Volume 60 1951 > Volume 60, No. 1 > Tainui, by George Graham, p 80-92
Her visit to Waitemata and Tamaki—as narrated to me by Maihi te Kapua te Hinaki of Ngati Paoa and Ngati Whatua, and recorded by me about 1894 at his home at Te Auhanga o Aotea 1 (Shelly Beach, Kaipara, South Head).
THIS is an account of Tainui's visit to Waitemata 2 en voyage from Hauraki via Tamaki Isthmus, and portaged thence into the Manuka—and navigated finally thence to Kawhia.
Maihi's knowledge of local history and traditions connected with these parts, he retained in a capacious memory. I regret not having in past years recorded more of such information as he could have imparted before it became quite lost in oblivion.
A brief biography of this interesting chief I append hereto. Also with this are two maps of the Waitemata and Tamaki River, illustrative of the track of the Tainui's cruise in these waters of Hauraki and Waitemata.
An interesting feature of this and other such narratives dealing with the arrival of the various canoes 3 from Polynesia, on these coasts, are the references to their predecessors, the so-called tangata whenua (people of the land).
There does not seem to have been any linguistic or other difficulties in their mutual relationships with one another. The newcomers of the Tainui and other canoes of the so-called “Fleet” (tere), arrived about 1350 A.D. That immigration consisted of some seven canoes which all seemed to have come here with the intention of settling, and already furnished with a knowledge of geographical aspects of the localities wherein they desired to make their homes.
Prior to the era of the “Fleet”—(since perhaps about 800 A.D.) there had been many comings and goings between this country and the Pacific Islands. That aspect of the circumstances of this country's settlement from Polynesia, is sufficiently dealt with elsewhere, and needs not now be gone into.- i
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Sufficient to say that these, the later people of the “Fleet,” were generally hospitably received by their predecessors—who were found to be very numerous, and living prosperously, according to the standards of life such as they had attained. Significantly they were living in communities in fortified 4 villages, thus indicating the need of mutual defence due to their internecine wars.
On the coming of the “Fleet,” all suitable localities were found to be already fully occupied by their predecessors. 5 Hence there prevailed at first an outward appearance of mutual friendship in matters.
Later on, due to intermarriages, the steady growth of population, troubles arose. Disputes over land and women, cultivations, hunting and fishing areas, etc., led to ceaseless warfare. Such conditions arose soon after Tainui arrived, and such was the normal state of affairs until the coming of the Pakeha, and law and order was established.
So now let Maihi's narrative be told.
On Tainui's coastal voyage from Whangara 6 (on the East Coast)—she thence sailed off to Tokerau 7 seeking the Taihauauru (West Coast). But because of adverse winds, and opposing mountainous seas, Tainui could not pass round the Rerenga wairua (North Cape).
There aforetime, Kupe had left those adverse conditions prior to his return to Hawaiki. He desired thus to prevent future voyagers coming that way to settle on these lands which he intended as homes for his own people. Hence the adage applied: “Nga taero a Kupe” (the obstruction of Kupe), i.e., the adverse winds and rough seas.
Hence the forced return of Tainui from the North to Tekapamoana (the Hauraki Gulf). So eventually the canoe came to Waihihi 8 (on the Hauraki West Coast at Wharekawa).
There the crew was hospitably received by the local people of the Tini o Toi.
Then arose an easterly gale (marangai)—a guardian taniwha of the canoe, Paneiraira, here left the canoe. He went oceanward, disporting on the billows. The people then knew this was tohu (token) of some undue happening—due to some hara (misdeed) yet to be disclosed.- 82
To save the canoe from certain damage—or even certain destruction on that lee shore—Tainui left Waihihi, and was piloted (araratakina) by some tangata whenua. 9 Running before that easterly gale, they sought the shelter of the Waitemata.
At Waihihi—Hotunui's wife, Marama, had decided to remain, and to later follow on, with an escort of her attendants overland. She had her reasons.
So Tainui sailed off, and entered the Maraetai passage, passing Waiheke. She entered at last the Waitemata, and moored in the shelter of Te Haukapua. 10
There the crew landed, and were welcomed by the people of Maungauika. 11 There they drank of the waters of Takapuna, 12 so called by them in memory of that drinking spring in their homeland at Hawaiki.
