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Mission Cemetery | Ōtamataha Pā, Tauranga, New Zealand

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We will never know the name of everyone buried in this cemetery as official records have either been lost or were never kept. The information on this page is part of an ongoing project by historian Debbie McCauley and is from her website at this link:

This northern point of the Te Papa peninsula was once the site of Ngāti Tapu's busy Ōtamataha Pā. In 1828, a raid by Ngāti Maru from the Thames district led to the death of most of the inhabitants, and the abandonment of the pā. Bones dating from this time are still sometimes found when erosion of the cliffs occurs.

When the nearby Mission Station was established in 1838, this tapu (sacred) area was chosen by the missionaries as a suitable place for a graveyard. The first burial took place all too soon. Ann Catherine Wilson, wife of one of the missionaries, died of breast cancer in November of that year.

As well as the graves of mission families, monuments in the cemetery tell the story of soldiers, sailors and Maori who died during the Battles of Gate Pa and Te Ranga in 1864; enemies in battle, but all equally honoured in death. Whilst the graves were being dug, a greenstone mere was unearthed, known by the name of Te Raukaraka (pounamu mere) due to it being made from a rare kind of greenstone resembling in colour the leaves of the karaka tree. It belonged to the Tauranga chief Koraurau, who held Ōtamataha Pā. In 1828, he gave the mere to Gilbert Mair (Snr), father of Gilbert Mair, during a visit to Tauranga in the mission schooner Herald. Mair (Snr) left the mere for a short time in the care of Koraurau, but on his return found that Ōtamataha Pā had been decimated and Koraurau killed. Nothing more was heard of the mere until after the Battle of Gate Pa in 1864, when some soldiers, who were digging graves for their fallen comrades, unearthed it. The mere was identified and handed over to Koraurau's son Hohepa Te Mea, who gave it to Captain Mair in pursuance of his father's promise. Auckland Museum now holds the mere.

Although Mission Cemetery was officially closed in 1881, some of the early settlers and their families were also buried here. In May 2014, one month after the 150th commemoration of the Battle of Gate Pa, the cemetery was part of a 7863 square metre site transferred from the New Zealand Mission Trust to the Ōtamataha Trust - the Hapu of Ngati Tapu and Ngaitamarawaho.

