Anna is a reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Replica Gate Pa Battle shotguns up for sale

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To mark the 152nd commemoration of the Battle of Gate Pa exact replicas of the shotguns used by Maori warriors will be available for history fanatics and gun enthusiasts to own.

The Pukehinahina Charitable Trust has decided to sell its collection of 20 handcrafted tupara, or double-barrel shotguns, which were manufactured in Italy and assembled in New Zealand.

Maori Cultural Heritage manager (Te Pou Arahi) Dean Flavell said there were carvings on the butt of each of the Tupara shotguns.

"They were carved for the 150th commemoration of the Battle of Gate Pa," he said.

Pukehinahina Charitable Trust board director Ross Stanaway said the Tupara shotguns were made "very specifically" for the commemorations in 2014.

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"There is a variety of traditional carving styles on them. They're beautiful firearms with really intricate carvings on the butt," he said.

He said they would be made available by the trust through outlets such as local gun shops or by people making direct contact with the Pukehinahina Charitable Trust.

"Some of them have been purchased by local people involved with the community, but some are still available."

He said the opportunity to purchase the muskets would be a one-off.

"No more will ever be made," he said.

Pukehinahina Charitable Trust project director Buddy Mikaere said they had been carved to the original design used by Maori warriors at the time.

"They were the preferred weapon for Maori at the Battle of Gate Pa," he said.

He said members of the community would be able to have a "genuine piece of memorabilia" from the 2014 Battle of Gate Pa commemorations.

They had already sold about six to members of the community.

Each Tupara Shotgun would cost $3000, he said.

The walnut butts were carved by master carvers Whare Thompson and Damien Kohu.
The firearms have been disarmed but could be armed by a firearms expert.

For more information and details of where to purchase a Tupara shotgun, go to: www.battleofgatepa.com/shotguns-for-sale.

    Battle of Gate Pa

    • The Battle of Gate Pa commemorations start at 4pm at Saint George's Anglican Church today. This is the time when the British forces began their march up Pukehinahina. At 4.30pm the bell will be rung 60 times to remember the 60 men who died in the battle.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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