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 Surveyors are Captured

"Old Frontier" by James Cowan: "Te Kooti had at least one good deed to his credit, and this concerned an important Maori named Te Haere and the surveyor  Mr C. W. Hursthouse, when on a survey trip."

Mr Hursthouse and Mr Bob Newsham, surveyors, were caught by a band of Hau Haus led by the prophet Mahuki on March 20, 1883, near Te Kuiti and were bound hand and foot for 48 hours. They were on their way from Alexandra (now Pirongia) to explore the country from the Waikato frontier to the Mokau and were accompanied  by the Mokau friendly chiefs, Te Rangituataka and Hone Wetere te Rerenga, and 25 other Mokau men.

Attacked By Hostile Maoris: At Te Uira, 12 miles beyond Otorohanga, on the afternoon of March 20, 1883, as, they rode along,  they saw a large body of Maoris approaching in a state of excitement. Mahuki, or Manakura, a Ngatimaniapoto leader, was in charge of a selected war party of the Taranaki chief, Titikowaru, called Tekau-ma-rua.These men attacked Hursthouse's party and a lively fight ensued, although no deadly weapons were used. The Tekau-ma-rua men pulled the surveyors off their horses. Rangituataka's followers resisted strongly, and used their stirrup-irons and leathers to good effect.
Hursthouse and Newsham were captured and were marched to the village of .Te Uira in the midst of the excited Tekau-ma-ruas, who were dancing and yelling and chanting war songs. Te Rangituataka and; Wetere and their men were not ill-used. Their followers were too numerous. Moreover, their leaders were high chiefs of their trIbe.

The surveyors and Te Haere were thrust into a cook-house and were imprisoned there. The surveyors had been stripped of their coats, waistcoats and boots, their hands were tied behind their backs, and their feet were fastened together with bullock chains.

Acute Suffering; They suffered acutely from theIr bonds and were tortured by mosquItos. They were left without food or drink, except dlrty water and pigs' potatoes that had been thrown at them. The imprisoned men remained there for two days and a night listening to yells and threats of the natives outside aud expecting to be killed at any minute.
Then there was a commotion outside the cookhouse on the mornIng of March 22, and Hursthouse recognised Te Kooti's voice and a few moments later the door was thrown open. He was accompanied by a large party of Maori including members o{ Wahanui's tribe and had just been promised an amnesty by the Native Minister, Hon. John Bryce

Prisoners Released: Hursthouse and Newsham had already worked their hands free, and the former had picked up a piece of iron chain to use as a  weapon in case he was attacked. The extreme tension and the anxiety of the preceding 36 hours, the painful confinement and lack of food had even affected the indomitable Hursthouse, old campaigner though he was. The surveyors were released from their bonds and were escorted to Alexandra by Wahanui's people and after Te Mahuki had himself been locked up, they resumed their exploring expedition after . (Written by R Sherson)
Family descendants care about their past;  Nearly 140 yrs on, Tony, descendant of Charles Wilson Hursthouse, is custodian of the bullock chains which bound his forebear. They were passed on to him by his Aunt and are kept for safe-keeping in their original box which was presented to Charles Wilson Hursthouse after the court trial in Auckland.