  1. Atkinson, Robert Bruton (1827-1872). Inquest: "Died by the visitation of God".
  2. Atkinson, Sarah Eliza (nee Baker) (?-1866). Aged 39 years. Died at Camp Te Papa. Wife of Robert Bruton Atkinson.
  3. Bayly, Thomas (c1847-1876). Aged 29. Armed Constabulary.
  4. Bell, Constance Amelia (nee Norris) (1884-1978). Daughter of Ebenezer and Amelia Norris.
  5. Berins, George (c1828-1867). Aged 39. 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment of Foot, 1st Battalion.
  6. Booth, Henry Jackson Parkin (1830-1864). Died from wounds received during the Battle of Gate Pā.
  7. Booth, Mary (?-1909). Wife of Thomas Jonas Booth.
  8. Booth, Thomas Jonas (?-1879).
  9. Boylan, Frances Josephine (1860-1879). Obelisk - aged 19.
  10. Boylan, Mary Theresa (1824-1907). Obelisk - aged 83.
  11. Brabant, Percy Stainforth (?-1879). Infant.
  12. Bradley, Joe (c1828-1864). Aged 36. 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment of Foot, 1st Battalion.
  13. Brown, Alfred Marsh (1831-1845). Son of Alfred and Christina Brown. Never recovered from an accident. Aged 13 when he died at Te Papa on 14 September 1845
  14. Brown, Alfred Nesbit (1803-1884). Tauranga Missionary - Te Papa Mission Station (later The Elms).
  15. Brown, Christina Crombie Grant (nee Johnston) (1818-1887). Second wife of Rev. Alfred Brown.
  16. Butt, Teresa Nga Kotuku (?-1889). Obituary in the Bay of Plenty Times (18 November 1889). Funeral took place on 17 November 1889 at 3pm in the old cemetery.
  17. Cadenhead, John (c1843-1873). Suspected to have died through violence whilst being arrested by Police.
  18. Cady, John (c1842-1869). Drowned at Tauranga. Armed Constabulary.
  19. Collins, Robert (1823-1869). Quartermaster of the Taranaki Militia.
  20. Cordwell, Benjamin (1845-1865). Aged 20. 1st Waikato Regiment.
  21. Crapp, Arthur Algeron (c1842-1928). Armed Constabulary.
  22. Crapp, Elizabeth (nee Winspear) (1849-1894). Foster daughter of Joseph Tice and Selina Gellibrand (nee Evans).
  23. Crapp, Charlotte (nee Field) (1791-1875). Mother of Arthur Crapp.
  24. Davoren, G (?-1929). Sgt, 1st Waikato Regt. Aged 86.
  25. Dee, Edwin (c1838-1865). Aged 29. Died at Te Papa (Tauranga) on 29 August 1865. Private.
  26. Dixon, Thomas Harden (c1828-1870). Aged 40. Armed Constabulary.
  27. Dodd, Richard (1831-1865). Aged 33. 1st Waikato Regiment.
  28. Earl, Eliza (?-1923). Aged 86.
  29. Earl, Stephen (?-1922). Aged 92.
  30. Emus, Henry (1836-1867). Mortally wounded during the Tauranga Bush Campaign.
  31. Eyre, Hannah (?-1928). Aged 81.
  32. Farrell, Esther (nee Lewis) (1829-1889). Married Robert Farrell in 1862 - unconfirmed burial.
  33. Farrell, Robert (1827-1873). Sergeant - fought during the Tauranga Bush Campaign.
  34. Faulkner, Alfred (c1847-1905). Son of John Lees and Ruawahine Faulkner.
  35. Faulkner, George (c1848-1873). Son of John Lees and Ruawahine Faulkner.
  36. Faulkner, John (c1844-1857). Son of John Lees and Ruawahine Faulkner. Died aged 13 & buried with his mother Ruawahine.
  37. Faulkner, John Lees (1807-1882). Early Tauranga trader.
  38. Faulkner, Ruawahine Irihapeti (c1811-1855). First wife of John Lees Faulkner. Also known as Elizabeth.
  39. Ferraby, John (c1834-1872). Inquest: "Died by exhaustion through excessive drinking". Armed Constabulary.
  40. Fraser, James Patton Brockman (c1841-1870). Inspector for the Armed Constabulary. Died of typhoid fever.
  41. Gellibrand, Joseph Tice (1826-1887). Omokoroa.
  42. Gellibrand, Selina Hannah (nee Evans) (1831-1878). Drowned off Oponui.
  43. Gill, Frederic (?-1869). Trooper, BOP Volunteer Cavalry, killed at Opepe, Taupo, 8 June 1869, aged 18.
  44. Gilmore, Andrew (?-1913). Aged 66.
  45. Gilmore, Annie Prebble (?-1885). Aged 31.
  46. Gilmore, John Robert Infant, no date.
