One of Queen Victoria's 'little wars' to build the British Empire The Second Maori War, or First Taranaki War, was one more bloody instalment of the conflicts between European settlers and the indigeus Maori people in the wars of dominance that marred the creation of New Zealand as a unified country. As usual the Europeans had little to their credit on their side of the dispute which centred around the dubious sale of tracts of land. As the Maoris objected by protest and eventually by force, the British Army was called in to subdue them. Predictably, the Maoris proved easy opponent to dominate. They possessed a strong martial tradition and were masters of the deep forest and builders of strong and difficult to assault fortifications kwn as 'pahs'. Several bloody battles ensued around New Plymouth, in the Taranaki district, in which the Crown forces learned by serious defeat the folly of underestimating a 'primitive enemy'. The war ended in a stalemate, but the conflicts which would be fought before New Zealand would be at peace were t yet over. This is a rare account of the Second Maori War written by a contemporary witness.