Volume 17 1908 > Volume 17, No. 1 > History and traditions of the Taranaki coast: Chapter VII, Taranaki tribes and their boundaries, p 1-47
                                                                                             Previous | Next   

- 1

IN preceding chapters, we have brought the history of the people we are dealing with down to their arrival, and settling down in New Zealand. It remains to gather up the various threads of story as they have been preserved by the tribes, and endeavour to weave them into something like a continuous history. The amount of data we have for this purpose is considerable; but it is too frequently of a very sketchy nature, and often the incidents cannot be placed in their proper sequence.

But before relating what has been preserved on the above subject, it will be convenient to place on record, so far as may be, an enumeration of the tribes and hapus occupying the Taranaki Coast, taking their names as we find them at the date of the arrival of Europeans in the country. It was at a little before that time that the most momentous events in the history of the Coast occurred, and the tribes known then to be in existence were the actors and sufferers in those troublous times. Northwards of the true Taranaki Coast, or north of Mokau, the series of tribes that occupied those parts should find a mention here also, for we shall constantly come across their names in following out the history of the Taranaki tribes proper.


From the Mokau river—which may be taken as the Northern boundary of the Taranaki tribes, as it is of the present Province—northwards to Manukau Harbour, a coast line of over one hundred and twenty miles, we find a number of tribes and hapus, who may be styled generally the Tainui tribes, because they are largely descended from - 2 the crew of the “Tainui” canoe that formed one of the fleet of 1350, and which canoe finally found a resting place in Kawhia Harbour, where, to this day may be seen two pillars of stone, named Puna and Hani, placed there by the Maoris to show the exact length of the vessel where she finally rotted away. 1 A very significant name is that of Ahurei, close to the spot where “Tainui” perished. It was the tuāhu or altar set up by Hoturoa the captain of the “Tainui” on her arrival, and is named in memory of the district in Tahiti from whence they came—now called Te Fana-i-Ahurei. Close to is Hawaiki, where Hoturoa's wife planted the first kumaras, brought over in the “Tainui.” Many details as to these tribes are to be found in Mr. John White's “Ancient History of the Maoris,” Vols. I., II., and III., but his matter sadly wants editing and arranging on an historical basis. So far as this narrative is concerned, we may, for the present, consider these Tainui tribes as having two great divisions, viz.: Waikato and Ngati-Mania-poto, with which are connected a large number of sub-tribes and hapus. In very general terms it may be said that the Waikato tribes occupied all the coast from Manukau to the Marokopa river eight miles south of Kawhia, and Ngati-Mania-poto south of Marokopa to about Mohaka-tino river, two miles south of Mokau. Included within the Waikato territories, as here defined, were the homes of the Ngati-Toa tribe, who lived at Kawhia and Marokopa until the year 1821, when they migrated to Otaki and Kapiti Islands in Cook's Straits, as will be related later on, their places being taken by Ngati-Apakura, Ngati-pou, and other sub-tribes of Waikato shortly afterwards.

On the banks of the Mokau river and that neighbourhood, lived the hapus of Ngati-Mania-poto, named:—

Ngati-Rora, Ngati-Uru-numia, Ngati-Rakei, Ngati-wai-korora, Ngati-wai, Ngati-pu, Ngati-Ihia.

Some of these we shall often come across again.


But there appears to have been in occupation of Mokau, in very early times a tribe that it is certainly very suprising to find here, for, if it is the same, it distinctly belongs to the “Taki-tumu” migration, which settled on the East Coast and in the Middle Island. These people were called Ngai-Tahu. Messrs. W. H. and John Skinner obtained some information about them, which is briefly as follows:—“Ngai-Tahu came to New Zealand prior to the general migration, and mixed with the tangata-whenua people who were then living at Mokau. They

- iii
Plate No. 5.
Photo by R. W. S. Ballantyne. Stones marking the length of the “Tainui” canoe at Kawhia.

- iv Page is blank

- 3

lived principally around Mohaka-tino river (two miles south of Mokau) and had a large house there at Waihi. They also occupied a strong pa called Rangi-ohua. Many generations ago—how many the natives do not now know, but Tatana says it was before Rakei's time, and he lived seventeen generations ago (see below)—they were attacked by Ngati-Tama, and driven into the fortified pa of Rangi-ohua. Here they were besieged, but by the powers of their incantations—so it is said—they opened a way from the pa by a subterranean passage at a place called Tawhiri, and so the main body escaped, and thence fled to Taupo, afterwards to Ahuriri, Wellington, and subsequently to Nelson and Otago. Only one man named Rokiroki and a woman named Kaea fell into the hands of Ngati-Tama, and from these two are descended several of the families now living at Mokau, such as Mr. Phelp's wife, Te Rera's family, and others. They call themselves Ngai-Tahu. Taiaroa (late chief of the Otago Ngai-Tahu) once laid claim to lands at Mokau, on account of his ancestors having formerly owned lands there, but his claim was disallowed. Rakei, before mentioned, was a descendant of Hape who came over in the ‘Tainui’ canoe. He married a woman of the ‘Toko-maru’ canoe, and their daughter, Kiwi-nui, was the mother of Rakei.” (From Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. I., p. 227, it will be seen that Rakei—who is the eponymous ancestor of Ngati-Rakei of Mokau—was married to Kara-pinepine, a great granddaughter of Mateora, one of the crew of the “Tainui,” and therefore Rakei must have flourished eighteen or nineteen generations back from the year 1900, i.e., about 1425 to 1450, s.p.s.) “After the Ati-Awa—the descendants of Te Tini-o-Pawa-tiretire—had driven out Ngai-Tahu, they took possession of the whole of the Mokau country, and retained it till Titoko-rangi, a chief of Waikato, (? Ngati-Mania-poto) with his tribe came down and drove them out to beyond Mohaka-tino, and they have retained possession ever since.” (See infra on this subject.) “It was not Ngati-Mania-poto who drove out Ngai-Tahu; on this my informants are all agreed.”

When at Waitara in March, 1897, with Mr. W. H. Skinner, old Watene Taungatara, a good authority, confirmed to us the fact of the Southern Ngai-Tahu having once lived at Mokau. An old man of Mokau, named Rihari, in January, 1906, also corroborated part of the above story, but said the period of the expulsion was long after the “Tainui's” arrived. The Ngai-Tahu, he said, lived just opposite Mahoe-nui on the Mokau river, and the place where they so mysteriously disappeared is near a rock in the bend of the river there, which the Maoris to this day believe has miraculous powers—if any one touches it a whirlwind springs up at once!

The late Mr. G. T. Wilkinson, Government Native Agent for Waikato, kindly made some inquiries as to the descendants of Ngai-Tahu on the Upper Mokau, and he supplies the following table of descent - 4 from Kaea to Te Kapa, wife of Te Rangi-tuataka (died at Mahoe-nui, 11th June, 1904) elder brother of the late Wetere-te-Rerenga, principal chief of Mokau.

Family Tree. Ngai-Tahu, Kaea, Ko-rokiroki, Kuia-puru, Pa-hoka, Tuki-ata, Pare-hauka, Te Kapa-te-Aria

Mr. Wilkinson adds—“A celebrated canoe was made, or rather commenced but never finished, by Ngai-Tahu at Mokau—it was called ‘Whakapau-karakia.’ It is said both the pa of Rangi-ohua and the remains of the canoe are to be seen at Mokau at this day.” The period of Kaea, however, here given differs considerably from that shown above.

No doubt there is some foundation for this story. A party of people driven from Mokau may have afterwards formed part of the great Ngai-Tahu tribe; whose main stem, however, must be looked for in their ancestor Tahu-makaka-nui, whose home was at the East Cape, the younger brother of Porou, who was born about 1350, at the time of the heke. (See Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. XV., p. 93.)


Whilst the “Tainui” tribes were thus practically confined to the north of Mokau, there was one small tribe whose ancestors formed an inclusion within the “Toko-maru” boundaries. This was the tribe of Ngai-Tara-pounamu.

After the “Tainui” canoe had landed most of her people and cargo at Kawhia, she was brought on south by some of the crew, under a chief named Tara-pounamu, who apparently was not satisfied with Kawhia as a home. They put in at Mokau, and for some reason one of the stone anchors of the canoe was left there near the bluff under the Mokau Township, in a cave on the north side of the river, half-a-mile within the entrance. 2 It was here also that, as tradition states, some of the skids of the canoe, or, as others say, some of the whariki, or flooring of branches was left, and from them sprung the trees called Tainui or Nonokia (Pomaderris Apetela—tainui) a handsome shrub, which was originally confined to a few small clumps between Mokau and Mohaka-tino, and also at Kawhia (now extinct in the latter place says Mr. Cheeseman, N Z. Flora, p. 100), but which is common in Australia. It is suggested that the original spot on which this shrub was found growing was at Kawhia, and that when the canoe came on to Mokau some of the branches were placed in it for whariki. In after times it came to be believed that the shrub was brought from Hawaiki. It grows readily from cuttings.

- 5

From Mokau the “Tainui” went on to Wai-iti, a stream some twenty-seven miles north of New Plymouth, where they found that Turi and his party of the “Aotea” canoe had preceded them, and had burnt all the fern along the sea shore. It is said also that at Mimi, a few miles further south, they came across some of the crew of the “Toko-maru” who claimed that particular country. So Tara-pounamu settled down at Wai-iti with his party, and the “Tainui” was hauled up on the sandy beach there. After a time, one of these men desecrated the canoe by easing himself within it. When Hoturoa, the captain, who was at Kawhia, heard of this, he was extremely angry at their sacred vessel having been so shamefully used. So he sent a party of men all the way from Kawhia, who took the canoe back with them, and left her near the Maketu village, where, as has been said, she eventually rotted away.

But Tara-pounamu and his people remained at Wai-iti, and built a pa and lived there, probably for some few generations. We will now quote from Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. II., p. 216, Te Whetu's story of the end of this tribe:—“After living there many years some went on a fishing excursion in their canoes, which were forty in number.” (Probably this is an exaggeration; the old fishing canoe usually carried from four to six people in it.) “While out at sea, a fierce storm came on, and this ‘Puhi-kai-ariki’ (as they call it) drove the canoes before it. On the fourth day they reached Rangitoto or D'Urville Island at the north end of the Middle Island, and here the people landed. After a short stay there they removed to the western side of the Island, to a place called Moa-whiti, or Greville Harbour, where they permanently established themselves. There they engaged in cultivating the soil and fishing; and when they saw the plentiful supply of food to be obtained there they decided to fetch their women and children from Wai-iti. They accordingly set out, and by-and-bye they all returned to Rangi-toto Island. Then it was that they were first seen by the inhabitants of the island, who, being very numerous, could not be either opposed or molested; so wives were given them, and thereafter the two tribes became one and lived together.” It was in the time of Kao-kino's son that these people left Wai-iti.

Apparently all this tribe left the Taranaki Coast, for they are not known by that name now in the locality where they formerly lived. Hohepa Te Kiaka, the last of the tribe of Rangi-toto, died at Kaiaua, near Wakapuaka, Nelson, in 1890.

Now the inhabitants of the island who were found at D'Urville Island by the migration from Wai-iti, must have been some of the original tangata-whenua, for, even if they had been descendants of the crew of “Kura-haupo,” some of whom settled at Pelorus Sound near D'Urville Island, as has been shown in Chapter VI., they could not - 6 have increased in numbers to the extent indicated by Te Whetu's narrative, so that they “could not be either opposed or molested.”

It may be remarked as significant, that the name of the chief who came across Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa from Hawaiki to New Zealand in the “Tainui” canoe, and who settled at Wai-iti, was Tara-pounamu or “Jadite-barb.” This shows a knowledge of the pounamu or jadite prior to the departure of the fleet from Hawaiki in 1350, and appears to support the well known tradition of Nga-hue's voyage to New Zealand and back to Hawaiki, when he took back with him a block of jadite, afterwards converted into axes with which some of the vessels of the fleet were hewn out. We shall see later on at what an early date after the arrival of the heke, these Taranaki people made expeditions to the Middle Island to procure the green jade.


We now come to the Taranaki tribes proper—that is, those tribes that live within the Province of Taranaki, from the Mokau river southwards—but we must be careful to remember that there is a tribe known by that name (i.e. Taranaki) living further south, though the outside tribes always refer to this congeries of tribes as Taranaki. Ngati-Rakei occupied the country around the mouth of the Mokau, and as far south as Mohaka-tino river, a distance of two miles; but they were so mixed up with their southern neighbours, the Ngati-Tama, as often to be confused with them. Indeed it would be difficult to separate them, for inter-marriage was frequently taking place. The lands of the Ngati-Tama tribe extended from Mohaka-tino river to a place named Titoki, two miles south of Puke-aruhe pa. They thus had a sea frontage of about fourteen miles, and their boundaries extended inland until they were met by those of Ngati-Hāua, 3 of Upper Whanganui, and with whom they were often allied in war and also in marriage.

This tribe takes its name from Tama-ihu-toroa, great grandson of Tama-te-kapua, captain of the “Arawa” canoe. Of this I have no proof beyond the statements of the people, confirmed by those of Roto-rua. But if it is so, it probably means that there is a considerable amount of tangata-whenua blood in the tribe, and that one of the more forceful descendants of the heke has, as so often occurs, managed to leave his name as principal progenitor of the tribe.

Te Whetu, a well informed man of Te Ati-Awa, says that Ngati-Tama absorbed the remnant of Ngai-Tara-pounamu, left behind at - 7 Wai-iti when the rest of the tribe migrated to D'Urville Island; and that Ngati-Tama were also closely allied by marriage with Ngati-Toa and Ngati-Rarua, of Kawhia, a fact which accounts for their allowing Te Rauparaha and his men, with Tu-whare's expedition in 1819, to pass through their territories unobstructed. Tama-ohua, Ue-rata and Ue-marama were also noted ancestors of Ngati-Tama. Whatever may be their origin it is quite clear that Ngati-Tama has been at one time one of the bravest tribes in New Zealand, whose warriors have over and over again hurled back the strength of Waikato on the numerous occasions, when the latter attempted to force the passage to the south, past the Kawau and other stongholds. Their territory is a mere strip of level fertile land along the coast, and a very large extent of broken forest country behind, and includes the White Cliffs, or Pari-ninihi, 900 feet high, that barred the way to hostile incursions from the north—even if they passed the strongholds held by Ngati-Tama on the far side of the Cliffs, a feat not often accomplished. Ngati-Tama, in fact, held the keys of Taranaki, and they proved themselves very capable of doing so.

Their territory has very many fine pas in it, the most celebrated of which have been mentioned in Chapter I. There is another named Puke-kari-rua just about a mile south of Mokau, standing as a peak on the range which rises some 800 feet from the coastal flats, that is remarkable for the number of terraces still very plainly to be seen from the high road. There are eight of these terraces, each one of which, in former times, would be palisaded. It was built by a chief named Tawhao in the long ago.