  47. Gilmore, Queenie Infant, no date.
  48. Grace, Thomas Samuel (1815-1879). CMS Missionary.
  49. Grant, Peter (1845-1924). Early Te Puke settler.
  50. Griffiths, Elizabeth (?-1921). Aged 65.
  51. Griffiths, John Hollings (?-1927). Aged 82.
  52. Halford, Charles (c1839-1865). Aged 26. 68th (Durham) Light Infantry (The Faithful Durhams).
  53. Hamilton, John Fane Charles (1820-1864). Killed during the Battle of Gate Pā.
  54. Hamilton, Robert Thomas Francis (1835-1864). Killed during the Battle of Gate Pā.
  55. Harmer, James (c1836-1864). Aged 28. Killed during the Battle of Gate Pā. 68th (Durham) Light Infantry (The Faithful Durhams).
  56. Hay, Edward (1835-1864). Died from wounds received during the Battle of Gate Pā.
  57. Harrington, Jeremiah (1828-1866). 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment of Foot, 1st Battalion.
  58. Harvey, Ada Agnus (1873-1874). Aged 10 months.
  59. Hill, Charles (c1836-1864). Survivor of the wreck of the H.M.S. Orpheus. Killed during the Battle of Gate Pā.
  60. Jeffs, Henry (c1844-1867). Killed during the Tauranga Bush Campaign.
  61. Jones, Isabella (nee Molloy) (c.1825-1867). Isabella was born in Edinburgh in c.1825 to Charles and Jane Molloy. She married Alexander Sutherland in 1850 at Canongate Church in Edinburgh. In 1857 Isabella and her two children emigrated to Melbourne, Australia, on board the Marco Polo. There she married Thomas William Jones. Thomas was born in c.1831 in Liverpool, England, and was a tailor by profession. He had recently served in the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons during the Crimean War. Thomas enlisted in the 1st Waikato Militia from Melbourne on 26 August 1863 (No. 586) at the age of 32 years and 6 months and arrived in New Zealand on board the Star of India. Isabella and her children sailed to New Zealand on board the Swiftsure in 1864 as the family of a military settler. Thomas received lot 222 on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Devonport Road in Te Papa parish for his town lot, as well as 24B Waimapu for his 50 country acres. Isabella died of consumption in Tauranga on 29 August 1867. She was likely buried in Mission Cemetery, but could also have been buried at the Catholic Mission at Otumoetai Pa. Thomas died in Auckland from heart disease on 4 February 1870 at the age of 39 (reg. 1870/3557).
  62. Kilbride, Lawrence (c1844-1866). Aged 22. 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment of Foot, 1st Battalion.
  63. Knowles, Harry (?-1928). Pte, 68th Regt Durham Light Infantry. Aged 82.
  64. Koraurau (?-1828). Leading chief at Otamataha Pā.
  65. Laidley, Albert (1847-1872). Drowned when the yacht 'Sappho' overturned in Tauranga harbour. Armed Constabulary.
  66. Leonard, Patrick Falcon (1833-1864). Died at Tauranga on 4 August 1864. 18th (Royal Irish) Regiment of Foot ('Paddy's Blackguards') - 2nd Battalion.
  67. MacAlister, Robert (1809-1871). From Caithness, Scotland.
  68. Marks, Hannibal (?-1879). Captain, drowned 16 August 1879.
  69. Marks, Hannibal (?-1879). Son of Captain Hannibal Marks. Accidently drowned in Tauranga Harbour..
  70. Marsden, Henry (c1841-1865). Private in 1st Waikato Regiment (No 1211). Enlisted 22 August 1864, born London, Middlesex, England. Died 9 February 1865 after a short illness. Ref: Letter from Brown to George Marsden (Folder 2.9 1865 02 21).
  71. Matthews, Henry (c1839-1866). Died whilst attempting to extract powder from an unexploded 110 lb artillery shell found near Gate Pā.
  72. Maxwell, Euphemia Ballingall (nee Johnston) (1829-1919). Wife of Rev. Andrew Maxwell.
  73. McAnary, James (c1835-1865). Drowned at Judea, Tauranga, in 1865. 68th (Durham) Light Infantry (The Faithful Durhams).
  74. McAuley, William (c1837-1865). Drowned at Tauranga in 1865. Private.
