Volume 10 1901 > Volume 10, No. 1, March 1901 > Wars of the northern against the southern tribes of New Zealand in the nineteenth century: Part VI, by S. Percy Smith, p 21-49
WARS OF THE NORTHERN AGAINST THE SOUTHERN TRIBES OF NEW ZEALAND IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.
The Fall of Titirangi, Puke-Karoro, &c., Hawke Bay, 1824.
AT page 168, vol. ix., of this Journal, we left the allied tribes gathered at Rua-tahuna valley, in Tuhoe-land, preparatory to a descent on the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu tribe of Wairoa, to avenge the deaths of Te Toroa and Rangi-wai-tatao, slain by the latter tribe.
The force assembled at Rua-tahuna for this foray was a formidable one, composed of the following tribes:—
Te Ure-wera took the leading part in this expedition, as it was that tribe that called the others together to take up their quarrel, but the other tribes had also accounts of their own to be squared, and hence we see tribes here gathered together that had very frequently and of recent years been fighting against each other. It is difficult to say exactly what inducement the northern tribe, Ngati-Whatua, had to join in with the others, but they were born warriors, and were glad no - 22 doubt to work off some of the accumulated debts of revenge for losses in their own tribe. Whether the particular tribe that caused their losses was concerned or not, was a matter of indifference, according to Maori custom. The thing necessary was, that some one should be killed, kia ngata ai te puku riri, to assuage the angry feelings of the heart. But Ngati-Whatua were related to Hikairo, the Arawa chief, through his marriage with Maiore of the Uri-o-Hau branch of Ngati-Whatua, and the two leaders of Ngati-Whatua named above both belonged to that particular hapu; so there is nothing extraordinary in their helping their connection Hikairo, the more so, as another of the Arawa chiefs mentioned—Te Kahawai—had been the companion of Ngati-Whatua on their famous “Amio-whenua” expedition, 1821-22.3
It would be about June, 1824, that the taua left Rua-tahuna on its way to the Wairoa, for my informant is quite clear that the last event of this campaign took place in August. which they would know by the state of the vegetation, birds, &c., though a Maori never knows the year. The allies divided into two separate parties; that under Te Mau-tara-nui passed over the hills to Maunga-pohatu and thence through the beech forests to Te Papuni, on the upper Ruaki-turi river, down the abrupt hilly valley of which they advanced to the commencement of the open country, near Erepete—that place with a strange name which is so unlike, and yet is, a bona fide Maori name, and the meaning of which is lost, Here the Ruaki-turi valley begins to open out in grassy flats, bounded by steep fern- and scrub-clad hills, the river running its rapid course through the flats to join the Hangaroa, just above Te Reinga falls, some ten or twelve miles to the east, where their combined waters form the Wairoa river.
Half way down this open valley the allies met a force of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu under Te Ua, Tu-akiaki and others, and a fierce encounter ensued on the banks of the Wai-reporepo stream, where Ngati-Kahu-ngunu were defeated and obliged to fly to their fastnesses, Te Ua being wounded in the back by a blow from Te Mau-tara-nui, which led to results we shall learn of later on.
The taua now turned to the south, and crossed over the rough fern- and scrub-covered hills in the direction of Titirangi, a stronghold of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, situated on the hills some three miles up the Waiau river front its junction with the Wairoa. A rough and difficult country this to make one's way through, before the energetic - 23 white man came, with his fires and grass seed, followed by his great flocks of sheep, which have caused most of the fern and scrub to disappear.
But we must for a time follow the fortunes of the other branch of the taua, which, after leaving Rua-tahuna, followed the old war-trail over the Huiarau mountains, and thence down to Waikare-moana lake. Crossing the lake, they came out to the open country of the Wairoa district at Te Onepoto, at the head of the Waikare-taheke river, where that stream bears off the surplus waters of the lake in a series of steep rapids and falls, descending in the first two miles of its course a depth of 1,400 feet. The taua was directing its course down the valley to converge, with the other taua, on the Titirangi pa, then under the command of Te Whenua-riri, Hipara, Ranga-ika and other Ngati-Kahu-ngunu chiefs. The ruined palisades of this pa are to be seen at this day. Whilst the taua was encamped at Te Onepoto it was seen by the scouts from Titirangi, who at once returned and reported, “E! He ope taua kei Waikare; te rakau, he pu!” “There is a war-party at Waikare, armed with pu (guns)!” When the people of Titirangi heard this, Ranga-ika said, “Haere mai ena pu ki enei pu!” “Those pu will meet these pu!” thereby expressing his ignorance of pu (guns), for he thought the word referred to their ancient trumpets, also called pu. Such is the story told by the Ure-wera, but it is a question if the report of the scouts did not refer to the Nga-Puhi taua under Pomare and Te Wera, which was also approaching Titirangi. Pomare had come on round the East Cape with his canoes in accordance with the arrangement made at the Bay between him and Te Mau-tara-nui, as already related (vol. ix., p. 166, et seq.), and after joining Te Wera at Nuku-taurua, Te Mahia peninsula, had advanced to the Wairoa, and without waiting for the other allied tribes attacked Titirangi.
As the taua advanced to the attack, and ascended the tahitahi, or glacis of the pa, those within came forth on to the maioro, or ramparts, and there saw the famous pu of the taua gleaming in the sunshine—for the Maori of old kept his Tower musket as bright as polished steel. They said, “E hika ma! O friends! why the small end of the pu (guns) is directed towards us, not the larger end as in our pu (trumpets).” When the attacking taua commenced firing at them, they soon discovered there was more than one kind of pu, and that the new kind was very fatal, for men began to fall in all directions, striken by an unseen missile.
And so Titirangi fell before the arms of Nga-Puhi, and with it the chief, Te Whenua-riri, the lament for whom is still a favourite with his descendants. It is as follows:— - 24
I tawhiti ano te rongo o te pu,
I ki ano koutou, “Mawai ra e homai?”
Ki te kainga o Māhu-tapoa-nui,4
Ki a Tu-ma-tere ra,
Ki te oke ki te pae.
E Koro! ki nui, ki patu, ki tata—e!
I te rangi maori,
He mea ra kia kapi te waha
Ka kitea rikiriki,
Ka peke mai Tini-o-Irawaru,5
Hei poke mo koutou.
Takoto mai ra, E Koro e!—
Koutou ko whakahina,
I te hara kohuru,
Nau era ngohi,
E ware koutou ki Te Toroa ma ?
Tera Te Poturu nana i kai atu.
Takoto mai ra, E Koro e!
I roto o Tauri,
I hea koia koe ka aho ai i to tapuae?
Ata tu mai, ata tu hihiko mai,
He hihiko hei hiki mai i a koe.
Ki te rangi i runga ra,
Ko aua wai ano to mata nei whakataha.
Whilst distant was the fame of the guns,
All said, “Who will dare to bring them here?”
To the home of Māhu-tapoa-nui,*
To Tu-the-swift, indeed
To strive within our bounds.
O Sir! of great, of warlike words and blows,
Heard in this ordinary world.
'Twas so said that mouths should be closed,
Now indeed is seen, inconsolable grief;
Spring forth the descendants of Irawaru.†
To worry and tease you all.
Rest thee there, O Sir!—
Thou, and thy grandchildren,
Through the evils of murderous war,
Thine are the slain,
Have all forgotten Te Toroa's death?
Still lives Poturu who consumed them.
Prone thou liest, O Sir!
In the vale of Tauri,
Where wast thou, that thou charmed not thy footsteps?
Stand forth! arise, with vigorous strides—
Strides that will bear thee on,
To the heavens above us;
To those other waters, turn thy face aside.
Ranga-ika, Hipara, and the other members of the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu tribe that escaped from Titi-rangi, fled to the wooded valley of Nuhaka, near the Mahia peninsula. The former thus avoided for a time the vengeance of the Ure-wera tribe for killing Rangi-wai-tatao, to avenge whom was this taua of many tribes invading the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu territories.
