of Tauranga city. As a result of these battles (including where the British overcame the Maori at Te Ranga), land was confiscated and the British settled in Tauranga.


By understanding our history

We can see how far our community has come

And look forward to our future together

Gate Pa and British flags


2014 Events

A programme of free events for the general public is planned with the focus being on the period 1 March – 30 April 2014 including:

  • Schools programme - including poetry, essay, speech and art competitions
  • Diorama Model at the Tauranga Airport 
  • Adult Poetry and Art Competitions
  • Gate Pa Images Exhibition held at St George's Church
  • Gate Pa Public Lecture Series with Military Historian Lt Col Cliff Simons and local Kaumatua Des Tata at St George's Church
  • NZ String Quartet playing music of the time at Huria Marae, Judea
  • Firing of the Guns at the Tauranga Domain (Armstrong cannons and Coehorn mortars)
  • Rules of Engagement Exhibition held at the Greerton Hall
  • NZ Army Band performing at The Strand, Edgewater Fan
  • Tuesday 29 April (dignitaries include the Governor-General, Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Maori King, King Tuheitia)
    • Dawn blessing of new pou and flagpole at Gate Pa Reserve
    • Full military service at the Mission Cemetery and morning tea at Trinity Wharf
    • Powhiri for Kingitanga and Nga Iwi o Te Motu at Gate Pa Reserve
    • Military march to the Reserve up Cameron Road
    •  Massed wero and haka by iwi in response at Gate Pa Reserve
    • Ecumenical service and ceremony
    • Memorial service at the Gate Pa Memorial in London

The commemorations will end with a service and ceremony at the Te Ranga battle site on the outskirts of Tauranga on 21 June 2014.

To find out more details, please visit our calendar of events

To download the free official photos (low resolution) of the Commemoration Dinner and from the 29 April Commemoration Day click here.


The programme is being managed through the Pukehinahina Charitable Trust, a group made up of local Iwi and community representatives. We would like to acknowledge the help of the regional tribes, Councils, Battle of Gate Pa Trust, our sponsors and the Tauranga community. Special thanks to the Gate Pa businesses and residents.


Banner artwork by Dave Tipper