  75. McCuen, Henry (c1837-1866). Aged 29. 68th (Durham) Light Infantry (The Faithful Durhams).
  76. McDonald, Patrick (c1839-1864). Aged 25. Died of wounds received during the Battle of Gate Pā. 68th (Durham) Light Infantry (The Faithful Durhams).
  77. Millar, Amy Marion (nee Norris) (1873-1945). Daughter of Ebenezer and Amelia Norris.
  78. Mitchelson, George (c1828-1866). Aged 38. 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment of Foot.
  79. Moon, Elizabeth (nee Matherall) (1806-1901). Wife of Colonel William Moon.
  80. Morrison, Allan Montgomery (1871-1872). Aged 7 months.
  81. Morrison, Henrietta (1876-1876). Aged 3 months.
  82. Morrison, Henrietta Fisher (1871-1871). Aged 1 month.
  83. Ngātai, Taiaho Hōri (c1832-1912). Veteran of the Battles of Gate Pā and Te Ranga.
  84. Norris, Amelia Harriet (1846-1935)
  85. Norris, Ebenezer Goddard (1830-1890). Captain of Tauranga Veteran Volunteers.
  86. Norris, Ruby Rosamund (1881-1946). Daughter of Ebenezer and Amelia Norris.
  87. Oldfield, John (c1837-1865). 1st Waikato Regiment (No 820). Enlisted 1 September 1863 in Melbourne, born Wales, clerk, 26 years. 'Star of India'. Died at Te Papa Hospital on 4 February 1865 after a short illness. Ref: Letter from Brown to Rev G Oldfield (Folder 2.8 1865 02 21).
  88. Puhirake, Rāwiri Tuaia (c1814-1864). Killed during the Battle of Te Ranga.
  89. Reynolds, John Chidley (1846-1876). Died of pneumonia at Ohinemutu.
  90. Sellars, Daniel (1830-1880). Captain. Husband of Jane Sellars (nee Faulkner).
  91. Sellars, Jane (nee Faulkner) (1842-1884). Daughter of John Lees Faulkner.
  92. Scanlon, James (c1845-1867). Aged 22. Drowned at Te Papa.
  93. Sellers, Daniel (?-180). Aged 49
  94. Sellers, Jane (?-1884). Aged 42
  95. Sims, Ann Jane (?-1910).
  96. Sims, James (?-1881). Aged 53. 68th Light Infantry.
  97. Skeet, Alfred (1871-1871). Buried with his mother.
  98. Skeet, Harriette Anne (nee Garland) (1828-1872). Buried along with her infant son Alfred Skeet.
  99. Spencer, Ivy Kate (1881-1884). Buried with Capt. Daniel and Jane Sellars (nee Faulkner).
  100. Stuart, John (?-1921).
  101. Stuart, Mary (?-1899). Aged 58.
  102. Swallow, James (1842-1845). Aged 22. Died of 'Brain Fever'. 68th (Durham) Light Infantry (The Faithful Durhams).
  103. Tanner, Barbara Allan (nee Grant) (1874-1895). Died in childbirth, aged 20.
  104. Taratoa, Hēnare Wiremu (c1830-1864). Killed during the Battle of Te Ranga.
  105. Tunks, Alfred Francis Daly (?-1936). Auckland Regiment. Mayor of Tauranga 11 May 1933 to 16 May 1935.
  106. Tunks, Alice (?-1966). Wife of Charles James Tunks.
  107. Tunks, Charles James (1867-1941). Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Tunks. Husband of Alice.
  108. Tunks, Elizabeth Frances (?-1866). Infant. Daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Tunks.
  109. Tunks, Elizabeth Frances (?-1916). Wife of Captain Thomas Tunks.
  110. Tunks, Thomas (?-1886). Durham Light Infantry - Captain.
  111. Turner, Archibald Campbell (1835-1912). Present at Tauranga immediately after the Battle of Gate Pā.
  112. Turner, Ada Campbell (1861-1976). Ada died at age 15.
  113. Turner Eleanora Grace (1871-1872). Eleanora died aged 10 months old.
  114. Turner, Eleanora Jane (nee Simson) (c1832-1898). Married Captain Archibald Campbell Turner.
  115. Twinen, John (c1834-1870). Aged 36. Armed Constabulary.
  116. Wilson, Anne Catherine (nee Hawker) (1802-1838). The first European person buried in Tauranga's Mission Cemetery (Otamataha Pā). Wife of missionary John Alexander Wilson.
  117. Wood, Annie M (c1848-1870). Annie died at age 22.
  118. Wrigley, Frances (c1833-1898). Wife of Thomas Wrigley.
  119. Wrigley, Thomas Dale (c1828-1878). Died a long and painful death following an accident.