It is related that Nga-Puhi, under Pomare, Titore, and Te-Hihi-o-tote had, previously to the fall of Titirangi, crossed Hawke Bay from Te-Mahia, and attacked the people of Ahuriri, where they killed the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu chief, Te Ito-o-te-rangi, but it is not certain if this incident occurred at this time or previously. Indeed, it is now very difficult to place all the incidents known to have occurred about this time, in their right sequence. It appears certain, however, that after the fall of Titirangi, Nga-Puhi returned to Nuku-taurua, and after a short time proceeded on their way homewards to the Bay of Islands. It is uncertain if Te Wera—who, it will be remembered, had cast in his lot with the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu of Te Mahia—joined in the Titi-rangi siege with his fellow Nga-Puhi; the accounts are conflicting.
Moumoukai, Wai-Kotero, Puke-karoro, 1824.
The Ure-wera and other allies, on arriving at Titi-rangi, found the pa fallen to the powers of Nga-Puhi. They at once followed up the retreating Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, picking up any stragglers they came across; but these were few, as all the tribes of the Wairoa district had retired to the forests of Nuhaka and the Mahia peninsula. In the Nuhaka valley they occupied a pa named Moumou-kai, a hill 2065 feet high, some 4 miles inland from the shores of Hawke Bay, which they fortified. This place, which is now covered with low bush, was of no great strength, and easily fell to the allies, who also routed their enemies at Wai-kotero, near where Te Aparakau, a chief of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, was killed by Te Ahi-Kaiata and Te Mau-tara-nui of the Ure-wera. The people who escaped from these fights retired to Puke-karoro at Te Mahia peninsula, where a large number of the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu were living, having removed from Heretaunga and other parts of the Hawke Bay district owing to the fear of the Ngati-Raukawa, Ngati-Tu-wharetoa, and Waikato tribes, whose incursions into that district had resulted in the fall of Te Roto-a-Tara, Te Pakake, &c., and led to the belief that the first-named tribe intended to permanently occupy the district.
The Ure-wera and their allies now advanced to the attack of Puke-karoro. Before reaching there, they were met by Te Ra-ka-taū, the father of the late Ihaka Whanga (our ally in the war with Te Kooti, - 26 1869-70) who was distantly related to some of the Ure-wera, and, therefore, although a member of the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu tribe, was quite safe amongst the latter tribe's enemies. He endeavoured to make peace with the allies, and for that purpose presented the Ure-wera people with a valuable mere named “Te Rama-apakura.” His overtures were clearly not acceptable to the whole of the chiefs, for, after telling Te Ra-ka-taū not to enter Puke-karoro, they laid siege to the latter pa. After some time Te Ra-ka-taū again attempted to make peace, and presented the allies with two other meres, named “Kaha-wai” and “Kauae-hurihia.” But the siege went on, until the inhabitants were reduced to great straits, having to eke out their stores by eating a certain kind of clay called uku, and hence this incident in Maori history is sometimes called Kai-uku. The pa eventually fell to the allies and there was great slaughter. But the taua did not have it all their own way, for they suffered considerably. After this a peace was made, and some guns were given to Ngati-Kahu-ngunu to bind it. My informant, Tamarau, says the pa fell in the month of August, and we know that the year was 1824. The allies now returned to their various homes.
The peace made between the Ure-wera and Ngati-Kahu-ngunu was not of long duration, as we shall see. But first it is necessary, in order to conserve the sequence of events, to relate some events in the north which were far-reaching in their results.
Te Ika-a-ranga-nui, 1825.
Those of my readers who have had the patience to follow this history so far, will have learnt that revenge has been the guiding principle which led to the events that have been related. If the Maori can be said to have any sense of duty at all, it is—or perhaps it were better put, was—the enduring feeling that any injury inflicted on his family or tribe must be satisfied by utu, exacted to the uttermost limit. It was a feeling that might slumber, even for generations, but in the end its rigorous fulfilment was the corner-stone of Maori honor. Many illustrations of this have been given already. In relating in brief form the tribal histories, the learned men will give a strict debtor and creditor account, starting with the origin—which was, probably, the death of some member of his tribe, either by violence or by witchcraft—and follow it up by naming those who were sacrificed on either side, alternately, in settlement of the account. There are, perhaps, some advantages in thus treating history; it serves as a sort of memoria technica, by which to recall the accompanying detail. It is the boast of some tribes that injuries (as we should call them) inflicted by their ancestors have never been wiped out, and - 27 consequently the tribal utu account left them in credit, as against their enemies. Many of these tribal accounts will now never be settled—thanks to the Pax Britannica that sheds its blessings over the land. It was in strict accord with Maori law that vengeance must be exacted: whether it fell on the individual whose misdeeds gave rise to the vendetta, or on the innocent members of his tribe, was a matter of supreme indifference. Even tribes allied to the offenders were subject at any time to suffer for the misdeeds of their friends. Now, this is what occurred in the events about to be narrated—at any rate it was the immediate cause, though Nga-Puhi had a long series of defeats at the hands of Ngati-Whatua to avenge.
It has been said that Koriwhai, of Nga-Puhi, had been murdered by some members of the Ngati-Whatua and Ngati-Maru tribes,6 then allied, more through force of circumstances than mutual good will. This event brought to the surface all the old memories of unavenged defeats that Nga-Puhi had suffered at Moremo-nui, and other places, before the introduction of fire-arms. So Hongi decided to aid Te Whare-umu, to whom Koriwhai was related, and at the same time wipe out their brave and warlike neighbors of Kaipara, who were at that time but ill supplied with muskets.
Messengers having been sent to the Hokianga people, they assembled at Lower Waihou to discuss Hongi's proposal to join in the expedition about to start. They decided to do so. and proceeded to Kaikohe to join the other force.
So Nga-Puhi assembled under Hongi 500 strong, and before starting the usual war-dance was performed, for which purpose Hongi composed the following tau, or song, to accompany it:—
Te Torea i te tahuna,
Te mata o te harakeke;
Te kai kaha o te harakeke;
Titi kahukahu, ha!
The Stilt on the sand-bank,
The point of the flax leaf,
The sustaining food of the flax,
The taua proceeded by way of the Manga-kahia Valley. With them was the Roroa chief, Te Hihi-o-tote, elder brother of the well- - 28 known Parore-te-Awha, or Patu, of Kaihu, Kaipara, both of whom were related to Nga-Puhi and to Ngati-Whatua.
For some reason, the exact one I do not know, but probably with a desire to save his relatives of Te Roroa tribe, Te Hihi-o-tote hastened on before the wai-party to visit these people, and there obtained the mere, or greenstone weapon, which formerly belonged to Matohi, an ancestor of the Roroa people, who lived about nine generations ago. With this valuable mere, Te Hihi hastened back to Hongi, and gave it to him as a peace-offering on the part of Te Roroa division of Ngati-Whatua, whose territories Hongi was about to invade. What were the arguments used by Te Hihi-o-tote we know not, but Hongi and his taua turned right-about-face and marched back to their homes at Kaikohe and Waimate with the ultimate intention of attacking Ngati-Whatua from another direction.
As illustrating the manners and customs of the times, the following is introduced:—During this expedition ria Manga-kahia to Kaihu, an aitua, or evil omen, occurred. One of Te Morenga's wives was seduced by one of Hongi's party, at which the latter was very angry, and insisted on the woman being sent back to Waihou, Hokianga, to which place she belonged. On the way back by the coast she was killed by some of the Roroa people, and her body cooked and partly eaten, the rest being sent to Muriwai, a chief of Hokianga, who handed over the remains to Te Morenga, her husband. On the return of the expedition, the cooked remains of the woman were distributed to the chiefs of the party, who ate them, but Te Morenga would not touch them.
Te Whare-umu was very wrath at the failure of the above expedition, and blamed Te Hihi-o-tote for depriving him of an opportunity of avenging his relative, Koriwhai. Not being satisfied to wait for Hongi, he gathered together his own immediate hapu, together with some others, and started on in advance, this time avoiding the Roroa territories. He proceeded by sea from the Bay of Islands to Manga-whai, the little harbour six miles to the south of Bream-tail Point. His force numbered 170 men, and the point of attack intended was the middle Kaipara districts of Otamatea, etc., where dwelt Te Uri-o-Hau division of Ngati-Whatua.
