Rules for a Just War

Supporting the Maori King movement, Maori Chief Henare Taratoa, an early Christian convert, was persuaded to defend their land when the crown decided to confiscate it. Not wanting to fight, he drew up rules prior to the Battle of Gate Pa in Tauranga, including rules not to kill unarmed or wounded soldiers.

Such was his desire to avoid war he also made a commitment to see their church as a place of refuge where even government soldiers who entered would not be killed.

Famously they also chose not to fight on Sundays which proved to be their undoing.

We know nobody wins in war but Henare’s faith in Christ to honour God, despite his past, remained honourable in the face of severe provocation.

Next week as part of the Lenten reflection, we look at a remarkable act of faith one of the women did at Gate Pa during the Government siege.