On the abating of the easterly storm, Tainui was brought up along the harbour shore, and there she stranded on an ebbing tide on the sand bank. From there Taikehu swam ashore—hence Te Ranga o Taikehu 13 is the name of that sand bank. That place where he swam ashore is Te Kauanga o Taikehu. 14 The foreshore there is Te Tahuna o Taikehu 15 (the sand dunes of Taikehu).
Welcomed to the nearby villages at Takarunga, 16 Takararo, 17 Takamaiwaho, 18 and Te Kurae o Tura 19; from those vantage points, they saw the flocks of sea birds coming to and fro westward. They were told that “there beyond was the sea, and that access thereto was by Te Wai o Taiki.” 20
Passing hence from Waitemata, they came to Orawharo. 21 There they found the Arawa moored, and there a quarrel arose. This was due to the unwelcome attentions of Tamatekapua to Hoturoa's senior wife, Whakaotirangi. The two men came to blows, and Tamatekapua was worsted in the contest. “Tamatekapua shed plenteous blood.” Then the people intervened and stopped the duel, for they were all close relatives.
Hence that place is called “Te Rangitoto o Tamatekapua,” 22 now applied as the name of the whole island. (In after time, Tama's grandchildren, the Ngati Huarere fought the Tini o Toi, and their allies the Nga Marama. This war was to avenge that humiliation of Tamatekapua. In the conquest (raupatu) as the result, the Ngati Huarere claimed - 83 that island, and the other islands of the Hauraki Gulf, which were known generally as Nga poitu o te kupenga a Taramainuku (i.e., the net-floats of the net of Taramainuku). But the history of that name need not be told of now. It concerns Toi kai rakau of former times.
That island Rangitoto, because of that bloodshed, therefore remained tapu (sacred) unto recent times. It was a general urupa (cemetery) area of the people of these parts.
So Tainui was brought to Wai o Taiki and there at Waiarohe, 23 was moored within Tamaki West Head. There Horoiwi of Tainui took a wife of the tangata whenua, named Whakamuhu. 24 Horoiwi called that pa (fortified village) where he settled, Te Pane o Horoiwi 25 (the head of Horoiwi), hence his descendants' claim thereto. They became in time merged by intermarriage with the Waiohua of Tamaki.
From Waiarohe, Taikehu and a party went inland to explore the upper reaches of the Wai o Taiki. They came to Te Roto (the lagoon), 26 and there saw their taniwha, Te Mokoikahikuwaru, 27 swimming in the lagoon, and feeding on the fish there. Hence the name of that lagoon to this day is “Te Kai o Hiku” (the food of Hiku). This taniwha there left Tainui. He made his den (rua) in the deep pool at the entrance to that lagoon. Hence the name of that pool “Te Kopua o Hiku”; and the name of the pa at that place is now Te Mokoia (or formerly Mokoika).
Here in that lagoon, they drank of a water-spring, and they called it Te Waipuna o Rangiatea 28—in memory of their old home at Rangiatea.
From here, Taikehu and party went along the ridge to the south called Te Taututu. 29 From there they saw the district called Otahuhu, 30 and beyond the waters of Manuka. 31 They also saw on the skyline the far headlands which marked the passage to the outer ocean, Te Taitamatane. 32
In the Manuka they found abundance of mataitai (sea foods), also great flocks of sea birds. Taikehu and his companions waded there along and caught the jumping kanae (mullet)—“one in each hand.” Hence, so as to take possession of that fishery, he named those fish, “Nga tamariki toa o Taikehu” (the romping or fearless children of Taikehu). 33- 84
After leaving other signs (tohu) as proofs of prior claim of possession, the party then returned to Waiarohe and there reported their adventures.
So then, Tainui was poled (poutai) to the headwaters of Wai o Taiki, to be portaged thence into the Manuka. Then the skids (rango) were laid. They all then hauled, but the canoe would not move. Hence the name of that place “Ngarangotakotokau” (the skids uselessly laid). That was an omen of trouble.
Then the Arawa arrived there at this time. The relations between the two crews were not very cordial, so after a short stay, the Arawa departed thence seaward to Tikapa.