New Zealand Wars Monuments at Mission Cemetery (Otamataha Pā)

Tauranga 68th Regiment Memorials [no longer exist - see Well Done The 68th by John Bilcliffe (1995, pp. 203-204)]

  1. Carbury, 4202 Pte. Neil "To the memory of Pte. Neil Carbury. This tablet erected by officers non-commissioned officers and men of his Company." [Plus a Latin epitaph]
  2. Gardener, 114 Pte. John "Sacred to the memory of Private John Gardener died at Tauranga March 26 1864. This tablet erected by officers non-commissioned officers and men of his company." "Time like an ever rolling stream, bears all its sons away. They fly forgotten as a dream at the opening day."
  3. Manion, 428 Pte. Lawrence "To the memory of Lawrence Manion 68th. Lt. Infy. who died 22 June 1864 from wounds received in action at Te Ranga on 21 June 1864, aged 27 years. This tablet erected by officers, non-commissioned officers and men of his Company." "My race I have run, my time I have spent in soldiering, since from home I went, to India and New Zealand, beneath a burning sky far from my beloved parents, there to die."
  4. Smith, 515 Pte. George "To the memory of Pte. G. Smith who died of wounds received in action at Te Ranga on 21 June 1864 aged 33y 2 months. This tablet erected by officers, non-commissioned oficers and men of his Company." "Dear Comrade stay as you pass by, as you are now so once was I. As I am now, so you must be. Prepare for death and follow me."
  5. Tims, 3904 Pte. John "Sacred to the memory of Pte. J. Tims 68th. Lt. Infy. who was killed inaction at Te Ranga on 21 June 1864 aged 26 Years. A man greatly esteemed and deeply regretted by his comrades who have erected this tablet."

1865: Tauranga 43rd Regiment New Zealand Wars memorial. This obelisk commemorates the 26 men of the 43rd Regiment who were killed in action or died of wounds received during the battles of Gate Pā (Pukehinahina) and Te Ranga. Their names are inscribed on marble plaques. Unlike other memorials this was erected 'within a year of the battles’ (Maclean & Phillips, 1990, p. 19). To the right in the background can be seen the grave of Captain John Hamilton.

  1. Audley, Private James
  2. Blackwall, Bugler James
  3. Bradbrook, [Private] George
  4. Booth, Lieut-Col. Henry J.P.
  5. Fitzgerald, [Private] Philip
  6. Glover, Lieut. Frdk. C.E.
  7. Glover, Capt. Robt. C.
  8. Goff, [Private] Henry
  9. Hamilton, Capt Robt. T.F.
  10. Holdbrook, [Private] Jacob
  11. Hornby, [Private] Silvester
  12. Johnstone, Private Robt.
  13. Lane, [Private] James
  14. Langlands, Ensign Chas. J.
  15. Madden, [Private] Thomas
  16. Maher, [Private] Jeremiah
  17. McGuire, [Private] John
  18. Mure, Capt. Chas. R.
  19. Phelan, [Private] Robert Phelan
  20. Robbins, [Private] George R
  21. Trann, [Private] Frederick
  22. Utterton, Capt. Edwin
  23. Vance, Sergt Major John
  24. Varlow, Corp. John W.
  25. Wheeler, Corp. James
  26. Wilkinson, [Private] Henry

1909: Tauranga 1st Waikato Militia New Zealand Wars memorial On 11 July 1909 this white marble memorial set on a granite base (W. Parkinson & Co. Auckland) was unveiled to commemorate 25 colonial and imperial soldiers and sailors from the 68th Regiment, 1st Waikato Militia and Naval Brigade who died in 1864 at Gate Pā and Te Ranga and in 1867 during the Tauranga Bush Campaign. The ceremony was described by the Bay of Plenty Times (1909) as ‘one of the most impressive, patriotic and historic functions which has yet taken place in the annals of Tauranga’ (p. 2).