Hongi started from the Bay with a force of 300 warriors (some accounts say 400) in February, 1825,8 and followed up the advance- - 29 guard, under Te Whare-umu, to Mangawhai, where he overtook him. In this taua were many divisions of Nga-Puhi, but I have only been able to obtain the names of a few of the chiefs. These were Hongi Hika as commander-in-chief, his son Hare Hongi, Te Whare-umu, Te Ahu, Te Puhi, Taiwhanga, Kaiteke (the chief tohunga) Moka, Te Morenga, and Te Tirarau (of the Parawhau).
With these Nga-Puhi people of the central and eastern districts of the Bay of Islands, was a contingent from Hokianga, under Patu-one, Nene, Moetara, Poutu, and others from the coast south of the Bay.
I have often heard the great battle of Te Ika-a-ranga-nui described by the old men of Te Uri-o-Hau, who took part in it, among them being Paikea-te-Hekeua, the principal chief of that hapu, Te Toko, Tieke, Puriri, and others. I cannot expect to excite the same interest in the incidents as would the recital by these old men who fought and bled there, but as the details of the battle have not, so far as I know, been published, I will endeavour to follow their accounts as closely as I can.
It appears that Nga-Puhi were expected, and the Uri-o-Hau, with some of the other hapus of Ngati-Whatua, had gathered together to meet them at the head of the Otamatea, or, as it is there called, the Kaiwaka River. This was at the head of the navigation, and not many miles from the nearest of the Uri-o-Hau settlements, and about eight miles from Mangawhai, the Nga-Puhi camp.
The Rev. Hauraki Paora tells me that on arrival of the news of the coming of Nga-Puhi, plans were discussed as to the best method of meeting their foes. Murupaenga, of Ngati-Rongo, proposed that one party should proceed to Mangawhai and there await the landing, with the idea of attacking Nga-Puhi at a disadvantage, but Rewharewha, of the Uri-o-Hau, overuled this, saying: “Nawai i mea me pena te matenga mo Hongi-hika”—“What an absurd idea to suppose that Hongi-hika could be caught like that.” So the plan was abandoned, and it was decided to meet the foe at Te Ika-a-ranga-nui.
The country lying immediately to the west of Mangawhai consists of rolling undulating downs, bounded to the north and south by wooded ranges, but the country between these forests, at the time I write of, was open and covered with stunted fern and manuka. The soil is sterile, with a little richer land in the valleys, such as at Hakoru. Formerly this country was covered by fine kauri forests, as the natives tell us, and as is proved by the enormous quantities of kauri gum, or kapia, which has been dug out of it. The Maori, having no tools in former days to clear a path with, always accomplished this by setting fire to the country, and the result is that these fires, continued for ages, have destroyed, first the forests, then the vegetable humus - 30 which goes to form a soil, and hence the extent of sterile country north of Auckland. Eight miles or so to the west of Mangawhai the open country comes down by gentle slopes to the head waters of the Kaiwaka, one of the branches of the noble Otamatea, the most beautiful of all the beautiful rivers—or rather inlets, for the waters are salt—of the Kaipara Harbour. There is a little freshwater stream named Waimako, running down from a wood, and at a mile from its junction with the Kaiwaka is Te Ika-a-ranga-nui, an undulating picturesque country, with a somewhat better soil than that to the east, and which is now covered with European farms. It is here the great battle was fought.
This open undulating country that has been described was used as a toanga waka, or portage, by Ngati-Whatua, when they used to drag their canoes across from Kaipara to the east coast, at Mangawhai, and some of the Uri-o-Hau had been engaged in this work when the news of the near approach of Nga-Puhi drove them to arms.9
Whilst Nga-Puhi were encamped at Mangawhai, an incident occurred which is so characteristic of the race that I quote it here, although it has already been published in Mr. John White's lectures in 1861. He says: “A priest named Kaiteke was accompanying a war-party in their canoes from the Bay of Islands to attack the Kaipara natives, unaware that the natives of that district were awaiting them with the intention of fighting at Mangawhai (Kaiwaka). Encamped on the shore at night, he invoked the gods to reveal to him his success by matakite, using the same ceremonies to himself which were described in a former lecture as being observed when the priest watches over the sleep of his disciple to see if he will become adept in the mysteries he is about to learn. In the trance Kaiteke saw a company of spirits dancing before him and singing—
Ki mai te Atua o te Po,
Ko Mangawhai, au ka mate,
Kei te pikitanga, au ka mate,
Kia kite au, te tai o te uru,
Kia kite au, te tai o te awa,
E ka kutia, ka wherahia
Te tai o te awa
O Waihi,10 ka kutia.
- 31 E kata te wahine,
A ko Tu! ko Tu!
A ko Tu! ko Tu!
E pupuhi ke ana
Te hau whenua iara;
A, ka titiro au, ki to wao kahikatea,
E tu ki Kaiwaka, ra! ra!
A ko Tu! ko Tu!
Kopiko atu, kopiko mai,
Kopiko atu, kopiko mai;
Ka whakaaro Tupua
Hua mai te riroriro,
I! i! i! i!
The gods of night are saying,
At Mangawhai, I shall be slain;
On the mountain side shall I die,
When I view the wave of the western sea,
And gaze on the river's rippling tide,
My grasp shall hold, my power release
The flowing tide of the river,
Of Waihi, will I tightly grasp,
And woman's laugh shall say,
'Tis Tu! 'tis Tu!
'Tis Tu! 'tis Tu!
The land breezes blow
I see in the distance the kahikatea wood,
That stand on Kaiwaka's brink, there! there!
'Tis Tu! 'tis Tu!
Backwards and forwards,
Hither and thither,
Act ye like gods? for the small
Summer birds are assembled in flocks,
Ah! ah! ah! ah!
This he explained to his men on rising from his trance. The line, “Trees are seen in the blood-red clouds,” signified the enemy waiting in battle; the “small summer birds,” were the enemy in retreat after the battle. For “Trees are seen in the blood-red clouds,” I translate - 32 literally, “I see in the distance the kahikatea wood, that stands on Kaiwaka's brink,” which is equally appropriate with Mr. White's rendering, and also true to nature, for the Kaiwaka is there bordered by tall kahikatea trees close to the field of battle. Tu, mentioned above, is the god of war.
The following is taken also from “Nga Moteatea;” it is called a mata, and whilst embodying a prophecy, is also used as a war-cry to accompany the war-dance. It was composed by Kaiteke, the author of the first composition, and I have no doubt was used by Nga-Puhi as they started forth to battle. The first and third lines are sung by one of the chiefs standing, whilst the taua silently kneels on one knee, their weapons resting on the ground, one end slanting forward. The first ae! is shouted by all kneeling, at the second they all bound into the air with a great shout, and the remainder is sung or shouted in chorus with an accompaniment of horrible grimaces and contortions of the body.
Ka mate koa Kaipara, nei?
Ka mate koa Kaipara, nei?
Ka mate koa Kaipara,
Ka tu wehiwehi,
Ka tu wanawana,
Ka tutu te puehu,
Ki runga ki te rangi,
A ko te puke i Aotea
Ka piki, ka kake,
Ka taupatupatu te riri.
Will Kaipara be destroyed?
Will Kaipara be destroyed?
Kaipara shall be destroyed,
They stand in fear,
They stand trembling,
The dust shall fly
Up to the heavens above,
And the hill at Aotea
We climb, we ascend,
Destructive shall be the battle.
The Nga-Puhi, taua or war-party, under Whareumu and Hongi, numbered about 500 warriors, nearly all armed with muskets, and Hongi himself wore his famous coat of mail given him by His Majesty King George IV. on his visit to England in 1820. Against this well-armed force, already flushed with success, due to their fire-arms, gained against the tribes of the south, Ngati-Whatua, Uri-o-hau and - 33 the Roroa brought into the field—they say — over 1,000 men, but amongst them they only counted two muskets;12 the rest were armed with their old national weapons, consisting principally of the tao, a double-pointed spear from ten to twenty feet long; the taiaha, a club or double-edged wooden sword about six feet long, with one end finely carved to represent a human face and protuding tongue, which was also used as a spear for finishing the enemy when stricken down by the blade; the waha-ika, a weapon shaped like a battle-axe, but the back of which was used to give the blow, and with a bunch of pigeons' feathers attached to the opposite face, which served the same purpose as the feathers in an arrow; the hoeroa,13 a heavy, curved, flat spear made of whale's rib, with carvings at one end and in the middle; and lastly, the several kinds of short clubs for close fighting, such as the mere-pounamu, made of the beautiful greenstone jade; the mere-paraoa, like it in shape, but made of whale rib, or a mere made of other fine-grained stone, or of heavy wood, and varying sometimes in shape. The warriors also sometimes wore a pukupuku, or kotara, a thick band of woven flax, about six inches broad, and twelve or fifteen feet long, which was wound round the chest after being wetted, when it was said to be impervious to spears.