Rakataura, 34 Tainui's tohunga, was sent for from Puke-tutu (there he, Hiaora, Poutukeka and others of Tainui already had settled). On Rakataura's advice they awaited the expected arrival of Marama from Waihihi, hence the name of that place “Te Whangaimakau” (the awaiting place for the cherished one).
Now Rakataura was a matakite (a clairvoyant). He that night had a dream. He saw a manumea (a red sacred bird), clasped in contest with a ngarara (a reptile) at Waihihi. He knew this dream disclosed a raruraru (troublous affair) and affecting Marama; and hence the cause of Tainui's men being unable to move the canoe. For from that happening was due the lack of virility (ngoikore) of Tainui's menfolk. Their strength was sapped. In the morning he announced his dream in a song to the assembled people, and its import.
When at last Marama and her party arrived, she asked, “why the canoe was not portaged, and why it did not move?” Rakataura then knew from her manner, and her questioning, that to her was due this trouble. So thereupon, she made known her fault. (Ka whakina tona he.) Her misconduct was in fact with her mokai (slave man), Te Okaroa, at Waihihi.
Many then were the ceremonies gone through to counteract this misdoing—ceremonies of purenga (purification) of whakahoronga (cleaning) and so on. The erring slave was then sacrificed. His body was hung on a karaka 35 tree. That tree grew there till recent years. It was known as Te Iringa o Okaroa, and was to recent years growing there at - 85 Whangaimakau. Also there formerly grew that karaka tree grove, the limbs of which had been used as skids for Tainui.
Marama divested herself of her garments—wearing only her inferior marohukahuka 36 (a frontlet apron). Her right to wear her superior apron (maropurua) was forfeited until her husband had forgiven her fault.
Marama then mounted the canoe and chanted a tapatapahau. 37 In chorus therewith the haulers sang. This is part of that chant:—
So then Tainui glided on, and at last “her prow dipped into and drank of the water of Manuka.” After various ceremonies, Tainui was then launched. Hence the name of that place is Te Inuwai o Tainui (where Tainui drank the water).
Then, having performed still further needful ceremonies of whakauru (initiation) on the Manuka shores, Tainui departed oceanward to Kawhia and to Waimimi to the south.
After various other adventures, she was brought from Waimimi and drawn up at Maketu, where there at Kawhia, she now sleeps.
“But,” said Maihi, “I did not go with Tainui from Manuka—therefore, I do not recount those doings. Let they who did go tell of these things.”- 86
On the launching place of Tainui at Manuka, Marama again left her people. She went with her attendants overland to rejoin Tainui at Kawhia. There she came, and was again favoured by Hoturoa. But in her fallen reputation, she was disrespected, and was known by nicknames (ingoa taunu) — Maramatahanga, Maramamahaki, or Maramakikohura, all names implying lewdness.
Marama gave birth to a son at Kawhia.
Whakaotirangi then left Hoturoa, and went to Aotea, where she made her home with her children. Her cultivation there flourished.
Maihi thus finalised his narrative:—
Marama also made a cultivation at Kawhia. But it did not prosper (ka huhua kore), being overgrown with pohuehue (a wild convolvulus). For the stain of her misdoing was still with her. The cultivation of Whakaotirangi prospered (ka huhuatia). She had sent for Hotunui to ensure that her crop be so. He came and did the needful ceremonial, and again there lived with Whakaotirangi.
Now Hotunui had cared well for Tamaroa, the son of Marama, although he looked with disfavour on the child. At last a quarrel arose between Hotu' and Marama. She considered Hotu' in many ways had belittled the boy, and ill-treated him.
Due to this and the failure of her kumara crop, she left Kawhia with her son on her return to Tamaki. There she rejoined Hiaora at Puketutu, Poutukeka 38 at Puketapapa, and others of Tainui at Tamaki.
Marama was the ancestress of the Nga Marama, which tribe in after times merged with the Waiohua of Tamaki, and the Ngati Pou (descendants of Poutukeka) in Waikato, and to the southward in Hauraki.
A brief account of Tainui's passage through Tamaki, and her being launched into the Manuka, is recorded in a variant narrative as collected by Best (vide J.P.S., Vol. II, p. 211, etc.)
Therein Marama bears the soubriquet Maramanuku (i.e., the displaced, or put aside). The narrator was Te Whetu, a chief of the Ngati Tarapounamu, and therefore of - 87 Tainui descent of that section of Tainui people who settled at Waiiti (Taranaki).