  1. Brissington, [Pvt] W. 12th Regt at Te Ranga June 21st 1864
  2. Clark, Hy O.S. [HMS Harrier]
  3. Dalton, Wm Qr Mr [HMS] Esk
  4. Emus, Serg Major Hy Jan. 18th 1867
  5. Fuller, Richd O.S. [HMS Esk]
  6. Greenem, Andw Stoker [HMS Harrier]
  7. Harding, Hy R.M.L.I. [HMS] Eclipse
  8. Harmer, Sergt Jas 68 DLI
  9. Harris , Jas O.S. H.M.S. Curacoa
  10. Jeffs, Pvt Hy [Feb. 15th 1867]
  11. Jordan, Pvt Thos E. Feb. 15th [1867]
  12. Kent, Levi Pvt R.M.L.I. [Royal Marine Light Infantry] [HMS] Miranda
  13. Manion, [Pvt] Laurance [68 DLI ]
  14. McDonald, [Pvt] Patrick [68 DLI ]
  15. McGough , Pvt Thos [68 DLI ]
  16. Platt, [Pvt] John [68 DLI ]
  17. Shanahan, [Pvt] P. [68 DLI ]
  18. Smith, [Pvt] Geo. [68 DLI ]
  19. Stevenson, Pvt Wm [Jan.] 23rd [1867]
  20. Stoker , Wm C. Leigh [HMS Esk]
  21. Taylor, Pvt Jas. 68 DLI
  22. Tims, [Pvt] J. [68 DLI ]
  23. Ward, Pvt D.W. [Jan. 23rd 1867]
  24. Watt, Geo Gunner [HMS Miranda] - Negro
  25. Young, Geo A.B. [HMS] Harrier

1914: Rawiri Puhirake New Zealand Wars memorial This memorial marks the grave of Rāwiri Puhirake who died at Te Ranga on 21 June 1864. Puhirake’s remains were exhumed from the Te Ranga trenches in 1870 (Bay of Plenty Times, 1909, p. 2) and were re-interred at Mission Cemetery. In 1914 an impressive 6 metre red granite memorial (W. Parkinson & Co. Auckland) was erected over his grave. Two concrete steps lead up to the memorial, the base of which is decorated with black and white marble tiles. The unveiling was held on the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Te Ranga. Depicted on the top front of the plinth is a Māori taiaha around which is ‘entwined a spray of oak as a symbol of strength’ (Bay of Plenty Times, 1914, p. 5), the apex of which is surmounted by a draped urn. At the bottom a white marble frieze commemorates the Poteriwhi Code of Conduct, depicting Puhirake standing over a mortally wounded Booth whilst Taratoa brings a calabash of water. There is a plaque on another side dedicated to Taratoa; ‘In memory of Hēnare Taratoa killed at Te Ranga June 21st 1864.’

1920: Hori Ngatai New Zealand Wars memorial This memorial, erected by Tauranga Māori and the government, was unveiled at the Mission Cemetery in August 1920. The top of the granite column is surmounted by a draped urn. Ngātai took part in the battles at Gate Pā and Te Ranga and died aged 80 on 20 August 1912. His account of the battles was published posthumously, in Mair’s book The Story of Gate Pā, April 29th, 1864 (1926).

1964: Tauranga Naval New Zealand Wars memorial This two metre high concrete cross was erected in 1964 and commemorates the 10 seamen and marines killed at Gate Pā. The inscription reads ‘This cross was erected in 1964 to replace the original wooden cross faithfully maintained for 100 years by the officers and men of the Royal Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy.’

  1. Clark, H
  2. Dalton, W
  3. Fuller, R
  4. Greenem, A
  5. Harding, H
  6. Harris, J
  7. Kent, L
  8. Leigh, W
  9. Watt, G
  10. Young, P

1997: Tauranga Maori New Zealand Wars memorial This mass grave monument was erected in 1997 in memory of 14 Māori warriors who fought against British troops during the Battle of Te Ranga in 1864. It was unveiled in 1998. Previously the site featured a circle of agapanthus and a concrete marker. Part of the inscription reads; ‘This mass grave monument erected in 1997 in memory of 14 Māori warriors who fought in defence of their lands against British troops in the battle of Te Ranga on 21 June 1864. These warriors, one of whom is known to be Te Teira of Ngaiterangi, were wounded in battle but later died in hospital. No other names of those who died are known, but those who fought under the leadership of Rawiri Puhiraki from Ngaiterangi, Ngati Ranginui, Whakatohea, Tainui and Te Arawa.'

  1. Te Teira of Ngaiterangi