A71_384.jpg Rocket, Congreve (about 1860). Collection of Puke Ariki (A71.384).

A rocket with a mind of its own is part of the Puke Ariki Heritage Collection. This badly corroded projectile is an example of a British Congreve rocket used during the First Taranaki War.The rockets, named after their inventor Sir William Congreve, were designed to be fired from simple frames elevated from 2½ to 5 degrees. Māori thought the rockets possessed minds of their own, with a malicious delight in spiralling in pursuit of fleeing targets. Little is known about this example apart from that it is thought to have been used during the Battle of Waireka. 

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