Hence arose in later times the Tainui tribal motto because of their being as a tribe so widespread:—
Thus is defined the extent of Tainui territory. And so ends this story of Tainui and its connected story with Tamaki.
Tamaki ki runga, Mokau ki raro.
Tamaki is to the north, Mokau to the south.
The portage of Tainui was close past the pa Maungatorohe (later called Otahuhu). The hauling song is credited to Rakataura and is sung as to the canoe herself. It is much as Te Hinaki's version gives with these added lines:—
In an account given to me by the late Rev. Wi Hoete (a teina—younger brother of Maihi Te Hinaki), he said the people of the villages of Tamaki flocked to see the portaging and launching of Tainui, hence the reference to the “admiration by the multitudes of the people.”
In drawing up these notes as explanatory of matters referred to in the text based on Maihi's foregoing narrative, I have endeavoured to do so in as brief a form as possible. I have given special attention to the connected nomenclature. Some of these place-names are still extant, others are now obsolete. I hope as now recorded, they are thus rescued from oblivion. I am indebted to Maihi himself for same.
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THE BIOGRAPHY OF MAIHI TE KAPUA TE HINAKI.
Maihi was born at Motuihe about 1820, or several years before the Ngapuhi attack by Hongi Hika on the Ngati Paoa pa at Mokoia and Mauinaina (on the Tamaki River at Panmure). Maihi's father was Maihi Te Hinaki of Ngati Whatua and Ngati Paoa; his mother was Riria of Ngati Paoa.
As an infant he was with his parents in the Mauinaina pa when Hongi's war party besieged it, and they were among the refugees who escaped before the final assault on the pa. For some time they hid in the cavern country to the west of - 91 Maungarei (Mt. Wellington). Eventually, after some night treks, they reached the depths of the Waitakere forest; and there with others were secreted at Rua o te moko, and elsewhere in that forested region.
Returning about 1830 to the Waitemata, they lived at Awataha (Shoal Bay), and later there at Waiwharariki. There also lived Patuone, who was married to Riria, a relative of Maihi's mother. From there they went to Putiki, at Waiheke, with Patuone. There his mother died.
In 1840 Maihi accompanied his father, Maihi Te Hinaki and other local chiefs to Waiarohe, on the Tamaki River, when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed there (on 4th March, 1840), his father being one of the signatories.
At that time Maihi was then already an able-bodied warrior and had taken part in various frays in Hauraki and Waikato. He was eighteen years of age when he was in Taraia Ngakuti's punitive expedition against the Tauranga people when one of the last recorded acts of cannibalism there took place. Of the details, all these doings which he then participated in, he had a vivid memory. At this time his father died at Putiki, his body being taken to Rangihaerere (near Woodhill, Kaipara) and buried in the sandhill cemetery at Oneonenui.
In 1851 he was a participant in the so-called invasion of Auckland, by his Ngati Paoa people led by Ngakapa Whangaunga. This affair is sufficiently recorded elsewhere, and need not here be referred to.
On the persuasion of Te Ngeungeu (a Ngai Tai chief-tainess then living in Auckland), the belligerent Ngati Paoa (camped at Kohimaramara) returned to Waiheke and Maraetai. They forwarded by Te Ngeungeu several historic mere as a token of peace, which she gave to several clergymen to hand to the Governor. They were so accepted. That closed this incident, which but for Te Ngeungeu's intervention might have led to serious results.
In 1863 Maihi took part in the opening phases of the Waikato War, and had helped in the formation of the entrenchments of the Rangiriri pa.
On the final assault by the troops, Maihi with Ngakapa and many others evacuated the pa, some crossing Waikare Lake in a canoe. A bullet struck the canoe and split it from - 92 bow to stern. Many of the occupants of the canoe were drowned. Others escaped ashore and eventually reached their home villages at Kaiaua and elsewhere.
Thus terminated Ngati Paoa's participation in the subsequent operations of the Waikato War, and their active improvement of their lands.
Thereafter Maihi lived at Aotea (Shelly Beach, Kaipara), and remained an active loyalist. He confined his activities to leading his people in the peaceful occupation and improvements of their lands.
