British authorities in New Zealand were in a land dispute with the native Maori in the Taranaki area on the north island. Governor Thomas Gore Browne had declared martial law and ordered Colonel Charles E. Gold with his men of the local militia to fortify the disputed block of land. Open warfare broke out between the British and the Maori with the militia's attack on a fortified Maori position at Te Kohea built to block access to the area. (By John Osborne)
J.H. Rose, H.H. Dodwell, The Cambridge History of the British Empire, Volume III (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1963), 134-135.