Nor were all friendly natives by any means as effective as the Wanganui and Ngatiporou, or all chiefs as serviceable as Ropata and Kemp. The east coast troubles began in March, 1865, with the murder at Opotiki, on the Bay of Plenty, of Mr. Volckner, a missionary and the most kindly and inoffensive of mankind.
Flying they were followed by the Ngapuhi, and few indeed were the survivors of the day. Hongi's ravages reached far to the south and east. Even the Ngatiporou, who dwelt between Cape Runaway and Poverty Bay, felt his hand. Their pas fell one after the other, and only those were not slaughtered who fled to the mountains.
Te Kooti, moreover, intercepted an ammunition train and captured eight kegs of gunpowder. Fortifying himself on a precipitous forest-clad hill named Ngatapa, he seemed likely to rally round him the disaffected of his race. But his red star was about to wane. Ropata with his Ngatiporou now came on the scene. A second attack on Makaretu sent the insurgents flying.