Immediately on the south bank of Mokau rises a fine hill of a conical shape, some 500 feet high. This is named Puke-kahu, and on it in former days was lit the bale-fire which denoted the coming of hostile forces from the north and gave warning to many a pa to be on the alert as far south as Puke-aruhe.

The Pou-tama rock, which gives its name to that part of the district, and which has been the scene of many a fierce encounter as will be related later on, has a tradition relating to its origin which partakes of the same character as so many recited in Maori legends in connection with their belief in the efficacy of karakia, and also with the movements of mountains. Pou-tama was a man of the olden time—quite possibly belonging to the nebulous period of the tangata-whenua—whose present representative is the rock, or reef, of that name. Outside it lies another reef named Paroa, also named after a man. On one occasion Poutama paid a visit to the Taranaki people living near Warea, some twenty-five miles south of New Plymouth (and which was a large palisaded village in the early fifties, situated on the sea coast. The name is now applied to a European village on the main - 8 road 4). At a place named Tai-hua near there, Pou-tama beheld out at sea a reef of rocks shaped somewhat like a canoe with men in it, and off which was an excellent fishing ground. This rock was much coveted by Pou-tama, whose own coast was defective in such places. (The fact is, that the rocks around Warea are volcanic and capable of withstanding the wear and tear of the sea; whilst those along the coast at Pou-tama are either sandstone or papa, which does not resist the action of the waves to near so great an extent.) On his return to his own home, Pou-tama decided to apply his powers of magic to the removal of the rock to his own coast, and thus enjoy in perpetuity a good fishing ground. Meanwhile, Paroa who dwelt at the Kawau pa, a little to the south of Pou-tama's home, heard of the fame of these rocks, and decided to forestall the latter and secure them for himself. So Pou-tama set to work, using his most powerful incantations, to induce the removal of the rock, and made a line and hook capable of being thrown far out to sea to catch the rock as it came along. But Paroa, “went one better.” He likewise recited his karakias and prepared his line, first taking a bone of one of his ancestors and lashing it to his hook, thus imbuing it with far more power than the hook of Pou-tama. The rock, induced thereto by the power of the karakias, left its original site, and came sailing along the coast, where Paroa and Pou-tama were awaiting it. The former cast his line, and lo! the rock was caught, and lies there still—which is the proof of the story! It is rarely seen however; only in heavy gales and big waves, when the tides are very low does it appear to mortal vision, and then it is an aitua, or evil omen, denoting that one of the Ngati-Mania-poto tribe is about to depart for the Reinga. Such is the story told by Te Oro, of Te Kawau. But just why the appearance of this tupua rock is an aitua to the tribe named, and not to Te Oro's tribe, is not explained.

There will be much to say about Ngati-Tama later on; in the meanwhile we pass on to their neighbours on the south.


From Titoki, the southern limit of Ngati-Tama, to Te Rau-o-te-huia, a place one mile south of Onaero river, is about eleven miles along the coast line, and this was the frontage held by Ngati-Mutunga, whilst their inland boundaries marched with those of Ngati-Maru. The sea frontage is marked by perpendicular cliffs about 100 to 150

- v Page is blank

- vi
Plate No. 6.
The Whakarewa Pa, from Wai-iti beach.
Plate No. 7.
Photo by A. Hamilton. Ure-nui, Maru-wehi and Poho-kura pas; on the Ure-nui River.
- vii
Table No. XXXIII. a.
Family Tree. 26 Kahukura-ruru-kaha = Te Ao-patari, 25 Tu-oioi = Te Moana-waipu 5 Tama-o-rangi = Tu-taruke, Rangi-tuatahi, Tama-o-whare = Te Moana-waiwai 6 Ropa = Rewa, Te Ao-matangi = Te Hau-kohaki, 20 Koari, Pakira, Kakahu-rukuruku, Weka-moho, Rahiri-potea, 15 Te Uru-pare = Koari, Kahu-kura 78 This pa is now partly eaten away by the sea. On the level plateau, a few hundred yards inland, stood the modern village of Maru-wehi, occupied by Ngati-Mutunga on their return from the Chatham Islands in 1868, and which was subsequently abandoned for the present site on the Main North Road, at Te Rua-pekapeka. = Hinemoe, Mutunga 9 = Te Rerehua 10 Ruapu-tahanga (6) = Whati-hua (7), Uenuku-tuhatu = Rangi-tairi, Tuoi-tangiroa = Pakura-rangi, Tu-tarawa = Wai-tawaha, Ue-tara-ngore 11 = Hine-whati-hua, Maniapoto (9) = Papa-rau-whara, Hine-tuhi 12 = Tu-kai-tao, Te Hihi-o-Tu (11), Tu-whakapu = Rau-niao 13 Tukutahi 14 Rehetaia 15 = Nga-Rongo-ki-tua, 10 Aurutu 16 = Tuke-mata = Okiokinga, Taihuru 17 = Hine-wairoro, Wharau, Kapua-kore 18 Te Rangi-hiroa, Te Uinga = Takaratai, Te Hoe-whakatu, 5 Te Ngahuru-taepa, Te Rai, Ngaru, Whata-rauihi, ^, Wiremu Neera 19 = Kapua-kore, Tuhi-uru, Te Rangi-hiroa, ^, Nga-Rongo-ki-tua, ^, Kume, Rina, Te Rangi-hiroa, Rangi-te-wherutu = Ika-kino, Te Whakairi, 1 Te Mahia, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Hine-wairoro = Whakaruru, Whetonga, Te Tomo Kapua-kore = W. Neera(18), Te Rangi-pu-ahoaho, ^, Tarawhai, Hine, Te Aho, ^

- viii Page is blank

- 9

feet high, formed of papa rock, through which the three main streams, Mimi, Ure-nui and Onaero break their way to the sea, forming picturesque and fertile valleys, the two former being navigable for canoes for a few miles. Above the cliffs, the level or undulating country extends inland for a few miles, forming a picturesque and rich plain, beyond which the wooded hills rise in somewhat steep slopes. The whole of this country is dotted over, here and there, with fine old pas, amongst which is Okoki, one of the strongest in the district. Within this district is Wai-iti, the former home of Ngai-Tara-pounamu, whose emigration to D'Urville island has been described; around that part are some fine pas, particularly Whakarewa 20 situated on the coast a mile to the north. There are several pas around this place, some of which are said to have been built by Ngai-Tara-pounamu, but it seems doubtful if this is the case, although it is probable that some remnant of that emigrant tribe became absorbed in Ngati-Mutunga.

The Ngati-Mutunga take their name from Mutunga, who was the sixth son of his parents, and received his name Mutunga (the last) because he was to be the last. They had hoped for a daughter, but were disappointed. Table 33a as supplied to me by Te Rangi-hiroa, shows the position of this ancestor, together with Hine-tuhi and Aurutu from whom some of the Ngati-Mutunga hapus take their names.


Te Rangi-hiroa (or Dr. Peter Buck, M.B, Ch.B., of the Health Department) supplies most of the following notes, besides the table itself. “This table down to Mutunga was copied from a book belonging to Pamariki Raumoa (formerly of the Chatham Islands, a very well known and influential chief) of Ngati-Mutunga. As all the old people are dead, I am unable to say which of these ancestors came from Hawaiki.”

[See endnotes at the end of the article for notes to Table 33a on page 9]

- 10

[See endnotes at the end of the article for notes to Table 33a on page 10]

- 11

[See endnotes at the end of the article for notes to Table 33a on page 11]

Ngati-Mutunga in early times was called Ngati-Kahu-kura, probably after the first ancestor shown on Table 33a.

The tribe is no doubt largely composed of the same elements as Te Ati-Awa—indeed is often included in that name—and therefore must have originally absorbed a large number of tangata-whenua, besides descendants of the crew of “Toko-maru.” The principal hapus of the tribe were named Te Kekere-wai, Ngati-Hine-tuhi and Ngati-Aurutu.

The home of the first-named was the Mimi valley, and inland where their old fortified pas are still to be seen. Ngati-Hine-tuhi derive their name from a Ngati-Mania-poto woman named Hine-tuhi, belonging to the same branch as the late Rewi Mania-poto, and who married into this West Coast tribe. (See number ten in Table 33a.) Ngati-Hine-tuhi lived at the mouth of and up the Ure-nui river, and owned the fine pas named Ure-nui and Poho-kura on the north bank, Pihanga (the Military Station in 1865), Kumara-kai-amo (within the modern township), Kai-pikari and Te Rewa, all on the south bank, and whose grassy ramparts still add a great interest to the pretty scenery of those parts. It was Ngati-Mutunga, aided by the two hapus named, that built the Okoki pa already referred to, and it was in occupation of the former when the battle of Motu-nui took place in 1821, for which see infra.


Adjoining Ngati-Mutunga on the south was one of the principal tribes of the coast—the Ati-Awa—whose boundaries (for the last few generations) extended from Te Rau-o-te-huia, near Onaero river, on the north, to Nuku-tai-pari, the sandy gully that descends to the coast immediately at the southern base of Pari-tutu, the main Sugar-loaf, where they were joined by the Taranaki tribe. This gives the tribe a coastal frontage of about twenty miles, which coast is generally low, with here and there a few sand hills, but behind extend fine plains and undulating country for miles. The boundary between Ati-Awa and Taranaki, was a matter of dispute when the lands came to be sold to the Government, for the Ati-Awa claimed that their boundary ran from Pari-tutu to Mount Egmont, a line that was fiercely disputed by Taranaki. The line was eventually drawn from Pari-tutu straight to a protuberance on the slopes of Mount Egmont, about half way down its eastern slope, called Tahuna-tu-tawa. From there it is said to have - 12 extended E.S.E. to the Matemate-onge range, which divides the waters falling into the Whanganui from those of the Waitara river; thence northerly and north-westerly to Te Rau-o-te-huia on the coast. But this apparently includes a large slice of the tribal lands of the Ngati-Maru, the boundaries between that tribe and Ati-Awa are not known to me. This same boundary has also been a matter of dispute with Ngati-Rua-nui whose territory adjoins on the south.


When the Omata block was purchased by the Crown in 1847, Ati-Awa made a claim to it, and sent out armed parties to prevent Taranaki carrying out the survey. Mr. Donald McLean and Mr. G. S. Cooper pursuaded the disputants to meet them in New Plymouth to adjust matters, and a large number of Maoris from both sides assembled at Puke-ariki, or Mount Eliot, the present site of the Railway Station, and under their respective leaders—Te Tahana of Ati-Awa, and Tamati Wiremu Te Ngahuru (or Tawa-rahi) of Taranaki—the matter was discussed. The dispute arose originally as to the exact boundaries conquered from Taranaki by Te Ati-Awa a few generations previously (which we shall have to refer to). So when these ancient enemies met at Puke-ariki there was a considerable display of feeling, and much “tall talk,” dancing of war-dances, etc. The following is the ngeri, or song to accompany the war-dance, as sung by over a 1000 Taranaki warriors as they danced on the hard sands of the beach below the old pa of Puke-ariki:—

Te Ngeri Kuru-raparapa.
Ko hea! ko hea tera maunga, Where! O where is that mountain,
E tu mai ra? That stands forth so plain?
Ko Taranaki pea! Surely it is Taranaki!
Nukunuku mai, nekeneke mai! It hitherwards moves, it comes
Ki taku aro, kikini! Before my face, press it!
Kikini ai! a ha! Press it close! a ha!
A! A! kekekeno! A! A! crunch the sands!

(Kuru-raparapa represents the noise of the butts of their brass bound muskets, firmly placed on the ground before the dance. Kekekeno is the crushing, crunching noise of the butts as they grind the sand with the swaying movement of the men.)

The Ati-Awa claimed Mount Egmont as well as the Poua-kai ranges, and the respective learned men of both sides stood forth to advocate each sides claims, Ngaere-rangi being the tohunga or priest of Ati-Awa. The priests of Taranaki, given below, recited the names of their ancestors that had owned and lived on the mountain slopes, and indicated the particular parts owned by each. They were followed by other learned men, such as Kerepa, Pai-rama, Horo-papera and Nga-Tai-rakau-nui. 21 They particularly laid emphasis on the fact of their - 13 ancestors having lived at a village, or pa, on the eastern slopes of Mount Egmont named Karaka-tonga, which was built on the banks of the Wai-whakaiho in the times of Awhipapa (see Table No. 33, Chapter VI.) fourth in descent from Hatauira who came to New Zealand in the “Kura-hau-po” canoe. This was a large pa, the meeting house of which was named Kai-miromiro, and the marae or plaza, Tāra-wai-nuku. They also referred to their ancestor Tahu-rangi who ascended Mount Egmont from that place, the first Maori to do so, and many other arguments, which in the end convinced the Government Officers that Taranaki really owned the Mountain and the adjacent country right away from Pari-tutu. Hence when the Omata block was purchased (11th May, 1847) the Taranaki tribe received the payment. We shall have to refer to this inland pa later on.

This meeting where Ati-Awa were overcome by argument is known as “Patu-tutahi,” from the opening lines of a ngeri sung by Taranaki at the conclusion of the meeting on top of Puke-ariki:—“E hanga ra e Patu-tutahi.” Ati-Awa were anxious to sell the block to the Government, but Taranaki won the day and got the purchase money. The Taranaki tribe held that the Ati-Awa boundary was at Whaka-ngere-ngere where they marched with Ngati-Rua-nui, and that the mountain of Ati-Awa, in place of being Mount Egmont, was Whaka-ahu-rangi, a place on the old inland road from Matai-tawa to Hawera, near where Stratford is situated—for the origin of which name see infra.

I have introduced this incident here merely to preserve a record of it.

    Table No. XXXIV.
  • 21 Te Awa-nui-a-rangi = Tuturau
  • 20 Toka-tipu
  • Toka-haere
  • Hape-nui
  • Hape-roa
  • Mango-taki-ora
  • 15 Tai-ma-tanu
  • Tama-whakatara
  • Ue-nuku
  • Tuiti
  • Whakawera-pounamu
  • 10 Rikiriki-te-kai
  • Forgotten
  • Tua-riri
  • Te ata
  • Kohi-kaka
  • 5 Piri-rau-kura
  • Ihaia-Kirikumara

The origin of the Ati-Awa has already been referred to. The people take their tribal name from Te Awa-nui-a-rangi a son of Toi, about whom much information has been given in Chapter IV. Awa-nui would be born, according to the mean of many genealogies, about the year 1150 (see Tables Nos. 24, 25, Chapter IV.), and he was most clearly a tangata-whenua, who gave his name to the Tini-o-Awa tribe, who were to be found in many parts of New Zealand under either that name or as Ngati-Awa, a name which his more direct descendants in the Bay of Plenty bear at the present time. No doubt Ati-Awa are connected with the crew of “Toko-maru,” and perhaps other canoes of the great heke of 1350, but until the people can show more descents from these crews, they must be considered principally as tangata-whenua, of the great Awa family. In the margin I quote one of their genealogical tables showing the descent from Awa-nui-a-rangi, but, it seems to me the line is imperfect, it is too short to agree with many others. The last on the list is the celebrated Ihaia, who caused Katatore to be shot (9th - 14 July, 1858), and which act led to the war amongst the tribes at Waitara, etc., at that time.