As the first division of Nga-Puhi arrived at the right bank of the Waimako stream, they found Ngati-Whatua posted on the opposite side, with their right extending into the wood already mentioned, and their left barring the passage over the stream, and extending towards Kaiwaka. Ngati-Whatua commenced the fight by dashing across the stream, into the ranks of their enemies, and succeeded in killing several of them, forcing Nga-Puhi to retreat, until they were supported by the arrival of the second party under Hongi. It is clear that Nga-Puhi were very nearly suffering a complete rout here. As the latter tribe were driven before Ngati-Whatua, Hongi's blind wife, Turi-katuku—who always accompanied him in his expeditions, and whose advice he was said constantly to follow—called out, “E Hongi e! Ka kore te puru a Taumarere”: “Hongi O! the plug of Taumarere is withdrawn,” and then it was that Nga-Puhi turned on their foes and drove them back. Kei au te mataika! Anana! Mate-rawa! Mate-rawa! the usual war-cry, denoting the drawing of first blood, was heard. But Ngati-Whatua's success was of short duration; a storm of bullets drove them back to their lines. Again they made a kokiri (a - 34 charge) down to the stream, only to be driven back again by the guns, losing large numbers of their people; but they stood their ground some time fighting hand to hand with Nga-Puhi. In one little spot, pointed out to me, on the bank of the Waimako, one of the chiefs shouted korahi! korahi! and rallied his men there until 60 topu (or 120) of them fell in one heap.14 Here it was that Hare Hongi—the great Hongi's son—fell mortally wounded. Again Ngati-Whatua charged, but the bullets of Nga-Puhi were too much for them; they fell in heaps before the guns, being as they were within arm's-length of the muzzles. The shouts of the combatants and the noise of the guns in this last charge were so great that they have given a name to the particular spot where the combatants met—Te-ra-reoreo, or the “day of voices.” Ngati-Whatua having lost—as they say—a thousand men, though no doubt this is an over-estimate, and seeing the struggle hopeless, beat a retreat to Kaiwaka river under a heavy fire from Nga-Puhi. Here, taking to their canoes, they escaped. “But for the foolishness of Nga-Puhi, all Ngati-Whatua would have perished that day,” said my informant, old Puriri of the Uri-o-Hau, who took part in the conflict, and described the battle to me on the ground in 1860.
In this battle Nga-Puhi lost several chiefs, amongst whom were Hongi's son, Hare Hongi, Te Ahu, Te Puhi, &c. Moka was severely wounded by a bullet, but his life was saved by Tai-whanga, who carried him out of the battle to a stream, and laid him therein until the fighting was over. He subsequently recovered, and then took the name of Kainga-matā (wounded by a bullet) in memory of the event. Archdeacon Williams, in his diary (vol. i, p. 115), says of Moka, “This Moka is brother to Whare-rahi and Rewa, a daring, impudent, selfwilled savage, of considerable influence in the way of mischief, possessing, I believe, not one good quality.” It is said that seventy of Nga-Puhi fell in the battle.
Of the Ngati-Whatua who fell there, only a few names have been retained; Te Toko-o-te-rangi, who built the carved house just prior to Moremo-nui,15 Te Ahu-mua, who formerly lived at Hukatere, on the Wairoa, Te Tokotoko, Houtahi, and Pa-te-tonga (the latter three belonged to the Taou people), Whakamoe-ariki, and Matohi.
After the battle, Muru-paenga, who was present, but escaped—only to meet his death a little time after—gave utterance to the following poroporoaki, or farewell, to Te Ahu-mua and others of his - 35 relatives who fell there: “E tama ma e! haere atu ra: pōpō noa ana te koukou, e tawaia ana e te tariroriro!” “O sons! Depart! The owl cries alone, being baited by the wren!”16
All the hapus of Ngati-Whatua were represented at the battle. Waimako is said to have run red with blood that unhappy day, and its waters are tapu still to Ngati-Whatua, none of whom will drink there, however thirsty they may be. The battle occurred in February, my informant said; they would know by the flowering of certain plants, state of their crops, &c., and the subsequent skirmishes lasted until June, when Nga-Puhi returned to the north, having succeeded in devastating the whole of the Ngati-Whatua territories. Mr. John Webster tells me that “Many of those not killed in the battle were brought prisoners to Hokianga, where they were held in bondage for many years, being distributed among the different villages at and near the mouth of Hokianga river, at Pakanae, Wai-mamaku. and other places. The Ngati-Whatua were subsequently taken back to their old homes and liberated by Moetara and other chiefs of Nga-Puhi.”
In Rutherford's adventures, published in the volume for 1830 of the “Library of Entertaining Knowledge,” is a description evidently intended for this battle, but it is wrong in many particulars, and leads to the inference that Rutherford was not there himself, as he pretends; he must have heard the account from others, and that very imperfectly.
The Ngati-Whatua tribe scattered in small parties, Ngati-Whatua proper to the ranges near Waitakere, and eventually to Waikato; Te Uri-o-Hau, to the fastnesses of the Tangihua mountains; Ngati-Rongo, to their relatives at Whangarei, and to the wilds of the forests. The fear of Nga-Puhi prevented them from occupying their old homes for many years afterwards, indeed not until Auckland was founded did they feel safe. It is a well-known fact that those who went to Waikato were nearly all exterminated at the taking of Noho-awatea in 1825 or 1826. The old men have often described to me the state of fear and alarm they lived in during their wild life in the mountains of Tangihua, Mareretu, and the forests of Waikiekie; they rarely approached the rivers, or the paths, but confined themselves to the wild bush, living on eels, birds, and the produce of a few hidden cultivations.
The following is the lament for those who fell at Te Ika-a-ranga-nui, as given to me by Puriri, of the Uri-o-Hau hapu:— - 36
Te Tangi mo te Ika-a-ranga-nui. Tera te marama ka mahuta i te pae,
E Pewa!17 moe-roa; Kati ra te moe,
Maranga ki runga,
Ka tu taua ki runga te parepare
Kia rokohanga atu Te Kau-whaka-tau,18
Te nui o 'Tiwaka.19
Tenei to pu, ko Wehi-ki-te-rangi.20
Tenei to pu, Te-Ata-o-kaihihi.4
Kei apo to hoa,
Ka tau korua, ki whare-kinatu.
To matua nui ki a Tama-na-tina
Mana e whakarewa te kakau o te hoe,
Ka manu ki to Tapuae-nuku.21
Ka wara kei muri, tui ana te toto
Te whana i te rangi,
Paenga rangatira, ki runga o Kaiwaka.
Ka whakarauikatia ratou ki reira.
Tautika te haere,22
Ki runga ki te kaipuke,
Ka u ra, ka koa ia kei riri poka hou,
He hau tangi kino
Ka mate mai te utu,
Te puke o Ihe,
E kai ana ahau, te roro o Hongi.
I haere koutou i te Tane o roto
I te riri whatiwhati
I roto Waimako, te moenga o te iwi e.
See the bright moon on the horizon appears,
Then cease thy deep sleep, O Pewa1 the slothful,
Arouse thee, and arm!
Let us the parapet man,
And in readiness be when the war-canoes2 come
With the host of Ngati-waka,3
Here is thy gun,—“The fear of Heaven.”4
Or take this,—“The shade of Kaihihi.”4
- 37 For should thy friends in unreadiness find thee
Together will you sleep on the funeral bier,
Thy great ancestor, Tama-na-tina,
Shall ply the skilful paddle,
And float you on to Tapuae-nuku.5
Let the past be forgotten, for now
The heavens with bloody rays are flashing
Above the chiefs that lay in heaps at Kaiwaka,
Where all-consuming death devoured them.