It was at Aotea I visited him in 1894, and took copious notes of this account of Tainui's visit to Waitemata, and other matters of related interest. Maihi died at Aotea in 1900, then in his approximate 80th year. Death was due to his over-exertion in the training of his young people to ensure their proficiency in taking part in the then pending visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall.
However, his young people did not take part in the assembly of the tribes in Rotorua, for they stayed at home in a state of mourning (wherepouri).
1 Aotea: Its full name is Te Aukahanga o Aotea (where the Aotea canoe lashings were overhauled). Now known as Shelly Beach, South Kaipara Head. (This is the only reference I have met that this canoe, like Tainui (having been also portaged from Waiotaiki into the Manukau) and then went north, and entered the Kaipara.)
2 Waitimata: The name formerly applied only to the upper reaches of the harbour now called Waitemata. The Timata (now mapped as Boat Rock, is off Kauri Point). It was a boundary point between the Waiohua and the tribes on the north side of the harbour.
3 Various canoes: On record they number some forty or more. Of many of these is but little known other than their names. Some were probably only visitors, which returned to Polynesia. No doubt this was due to the already dense population settled here as the traditions relate.
4 Fortified villages of the ancient people are indicative of the internecine warfare, of which the traditions relate but vaguely—telling us little in detail.
5 The former density of the population prior to the arrival of the Fleet and before, the traditions state that the ancient people “covered the land like ants.” The extent of the ancient population is evident from the fact that the sites of former pit-dwelling areas are found everywhere, in what must have been most inconvenient places of residence. Even within the inner slopes of the crater of Mt. Eden for instance may be seen the remains of pit-dwellings.
6 Whangara mai i Tawhiti: Was so named because of its supposed topographical similarity to that place in their old Tahitian home.
7 Tokerau: A name now applied to the northern parts of this island. It is recorded that both the Tainui and Arawa canoes were unable to round the North Cape due to the prevalent adverse winds, and that these conditions had been left there by Kupe, their predecessor, so as to prevent later comers occupying those parts which Kupe desired to retain for his own people.
8 Waihihi: Also same vicinity is Waihaha, on the Wharekawa foreshore (West Hauraki Coast). These names commemorate those places in Tahiti. There at Hauraki the Tainui crew was hospitably received by the local people, the Tini o Toi.
9 tangata whenua as pilots: This is the only reference to men of the aboriginals being enlisted to assist in coastal navigations. But, as some of the crew had also already taken unto themselves wives from these people, it is likely that such would be the case.
10 Haukapua (the sand scooper): The bay within the North Head, now known as Torpedo Bay.
11 Maungauika (the North Head): The history of this name is not on record.
12 Takapuna (the spring (puna) on the knoll (taka)?). There are several references to these “drinkings at springs.” This was one of the methods of leaving a tohu (token) to justify subsequent claims to the possession of land.
13 Te Ranga o Taikehu (the sand spit of Taikehu): Whence Taikehu swam ashore (the sand spit east of Devonport ferry landing).
14 Te Kauanga o Taikehu (the swimming of Taikehu): The water across which he swam ashore from the sand spit.
15 Te Tahuna o Taikehu (the sand dune of Taikehu): The foreshore was even in European times a sand dune area (where the ferry landing now is, and the immediate foreshore).
16 Takarunga (the higher knoll): Mt. Victoria.
17 Takararo (the lower knoll): Later known as “Heaphy's Hill,” or “Sheep Hill.”
18 Takamaiwaho (the outer knoll): Situated to the south of Takarunga.
19 Te Kurae o Tura (the headland of Tura): An old pa on the foreshore (vide map).
20 Te Wai o Taiki: The Tamaki River. Taiki was a chief of the Ngai Tai. This estuary formed the western boundary of the Ngai Tai (a Tainui tribe)—as far as Whangaimakau at Otahuhu.
21 Orawharo: a pa on the Motutapu foreshore, in the inlet between there and Rangitoto (now known as Islington Bay).
22 Rangitoto o Tamatekapua: It is not clear if this affair happened when Tainui was on the way from Waihihi to Waitemata (as some say) or when on the way from Waitemata to Wai o Taiki as Maihi's narrative infers.
The Arawa had like Tainui arrived at the East Cape. She also went up north and returned south to Hauraki, and was moored at Orawharo on her arrival here.