The Taranaki Ngati-Awa or (as it is better to call them to distinguish them from their East Coast brethren) Ati-Awa, are called by the Bay of Plenty tribe of the same name, Koro-Ati-Awa, from koro, to desire; which is explained as meaning a “desire to travel.” The same people further say that the Taranaki tribe migrated in consequence of quarrels amongst the sons of Awa-nui-a-rangi, which induced some of them to leave their ancient home at Whakatane, some of them going north to the present Nga-Puhi country, others moving south to Taupo, where they divided into two parties, one going to Port Nicholson, the other down the course of the Whanganui, the rest, and larger party, proceeding to Waitara (ten miles north of New Plymouth) where they settled and became the Ati-Awa tribe as we know them. This is the account given by the Bay of Plenty Ngati-Awa, but as far as I am aware no exact confirmation has ever been received from Ati-Awa themselves; indeed their early history is a blank; they are merely able to tell us that they derive their name from Awa-nui-a-rangi, but where he lived they do not know for certain; but one authority (Ati-awa) says his home was at Napier where he had a house named Ahuriri, the foundations of which are still to be seen. The harbour took its name from the house. This confirms the East Coast origin of this ancestor, though Ahuriri may not be his correct home. Another authority says that Awa-nui-a-rangi flourished long before Manaia came here in the “Toko-maru, and that his name in full is Awa-heke-iho-i-te-rangi, and that he was a son of the god Tamarau-te-heketanga-rangi, his mother being Rongo-ueroa whose other and earthly husband was Rua-rangi, by whom she had Rauru. (See Table 25, Chapter IV., where these names will be found. This is merely another version of the origin of Awa-nui given in Chapter II.) Hence comes the “saying” for Ati-Awa—“Te Ati-Awa-o-runga-i-te-rangi.” If this migration took place in the times of the sons of Awa-nui-a-rangi, then the date would be approximately the end of the twelfth century, and before the advent of the fleet. It seems probable that it was some of these people that Manaia of the “Toko-maru” canoe met with and destroyed on the north bank of Waitara, when he arrived here with the fleet in 1350. (See Chapter II.)

It seems also probable that the Tini-o-Awa people mentioned in Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. XIII., p. 156, as having been driven

- ix Page is blank

- x
Plate No. 8.
The old pas, and modern village of Nga-puke-turua.
- 15

from Heretaunga, Hawke's Bay, by the incoming Ngati-Kahu-ngunu tribe, who fled to Tamaki (Dannevirke) afterwards to South Waira-rapa, and finally some of them to the Middle Island, are identical with the branch referred to in the last paragraph as having separated off at Taupo, and gone to the neighbourhood of Port Nicholson.

According to the traditions of the Ati-Awa, the first place they settled down in on this coast was at (or near) Nga-puke-turua, the group of fortified hillocks just inland of Mahoe-tahi, 22 and about the same time at Puketapu, the pa on the coast seaward of the above place, a very tapu spot, to be referred to later on. This first settlement no doubt refers to the arrival of the descendants of Awa-nui. From here the people spread in all directions as time went on, and became eventually a powerful and warlike tribe.

The ramifications of the descendants of Awa-nui spread further afield than those of any other ancestor of the Maori people, but this Ati-Awa branch was probably the most numerous in the time of its full strength, i.e., at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Whilst the East Coast Ngati-Awa call the West Coast branch Koro-Ati-Awa, the latter equally apply that term to the former branch. There is perhaps some justification for this name as applied to some at least of the Whakatane Ngati-Awa. I learnt from Tamahau, of the Urewera tribe (also connected with Ngati-Awa) that shortly after the “Mata-tua” canoe arrived at Whakatane from Hawaiki in circa 1350, there came from Taranaki another canoe named “Nuku-tere,” having on board Tu-kai-te-uru, Tama-tea-matangi, Te Mai-ure-nui, and others. They brought with them Taro and Karaka plants. At this time Toroa, captain of the “Matatua” had already built his celebrated house named Tupapaku-rau, and his brother Tane-atua was living in his home called Orahiri (situated just above the entrance to Whakatane river), and Muriwai their sister was living in her cave at Wai-rere, just behind the modern township of Whakatane. Then follows the well known story of the mistake made by Wairaka, Toroa's daughter, by which she obtained Te-Mai-ure-nui as a husband instead of Tu-kai-te-uru as she had intended. But that does not belong to this account. These people settled down at Whakatane, and their descendants are there still. If the story is true, then these people were probably some of the tangata-whenua Ati-Awa. Old Tamahau was well versed in Maori history, and would not confuse this Taranaki canoe with “Nuku-tere” the canoe of Whiro-nui, which came to New Zealand from Hawaiki apparently two or three - 16 generations before the heke of 1350, and whose crew settled on the coast near Te Kaha, Bay of Plenty. We may assign a date for this migration from Taranaki as, say, 1360 to 1370.

There was a more modern migration to Whakatane from Ati-Awa, dating some ten generations ago, when a party of Ati-Awa under Turanga-purehua migrated from the West to the East Coast, as will be referred to in its place. These two hekes probably gave rise to the name Koro-Ati-Awa.

The Ati-Awa people have within their tribal bounds a great many splendid specimens of the old Maori pa, many of them celebrated in the annals of the country. Not all of these, however, were built by that tribe; their neighbours on the south made a good many during their occupation. The country is one of the most picturesque and fertile in New Zealand. Numerous limpid streams originating in the snows of Mount Egmont, traverse the gently sloping plains in close proximity, their banks clothed, even yet, here and there, with clumps of rich vegetation amongst which the Mamaku (Cyathea Medullaris) tree-fern grew to a perfection not seen in any other part of the Colony. The sea teems with fish, the rivers with eels, and in its season, the piharau, or lamprey is found in the Waitara, the largest river in the district. It was thus a district most favoured by nature, and admirably adapted to the wants of the Maori people.

The divisions of Ati-Awa are as follows:—

  • 1. Hamua
  • 2. Ngati-Rahiri
  • 3. Ngati-Tawake
  • 4. Ngati-Ue-nuku
  • 5. Puke-rangi-ora
  • 6. Puke-tapu
  • 7. Ngati-Tawhiri-kura
  • 8. Kai-tangata
  • 9. Manu-korihi (see Table 35)
  • 10. Nga-Motu
  • 11. Otaraua
  • 12. Ngati-Tupari-kino
  • 13. Ngati-Tuahu

Notes.—No. 2 derives its name from Rahiri-pakarara (see Table No. 30, Chap. VI.); No. 3 from Tawake-tautahi the ancestor of many of the same name; No. 5 from the great pa of that name on the Waitara river; No. 6 from the old and sacred pa of that name; No. 7 from the ancestor of that name; No. 9 from the large pa of that name near the Waitara bridge; No. 10 from the name of the Sugar-loaf Islands; No. 11 from a large pa of that name on the north bank of the Waitara; No. 12 from Tu-pari-kino, who lived about six generations ago.

    Table No. XXXV.
  • 10 Manu-korihi
  • Te Uru-one-pu
  • Te Oro-papaka
  • Te Poe-nui
  • Te Whara-pe
  • 5 Te Hinu-rewa
  • Rehutai
  • Winiata

With reference to No. 9, Manu-korihi, Col. Gudgeon once told me that this hapu, or some of them, originally came from Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty, whence they migrated in consequence of a quarrel. If so, this heke took place ten generations ago, as per marginal table. But I have never heard any local confirmation of the story. The people—many of whom still live at Manu-korihi pa—always say their hapu name is derived from that of the pa.

- 17
Table No. XXXVI.
Family Tree. Te Raraku = Kainga-rua, Hine-koto, Te Ara-tangata, Hikihiki, Rangihaua, Te Kai-a-te-kohatu

This hapu has, however, a connection with the Ngati-Whatua tribe of Kaipara, through Te Raraku, a famous ancestor of that tribe, who was a kind of free lance, and wanderer, who found his way to Manu-korihi pa, and there married an Ati-Awa woman, from which connection Wiremu Kingi Te Rangi-tākē claimed relationship with Ngati-Whatua. This marriage connection had important consequences in the wars of the early 19th Century, for it often saved the Manu-korihi hapu from destruction.

There is a place near Manu-korihi pa called Te Kapa-a-Te-Raraku, now used as a burial ground.

(See Supplement Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. VI., p. 38, for a full account of Te Raraku.)

According to the Nga-Puhi traditions, the Ati-Awa received an accession to their numbers by a migration from the neighbourhood of Kaitaia, in the extreme north, many generations ago. So far as I am aware, the local traditions do not make any mention of this, but then the Ati-Awa people have really very little information as to ancient times. It may be as well to record the particulars of this migration here, in the hope that some one may be able to find a confirmation of the story hereafter.

In “The Peopling of the North,” 23 the occupation of the northern peninsula by the Ngati-Awa tribe is described as fully as the information then available allowed of. Ten years additional study—with some further information—causes me to modify slightly the views expressed in that work, but not to any great extent. The following seems to me now the most probable story of the north as it affects the migrations to the Taranaki district.

It appears clear that the descendants of Toi (Table 24, Chap. IV.) had occupied the north, probably in the fourth generation after him, or about the years 1200 to 1250, and that these people were then called either Te Tini-o-Toi, Te Tini-o-Awa, or Ngati-Awa, from Toi's son (or grandson) Awa-nui-a-rangi, and that they all came originally from the Bay of Plenty. In their new homes they mixed with other aboriginal tribes descended from Ngu, Tumutumu-whenua and others, and lived together for many generations, with the usual accompaniments of war and interludes of peace, until a time arrived when some of Ngati-Awa found the country getting too hot to hold them. They, of course knowing that some of their people had migrated from the Bay of Plenty to Taranaki in the times of Awa-nui's sons, decided to - 18 join their fellow tribesmen, and cast in their lot with them. The particular portion of Ngati-Awa, who migrated at this time, was named Ngati-Kahu, 24 and the leader under whom they left the north was named Kahu-unu-unu (not Kahu-ngunu). We can get at the date of this migration very nearly—for there were two parties of them, the second under the leadership of Kauri and his son Tamatea, who went by sea to Tauranga, and from these latter the descent to the present day is well known. Kahu-ngunu, Tamatea's son, was born at Kaitaia, about 1450 (see Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. XV., p. 93), and the inference is that his father and grandfather migrated when he was a boy—so probably we shall not be far out in fixing this exodus from the north at about 1460.

Kahu-unu-unu, the leader of Ngati-Awa (or Ngati-Kahu) led his party overland from Whangaroa, passing down the northern peninsula by way of the forest-clad interior, thence into Waikato, and by the coast to Whaingaroa, Mokau and Mimi to Taranaki, where they settled down, and as the northern story says, “Taranaki became Ngati-Awaed” (sic). How long these wandering people were on the road, or where they finally settled down, we have no information—they may have been absorbed into the present Ati-Awa tribe, or into some other on their way.

The above was the first migration of Ngati-Awa from the north. A subsequent one under Titahi will be alluded to in its proper place. But this latter migration probably affected Ati-Awa much less than their southern neighbours.

It is said that some of the beaches along the coast line of the Ati-Awa territory were sacred in former days, especially those called One-tahua and Otama-i-hea near Turangi, north of the Waitara; and on passing over them certain formalities had to be observed, such as not expectorating or relieving nature, for fear of the consequences that might ensue from a breach of the tapu.


The proper name of this tribe is Ngati-Maru-whara-nui, derived from an ancestor named Maru-whara-nui, a name which distinguishes them from the Ngati-Maru tribe of the Thames. This tribe is closely allied to Ati-Awa and also with Ngati-Rua-nui, which latter tribe bounds them on the south. They are an inland people of forest dwellers, whose territories no where touch the coast. Precise information as to their boundaries are lacking, but it may be said generally that they owned the whole of the Waitara valley and most of its branches from about the junction of the Manga-nui with that river. - 19 Their boundaries thus marched with Ngati-Mutunga and Ati-Awa on the west, Ati-Awa and Ngati-Rua-nui on the south, and the numerous tribes known under the general name of Whanganui on the east, and with Ngati-Hāua on the north.

Exclusive of a few clearings, the whole territory was forest-clad, and the surface somewhat broken, but no where do the hills rise to a greater elevation than 1,500 feet, whilst the general heights are much less. The Waitara river was navigable for light canoes, with great difficulty, for some miles into their country, but it could never have been a highway except for the conveyance of heavy loads. There are not so many old pas in this district as on the coast, but nevertheless a few of some renown are to be found. The Ngati-Maru, from the nature of their homes, must have largely existed on birds, eels, and other wild products, in the pursuit of which their lives would resemble those of the old tangata-whenua, from whom no doubt many of them descend. The tribe could never have been a very numerous one, and is now sadly reduced in numbers. They are principally confined to the neighbourhood of Purangi, on the Upper Waitara river, some twenty-two miles in a direct line from the mouth of the river, where their principal chief is Tu-tanuku, with a few of them living at Otaki on the Wellington-Manawatu Railway line. The only hapus of the tribe known are Ngariki and Ngati-Hine.

There was for sometime a doubt about the eponymous ancestor of this tribe, which, however, has been set at rest, as will be shown, and at the same time an error corrected which has led more than one person astray as to the date the fleet arrived in this country, which the erroneous account of Maru-tuahu, in Sir G. Grey's “Nga Mahinga,” is answerable for. I possess a letter from the Maori author of that account wherein he acknowledges his error, due to his confusing the brother of the captain of the “Tainui” canoe, named Hotu-nui, with one of the same name who lived eight generations later. This, of course, made the period of the heke in Sir G. Grey's account only about fourteen generations ago instead of the mean number of twenty-two from the year 1900. Mr. John White, in his “Ancient History of the Maori,” was led into the same error—as to the identity of Hotu-nui—and both accounts state that this man was a native of, and migrated from, Kawhia to the Thames, and there his son Maru-tuahu founded the tribe of Ngati-Maru and others. This, however, is now proved by Ati-Awa, Ngati-Maru and Ngati-Rua-nui to have been an error, for Hotu-nui came originally from the Tau-kokako pa, (or, as another account says, Kai-ka-kai) near the modern village of Tai-porohe-nui, Hawera district, where his house named Rata-maru is known to have stood. Hotu-nui is also called Hotu-nuku and Hotu-rape by some. The most learned man of Ngati-Maru, now deceased, named Mangu, is the authority for these statements.