Straight was his course, by ship over the sea6
An avenger to seek, for Koriwhai's death,—
For the slain that fell at Moremo-nui,7
He returned, with gladness, fresh war to seek,
Like an evil-sounding blast
From the son of the heavens.
Deep was our revenge, on the heights of Ihe,
Where Hongi's head laid low.
Alas! ye warriors, ye are gone the way of man,
In the overwhelming battle of retreat.
On Waimako's sacred banks
Lies the tribe in deep death-sleep.
One of the Maori (Nga-Puhi) accounts of the return of the Hokianga contingent says: “After Te Ika-a-ranga-nui we went to plunder the kumara cultivations of Te Uri-o-Hau, and discovered a wahi-tapu, or burial ground, with a dead body on it. Hupe cut up the body and brought it to our camp, for which he was censured by Patu-one and Nene. It was then cooked by Hupe and eaten, because the body when living had eaten some of his relatives.
“As we returned to Hokianga, after Te Ika-a-ranga-nui, on the way we found the place where a party from Wairua had camped, and we followed after them to secure their aid as allies. Some of this party had surprised some of the Kaipara people, whom they found on the road, and had there killed and eaten them, leaving the heads stuck up on sticks, grinning at the passer-by. When we arrived at the coast near Maunga-nui Bluff, we secured some roi (fern root) and toheroa (shellfish) to eat, and as we passed on along the beach we saw some more heads stuck up on posts.
“After we had passed along towards Hokianga a woman, of the Ngati-Whatua, descended to the beach, returning on her way to join her people. We, of the advance party, had passed on, but the rest of us were behind, and they caught and killed this woman, who was subsequently eaten by the hapu of Patu-one and Nene. This was the last occasion on which these two partook of human flesh.
“The Mahurehure hapu of Waima, Hokianga, also discovered a woman near there, whom they killed and ate. Her people had run away and left her hidden. The Mahurehure did this because one of - 38 the people of Waima had been eaten by Ngati-Whatua some time before, at Waima. Pou-aha was the name of the Waima man who was eaten. Plenty of payment had already been obtained for his death, but what was to be done when the chance of utu, or revenge, could be obtained? All hearts were evil in former days.”
On Hongi's return to the Bay, which was about the end of June or beginning of July, he learnt that the Whangaroa people had captured the brig “Mercury” early in March. She was taken by the Ngati-Pou tribe, under Te Puhi. Hongi, fearing that such outrages would drive away the ships, and with them all chance of his obtaining more muskets, went, together with Tareha and his forces, to Whangaroa, arriving there on the 23rd July, where, after some hostile demonstrations, he made peace with Te Puhi.24
The news of the Nga-Puhi being about to attack Te Uri-o-Hau people of Otamatea had been conveyed to the Ngati-Whatua, at Kaipara, and to Te Taou, at Okahu (near Auckland). But it was too late for these people to render aid to their fellow-tribesmen. Apihai Te Kawau, however, on hearing the news of the approach of Nga-Puhi, started from Okahu with the Nga-Oho and Taou people, but met the fugitives in full flight after the battle, and he returned with them. Te Uri-o-Hau and Ngati-Whatua proper, and other defeated tribes, retreated to Waikato Heads, where they left their women and children.
Ngati-Whatua proper, Te Mangamata, and Te Wai-aruhe hapus, under the chiefs Rewha-rewha, Ohurua, and Whaka-oho, then raised a taua hiku toto, or party of revenge, and starting from Waikato Heads proceeded by way of their own homes at Kaipara, and fell unexpectedly on some of the Parawhau people belonging to Hongi's army, at Otamatea, and out of a party of eighty killed seventy and captured ten, who were subsequently liberated. One of the chiefs of Parawhau, named Tuhoehoe, was killed in this affair; his head and the flesh of the rest was taken to Waikato. Thus impedimentated, Ngati-Whatua fled rapidly up the Waikato, to Te Rauroha's pa, at Mangapiko.25 Te Kawau did not join in this taua.
At the capture of Mokoia Island, at Rotorua, by Nga-Puhi, in 1823, as already related, numerous prisoners of Te Arawa tribe were taken and carried away to the Bay. Many of these joined Nga-Puhi in the expedition against Ngati-Whatua, and fought at the battle of Te Ika-a-ranga-nui; some of these were Nga-kuku, Amarama, etc. They would look on this proceeding as strictly in accordance with Maori tikanga, whereby they obtained some revenge for their own slavery.- 39
My old friend D. C. Wilson, of Whangarei, has supplied me with the following notes on the battle, which are interesting as coming from the opposite side to mine:—“The following was told me by an old toa, or brave, named Hoera, who was in the fight. The war party consisted of 800 picked men, or, as Hoera put it, E wha rau topu. They were drawn principally from Bay of Islands, the coast between the Bay and Whangarei, and largely from Whangarei itself. The principal toa from Whangarei was a celebrated runner and jumper called Te Ihi26 and I have heard more about him than about Hongi himself. His home was at Limestone Island, Whangarei.
“Arrived at Mangawhai, a party of the Nga-Puhi dragged the canoes across towards Kaiwaka, but when within two miles of that river they were met by a superior force of Ngati-Whatua, defeated, and the canoes burnt. I saw the burnt fragments myself 40 years ago, and this point appeared to be the centre of the battle. While the Ngati-Whatua were burning the canoes, Hongi Hika with the main body came up. Hongi had a coat of mail with helmet and all complete. His men had three hundred muskets amongst them. Even then, owing to the superior numbers and bravery of the Ngati-Whatua he was nearly beaten, although the latter had very few guns. After a time Hongi's side won, and a terrible slaughter ensued. The pursuit extended right down to the Kaiwaka Creek, and some were killed there. Te Ihi distinguished himself on this occasion. He made a practice of overtaking and laming fugitives, leaving the slower runners to finish them, and he is said to have jumped the Kaiwaka Creek where it was about 30ft. wide. When I first saw the battle-field, 43 years ago, it was overgrown with high tea-tree, varying from 10 or 12 ft. on the ranges to 20 ft. in the gullies, but Hoera said when the battle was fought it was all under short fern about a foot high. Te Ika-a-ranga-nui was one of the most sanguinary battles ever fought in this country. Where the fragments of the canoes lay the ground was, in my time, littered with fragments of skulls and bones, the remains of the feast. A numerous tribe who inhabited the well-known Tara estate, about half-way between Mangawhai and Kaiwaka, were practically exterminated, and the Kaipara people fled in all directions.”
Death of te Mau-tara-nui, 1826.
The sequence of events obliges us to change the scene again to the Wairoa, Hawke Bay, where transactions had taken place that - 40 brought Nga-Puhi again on to the ground. It will be remembered that after the fall of Puke-karoro, Te Mahia, a peace between Ngati-Kahu-ngunu and the allied forces of the Ure-wera and other tribes had been made. But the memory of unavenged wrongs rankled in the minds of some of the former tribe, and prevented the peace being of an enduring nature. The death of Ti-waewae, already related (vol. ix. p. 152), was due to Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, but in some manner that I cannot get a clear explanation of, Te Mau-tara-nui was mixed up in it. This gave great umbrage to Tu-akiaki of Ngati-Kohatu—a branch of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu—living at Te Papuni, up the Ruaki-turi branch of the Wairoa river, and near the borders of Tuhoe-land. Brooding over his injuries, Tu-akiaki conceived a diabolical scheme by which to vent his rage on Te Mau-tara-nui. He acted diplomatically, however, and by fair words made overtures to Te Mau-tara-nui with a view to his marrying one of his (Tu-akiaki's) relatives. In the end he secured Te Mau-tara-nui as a husband for his sister Te Motu-o-ruhi, with the idea of bringing him into more intimate relations with the Ure-wera chief.
After a time a child was born of this union, named Owhinu; and soon after Te Mau-tara-nui accepted an invitation given him by Tuakiaki to attend a hakari, or feast, to be held at Kai-tara-hae, a village near Te Reinga falls on the Wairoa. In the meantime, Tu-akiaki and his people made great preparations after the old Maori style. There were to be seen all kinds of delicacies of the olden time—tuna (eels), piharau (lampreys), kiore (native rats), weka (wood-hens), kereru (pigeons), aruhe (fern-root) taro, kumara-kao (dried kumara), pohue (convolvulus roots), and other dainties. Such is the list that has been handed down.
