British and Maori conflicts
What was ‘The Flagstaff War’?
Despite the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi, conflicts between the British and Maoris in New Zealand continued. One of the earliest began when Maori warriors cut down the pole from which the British flag flew over the North Island settlement of Russell; this became known as the Flagstaff War.
Each time the British put the flagpole back up, the Maoris, led by a chief named Hone Heke, chopped it down. During the fourth attack on the flag in March 1845, Hone Heke’s men killed several soldiers defending it and the violence escalated. An inconclusive peace was signed in January 1846 but the flagstaff was not re-erected.