- 20

The following table from Col. Gudgeon will prove the above. The adventures of Maru-tuahu (shown below) form an interesting and romantic tale, but it is not connected with our story.

Table No. XXXVII.
Family Tree. 19 Tu-heitia, 6th in descent from Hotu-roa of the “Tai-nui” canoe., Mahanga, Hotu-nui = Mihi-rawhiti, Maru-kopiri, Tama-wera, Descendants with the Whanganui Tribes., Maru-whara-nui, 15 Whaita, Tara-moana, Rau-roha, Pane-wera, Kahu-parenga, 10 Hine-tatua, Tama-rongo, Hine-korako, Te Ata-ka-marie, Rau-piro-iri, 5 Mutu, Turia, Hakiaha-taiawhio (Tau-maru-nui), Maru-tuahu, Whanaunga, Karaua, Tau-manu, Kiri-paheke, Ika-a-te-waraki, Noho-tu, Tako, Ahi-ka-roa, Te Toki, Tawhare, Whakahanga, Reihana-Kawhero of the Ngati-Whanaunga tribe of Coromandel.

The above table shows that the three brothers, Maru, were descendants of the Captain of the “Tai-nui,” by Mihi-rawhiti, a woman of Waikato, who lived at Kawhia, where her children were born; after which they moved to the Ngati-Rua-nui country, her husband's home. A celebrated stone-axe, which was brought from Hawaiki when the fleet came, was taken to Hauraki when Hotu-nui (or Hotu-nuku) migrated thither from near Hawera, Taranaki.

The Ngati-Maru tribe suffered a good deal from the incursions of the so-called Titahi people on their way from the North, who were, however, none other than a branch of the great Ngati-Awa tribe—for which see under “Titahi.” See also Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. II., p. 209, for a reference to this migration.

The Ngati-Maru tribe—some eleven generations ago—possessed a poet named Te Mamangu, whom we shall have occasion to refer to later on, and to quote some of his productions for the sake of their historical importance.


The nothern boundary of this tribe has been described as marching with that of Ati-awa. From Nuku-tai-pari along the coast past Cape Egmont to the southern boundary at Raoa stream, two miles south-east of Oeo, is a distance of about fifty miles. From Raoa, where the territories of the Ngati-Rua-nui tribe commence, the Taranaki boundary - 21 ran generally in a north north-east direction to the east side of Mount Egmont where it joined the Ati-Awa boundary again. The Taranaki territory thus formed the segment of a circle dominated by the mountain from which the tribe takes its name. It is more mountainous than any other part of the Taranaki coast, for within it are Mount Egmont, 8,260 feet, the Pouakai Ranges, 4,590 feet, and the Patuha Ranges, 2,240 feet. But the country on the slopes of these mountains is fertile, and as the coast is approached there is a wide stretch of nearly level land, formerly nearly all covered with dense forest. It is watered with innumerable clear, stony streams, that rising in the mountains traverse the slopes and plains on their way to the sea; but none are of any size, Hangatahua, or Stony river, being the largest. Like the districts already described, there are a large number of old fortified pas, some of great strength, and many with an interesting history. Many of these are built on isolated hills that rise above the general level, and which are due directly to volcanic action, though not craters in the ordinary acceptation of the term. The lava streams from Mount Egmont appear—at any rate in the neighbourhood of Cape Egmont—to have extended right down to the sea in former times, and as the outside cooled, the surface cracked, and allowed of the moulten lava of the interior to force its way upwards, thus building up the many isolated hillocks to be found in that part. The lava streams themselves have since been covered with ash ejected from the mountain, and hence but rarely show. Most of these hillocks are found to be solid stone within.

The Taranaki territory has always been celebrated for the immense quantities of the native flax (harakeke, Phormium tenax) which in former times covered the surface, and also for possessing the finest varieties of that plant. So much was this the case, that Taranaki was famed all over New Zealand for the quality of the flax mats made there, and for the obtaining of which more than one warlike expedition has been made in old times by the northern tribes.

The following are the hapus of Taranaki:—

  • 1. Ngati-Tairi
  • 2. Nga-mahanga
  • 3. Patu-kai
  • 4. Upoko-mutu
  • 5. Wai-o-tama
  • 6. Puke-toretore
  • 7. Tu-heke-rangi
  • 8. Ngati-Tara
  • 9. Ngati-Rongo
  • 10. Ngati-Haumia
  • 11. Ti-tahi
  • 12. Ngati-Tama-ahu-roa
  • 13. Ngati-Tupaea
  • 14. Ngati-Tama-kumu
  • 15. Ngati-Haupoto
  • 16. Ngati-Rangi-kotuku
  • 17. Ngati-Moeahu
  • 18. Ngati-Tu-Wheke-rangi
  • 19. Ngati-Kahumate
  • 20. Ngati-Te-Atua

Very little more need be said here as to the origin of the Taranaki tribe, so much having been written on the subject under the head of “The Canoes of the Fleet,” Chapter VI. The tribe is very largely derived from the crews of the “Aotea” and “Kura-hau-po” canoes that arrived here about 1350, and the further element of tangata-whenua - 22 blood, known as Kahui-maunga. The Titahi hapu (No. 11 above) are the remains of those who migrated from Hokianga many generations ago, who will be referred to in their proper period. There are some traditions also of other vessels which came to the Taranaki coast from Hawaiki, but very little is known of them. For instance, “Ariki-maitai,” said to have arrived before the “Aotea,” and her crew settled on this coast, and were found there by Turi of the “Aotea” on his arrival. It is said he killed all the men and made the women slaves. Again, tradition reports that some time after the arrival of “Ariki-maitai,” two other canoes, the names of which have not been preserved, visited the coast from Hawaiki, having been driven out of their course by stress of weather. One of these canoes was owned by a great chief-tainess, the other was the tender in which food was carried. On the return of these vessels to Hawaiki, the father of the lady asked how he could return the kindness that had been shown to his daughter by the Taranaki people. He was told that the Taranaki coast was very rocky and that what the people most wanted was sandy beaches from which to launch their canoes. The father—says the tradition—sent some canoe loads of sand, which form the few beaches still to be found in the district. Possibly there is some foundation for the story of the arrival of these two canoes, to which in later days the people added that part about the sand. This may be, however, a corrupted version of the story of Tama-ahua, to be referred to later on. The absence of any names is rather a suspicious circumstance.

The Taranaki Tribe was constantly at war with Ati-awa on the north and Ngati-Rua-nui on the south; hence they describe themselves as being like a wedge driven in between the two, pressed from either side, but without being split up. They have the following saying in regard thereto:—

Kaore e pau; he ika unahi nui. They cannot be conquered, for they are like a fish with great thick scales.
Amongst the folk-lore of these people is the following rather pretty story, which is very ancient and is likely to have originated with the tangata-whenua. Other versions are known to the Bay of Plenty people: Te Niniko was the name of a man who lived in very ancient days, who was much given to all kinds of enjoyment, such as games, dances, etc., in all of which he excelled, and was altogether a very gay and handsome young fellow. On one occasion a Turehu, or Patu-pai-arehe, or Fairy lady, saw him engaged in dancing, and was immediately stricken with his charms, so much so that she fell passionately in love with him. She herself was the most beautiful of all the Fairies. Now, Te Niniko dwelt in a house built a little distance away from the village where his relatives and friends lived. One night the fairy lady visited Te Niniko at night, and the latter was so charmed with her beauty that he made her his wife. Te Niniko wished to exhibit his wife to - 23 his relatives, but to this the lady would by no means consent. She used to disappear as daylight was about to break, only to return after the shades of night had fallen. Te Niniko continued to urge that his wife should show herself to his people, for he was very proud of her beauty. At last she said to him—“Wait until my child is born, and then we will introduce it to its relatives.” But Te Niniko did not heed this wish of his wife, and one day boasted to his people of the beautiful wife he possessed. The people demanded to see her at once, and ascertain the truth of the story. Te Niniko replied—“You cannot do that, for she leaves me every morning before dawn. There is only one way to accomplish your wish; if you stop up every chink in the house through which daylight can enter, then she will not know when it is morning, and will linger on awaiting it.” To this the people agreed, and set to work, completely excluding all light from the house. The next morning the lady awoke at her usual time, but finding it still dark, again slept, until the sun was high in the east. The people, urged by their desire to behold the beauty, now opened the door when the whole building was flooded by light. The lady was greatly alarmed, and rushed out of the open door, and then climbed to the top of the house in sight of all the people who exclaimed at her exceeding beauty. She now sung a farewell song to Te Niniko, lamenting her separation from him, which was to be final, as he had disobeyed her, and as she finished a komaru or cloud was seen coming over the sea, which descended on the house where she stood, and also enveloped the whole village in obscurity, and at the same time took up the lady and carried her off, leaving Te Niniko lamenting his loss. This incident is referred to in a song, which used to be very popular.


The Ngati-Rua-nui tribe bounded Taranaki on the south, commencing from Raoa, and extending along the coast line to Whenua-kura, a distance of about thirty-four miles, where they met the boundary common to them and the Nga-Rauru tribe. Ngati-Rua-nui territories thus marched with Taranaki on the west, Ati-Awa and Ngati-Maru on the north, Whanganui on the north-east and Nga-Rauru on the south-east. It is a splendid district of coastal plains, one of the finest in New Zealand, with rough forest country inland, and everywhere well watered. The seashore is lined with cliffs about one hundred feet high, only broken by the outlet of numerous streams, and along the coast are many strongholds of ancient times, some of which will be referred to later on. The Patea is the largest stream of the district—named by Turi, Patea-nui-a-Turi—no doubt in memory of an ancient Patea in Tahiti. It is navigable for canoes for many miles, and had at one time immense eel weirs on its course, that supplied the people with an abundance of food.

- 24

The Ngati-Rua-nui, more than any other tribe, are the descendants of the crew of the “Aotea” canoe, for it was at the mouth of the Patea river that the people first settled on their arrival from Hawaiki. They spread from there in all directions; the Taranaki tribe on the north and the Nga-Rauru and Whanganui tribes on the south, all claiming to descent from those people. This tribe has also some vague traditions of other canoes, now said by them to have come hither from Hawaiki, bringing some of their ancestors, but it seems questionable if these vessels did not rather merely come from some other part of New Zealand, and hence so little notice of them is taken in the traditions. Some of these canoes were: “Motumotu-ahi,” in which came Pua-tautahi, said to be an ancestor of Ngati-Rua-nui and Nga-Rauru; “Rangi-ua-mutu,” under the command of Tamatea-rokai, which first landed at Te Ranga-tapu, a place that is probably in the Bay of Plenty, said to have brought some of the Ngati-Rua-nui, and also some of Ati-Awa. Again, the “Waka-ringaringa” canoe, under the command of Mawake-roa, landed near Kaupoko-nui at Ngateko, is said to have brought some of the ancestors of this tribe. The absence of more detailed information about these vessels and their commanders points either to the conclusion indicated above, or to the possibility of their having been some of the tangata-whenua canoes.

After Turi and his companions had settled down on the south bank of Patea, and apparently within a short time of Turi's death, a great division took place amongst his children, which led to very serious consequences, and, amongst others, originated the two tribes of Ngati-Rua-nui and Nga-Rauru, who were one people before that. This separation was due to a kanga, or curse, and as it illustrates Maori manners and customs, the story may find a place here.

To illustrate this, and preserve it for future reference, I quote a genealogy of the people living about that period, which was supplied by Hetaraka Tautahi, of Nuku-maru, a man about seventy-five to eighty years old, and one of the, if not the best, authorities on the history of the “Aotea” people. It differs somewhat from that given in Table No. 25, Chapter IV., and may be the old man omitted one name (Rongotea-tai-marama, father of Turi). It is, at any rate, the most complete as to the relative positions of people who flourished just before and about the time of the heke that has yet been recorded.

- 25
Table No. XXXVIII.
Family Tree. 29 Toi-te-hua-tahi = Rongo-wai-rere-ki-ao, 28, 1 Rua-rangi = Rongo-ue-roa, 2 Oho-mai-rangi, 27, 1 Rauru = Taritari-kainga, 2 Te Awa-nui, 3 Taha-titi, 4 Riki, or Puhikai-ariki, 26, 1 Rakau-maui = Te Akau-mea, 2 Whatonga-i-mua, 3 Puha-i-mua, 25, 1 Rongotea-tau-karihi = Hine-i-te-ata, 2 Ao-whakatiri, 3 Rutanga, 24, 1 Pureora = Hunga-mea, 2 Pou-matua, 3 Pahiwa =, 4 Hurunga-tai =, (Descendants not known), 22, 1 Turi = Rongorongo, 2 Kewa, Tapu-kai, Te Atua-raunga-nuku, Turanga-i-mua = Ratiti, Tane-roroa = Uhenga-puanake, Tu-tawa = Tonga-potiki = Mihi, Rua-nui

Notes.—Rauru gives his name to Nga-Rauru tribe. Pou-matua, “his descendants are not known,” say my informants. If I am right this is the ancestor of many Hawaiian chiefs, see ante Chapter V., p. 200, therefore his descendants would not be known to the Maoris. Pahiwa, said by some to be the father of Turi's wife, Rongorongo-a-Pahiwa, but generally Toto is given as her father. Turi, captain of “Aotea.” Tapukai—“he came to New Zealand in the ‘Aotea’ canoe. It was he who removed a portion of Patea, named Rau-mano, which is still to be seen in the Middle Island, where also are his descendants.” Te Atua-raunga-nuku—“his canoe was ‘Tu-aro-paki.’ We of Nga-Rauru are his descendants.” Ratiti, daughter of Kauika, one of the priests of “Aotea.”

Uenga-puanake, 25 shown above as the husband of Tane-roroa, and whose ancestors for twenty-two generations before him are shown in Table 4, Chapter II., was the father of Rua-nui who gave his name to this tribe, and so far as one may judge was a tangata-whenua, though it has also been said that he came here in the “Taki-timu” canoe. Uenga-puanake lived at Patea, where he had a pou, or post, named Tira-a-kaka, and his tree for snaring kaka was called Kura-whao, whilst his house was named Te Poroporo. According to one account, when the “Aotea” canoe was coming down the West Coast, she called in at Kaipara (but not at Manukau) which was then a very populous place. In accordance with Maori custom, Turi's daughter, Tane-ro-roa, was given to Uhenga-puanake, the son of the Kaipara chief, to wife. If this is correct, Uhenga-puanake and his wife must have come down - 26 to Patea eventually, for the great quarrel, in which both took a prominent part, took place at Patea. Another account I have gives a different account of this marriage: Ruatea (captain of “Kura-hau-po”) had a son named Hou-nuku, whose son was Rau, and this latter as a young man was a companion of Uenga-puanake. Both of these young men aspired to the hand of Tane-roroa, Turi's daughter, who at that time was living on the south bank of the Patea river, where, in fact, her father and his people had first settled down. The two young men were on the north bank of the river, and came down with the intention of crossing, but there was no canoe available, so they decided to swim, but Rau could not swim—he was a parera-maunu (or moulting duck) so called. Uenga-puanake walked in and began to swim, though the water was really only up to his knees; this he did to deceive Rau, who had the chargrin to see his rival cross the river whilst he sat on the opposite bank. Tane-roroa was looking on, and decided that she would prefer the swimmer for a husband. From this marriage sprung Rua-nui, eponymous ancestor of Ngati-Raunui. This name, Rua-nui, is said to mean a Kumara pit, or underground store house, and Nga-pourua is also an ancient name for this tribe, having also a reference to Kumara pits.