A messenger was now dispatched to Maunga-pohatu, requesting the attendance of Te Mau-tara-nui and the Ure-wera people. They came, by way of Te Papuni, but apparently in no great numbers. Amongst them were Te Roro of Ngati-Manawa, and Te Mau-tara-nui's younger brother, Pae-tawa. On their way down the Ruaki-turi valley, the party fell in with Te Ua, the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu chief who had been wounded in the back by Te Mau-tara-nui at the Wai-reporepo fight, as described at page 22 ante. Te Ua was a distant relative of Te Mau-tara-nui, a tupuna, or grandfather according to Maori ideas, so they fell into conversation, and Te Ua, evidently knowing what was Tu-akiaki's intention towards Te Mau-tara-nui, gave him a warning, saying, “Me hoki koe; ko Wai-reporepo kaore ano kia ea.” “You must return; Wai-reporepo has not yet been avenged.” But Te Mau-tara-nui persisted on carrying out his intention, so Te Ua said again, “E Tama! mehemea kaua te toki i titi ki taku tuara, kaore aku tikanga.” “O Son! If the axe had not wounded me in the back, I should have - 41 nothing to say.” Te Mau-tara-nui, however, would not listen, and proceeded on his journey to Kai-tara-hae, where the feast was ready.
The next morning after their arrival, Tu-akiaki set before his guests the feast, or hakari, prepared. Whilst all were busy eating, Tu-akiaki arose, patu in hand, and approached Te Mau-tara-nui, who, evidently anticipating what was coming, said, “Tē rangona te reka o te kai, E Tu-akiaki!” “There has not been time to taste the sweetness of the food, O Tu-akiaki!” The people now all arose, and commenced falling on the Ure-wera party. There would appear to have been an idea amongst some of them to spare Te Mau-tara-nui after all, for he is reported to have said, “He manu hou ahau, he kohanga ka rerea.” “I am a new bird (or bird of plumes) leaving the nest”— which is said to indicate, that as the chief of the party he would not consent to be spared if his friends were killed, they must all suffer together, as he had brought them there, a sentiment which brings out the nobleness occasionally seen in the Maori of old. So the massacre went on, and Te Mau-tara-nui, Pae-tawa, Te Roro, and nearly all the others, were foully murdered, whilst the guests of their murderers. Te Roro, on seeing death before him, is reported to have said: “Taihoa au a patua; kia inu au i te wai o Kai-tara-hae!.”—“Do not kill me yet; let me first drink of the waters of Kai-tara-hae!” In this he referred to the stream that flowed past the village and there joins the Hanga-roa River.
The great Ure-wera and Ngati-Awa chief, together with his companions, after the slaughter, were put to the usual purpose, and formed a meal for their murderers. Parts of Te Mau-tara-nui's body were preserved as huahua, in a calabash, which was afterwards offered to a high chieftainess of the Rongo-Whakaata tribe of Poverty Bay, named Te Whaitiri-o-te-rangi, who was on her way, via Te Reinga, to visit Te Mau-tara-nui. But Tu-akiaki's proferred gift was refused by the lady, who then lamented his death in a song still sung by the tribe.
Another account of this affair differs somewhat. It says that during the absence of the Ure-wera tribe at Waikato the Ngati-Ruapani tribe, of Waikare-moana, made an incursion into Rua-tahuna, and there paid off some of their old scores by killing several of the old men of the Ure-wera, which tribe, on its return, raided down to Waikare-moana with the double purpose of avenging this raid and the death of the Ure-wera chief Te Umu-ariki,27 who had been killed at Waikare-moana. Here they took the pas Whakaari and Puke-huia, and then hearing of Tu-akiaki's feast of tuna, etc., returned home that way, and so Te Mau-tara-nui got caught.- 42
When the news of their great chief's death reached the Ure-wera and Ngati-Awa people, there was great lamentation and consternation. Piki-huia, who was a poet of some renown in those days, composed the following lament for him, which, even at this day, if sung, will cause great excitement amongst the tribe. It recites their victories and successes over Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, and was intended to excite the passionate feelings of the tribe—to rouse them to seek revenge:—
Te rongo o te tuna,
E hau mai ra i Te Papuni,
Kei a Wharawhara—a—
Nau te whakatauki,
“Te uri a Mahanga,
Whakarere kai, whakarere waka.”—
A, “Te uri a Tuhoe, moumou kai,
Moumou taonga, moumou tangata ki to po.”
Kua hinga nui atu
Ki te aroaro o Hine-i-reireia;
To kiri wai-kauri
Na Waero i patupatu,
Tarahau nga iwi, e tarahau,
Ki runga o Mohaka.
Tarahau nga wheua
Ki runga o Tangi-tu.
Ki 'kai mai te ika i Rangiriri
Tu-tara-kauika, te wehenga kauki,
E tika ana ra to matenga mo Te Ro,
Mo Te Aga-raka una Tikitu,
“Na te uri o Whiro ki te po,
Tai-whakaea ki te ao,”
Haere ki roto Tautira, mo Ti-waewae,
Na tatou koi tango kino.
Kua tu mai ra e Tohe i te hauauru,
Ka ea ko te mate e—
Tenei, E Tai ma! o tatou kape,
Koi hianga i a Te Tamaki ma,
I riro mai ai a “Te Heketua,”
I mate ai Nuhaka,
Tona whakautu pahi
Ko “Te Rama-a-Apakura”
Haere ki roto Te Mahia,
Mo “Kahawai,”mo “Kauae-hurihia,”
A, i hurihia a inumanga-a-wai
I te pa taea i Puke-karoro,
I tangi ai te umere,
Pae noa ki te one,
'Twas the news of the feast of eels,
That spread hither from Te Papuni,
In the times of Wharawhara
Arose the saying of old,
“The offspring of Mahanga,
- 43 Who abandoned food and canoe,”28
Also, “The descendants of Tuhoe, wasters of food,
Wasters of property, wasters of man to death,”29
Thou art fallen in the greatness,
Thy handsome tattooed skin,
The work of Waero.
Bleeching are the bodies, bleeching
On the field at Mohaka
Bleeching are the bones,
Above on the field at Tangitu,
That the fish at Rangiriri might eat,
Tu-tara-kauika,31 lies in a separate heap
Thy death was in payment for Te Ro,—
For Te Apa-rakau, killed by Tikitu32
“The offspring of Whiro in Hades,
And of Tae-whakaea in the world.”33
'Twas in the vale of Tau-tira, Ti-waewae died
But not through us was this deed,
Then arose Tohe34 in the west,
And the death was avenged,
This, O friends! is for us to see,
We were not deceived by Te Tamaki,35
When “Te Heke-tua”36 was gained
And Nuhaka laid waste,
The payment for which was
The weapon “Te Rama-apakura,”37
And again at Te Mahia,
Where “Kahawai” and “Kauae-hurihia”10were secured.
Overturned, like the drinking of water
Was Te Rito-o-te-rangi38
At the captured pa of Puke-karoro,
Whence arose the shouts of victory,
As the dead laid there in heaps,
On the beach at Tai-wananga.39
Piki-huia's song, together with the strong desire to obtain revenge for the death of their chief, Te Mau-tara-nui (or Rangi-aho, which was another of his names), caused the Ure-wera mountaineers to rise in their wrath, and prepare to inflict on Ngati-Kahu-ngunu a severe punishment for their treachery. In so doing, we find some of their late allies assisting them, but in the meantime. whilst the forces were assembling, a taua was dispatched to Te Papuni, which, falling on the people of that place, killed two men of note named Kiore and Ara of Ngati-Kotore, who, with others, met their deaths at the taking of the Ure-o-te-whata pa.