23 Waiarohe (simmering waters): The bay within the Tamaki West Head. Here was signed locally by several chiefs, the Treaty of Waitangi (on 4th March, 1840), Maihi's father being one of the signatories. (Vide Appendix, Biography of Maihi.) Te Arohe was the name of the Ngai Tai pa on the East Tamaki Head (now Musick Point).
24 Whakamuhu: The headland pa just west of St. Heliers Bay, or Whanganui. There the father of Whakamuhu had been killed, a victim of an ambush (muhu). Born at that time she was therefore so named.
25 Te Pane o Horoiwi: Horoiwi was a member of the Tainui crew, and he left her here, having taken his wife named Whakamuhu (chieftainess of the tangata whenua).
26 Te Roto (the lagoon): That tidal lagoon at Panmure.
27 Te Mokoikahikuwaru: i.e, “The lizard fish of eight tails.”
28 Te Waipuna o Rangiatea: Hereabouts was fought a battle between Ngati Awa under Makinui, then living at Rarotonga (Mt. Smart) and the Wai o Hua under Taihua.
29 Te Taututu (the tupakihi or tutu ridge): Formerly this shrub (coraria) was the main feature of the growth over all this countryside from Whakamuhu to Otahuhu.
30 Otahuhu: Commemorates the memory of Tahuhu, the ancestor of Ngai Tahuhu who migrated from Te Arai. Here he had married and settled down. His death here was attributed to makutu (witchcraft) by the Wai o Hua, and led to much subsequent warfare.
31 Manuka: The old people maintain this is the correct form of the name. In a lament by Te Wherowhero for his young cousin Kati (who died at Mangere), he thus sang:—
Now thy fair flowing locks
And decorated tattooed skin—
Perhaps are there deeply bitten
By the cold biting winds
Wafted o'er the Manuka—alas!
32 Te Taitamatane (the male child sea): The ocean on the West Coast was so named because of its usual boisterous character—in contrast with the East Coast—which being comparatively milder, was hence called “Te Taitamahine” (the young maiden sea).
33 Nga Tamariki toa o Taikehu: Thereby he claimed for his descendants the fishery rights in the Manuka, and which the Ngati Pou, Ngati Te Ara, etc., exercised until recent times.
34 Rakataura was the tohunga of Tainui. He had left her on the East Coast because Hotunui objected to his courtship of Keakea (Hotu's daughter). Hence Raka' had come overland to Tamaki and settled at Puketutu (Weeks' Island) with Hiaora, Poutukeka and others. His sister mollified Raka's resentment against Hoturoa, and hence he came to aid in the portaging of the canoe. Ultimately at Kawhia he was reconciled to Hoturoa, and was given Keakea in marriage.
35 karaka: It is probably indigenous to New Zealand. The Tainui people claim to have gathered the seed on their voyage hither at Rangitahua (Sunday Island in the Kermadecs). Hiraki said the karaka seed had also been gathered at Tuanaki, an island much further northward away than Rangitahua. The whereabouts of Tuanaki has always been a geographical problem. It was situated somewhere south of Mangaia. The Haymet Reef is supposed to mark the locality—the island probably disappeared due to an oceanic disturbance in the early decade of the 19th century. (Vide J.P.S., Vol. 20, p. 44.)
It is also said that the ancient Tini o Toi (of about 1150 A.D.) brought the karaka to this country, gathered by them at Rangikohu (Chatham Islands). Toi settled first at Tamaki, where he planted this seed at Nga Kopi o Toi (Green Mount, East Tamaki). The karaka seed (kakano) was prepared as a food (kopi). It was anciently a staple food of much economic value. This was especially so prior to the introduction of the kumara and in time of war and general scarcity.
36 marohukahuka (or hukahuka): A frontlet or apron ornamented with thrums (hukahuka). Worn by secondary wives (wahineiti) as was Marama. The senior wife, such as was Whakaotirangi, wore the marowharanui.
37 tapatapahau: This chant by Marama was ex tempore, and adapted to this occasion. It was based on a more ancient formula of Hawaiian origin. Like a sailors' shanty, it was intended to disperse adverse influences, and bring about strength and unison to the haulers (kaito.)
38 Poutukeka: A brother of Whakaotirangi, he was the ancestor of Ngati Pou of Waikato.