The cause of the quarrel previously alluded to was as follows: When the child of Uenga-puanake and his wife Tane-roroa was about to be born, she expressed a desire for some flesh to eat. Under similar circumstances, we have numerous instances in Maori history of the husband making special journeys to procure some particular delicacy in the way of food, generally birds of the forest, for his wife. In this case, the only flesh that could be obtained was dog's flesh, which was considered a delicacy in former times—the old native dog was a vegetable feeder—and apparently no one possessed dogs but Tane-roroa's brother, Turanga-i-mua, the eldest son of Turi, and these dogs were of the stock brought by the latter from Hawaiki for food, and for their skins, which were made into handsome and valued cloaks. So Tane-roroa pursuaded her husband to go surreptitiously and kill one of her brother's dogs. He killed two, the names of which have been handed down to posterity—Papa-tua-kura and Mata-whare—and then the lady and her husband had a feast. Soon after Turanga-i-mua missed his favourites, and made diligent search and enquiry for them. He asked Tane-roroa if she had seen them, but she denied any knowledge of them. Turanga-i-mua was very much troubled about his dogs, and proceeded to recite incantations, etc., to find out what had become of them—for he was the ariki and chief priest of the tribe, as the eldest son of Turi. He soon discovered that his sister and her husband were the culprits, for on going to their house in the evening, the eructations due to the eating of dog's flesh were evident in those two people. The fact of the theft and the denial of it were now - 27 proclaimed abroad, and in consequence a great shame (at being found out) fell upon Tane-roroa and her husband. They were so humiliated that they felt they could no longer live in the same village that had been the scene of their disgrace.

They—no doubt with their people—moved across the Patea river, and there settled, three miles distant from the river along the coast, at a place named Whiti-kau, where they built their house named Kai-kāpō, which has some fame in the tribal history. In after days, when Tane-roroa's children began to grow up, she said to them—“See yonder fires from which the smoke arises on the south bank of Patea! There dwell your elder relations; hei kai ma koutou a koutou tuakana, your elder relatives shall be food for you”—which is a curse of the deepest die that could only be wiped out in blood.

Hence came the great division in these people, even so soon as the first generation after Turi their great progenitor. The offspring of Tane-roroa, Turi's daughter, and their descendants, remained on the north side of Patea—as Ngati-Rua-nui—from that day to this, whilst the offspring of Turi's son, under the name of the Nga-Rauru tribe occupy the south side. This curse has operated from those days down to the date of Christianity, for the two tribes have constantly been at war.

I have mentioned above the house Kai-kāpō, it was the whare-maire of this tribe, the temple in fact where the people assembled to discuss tribal affairs, and where teaching of the history, etc., took place. Near it was the spring named Rua-uru. When Sir Geo. Grey visited Patea during the war, in 1868, he was taken by the people to see this celebrated place. The Rev. T. G. Hammond says of it: “A little further along the coast is the fishing station of the Ngati-Hine tribe (hapu) called Whiti-kau. Here there has been at one time a numerous people, as the locality is surrounded with Maori ovens. There may still be found some stone sinkers, and from time to time have come to light some of the finest stone axes known on this coast. Mr. James Fairweather, of Otarite, dug up one, which for size and quality of stone cannot be equalled. It is said to be a toki tinana (an important axe), one of the three brought from Hawaiki, one other having been carried away by Ngati-Maru when they went north many years ago (i.e., under Hotu-nui, see ante). Not far from Whiti-kau stood, of old, the sacred house Kai-kāpō. Near by is a spring of water over which the priests contended, which contention led to the scattering of the people. The descendants of these people, as they journey up and down, turn aside even in these days to weep beside the spring..” (Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. X., p. 196.)

There are but few references to the cause of this trouble at the Rua-uru spring, but one of my Maori informants says—“During the time the people dwelt at Whiti-kau, occurred a (further) division of the - 28 people, and this hapu went one way, that hapu another; the cause of this was due to the action of Ue-whatarau, who smashed the calabash named ‘Tapotu-o-te-rangi’ belonging to Rua-uri.” No doubt this would be one of the elaborately ornamented calabashes used for drinking water. “The man who owned the house Kai-kāpō at that time was Rakei-matua, and Rua-uri, Ue-whatarau and other chiefs entered it”—apparently in some manner distasteful to the owner, which led to the trouble.

Kai-kāpō is often alluded to in poetry. For instance see “Nga-Moteatea,” p. 153—where Turoa, of Upper Whanganui laments the death of Te Kotuku-raeroa, killed at Patoka, 1842.

Moe mai e Pa! i roto Matangi-rei, Sleep on, O Sir! in Matangi-rei,
Ko te whare o Turi i u ai ki uta, The house built by Turi on his arrival,
I hui katoa ano nga tauiwi nei ki roto And where gathered the stranger tribes,
Taria e tukituki ki roto Kai-kapo 'Twas later that strife arose in Kai-kapo,
Mo Whakapapa-tuakura, mo Mata-whare-te-uia Originally caused by the killing of the dogs,
Ka mau te pakanga e—i. Of “Whakapapa-tuakura” and “Mata-whare-te-uia.”

Here is another reference in a song composed—or more probably recited, for no doubt it is ancient—by Maruera-whakarewa-taua, about the sixties of the nineteenth century, in answer to a question by a stranger as to whether Titoko-waru (our enemy in the sixties) was of chiefly rank or not.

Tenei ka noho i roto te whare-nui—
I roto o Kai-kapo
Te Whare o Rakei-matua.
Tomo kau a Rua-uri,
A Ue-whatarau ki roto-o—
Whakatakune riri ai
Ka pakaru Tapotu-o-te-rangi-e-i
Ka waiho he take unuhanga mo nga iwi.
Haere atu Rua-uri ki runga o Wai-rarapa
Tutohungia iho kauaka Te Tini-o-Ue-whatarau
E whai ake i a ia,
Ma Tini-o-Rangi-hawe ia e whai ake.
Kaore i whakarongo.
Huna iho ana ki te umu-pakaroa na Rua-uri
Ka mate Tini-o-Ue-whatarau e-i.
Hua i huna ai, e ngaro te tangata.
E kore e ngaro i toku kuia—
I a Rongorongo-nui-a-Pahiwa
I tohia ai taku ingoa nei
Koia Rua-nui-a-Pokiwa
E toe nei ki te ao.
- 29
Let us then in imagination dwell,
Within the great house of Kai-kapo
That to Rakei-matua belonged.
There entered therein with unbecoming mien,
Both Rua-uri and Ue-whatarau,
Causing strife and anger to arise.
When “Tapotu-o-te-rangi,” famed calabash, was smashed,
This, undying hatred caused,
And the withdrawing of the people from their common home.
For far Wai-rarapa, Rua-uri purposed to depart
Leaving command to Tini-o-Ue-whatarau not to follow.
But rather, if they so willed, might Tini-o-Rangi come.
They listened not, and thus
Were Tini-o-Ue-whatarau within
The long ovens of Rua-uri baked.
'Twas thought that this killing of men
Would destroy the tribes,
But never will the offspring of my great ancestress,
Of Rongorongo-nui-a-Pahiwa
From whence I take my name
Of Rua-nui-a-Pokiwa 26
Be lost to this world of light.

The rest of this song is modern, and relates to Titoko-waru and the European War.

It is probable that we may be able to assign an approximate date to this second division of Turi's descendants alluded to in the above song and story of Kai-kāpō. By referring to Table 5, Chapter II., we shall find the name Rua-uri, (one of those who caused the trouble at Kai-kāpō) who is there shown to have been the son of Tamatea-kuru-mai-i-te-uru-o-Tawhiti-nui, a man who visited Turi at Patea, and as my informant adds, is identical with Tamatea-pokai-whenua—which I doubt. At any rate, this man with the long name (what a burden it must have been to carry about!) having been a contemporary of Turi's, and his son Rua-uri—probably then a man of mature age—being an active agent in the disturbance, we may fix the date at somewhere about the year 1400.

Among the folk lore of the Ngati-Rua-nui are to be found many strange stories denoting the “culture-plane” in which the Maori people lived down to the introduction of Christianity. Many of these can be traced back to the old world; but, as so frequently happens, the stories - 30 have become localized, and the deeds accredited to well known ancestors of the people. Prominent in this class of story is the belief of the people in the powers of their Tohungas, by aid of Karakia, or incantation, to remove hills, lakes, portions of land, etc. Even so simple a thing as a landslid is usually accredited to the action of some taniwha, or fabulous monster, inhabiting the sea, the rivers, or the earth itself. In the portion of this chapter devoted to Ngati-Tama, a description of the removal of the Pou-tama reef from near Cape Egmont to the Pou-tama district was given. The people of Patea have their own story of a somewhat similar nature. It is thus told by Mr. Hammond in his paper “Tai-tuauru” (Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. X., p. 196); but I can add to that, that the name of the man whose powerful Karakia effected the transportation of this land, was Tapu-kai, who came to New Zealand in the “Aotea” canoe (circa 1350), and whose descendants, say my informants, are to be found in the Middle Island.

Rau-mano is a place a little seaward of the Patea Railway Station. Mr. Hammond says: “The men of Rau-mano had gone out to sea on a fishing expedition. Among those left at home were two little boys who amused themselves flying a kite. They at length disagreed, and one said to the other, ‘You are a person of no importance; your father has to go in my father's canoe to catch fish.’ The little fellow so addressed was much offended, but nursed his anger until his father's return, and then told him what had been said to him. The father determined to be revenged; so when all were sleeping soundly, he repeated incantations, thereby causing the land upon which this boy and his relations slept, who had insulted his son, to part from the main land, and float down the river and out to sea, and over to the West Coast of the South Island, causing those parts to be peopled. It is remarkable that without any communication the two peoples” (i.e. I suppose those of the South Island and of Patea is meant) “should have retained, in song, the memory of such an event. These wonderful tales served to keep alive some simple fact that only the initiated knew how to strip of the marvellous.”

Without being one of the “initiated,” I would nevertheless offer a simple explanation of this story: It would soon get about that Tapu-kai was determined to avenge the insult to his child, and that he would do it by makutu, or witchcraft, in which all Maoris had the most profound belief. The offending family, knowing that their doom was fixed, simply slipped off at night in their canoe, crossed the Strait, and settled in the South or Middle Island. Soon afterwards a landslip occurred, and buried the site of the village, and extended into the river—for this country is much given to landslips. After ages impute to Tapu-kai's Karakias the fact of the landslip having occurred, and of the people having travelled on it to the other island.

My informants tell me that Stephen's Island, at the north-east end of D'Urvilles Island, represents at this day the Rau-mano removed from - 31 Patea, and that Tapu-kai's people killed the offending boy, leading to great troubles. I feel sure the above story refers to an early migration of some of the Patea people to the South Island, which must have occurred somewhere at the end of the fourteenth century.

To quote again from Mr. Hammond (loc cit p. 197): “A short distance from Whare-paia (a place on Mr. Pearce's farm, a little to the north-west of Kakaramea Railway Station) is Turangarere on Mr. Ball's property. From this place a beacon fire (bale-fire) could be seen far away north and south, and such fires were lighted to intimate the coming of war-parties, or to summon the tribes to defence, or the discussion of impending trouble … At the foot of the hill runs a clear stream named Mangaroa, and where this stream turns in its course, the Tohungas devined the omens by watching the course sticks would take in the current, and advised the warriors accordingly …..” Mr. Hammond gives me this further information as to the origin of the name Turanga-rere: “When any great event occurred amongst the local tribes, there was one place above all others where the principal chiefs summoned the people to meet them; and from the fact of such place being named in the summons, everyone knew that the affair was of great importance. When the people had assembled, the priest went outside the marae of the pa, and cast the niu, or divination sticks, in order to foretell the success or otherwise of the proposed course of action. Whilst this was going on, the warriors assembled in the marae according to their various hapus, all sitting in their ranga, or ranks. So soon as the priest announced the probable success of the enterprise, all stood up in their ranks, and as they did so, the plumes on their heads would wave, or rere—hence the name, turanga, the standing, rere to wave, or float.” Mr. Hammond goes on to give a modern instance of this custom: “A man came from Wai-totara to one of the villages of Patea where a meeting had been called on account of the death of a woman at Wai-totara, through a beating administered by her husband. One of the Patea people—a Tohunga—said to the visitor, “Mehemea ko te tikanga o mua, ka kanikani taua i Turanga-rere.” Had the old customs been in force, you and I would have danced at Turanga-rere.”

In Turoa's lament, a part of which I quoted a few pages back, occurs the following lines referring to the above place and custom:

E tika ana koe i te ara kai riri, Thou goest direct on the path of war,
I runga Turanga-rere, Above there at Turanga-rere.
Mo te Rangi-hau-ora On account of Rangi-hau-ora.
- 32

The Hapus of Ngati-Rua-nui are:—

  • 1. Tangahoe
  • 2. Paka-kohi 27
  • 3. Ngati-Hine
  • 4. Nga-Ruahine
  • 5. Ngati-Tipara
  • 6. Ngati-Tane-wai
  • 7. Ngati-Tupaea
  • 8. Ngati-Manu-hiakai
  • 9. Ngati-Tu

Here and there in Maori traditions is found mentioned an ancestor named Tarionge, who flourished in Hawaiki a few generations before the sailing of the fleet to New Zealand. Nothing very remarkable is. mentioned about this ancestor, but, nevertheless, his name is one of those on which hinges the connection with Maori, Tahitian and Raro-tongan. It is from such cases as this that we deduce dates in Polynesian history, and where this can be done by comparing genealogical descents from some one well-known name, down to people living in various islands, the value of the date is much enhanced.

As Tarionge is connected with these West Coast tribes—Taranaki, Ngati-Rua-nui and Nga-Rauru—the notes I have gathered may find a place here for the benefit of future students.

In an Oriori tamariki, or lullaby, published in “Nga Moteatea,” p. 186, we find:—

Na Kiki taua, na Toto taua, We are descended from Kiki, from Toto,
Na Tarionge e!…. And from Tarionge…..