It must have been about the early months of 1826 that the various opes collected at Rua-tahuna, the Ure-wera headquarters. The force was composed of Ngati-Awa, of the Whakatane coast lands—with which tribe Te Mau-tara-nui was closely related, indeed. may be said to have been at that time their principal chief—the Whaka-tohea from Opotiki, and some of the Ngati-Maru of the Thames, under their chief Hau-auru, who, my informant said, was a remarkably fine handsome man. There were not, however, more than twenty warriors of the Ngati-Maru there, and they were induced to join by Te Ure-wera—na Tuhoe i waha te taua—it was Tuhoe (or the Ure-wera) who carried, or originated, the taua, said my informant. The principal Ure-wera leader was Te-Umu-ariki, who was subsequently reinforced by Te Iripa, a younger brother (or cousin?) of Te Mau-tara-nui.
Pohatu-roa and Waihau, 1826.
The Ure-wera taua first proceeded to Waikare-moana, and made war on the Ngati-Ruapani tribe (which, whilst connected with the Ure-wera, is also more nearly related to Ngati-Kahu-ngunu), taking the two island pas named Pa-te-kaha and Nga-whaka-rara, and losing Te Wara-hoe40 of their own tribe, as also Kumara, a lady of rank and grandmother of Tamarau, one of my principal informants in this narrative, in whose honour the aforementioned Piki-huia composed the following lament:—
E Kui! Kumara, tenei te whare i moe ai,
Kia noho atu au i te marae kino—
I te marae o Tu-mata-uenga.
Titi rere po, Kio' rere ao, po,
Tau atu ki Waikare,
Rukuhia e koe, te ruku o te kawau,
Kia ea ake ana, ko Hau-mapuhia,
Ngau ai runga, ngau ai raro
- 45 Ngau ai te tipua, ki era nga tipua.
Tuatua i s Rătă, i a Wahie-roa, i a Tane,
E tu ana, hei rangaki i to koutou mate,
Kia tohe Makauri, e tohe Te Ariki,
Rare noa iara me he kahui Kawau,
Ki roto o Wairau,
Mei rehu atu koe ki to huna,
I ngaro ai te tangata,
Huna te koko-uri, huna te koko-tea,
E tu Mariko tata
Piri ana i te taha—e—i.
O madam! Kumara, here is thy house
In which thou sleepest,
Whilst I am in the court-yard of affliction—
In the court-yard of Tu—the war god—
Like a night-flying titi bird,
A rat of night and day,
They swooped on those at Waikare,
Plunge thee then, with the kawau's dive
And emerge like Hau-mapuhia
All above struggle with all below,
These demons fight with other demons,
Call on Rătă, Wahie-roa and Tane
To arise and avenge your deaths,
Makauri and Te Ariki strove in vain,
But fled like a flock of shags,
To the lake of Wairau,
Hadst thou hidden thyself with charms,
That conceals man's presence,
That obliterates the stars,
Mariko-tata would appear
And thou wouldst have been safe.
The end of this episode was, that the survivors of Ngati-Ruapani were driven out of Waikare-moana district, and fled to their relatives at the Wairoa, where the allies followed them up.
At the Wairoa, the taua was joined by Te Whata-nui of Ngati-Raukawa, who, it will be remembered, was a relative of Ti-waewae— killed by Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, as related previously (see vol. ix, p. 152). He had with him a few men of his own tribe, and, most strange to say, we find with him Te Whare-pouri of the Ati-awa tribe of Taranaki. These two chiefs had been making an independent foray on their own account in Hawke Bay, having come, as my informants say, from Otaki on Cook's Straits. So far as Te Whata-nui is concerned this seems doubtful, for I think he had not at that time migrated from Waikato to the south. It was not until two years later, or in 1828, that his tribe—Ngati-Raukawa—threw in their lot with Te Rauparaha at Otaki.
The Nga-Puhi chief, Te Wera Hauraki, was at this time living at Te Mahia Peninsula, and Te Mau-tara-nui's friend Pomare was, it is - 46 said by the Ure-wera, at Rotorua at the time of the former's death. Whether sent for or not is not clear, but he came to assist in avenging his friend's death. He came by way of Whakatane, and then passed up the Rangitaiki valley, being joined en route by Te Iripa, a younger brother, or cousin, of Te Mau-tara-nui, with some of the Ure-wera, and together they proceeded via Waipunga Gorge to the Wairoa, where they joined their forces to those of Te Whata-nui. It is also said that Tu-korehu, of Waikato, was with one of these parties, but it is doubtful.
Before the arrival of the Ure-wera force on the ground there had already been some fighting, for Te Whata-nui had taken the Rakiroa pa, a few miles seaward of Te Reinga falls, on the Wairoa River, and Te Wera had attacked the pa Rangi-houa, Wairoa, which he finally took, but as his powder had given out the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu rushed Nga-Puhi and succeeded in killing Muri-wai, of the latter tribe, who, however, is not to be confounded with the Hokianga chief of the same name.
The Ure-wera and other forces seem now to have joined, and proceeded to the siege of Pohatu-roa pa. The Nga-Puhi account, however, states that Pomare drew off, as he considered it a breach of a peace that he had made with Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, but some other branches of Nga-Puhi, having no scruples of this kind, took part, and rendered very efficient assistance. These were the Ngati-wai and Ngati-rangi branches of Nga-Puhi, under the leadership of Te Mangai,41 each 60 strong, who joined Te Wera with his force from Te Mahia; Tara-patiki, and Te Putara-nui, both renowned toas of Nga-Puhi, were also there.
The force now advanced to the attack of Pohatu-roa, where the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, particularly those branches which had been implicated in the killing of Te Mau-tara-nui, were assembled under Tu-akiaki and others. Some skirmishing took place before the pa was reached, and then the allies sat down to besiege the place. Pohatu-roa is situated just to the east of Te Reinga falls, and is an isolated rock, or hill, cut off from the Whakapunake range by a deep gorge, which was formerly the bed of a river (possibly the Wairoa), and through which the present main road from Gisborne to the Wairoa passes. It was a formidable place to take. The pa itself, on top of this rock, was small—Tu-takangahau, of Tuhoe, says not more than 50 yards across —with a parapet built of rocks and earth, held together by layers of - 47 fern, on top of the cliffs.42 During the progress of the siege, the besiegers managed to get a rope round this parapet, with the intention of making a breach by this means, but the rope broke, and so they failed. The sides of the papa rock were so steep that rope (or, rather, supplejack) ladders had to be used in ascending. In one place there was a cave some distance below the summit, access to which was only obtainable by a very narrow cleft, or ledge in the cliff, so narrow that one stout-hearted man could hold an army at bay, so long as Maori arms only were used. Some of the Nga-Puhi managed, by great exertions, to secure a footing above this cave, and there constructed a sort of large basket, of toi and pirita, which they lowered down in front of the cave with some men in it, thinking to be able to shoot the inmates, but before they could use their firearms the cave dwellers, by the use of long spears, huatas, killed several of them, thus causing Nga-Puhi to abandon the scheme.
Eventually the pa was taken by the allies, when a great slaughter took place, and amongst the killed was Tu-akiaki, who was slain by Te Whata-nui, of Ngati-Raukawa. Thus ended Tu-akiaki's foul scheme to kill Te Mau-tara-nui; he himself died, by what might be termed the natural death in those turbulent times.
Not satisfied with the success thus obtained, the allies now advanced inland in the direction of the present site of Gisborne, and attacked a pa called Waihau, situated near the place now known as Tini-roto.43 This pa was taken also after some fighting. At this time the Ure-wera were possessed of a single fire-arm, in the shape of a kōpē, or horse pistol, which was used to great effect by Rehua, the father of Rakuraku Rehua, of Waimana,44 the well-known Ure-wera chief, who had this renowned pistol in his possession up to the year 1897, when it was buried in the fall of a house at Waimana. A great slaughter took place at Waihau. Rakuraku told me that he had seen great - 48 heaps of men's bones and skulls there in his younger days. It is said by some that Tu-akiaki was killed here, and not at Pohatu-roa.
From Waihau the Ure-wera, Ngati-Maru, Ngati-Raukawa, and Nga-Puhi allies turned their faces homewards by way of Waikare-moana, where the former three tribes added to the destruction they had already wrought on Ngati-Ruapani, by killing all they came across, among whom were the following men of note:—Tiaki, Mauri, Pikopiko, Paiaka, and Mahia, all of Ngati-Ruapani, whilst Ranga-ika and Te Rito made their escape.
