Te Puoho’s Last Raid. The march from Golden Bay to Southland in 1836 and defeat at Tuturau
Ngāi Tahu scholar Atholl Anderson provides a historical account of the battle of Tuturau that came after an epic journey south by Ngāti Tama chief, Te Pūoho and his people in the 1830s. Te Pūoho had led his Ngāti Tama people south from Taranaki at the same time as Te Rauparaha and Ngāti Toa. After accompanying Te Rauparaha on his journey to capture Kaiapohia, a large Ngāi Tahu settlement in north Canterbury, Te Pūoho developed his own ambitions for conquest and set off with a taua (war party) to the far south in the hope of skinning the Ngāi Tahu ‘eel from tail to head’. After an epic journey down the West Coast, over the Haast Pass, and through Central Otago, Te Pūoho captured the few inhabitants of the Ngāi Tahu settlement at Tuturau in December 1836. His victory was short-lived. Three days later Te Pūoho was woken at dawn by the sound of men on the roof. When he came out to investigate he was shot dead by two Ngāi Tahu warriors. Tūhawaiki, the Ngāi Tahu chief, entered the kāinga unopposed.