Again, the same volume, p. xcviii.—we have in a Taranaki lament:—

Kihai koe i whangaina Thou wert not fed
Ki te manga tawhiti. On foods of distant lands,
Naku koe i whangai But 'twas I that brought thee up
Ki te aitanga a Tarionge On the offspring of Tarionge
I te kai whakaoto e piri i te toka. The astringent food that adheres to the rocks.

Here, Tarionge's name appears to be used as a synonym for shell fish.

From the Ngati-Rua-nui tribe we have this short genealogical table, which fixes the date of Tarionge according to the Maori traditions:—

- 33
Family Tree. 24, Tarionge, Mangemange-rau (f) = ……, 23, Toto = ……, 22, Rongorongo = Turi of Aotea canoe.

Possibly Mangemange-rau married Kiki, of the lullaby (see ante). If so, this table agrees with the song.

Next, we find in the Rarotongan history of Tangiia, that the latter after his expulsion from Tahiti, went to Huahine Island (aboat 120 miles west of Tahiti) to visit his sister Raka-nui, where a long conversation takes place, in which occurs the following:—“Rakamea married the lady Raka-nui, and they gave birth to Tarionge……” Now Tangiia flourished twenty-six generations ago, and if Tarionge was a nephew of his (by his sister Rakanui) there is only one generation difference between Maori and Rarotonga story.

But Tarionge, under the form Tario'e—these people do not pronounce the “ng”—is known to Tahitian tradition also. Miss Teuira Henry, of that Island, supplies me with the following:—

“Te Fatu (Maori, Te Whatu) was the name of a man who went from Rarotonga to Porapora (twenty-two miles northerly of Rai'atea, Turi's old home) where he married Te Uira. Their marae was called Fare-rua (Whare-rua in Maori). The family from whom Te Whatu came was named Tario'e (Tarionge) whilst that of Te Uira was Te Hiva (a well known Raiatea hapu). Pou-tara was the high priest of the marae. The children of these two people were Maro-te-tini and Vaearai (? Wae-arai or Waea-rangi in Maori).”

In a further communication Miss Henry supplies the following information:—

Family Tree. Fa'ahue, Tu-ma'o = Te Hea, Tario'e = Tu-te-ra'i-puni, Te I'a-tau-i-ra'i

Fa'ahue, she adds, is the ancestor of the Pomare family of Tahiti. This man is shown in the Pomare pedigree table, page 26, Vol. II., Journal Polynesian Society. But the position he there holds is much too near the present day to allow of his nephew Tario'e being the same as the Maori ancestor, for he is there shown to have lived about nineteen generations ago—accepting Hiro, on the same table as being identical with Rarotongan Iro, and Maori Whiro, who, there is very little doubt flourished twenty-five generations ago (see Chapter IV.). Maybe Fa'ahue, the Pomare ancestor is a different man, and this - 34 seems to be proved by the fact of Te-I'a-tau-i-r'ai (Maori, Te Ika-tau-i-rangi) being known to both Maori and Rarotongan histories as having flourished in Hawaiki before the heke to New Zealand in 1350, i.e., more than twenty-two generations ago, but his exact position cannot be determined.


The tribes already described, all inhabited the Province of Tara-naki—excepting the few Tai-nui tribes alluded to in the beginning of Chapter VII. We now come to those living in the Province of Wellington, about whose boundaries there is much less information available. Many of them, however, spring from the same sources as we have dealt with, and particularly Nga-Rauru. The boundaries of this tribe on the north-west was the Whenua-kura river, which was common to them and Ngati-Rua-nui. Their coastal frontage extended from the above river to about the Kai-iwi stream, 28 a distance of about twenty-three miles, where they were joined by the Ngati-Hau, one of the series of tribes known under the name of Whanga-nui. This same tribe bounded them also on the east and north-east, until the boundary closed on to Ngati-Rua-nui again, somewhere on the upper waters of the Whenua-kura. The Wai-totara river runs through the middle of this territory, and is navigable for canoes for many miles, thus affording the tribe an easy means of retreat, in case of invasion, to the wooded hills in the interior, and as it was formerly full of large eel weirs, was a great source of food supply. The coast line is low, and generally occupied by sand-hills, inland of which is a very fertile undulating country, which, at about six or seven miles from the coast, rises gradually into wooded hilly country, often a good deal broken, due to the papa rock of which it is composed, and which is much given to extensive land-slips.

The name Rauru, is said to refer to the upper part of a kumara pit. The name was brought from Hawaiki with the people who came here in the “Aotea” canoe, and is the name of their ancestor.

There are some notable old pas in this territory, many of which have an interesting history, but they are not so numerous as the next district to the north, already described. There are also some noticeable modern fortifications occupied by these people during the wars with - 35 the Pakeha, in the sixties of the nineteenth century, such as Tauranga-ika, near Nuku-maru, Te Weraroa on the Wai-totara, etc.

The eponymous ancestor of this tribe is Rauru, shown in Table No. 38, a few pages back, and also in Table 25, Chapter IV., by these people said to be a grandson of Toi, but by the East Coast people, the latter's son. They are essentially descended from migrants to New Zealand by the “Aotea” canoe, indeed, the main lines from Turi's sons are to be found amongst Nga-Rauru, which the quarrel on account of Turanga-i-mua's dogs explains, for the sons all settled on the south side of Patea, and they have possessed the whare-maire, or houses of learning, in which the priests taught, from the days of Turi down to Christianity—(see Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. IX., p. 229, for a list of these houses and the names of those who taught in them). The people also claimed descent from those who came in the canoe “Tu-aro-paki,” under Te Atua-raunga-nuku, but nothing is known of the history of this canoe, beyond the statement of the tribe, that some of their ancestors came in it.

Mr. John White says that one of the ancestors of Nga-Rauru named Rakei-wananga-ora, came to this coast from Hawaiki in the “Panga-toru” canoe, but the people would not allow the crew to land, so they returned to Hawaiki. He does not explain how the Nga-Rauru get over the conflict between the two above statements—probably this is one of the local canoes already referred to.

I have just said that Rauru was the eponymous ancestor of this tribe. The Nga-Rauru people are very precise and positive in their traditions as to the fact of this ancestor living in Hawaiki—at any rate for part of his life. At the same time, it is clear he is identical with Rauru, son of Toi, of the tangata-whenua—but on this subject see Chap. IV. He flourished about twenty-nine generations ago according to Table No. 25, or approximately the middle of the thirteenth century; and he was apparently one of those daring voyagers of the Polynesian race, whose exploits fill us with wonder. It is this Rauru who is accredited with making the voyage from Hawaiki—in this case there is little doubt, Hawaiki - raro, or the Samoan and Fiji Groups are meant—to Wairua-ngangana, a place that can be no where else than in Indonesia, if not beyond, on the coast of Asia. Mr. Hammond's account, is as follows (see Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. III. p. 106):—“The expedition consisted of two canoes well-manned and named respectively ‘Pahi-tonoa’ and ‘Haki-rere.’ The former was commanded by Rauru, the latter by Maihi. On the outward voyage ‘Pahi-tonoa’ was wrecked, Rauru and the survivors being rescued by the crew of ‘Haki-rere.’ Going on her way, ‘Haki-rere’ arrived safely at Wairua-ngangana, and application was made to the inhabitants of the island for roots of the taro, which were presented to them by two women, who also gave them directions as to the cultivation of - 36 the plant, and the requisite behaviour on their return journey with such valuable food on board. Following their directions Maihi was enabled to return safely to Hawaiki, and accordingly introduced the taro to that land”—and planted it at Te Papa-i-kuratau, which from other traditions can be located as being either in Samoa or Fiji—probably the latter.

There is some confusion in the traditions as to the canoe “Pahi-tonoa.” The above account says she was wrecked, whereas Tautahi holds that she was one of the fleet that afterwards carried the migration under Rauru, from Western Hawaiki (Samoa, Fiji, etc.) to Rangi-atea of the Society Group (see Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. IX., p. 213). This, however, is not a matter of great moment—another canoe may have been called after the old one, by the same name. The important thing is that Rauru led a migration from the Western to the Eastern Pacific, where they settled down in Rai'atea and Tahiti, and lived there for seven generations, until the war with Ngati-Puna and Ngati-Ue-nuku, at Rai'atea, forced Turi and his compatriots to migrate to New Zealand in circa 1350.


I find amongst my notes a probable reason for the migration of Rauru from Western to Eastern Pacific, though my informants did not connect the two things, and I regret to say I neglected to follow it out—indeed the connection had not occurred to me at the time. There are traditions amongst these West Coast tribes of a great division having taken place long before they came to New Zealand, which was due to dissension among the priesthood on a matter of belief—in the same manner that the Gothic and other Arians differed on a point of belief with the Italian and other Catholics in the fourth or fifth centuries. This separation of the people is also known to the Tahitians, who call those who resided in the west, and held one faith, Ao-uri, whilst the others (Tahitians and Islanders of that neighbourhood) were named Ao-tea. There is little doubt that the two traditions refer to the same movement. The most detailed account of this split in the tribes, from the Maori side, is given by the Rev. R. Taylor in “Te Ika-a-maui,” p. 65, which, however, is corroborated, but not with the same detail, by my own notes and those of others. Mr. Taylor did not see the significance of the matter he recorded—indeed he could not have done so, for the time was not ripe, and hence perhaps, with his well known predilection that way, he has attempted to find its analogy in Hebrew history.

I abbreviate here part of Mr. Taylor's account of Whare-kura, that being the name of the house in which this division of the people took place—a name, however, which has become a general one for their various houses where the history, beliefs, genealogies, etc., were - 37 taught, even from the times of this original Whare-kura, down to the time when Christianity put an end to such teaching. Some of Mr. Taylor's names, often incorrectly given, are also corrected.

Mr. Taylor states that the original Whare-kura was a “house of prayer,” or worship, which seems to me a mistake, for nothing like worship, in our sense of the word, ever occurred amongst any branch of the race. What is meant, is that here their sacred karakias (invocations, incantations, etc.) were recited, but these do not imply worship. It is said to have been a very large edifice, in which people met for “the rehearsal of their several pedigrees as well as the heroic deeds of their ancestors, for holding their solemn councils and administering justice.” In this respect Whare-kura much resembles the Koro-tuatini of Rarotonga tradition, which, however, was far more ancient than this particular Whare-kura, and probably was situated in India. The same ideas, however, transmitted through the ages, would induce the people to perpetuate the character of the Koro-tuatini and its uses in various stages of their migrations; and therefore Whare-kura may be said to have been the legitimate outcome of the ideas which originated Koro-tuatini…… “At the other extremity (of Whare-kura) was a small building in which the high priest resided, and seventy other priests had their houses ranged around, each building bearing the name of one the heavens.” I think Mr. Taylor has got somewhat astray here, for the Maori only acknowledges ten heavens.

The following tribes used to assemble in Whare-kura:—

  • 1. The Kahui-Kauika, and their chiefs Kauika-nui, Kauika-roa, Kauika-papa, Kauika-whakaroa-korero.
  • 2. Te Kahui-Whata, and their chiefs Whata-nui, Whata-roa, Whata-korero, and Whata-atua.
  • 3. Te Kahui-Kapua, and their chiefs I-Kapua-nui, I-Kapua-roa, I-Kapua-tuatahi, and I-Kapua-whaka-roa-korero.
  • 4. Te Kahui-Rangi, and their chiefs I-Rangi-tu-ana, I-Rangi-tu-Tawhaki, I-a-Whiro, I-Roto-pua. 29
  • 5. The tribe of Maru, and their chiefs Whiro, Monga, Wai-tu-rourou-atea, Hurihanga, Marama-nui-o-Hotu, Rakei-pingao.

The above appear to be the leaders of one faction in Whare-kura.

There were two priests whose function it was to procure and braid in a special manner the sinnet that was bound round the images of the gods, 30 whose names were Huru-manu and Takitaki. Their sisters were - 38 high priestesses, and were named Rito-whara 31 and Rito-maopo.* It was said that it was due to these two women that the great quarrel took place, and the final separation of the tribes occurred, when many migrated to Eastern Polynesia. As is usual in all events of importance in Maori history, this separation has a special name given to it, viz.: “Turia-te-ngairi” (according to Mr. Taylor but which I suspect is Turia-te-ngahiri, meaning uproar, contention, discussion, etc.)

The other faction appear to have been under the leadership of Ue-nuku, who was the head of 180 chiefs, some of the groups of whom were:—

  • 1. Te Kahui-Potonga
  • 2. Te Kahui-Poupou-titi
  • 3. Te Kahui-Torea
  • 4. Te Kahui-Pou-taha
  • 5. Te Kahui-Pou-korero
  • 6. Te Kahui-Pepe—Pepe-mua, Pepe-roto and Pepe-te-muimui

“The different tribes which met at Whare-kura were ranged in two grand divisions, one party occupying one side of the building, and the other the opposite side. One party possessed a staff called Te Toko-toko-o-Turoa (i.e., the ‘ancient’ or ‘enduring staff’), whose owner was Rangi-tawhaki. The other side also had a staff named Tongi-tongi (to peck, to point out) which belonged to Maihi-rangi.”

When the tribes quarrelled, “Kauika broke the staff of Maihi-rangi, and this became the signal for anarchy and confusion; sorcery and witchcraft were then practised against each other, and then they fought. Whakatau-potiki set the building on fire, and a multitude perished in the flames.”

It is a question, if there is not some confusion here as to Whakatau-potiki—if this is the same hero who burnt Te Uru-o-Manono temple, and it seems as if he were from the context—for according to Raro-tonga history he flourished about the year 900, and Rauru about 1150; Whiro about 1275 to 1300; Ue-nuku (if the same) about 1300. Probably the two histories have in time become mixed up.

There is a great deal in this obscure tradition that offers food for thought, for it evidently refers to some great dispersion of the people. Even the names given are worth study, for they are all capable of an emblematical translation, and may have been of the same nature as the honorific names of Samoa, or the marae names of Tahiti. It is to be feared we shall never get much further light on this subject, unless Miss Teuira Henry's Tahitian Traditions, when published, may help us.

My informants are quite positive that this division in the people took place before they removed to Rangi-atea (Rai 'atea Island), whereas other traditions say it occurred at the latter place.

- 39

There is amongst the Nga-Rauru people a peculiar remnant of an ancient story, that may be classed as folk-lore; the only other version I have ever seen is to be found among the Ure-wera people, and which was published by Mr. Elsdon Best in his “Wai-kare-moana.”