This war with Ngati-Kahu-ngunu is said to have been the last of any consequence—indeed, some say the last of all—between that tribe and the Ure-wera up to the time of the introduction of Christianity, for peace was shortly afterwards made between Te Ahuru, of the Ure-wera, and Hipara, of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu.
This peace is one of those called by the Ure-wera a tatau-pounamu, or “green-jade-door,” which means an enduring peace, its durability being likened to the jade as imperishable—the door was shut against war, like the door of the Temple of Janus amongst the Romans. Apparently it was Hipara and his brother Puhi-rua, of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, who originated the peace, which was consented to by all the tribe. Hipara's daughter, named Hine-ki-runga, was given in marriage to one of the Ure-wera, and the peace was also more firmly bound by the strange custom of marrying two mountains, the names of which are Kuha-tarewa (the female) and Tuhi-o-kahu (the male), the first being given by Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, the other by the Ure-wera.45
The following is the descent of Te Mau-tara-nui from Toi, the celebrated ancestor of the tangata-whenua, or aborigines, found here on the arrival of the fleet of canoes, circa 1350. It is from the Ngati-Awa tribe of Whakatane. There is some doubt about the earlier names, and the number of generations between Toi and Toroa is two greater than the average number deduced from many genealogies, and the line is also very short from Toroa to living persons.
Family Tree. Toi-kai-rakau, Rauru, Whatonga, Taha-titi, Rua-tapu,
Family Tree. Rakei-ora, Tama-ki-te-ra, Pae-rere-i-waho = Awa-morehurehu (visited Hawaiki), Irakewa, Toroa, captain of “Mata-atua” circa 1350, Wai-raka, Tamatea-ki-te-hua-tahi, Ue-i-mua, Te Kato-a-Tawhaki, Te Rangi-aniwaniwa, Awhata, Tu-mata-wera, Tae-whakaea II, Nuku, Tarau-hika, Kohi, Taha-manawa, Te Mau-tara-nui, Koka = … Fulloon, J. Fulloon, Paremata Buckworth, Her children.
Frequent reference has been made in the part of this narrative relating to the Ure-wera tribe to Tamarau, to whom I am indebted for a great deal of the information given, as well as to Mr. Elsdon Best. He is now about 71 years old, and in the possession of all his faculties. Before the “Ure-wera Commission,” in 1900, he gave an exhibition of his powers of memory, which exceeded anything of the kind I ever heard of. He recited the genealogy of the whole of his tribe—the Ngati-Koura—starting from Te Hapu-oneone, who flourished 33 generations ago. From this remote ancestor he gave every line down to living persons, stating whether they were male or female, and where necessary supplied the names of the husband or wife of outside hapus. He took three days to do this, and the number of names given amounted to within a few of 700. Truly a most astonishing effort of memory, and one that probably none but a Polynesian—the most accomplished genealogists in the world—could have succeeded in.
(To be continued.)
1 Taraia Ngakuti of Ngati-Tama-te-ra, Thames, a tribe nearly related to Ngati-Maru. Taraia is said to have been the last cannibal in New Zealand. He died at the Thames, 13th March, 1871.
2 Tamarau, my informant, is not quite sure if Te Waru was with the expedition—but other evidence seems to favour the idea that he was there.
3 Vide vol. ix., page 85.
4 Māhu-tapoa-nui, an ancestor of some twenty generations ago, with whom is connected the story of the formation of Waikare-moana Lake. (Vide “Waikare-moana,” p. 30.)
5 Ira- waru, the father and ancestor of the dog tribe.
6 See Journal, vol. ix., page 19.
7 It would require reference to Hongi or some of his old companions to explain this.
8 In the “Orakei Judgment,” Thomson's “Story of New Zealand,” and other works, this date is given as 1826, but the Missionary records cannot be mistaken in a matter of this kind, and they clearly state that Hongi left in February, 1825. The Maori account says Te Ika-a-ranga-nui was fought in February, but they do not know the year.
9 I have a piece of one of these canoes in my possession, found lying on the ground by one of the settlers in 1888, and by him presented to me. It is of totara wood, and excepting a little dry-rot is still quite sound, although it had been lying on the ground for 63 years.
10 Name of the strong current at Kaipara Head.
11 The original Maori is from Sir George Grey's “Nga Moteatea.” Mr. White's translation is evidently from a different source, as it is not faithful in places; I have altered it to agree with the Maori as nearly as may be.
12 In the life of the Rev. S. Leigh, it is stated, page 269, that Ngati-Whatua numbered 800 men, of whom 100 were armed with muskets. Hongi had 300 men, all armed with fire-arms. Probably these figures were obtained at the time from the Nga-Puhi people. Ships had not visited Kaipara at this date.
13 The hoeroa was the weapon with which women were usually killed, by impaling.
14 Korahi was explained to me as an expression used by the chief, meaning “Let it be so big”—at the same time he indicated with his mere, a small space of ground, on which his men were to die or conquer.
15 See Journal, vol. viii, p. 153.
16 I am unable to explain the inner meaning of this, which is like so many Maori sayings, cryptic.
17 Pewa was the name of a Ngati-Whatua chief who lived in the Mata-wherohia pa, near the battle-field.
18 The name of a war-canoe.
19 Ngati-waka, a branch of the Uri-o-Hau hapu.
20 The names of the two guns possessed by Ngati-Whatua at that time.
21 Tapuae-nuku, the rainbow, but here, I think, is the name of a place.
22 This refers to Hongi's voyage to England in 1820 to procure arms with which to exterminate Ngati-Whatua.
23 Moremo-nui: see Journal, vol. viii, p. 152, the battle in which Nga-Puhi were badly beaten by Ngati-Whatua, in 1807.
24 Life of Rev. S. Leigh.
25 “Orakei Judgment.”
26 Mr. Wilson spells this name as above, and he is probably right. This is the same man as mentioned vol. ix., page 114, as a swift runner, but the name is there given as Te Hihi, which I have since had reason to doubt, and believe that Te Ihi is right.
27 Not the same Umu-ariki mentioned on page 22
28 An old saying, referring to Mahanga, an Ure-wera ancester who abandoned his tribe.
29 An old saying, applied by the Ure-wera to themselves, indicative of their ferocity.
30 Hine-i-reireia, an ancestress of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu.
31 Tu-tara-kanika, emblematical for the whale, here used for the fallen chief.
32 Tikitu, a chief of Ngati-Awa, here said to have killed Te Apa-rakau of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu.
33 Another old saying, applied to Tae-whakaea, an ancestor of Ngati-Awa.
34 Tohe, another name for Te Whata-nui of Ngati-Raukawa.
35 Te Tamaki, said to be a chief of Ngati-Whatua. There are still members of that tribe that bear this name.
36 The mere, mentioned vol. ix., p. 148
37 The two meres, mentioned on page 26.
38 Te Rito-o-te-rangi, killed at Puke-karoro.
39 Name of the beach below Puke-karoro.
40 Possibly this means Te Warahoe hapu of the Ure-wera, not a man of that name.
41 Te Mangai was one of Hongi's trusted warriors, and had been engaged in many of the celebrated battles and sieges under that chief. He was at Maunga-nui, Mau-inaina, Te Totara, and Roto-rua. He died at Ohaeawae, Bay of Islands, in 1877, aged about 90 (“Wananga,” 1877, p. 429).
42 This description seems to indicate that the modern redoubt, used by both Maoris and our own troops in the sixties, was an ancient invention of the Maoris.
43 I have heard one or two amusing guesses at the origin of this name, Tini-roto, now applied to a Government township about half way between Gisborne and the Wairoa. When Chief Surveyor of the Auckland Province, this part was in my district, and I gave the place the name for want of an original Maori one. For euphony the adjective—Tini—was placed before the noun—Roto —contrary to the rules of the Maori language.
44 Rakuraku died at Waimana, February, 1901, and with him much valuable knowledge, for he was educated as a tohunga.
45 I have referred, all through these events, to the series of tribes within the “Ure-wera reserve ” as the Ure-wera tribe. As a matter of fact, the tribe that properly bears that name are the descendants of Mura-kareke, who got burnt in a fire some sixteen generations ago, and hence the name. Tuhoe, the father of Mura-kareke, has also given his name to the tribe.