The following is the West Coast account. It is termed the—


In former times there was a kind of taniwha, or monster named Ikaroa, in shape like a fish, which came ashore and laid on the beach, at a place named Kene-puru-roa in the Patea district. Now as Pou—a dweller in those parts—was wandering along the beach he came across this great fish and thought it a good opportunity to replenish his larder. Having with him his mira-tuatini, or sharks-tooth saw, he commenced to cut up the fish; but to his great surprise, as soon as he made a cut it closed up again. This, thought Pou, must be a tupua fish, and not to be dealt with in an ordinary manner. So he commenced to say his karakias in due form, whilst Ikaroa was listening all the time, and fearing that Pou would succeed in the end with the aid of his powerful incantations, suddenly took up Pou and carried him away to the Muri-wai-o-Hawaiki On arrival at this distant country, a council was called (presumably by the people of Hawaiki) to adjudicate on the case, as to whether Ikaroa was justified in his abduction of Pou. The decision come to was, that Ikaroa was wrong, inasmuch as he was out of his own element when Pou attempted to cut him up. The story does not say whether the decision also carried costs against Ikaroa; but at any rate, the powers that ruled in Hawaiki decided to assist Pou to return to his own country, and to that end engaged a taniwha (sea monster, but here evidently a monster of the air) named Te Manu-nui-a-Rua-kapanga to convey him home. On nearing Patea, the place from whence Pou had been carried off, the Manu opened wide its wings, and said to Pou—“Pull out a feather from my side, to be a măna (power, prestige—in this case a talisman) unto you.” So Pou did as he was told, “and the name of that thing was Te Rau-a-Moa”—the feather of the Moa.

Now when the people of the Whanganui district heard of this object that Pou had acquired, they sent Tukai-turoa, and his sister, to obtain it for themselves. They came to Pu-manga at Patea, and there Pou gave to them this talisman as a power and prestige to Whanganui, in order that they might avenge their wrongs. And it was through the power of Te Rau-a-moa that Whanganui got compensation for the evil they were suffering under. (It is not stated what is was.) That talisman never came back from Whanganui; “it finally disappeared there, and is not; it would have been better if this valuable property of Nga-Rauru and Ngati-Rua-nui had come back to them.”

Rua-kapanga is known to the Rarotongans as the name of a great - 40 kite (manu), and is mentioned in some of their old songs. There is a saying about it—“E tia e te kuekue.

I have suggested in Chapter IV., that this Pou may be identical with Pou-te-anuanua of Mangaia Island, whose other name was Toi, and whose genealogy is given in Table 22. In fact, the suggestion is made that this mysterious journey of Pou to Hawaiki, when he was carried off by Ikaroa, may be the dimly remembered record of a voyage made prior to the heke of 1350.

In order to preserve it, I copy an ancient lament of these people, in which the above incidents are alluded to.

Takiri ko te ata, kua whitirere au,
Kaore ana nei he pere i wehe ai
Kei a Hine a te hoa,
Tena E Whaene! Tirohia iho ra,
Taku mareikura, he koata ariki,
No Kai-atua e—i, no te Kahui-whata,
Turakina te kahui kuaka,
Ki te Uru-a-Tawhiti nei—e—i.
He hia kai hapu kia tomo atu koe
Ki a Whaka-tauroa,
Ko te kete tena i tuwhera ki te rangi
I tukua iho ai te whenua e takoto
Kua tu ai ki te ao nei.
A, rongo ano au te huka a Te Tawhiti,
I takoto a Wai-matua ki te hohonu
E Tama—e—i.
Ka tupu te tangata, ihi kau ki te ao,
Hoki atu ki te kore—te kore i oti atu—e—i
Huti kau mai au nga huti o te kura,
E kore e hoki mai; ka pae ki te one-roa,
I Pikopiko-i-Whiti e—i.
Mona te kura pae
Whai mua koe ki te Wai-o-rangi—
Ko Wai-whakatipua,
Ko Rua-rongo, ko au,
Nana i kopekope ko te ewe
O te ika wai-waha
He putanga ariki e—i,
No Te Kahui-pua.
Kia whawhia iho ki roto, karanga atu
Ko te kete tena i whakairia ai
Ka tau ki te matapihi o te whare o Tangaroa—e—i.
Ka rangona ki reira te kupu a Te Tawhiti
Kei te kune, kei te weu, kei te aka.
Kei te tamore, kei te katoa,
Kei te karawa, kei te au ika,
Ka tupu ko te Kahui Iawa e—i
Ko Rua-kapanga, ka whakatawhi au,
Ki a Ikaroa e—i.
- 41
Me kokomo iho koe ki Paopao-te-rangi
Te Huki-o-te-moa, ko te ipu tena
I takoto mai ai, koia Huna-kiko
No Te Apiti-o-te-rangi,
E Tama e!—

I regret I am unable to furnish a translation of this ancient song, so full of references to the traditional lore of the Maori. Without the help of one of the tribe learned in such matters, it is impossible.

There is another very strange tradition among these people, the origin of which is very difficult to fathom. So far as I am aware it is found no where else in New Zealand, nor anywhere else in Polynesia. We are indebted to Mr. John White for the preservation of it, and it is to be found in his “Aotea” papers, now with the Government. It is called—

Te ewe i tere—THE WINGED PEOPLE.

“A placenta was cast into the sea, and in due course became a man whose name was Whanau-moana, or Sea-born. He had wings, as had all his descendants. At first, none of these beings had stationary homes, but flew about from place to place, sometimes alighting on the tops of mountains, or extending their flight to islands in the sea. One of the women, named Tara-pu-whenua, first caused them to dwell in pas. This people belonged to Wai-totara and lived at Tieke, (Moerangi a sacred place, where the famous “Awhio-rangi” axe, brought here from Hawaiki by Turi, was buried seven generations ago, and re-discovered in December. 1887—see Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. IX., p. 229). The last of this people who had wings was named Te Kahui-rere, and he lost them through a woman pressing them down in the night when he was asleep. Hoani Wiremu Hipango of Whanga-nui (died about fifteen years ago) says that his wife was a descendant of these winged people.”

Another version is as follows:—Hare Tipene, of Te Ihu-puku pa, Wai-totara, says Tama-nui-te-ra (sometimes given as a name for the Sun) was the first person who possessed wings, or who could fly, but it is not now known whether he had wings or merely possessed the power (măna) of raising himself up in the air at pleasure, which he used to do, and could take long flights. Hence is the saying:—

Ka rere te atua iti When the minor god flies,
E kore e marama te rangi, The heavens will not be bright.
Ka rere ko Tama-nui-te-ra, When Tama-nui-te-ra takes flight
Ka marama te rangi. Then will the heavens be bright.

Tama-nui-te-ra had a house in the sky named Whare-totoka. Tama-hewa was the last person who had powers of flight, but he lost them through his wife Raka-takapo treading on his wings in the night. They lived at Tieke and Moerangi.”

- 42

Here is a Waiata or Maori song, in which these winged people are alluded to:—

Ra te uira ka hiko i te rangi!
Ou tohu ra, E te hoa! i haere ai koe.
E hara, E Hine! te tau mai nei,
No Te Mounga-roa, no Tawiri koe—
Na Tauru-a-te-rangi.
He matamata ariki no runga o Tieke
No Moe-rangi ra.
Na Te Rangi-hikaka,
Na Uru-te-angina,
Na Te Kahui-rere,
Na Te Manu-i-te-ra—e.
Behold the lightning flashes in the heavens! 32
'Tis a sign from thee, O friend! that thou art gone.
'Tis not, O Lady! that all are departed,
(For some rest here still)—
Thou wer't descended from Te Mounga-roa, 33 from Tawiri,
From Tauru-a-te-rangi, 34
From the high-born fountain above at Tieke, 35
And from Moe-rangi 4 there.
Thou wer't descended from Te Rangi-hikaka,
From Uru-te-angina,
From Te Kahu-rere, 36
From Te Manu-i-te-ra. 37 (The bird in the Sun.)

The only other reference to a winged people, I know of, amongst the Polynesian people—but not living in Polynesia—is to be found in Fornander's “Polynesian Race,” Vol. I., p. 57. He says—“The people of Pulo Nias, an island off the south-west coast of Sumatra, like the Battas and Dyaks a pre-Malay remnant of the Polynesian race, call the sky, or heaven by the name of Holiyawa, and people it with an order of beings whom they call Baruki, superior to mortals, gifted with wings, and invisable at their pleasure. And they relate that in olden times a King of these Baruki, called Luo-mehu-hana, arrived from that Holiyawa, and was the first who taught them arts and civilization, and also how to speak.” This is quoted from Sir Stamford Raffles, Vol. II., chapter 17. It would thus appear that this tradition of winged people was brought by the Maoris from Indonesia, if not from further to the west, and localized at Wai-totara.

- 43

The hapus of Nga-Rauru are:—

  • 1. Rauru-matahi
  • 2. Rauru-kitahi
  • 3. Ngati-Rangi-moka
  • 4. Ngati-Hine?
  • 5. Araukuku

Coming now to the tribes that occupied the country to the south of Nga-Rauru, the first is Ngati-Hau, one of the numerous tribes known under the name of Whanga-nui, derived from the river of that name. Ngati-Hau take their name from Hau-nui-a-Paparangi, who is believed to have come to New Zealand in the “Aotea” canoe, though this is doubtful. On this subject see note 182, Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. XIV., p. 219, where Col. Gudgeon says:—“I was talking with a Tahitian member of the Makea family, of Rarotonga, concerning the old tribe of Ngati-Hau, and gave them their name in full (as above). When he heard this he said, ‘My old tribe! Hau-a-Pa-para'i;’ the only people who never bowed down before the Pomares in Tahiti, who were braves wherever they went.” This is a confirmation of what has so often been stated in this paper, to the effect that the migration of 1350 came from Tahiti here. The Whanganui people have a saying to this effect:—“Te uri a Hau-nui-a-Papa-rangi, nana i taotao te nuku roa o Hawaiki.” The descendants of Hau-nui', who suppressed the land (or people) of Hawaiki, and which seems to bear out the statement of Col. Gudgeon's friend to the effect they had never been beaten—at least in Tahiti, Hawaiki-runga being the Rarotonga name for that group.

I quote the following piece of a descent from Hau-nui', as it may prove useful to others following in the same lines as myself.

- 44
Table XXXVIII a.
Family Tree. Whatonga-i-mua, Te Ngorongoro-o-te-rangi, 24 Rutanga 38, Hau-nui-a-papa-rangi, Te Wa-iti, 1 Kahu-kura, 2 Hau-tiroa, Hau-nui, Rakei-matua, 20 Hau-roa, Hau-tipua, Unu-maiao, Tama-rangi-ahua, BEED, 1 Tahau-tipu, 2 Hau-tohi-kawa, Tama-rangi-ahu, Whare-puha, Hine-ahuru, 16 Tupori = Tauira-arero

I am unable to give the precise boundaries of Ngati-Hau, or indeed of any of the Whanganui tribes, but they occupied a large extent of country, being bounded on the west generally by the Nga-Rauru, Ngati-Maru and Ngati-Tama tribes (already described), on the north by Ngati-Mania-poto and Ngati-Tu-whare-toa, and on the east, near the base of Ruapehu, by Ngati-Whiti, Ngati-Tamakopiri, etc., and towards the sea on the east by Ngati-Apa, the boundary between the two, in the case of the latter, being somewhere west of the Whangaehu river. The above is a very large territory, and was, at the time of the first settlement of this country by Europeans, almost entirely forest-clad, with the exception of a strip along the coast some three to four miles wide, and parts of the open plains of Okahukura lying on the western slopes of Ruapehu mountain. It is, moreover, a very broken country with deep gorges, in the bottom of which flow the streams all more or less discoloured by the papa rocks of which nearly all this country is formed. The beautiful Whanganui river flows through the centre of this district, and formed a highway available for canoes for some 170 miles from the mouth.

Besides the crew of the “Aotea,” it is certain that the crew of the “Kura-haupo” canoe also contributed to the population; and the - 45 strong probability is, that the tangata-whenua, or original inhabitants—te iwi o Toi—formed the basis of the present tribes. One of the principal is called Nga-Paerangi, and it is believed that Paerangi, from whom the people take their name, was one of the tangata-whenua. He flourished about 21-23 generations ago, or about the time of the heke, (or migration) to New Zealand, and many families of rank trace their descent from him. At the same time, some natives say, that Paerangi came to New Zealand with the heke, and more than one line show him to be a descendant of Whiro, whose ancestors are shown quite correctly on the Maori lines according to Tahitian and Rarotongan genealogies.

Mr. Best has a note to this effect: “Though all the Whanganui people say that Kupe on his arrival here, found only the tiwaiwaka, tiake and kokako birds, with no people, yet when questioned closely the old men admit the existence of tangata-whenua in the valley of Whanganui. These were the descendants of Paerangi-o-te-mounga-roa whose ancestor came from Hawaiki five generations before the arrival of Captain Turi in the ‘Aotea’ canoe. He was brought here by his atua; he had no canoe. There have been three men of the name of Paerangi, one of whom came in the ‘Aotea.’” Now this statement as to Paerangi having been brought here by his god, means nothing more than that the old tangata-whenua traditions having become overlaid and obliterated by those of the more forceful heke, and some origin for Paerangi being necessary, the marvellous has been invoked, and his arrival accredited to the gods. If we may believe the earliest legends extant relating to these parts, there was a numerous people dwelling here in the time of Turi's children and grandchildren. Tu-whawhakia, in his version of “Tutae-poroporo,” mentions a very numerous people named Ngu-taha, who lived at Aro-pawa Island and the Sounds, north end of the Middle Island. Ao-kehu the slayer of Tutae-poroporo was a grandson of Turi; and Nga-Paerangi are mentioned also as a numerous people living in the Whanganui valley as far up as Operiki (near Corinth) and extending to Whangaehu, at that same period. Mr. Best, after having made inquiries in the Ure-wera country, comes to the conclusion that Paerangi came here with Paoa, about five generations before the heke. Col. Gudgeon says, the Whanganui ancestor is identical with Paoa's companion, and that there were two of that name—Paerangi—one coming in the “Aotea” canoe, the other the ancestor of Ngati-Hāua of Upper Whanganui, about whose tangata-whenua origin there can be little doubt.

In order to preserve it, I quote some descents from this Paerangi, in which it is shown that he was a son of Whiro-te-tipua, who flourished according to Rarotonga history—twenty-five generations ago, whereas he is here twenty-three—not too great a discrepancy to prevent it being the same individual. See Table No. 15 also. - 46 Whether the Paerangi here shown is he who came with Paoa in the “Horo-uta” canoe or not, I am unable to say.

The Whiro-te-tipua, shown on the tables, occupies a very prominent position in Polynesian history; and much about him is to be fouud in Maori, Rarotongan and Tahitian history. (See Table 39.)

The Whanganui people have a tradition that part of the Middle Island, on the west side of Tasman's Bay, was peopled from their tribe, the first heke being under the leadership of Te Ahuru, a second one was under Tu-mata-kokiri, who gave his name to Ngati-Tu-mata-kokiri, the tribe that occupied Golden Bay and those parts, and which was exterminated by Ngati-Toa and Te Ati-Awa in the second decade of the nineteenth century, as will be shown in Chapter XVI.

Readers are referred to Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. XIV., p. 131, for further information about the Whanganui tribes.


Lying to the south of the Whanganui tribes, are the territories of Ngati-Apa, whose southern boundary was (very roughly) the Man-awa-tu river, whilst their inland boundaries extended to the Ruahine Mountains, and were limited on the north by Ngati-Whiti and others of the Mokai-Patea country, a very large district of open plains and broken forest ranges. This tribe claims to be descended from Ruatea and other people, who came to New Zealand in the “Kura-haupo” canoe in 1350, besides the descendants of Apa-hapai-taketake, who came from the Bay of Plenty originally, and gave his name to the tribe.

Another migration from the north took place in later times; they first went to Taupo and lived there sometime, but finally falling out with the Ngati-Tu-whare-toa tribe of those parts were defeated in battle, and departed for the West Coast. The chiefs of these fugitives were Te Whakakahu and Tu-makoha, and their particular hapu was named Te Apa-o-Rangatira. Such is the account by the people of the Rangi-taiki, Bay of Plenty. This tribe was one of those that suffered from the incursion of and conquest by Ngati-Rau-kawa of Maunga-tautari in the “twenties” of the nineteenth century, as we shall have to refer to later on. So far as our history is concerned, they do not occupy an important position, and indeed not much of their history is known to me. The records of the Native Land Court no doubt contains a good deal about them.

The Rangi-tane tribe, which joined the Ngati-Apa on the south, has been at one time a large tribe occupying the Manawa-tu district, and extending over the Rua-hine and Tara-rua ranges into the Upper Wai-rarapa and Upper Manawa-tu valleys, the Seventy Mile bush,

- xi
Table No. XXXIX.
Family Tree. Mou-uruuru, Mou-rekareka, Mou-raki-tu, Mou-raki-hau, 23 Whiro-te-tupua, 22 Pae-rangi, Mata-raha, 20 Tu-tapu, Tama-te-anini, Uru-rangi, Karanga-tai, Tai-ka-here-ata, Rae-whakaumu, Rangi-whakau-nui, Tai-ka-nui, 15 Rangi-te-ekewa, Rangi-te-kiwa, Tai-wiri, Te Ekewa-nuku, Maha-o-te-rangi, Uenuku-manawa-wiri, Te Ekewa-rangi, Te Uru-o-te-rangi, Maru-hiku-ata, Te Maha-o-te-rangi, Tiri-o-te-rangi, Te Ronaki, Matoha-o-te-rangi, Rangi-tauria, 10 Tapua, Nga-rangi-ka-maoho, Hine-turiki-rangi, Rangi-tataia, Puku, Hine-makehu-rangi, Wai-pikari, Hine-kehu, Tai-wiri, Te Rangi-rori, Rangi-mahuki, Tama-huki, Mutu, Ra-whiti-ao, 5 Turia, Rangi-araia, Rangi-wetea, Rangi, Heni, Tauira-materau, Hakiaha Tawhio, Wa-korea-o-te-rangi, Puaki-te-ao, Matenga, (of Whanganui), Uta-ora, Rangi-whakaarahia, Noho-kino, Tiri-o-te-rangi, Mete-Kingi-Paetae, Kainga-hare, Hoani-Mete, Rangi-te-paia, Rangi-po, Hine-makehu-rangi, (of Whanganui)

- xii Page is blank

- 47

etc., and has equally suffered—on the West Coast—from the invasion above referred to. They claim descent from Tane-nui-a-rangi, and are mostly a tangata-whenua tribe, mixed with the descendants of the crew of “Taki-tumu” canoe. All that is known of their history is summarized in Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. XV., p. 71, to which the reader is referred for further information.

Mua-upoko is the name of the tribe adjoining Rangi-tane on the south, and having their head quarters about Otaki. Their eastern boundary was the Tara-rua range, and their territory was not a very large one. There are but few of them left, as the tribe suffered severely from the Ngati-Raukawa and Ngati-Toa conquest already alluded to. The tribe is said to be an offshoot of Rangi-tane.

Ngati-Ira was the next tribe to the south, which before the conquest just alluded to occupied Pori-rua, Port Nicholson, etc. The history of this tribe, as known to the writer, will be found in Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. XV., p. 74.

The whole of the above four tribes were conquered by Ngati-Toa of Kawhia, Ngati-Raukawa of Maunga-tautari (Waikato) and Te Ati-Awa of Taranaki, between the years 1821-1830, as will be shown; and as a consequence the interest in them is absorbed by the later occupants of these territories.

1   See Plate No. 5, from a photograph by Mr. R. W. S. Ballentyne, in which the two stone pillars are shown. They are between 60 and 70 feet apart, and thus serve to denote the probable length of one of these famous canoes.
2   This anchor has had some strange adventures, for it was taken away from Mokau by a European, with the intention of making money out of its sale; but such an outcry was raised that in the end he had to take it back to the place it came from.
3   Not to be confounded with Ngati-Haua, of Matamata in the Thames Valley, which is a Waikato tribe, and the most famous man of which was Wiremu Tami-hana, the so called King Maker.—See his life by Judge J. A. Wilson.
4   I may remark here, for the sake of recording the fact, that on an excursion to Warea about 1853, I noticed a vast number of paengas, or boundaries of individual lands, which crossed the native track, and ran inland from the coast. These were all marked by flat boulders set on edge, and running in straight lines. Though then quite over-grown by high flax, they denoted a former dense population.
5   (Nos. 1 and 2.—Both of these names, Te Moana-waipu and Te Moana-waiwai, are known to the East Coast genealogies, and the first is shown as flourishing just before, or about the time of the heke of 1350.—S.P.S.)
6   (Nos. 1 and 2.—Both of these names, Te Moana-waipu and Te Moana-waiwai, are known to the East Coast genealogies, and the first is shown as flourishing just before, or about the time of the heke of 1350.—S.P.S)
7   No. 3.—Kahu-kura belonged to the Ngati-Maru of the Upper Waitara, but settled in the Ure-nui district where he married Hine-moe of that place. His pa was Maru-wehi, on the extreme point of the cliffs where they form the north head of the Ure-nui river.
8   See Plate No. 7.—The little pinnacle on the right centre of the picture is Maru-wehi. The hill to the right of this, with the trees on it, is the old pa named Poho-kura, still in excellent preservation, its top covered with handsome kowai trees. The isolated hill near centre of the picture is Ure-nui pa, the terraces of which can still be distinguished. The view is taken (by Mr. A. Hamilton) from the trenches of Te Rewa pa, which show in the foreground.
9   No. 4.—Mutunga is the eponymous ancestor of the tribe. His elder brothers were named Rangi-mariu, Koko-taua, Tautu-pane, Tuhi-kira and Kura-maori. As often happens the youngest brother was the most prominent member of the family, and gave his name to the tribe.
10   No. 5.—Te Rerehua was the daughter of Hine-tuhi (from whom Ngati-Hine-tuhi of Ure-nui take their name), and was a niece of Mania-poto the ancestor of the great Ngati-Mania-poto tribe. Te Rerehua was a descendant of Ruapu-tahanga (6) and Whati-hua (7) whose adventures are described in Chapter IX. hereof. Whati-hua was a descendant of Hotu-roa, commandant of the “Tai-nui” canoe. It is through this descent of Te Rerehua, and by her marriage with Mutunga that such close relations formerly existed between the people of Kawhia and Ure-nui.
11   No. 8.—Ue-tara-ngore's widow (Hine-whati-hua) married Mania-poto (9), as also did the former's daughter Papa-rau-whara; and Rora, ancestor of Ngati-Rora, of Upper Mokau and Te Kuiti, was the fruit of the latter union.
12   No. 10.—Hine-tuhi came from Waikato to Mimi, and there married Tu-kai-tao, the son of Kahui-ao. Te Rerehua (5) was the eldest child of this union; as she married Mutunga, their descendants took the tribal name of Ngati-Mutunga. But the descendants of Te Rerehua's brother, Te Hihi-o-Tu (11), took the name of Ngati-Hine-tuhi, after the latter's mother. The pas of the latter people were Poho-kura (see Plate No. 7) and Pihanga, on top of the cliffs, south head of Ure-nui, where the Military Redoubt stood in 1865.
13   No. 12.—Rau-niao was a Whanganui woman.
14   Nos. 13 and 14.—The brothers Tuki-tahi and Rehe-taia lived at Aropawa pa, situated near Wai-toetoe stream on the south bank of the Mimi river. They were both celebrated warriors, especially the latter, who took the stronghold of Kohanga-mouku belonging to their southern neighbours, Ngati-Rahiri. (For some of Rehe-taia' s doings, see Chapter IX.)
15   Nos. 13 and 14.—The brothers Tuki-tahi and Rehe-taia lived at Aropawa pa, situated near Wai-toetoe stream on the south bank of the Mimi river. They were both celebrated warriors, especially the latter, who took the stronghold of Kohanga-mouku belonging to their southern neighbours, Ngati-Rahiri. (For some of Rehe-taia's doings, see Chapter IX.)
16   No. 15.—Aurutu, begat the hapu named Ngati-Aurutu, who owned the Okoki pa. His brother, Okiokinga, was a very handsome man, the fame of whose beauty reached Tuke-mata a lady of the Taranaki tribe, causing her to journey to Te Motu-nui (just below Okoki) to seek him as a husband. On the way, however, she met Aurutu, who personated his brother, and thus secured the southern lady as a wife. He was subsequently slain in battle, whereupon his widow married Okiokinga.
17   No. 16.—Taihuru became a great warrior. His fame reaching his mother's people (Taranaki) they sent a war-party against him to nip his powers in the bud. At that time Taihuru occupied a pa named Te Puke-karito situated up the Wai-iti stream—the old home of Ngai-Tara-pounamu—and here he was attacked whilst he was making his toilet. Several messengers were despatched to his house to alarm him, but he coolly went on decking his hair with plumes and his whale-bone comb. Having completed his toilet, he took up his taiaha and came forth, his appearance being greeted by his mother's kin (Taranaki), who by this time had almost secured an entrance to the pa, with a yell—” A ha! Ka puta te mokomoko nei, te keakea a Tukc-mata.” (Aha! now the lizard comes forth—the offspring of Tuke-mata.) Taihuru replied by making an attack on the enemy, slaying two men at each blow of his taiaha, so that before long his kinsmen took to flight. Taihuru fought in many other battles, and was in the end mortally wounded in a campaign against Taranaki.
18   No. 17.—Kapua-kore, chieftainess of Ngati-Aurutu, was given in marriage to a Kawhia chief who helped to fell a clearing near Okoki. She was conducted (to her marriage) along a straight path leading from Okoki to the sea-shore, which crossed Te Motu-nui plain, and is still pointed out as “Te Ara takitaki a Kapua-kore.” The circumstance is referred to in Oriwia's song about the battle of Te Motu-nui (see Chapter XIV.).
19   No. 18.—W. Neera was a well known chief of Ngati-Mutunga, who lived and died at the Chatham Islands. “His wife, Kapua-kore, (a descendant of Okiokinga referred to in Note 15) died quite recently (1908). She migrated with the tribe to Port Nicholson with the Heke ‘Tama-te-uaua’ in 1832 (see Chapter XIX.), and was present at the battle of Puke-namu, at which time she was between 18 and 20 years old. She married W. Neera during the migration, consequently her age at death was about 94 or 96.”
20   Plate No. 6 shows this pa, as seen from Wai-iti Beach.
21   One of the defenders of Te Namu—see infra.
22   Where the battle was fought between the Imperial and Colonial forces, and the Ngati-Mania-poto tribe, 6th November, 1860. Plate No. 8 shows the two hills—Nga-puke-turua—from which the place takes its name, and also the modern village of the same name.
23   Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. VI., p. 38 (supplement).
24   There are still some of the Ngati-Kahu left about Kaitaia in the north; of whom the late Timoti Puhipi was the chief.
25   Uenga, should no doubt, be spelt Uhenga (identical with Ihenga), but these West Coast people are much given to leaving out the “h.”
26   Pokiwa was the name of an ancestor, and in former times the Nga-Rauru tribe was known by this name.
27   It is questionable if the Pakakohi was originally a Ngati-Rua-nui hapu, for I learned through Judge Gudgeon, in 1893, that the people of Port Awanui maintain that the ancestors of Pakakohi migrated from Wai-pari, near Wai-piro, (fifty miles north of Gisborne) after the great fight with Pakanui at Te Mara-hutihuti, and Ngati-Porou say that Nga-waka-taurua (of Pakakohi) admitted this to be true. If so, they have only been at Patea since about 1650; but they have so intermarried with Ngati-Rua-nui that they may now be looked on as the same people. This shows, however, how much the tribes have become mixed, and illustrates the many migrations that have taken place.
28   Kai-iwi is a stream six miles north-west from the Whanganui river; but this has not always been its name. Formerly, a certain man from the East Coast set out in chase of a very peculiar fish, which was in fact a Kahawai, but it had a tree growing out of it! He chased this fish all along the coast till he came to a stream, where he cast his net, and from that circumstance the place was called Te Kupenga-o-Mamoe; but he failed to catch the fish there, but did so at Wai-ngongoro. Subsequently the same stream was the scene of the death of some men by a taua, who were eaten there, hence its modern name—Kai-iwi.
29   These names beginning in I are peculiar, and unknown in any other connection in Maori, though quite common as Marquesan proper names, and are also known in Hawaii.
30   See a specimen of this pattern of binding sinnet round the emblems of the gods, Plate 4.
31   These two names are significant—Rito-whara = Pandanus core; Rito-ma-opo = Breadfruit core—neither of which trees grow in New Zealand, but are common in Samoa and Fiji.
32   The lightning flashed and thunders pealed at the death of great people, in the Maori's belief.
33   Te Moungaroa, Captain of “Kura-hau-po.”
34   Tauru-o-te-rangi, probably an ancestor.
35   Where the winged people lived.
36   The last of the winged people.
37   The bird in the Sun (an expression sometimes—perhaps not often—substituted for Tama-nui-te-ra, “the Great Son of the Sun”), the true meaning of which, if we could obtain it, would throw a light on the ancient beliefs of this people, that would take them very far back in old-world ideas. Tawhaki's wife was impregnated by “the bird in the Sun.”
38   Rutanga above, by Table 38, was a nephew, not a son, of Whatonga's. Hau-nui-a-papa-rangi, by this table, belongs to the generation of Turi's grandfather, although he is said to have come with Turi in the “Aotea” canoe. The descendants of these people are Ngati-Hau through Hau-nui, and Ngati-Rakei, through Rakei-matua.