Volume 18 1909 > Volume 18, No. 2 > History and traditions of the Taranaki coast: Ch. XIII. Te Rau-paraha and his doings at Kawhia, p 47-70
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IN Chapter XI. hereof the celebrated Te Rau-paraha of Ngati-Toa tribe first comes into our narrative; and as he and his people played such an important part in the later history of the Taranaki tribes, it will be of interest to refer to the causes that led up to the migration of Ngati-Toa from their old home at Kawhia to Kapiti, the island in Cook's Straits which was so long their home. This name, Kapiti (which may be translated as “precipitous”), was not only the name of the island, but, by other tribes than those who lived in its neighbourhood, was used as a convenient term in modern times to denote all that part of the adjacent coasts of both North and South Islands. It will be frequently used in that sense in what follows.

The Ngati-Toa tribe and its various hapus are the direct descendants of the crew of the “Tai-nui” that formed one of the fleet of canoes that came from Tahiti in circa 1350. Until the year 1821, this tribe had always occupied Kawhia and the coast south from that harbour, as far as Marokopa river, or perhaps further. 1 It was not the crew of “Tai-nui,” however, that gave the name originally to Kawhia, but rather Turi, captain of the “Aotea,” soon after they landed at Aotea harbour (named after the canoe) a few miles north. On reaching Kawhia, they performed the ceremony called awhi, which seems to have been a common one, known under different names, by which all evil influences supposed to pertain to a new land, were removed, and an avoidance of the desecration of the personal tapu of the new-comers secured. The name is thus, Ka-awhi-a, the last a forming the passive of the verb awhi, and ka the sign of the present and future tense. We may thus translate the name as “the place where all evil influence was removed.” The tuāhu, or sacred altar, used by Hotu-roa, captain and - 48 chief priest of “Tai-nui,” his brother Hotu-nui, and other priests of that canoe was situated not far from the modern town of Kawhia (the Maori name of which is Po-wewe), and it is very interesting to note that its name was given in remembrance of a district (and, probably, a marae) in their ancient home at Tahiti. Ahurei is the name of the tuāhu, and Te Fana-i-Ahurai (Te Whanga-i-Ahurai in Maori) is the present name of the district a few miles south-west of Pape-etc, chief town of the French possessions in Oceania, island of Tahiti; from which (as also from Papara, the next district south) the Maoris came in 1350. The first kumaras, brought in the “Tai-nui,” were planted by Whakaoti-rangi, Hotu-roa's wife, at a place which they named Hawaiki—again in remembrance of the general name of their ancient home—for this was the name given to all the islands of the groups round Tahiti.

The “Tai-nui” canoe arrived after the “Aotea,” and finding Kawhia unoccupied—the “Aotea” crew having gone on south—the people settled at that harbour, and spread from there all over Waikato and a large part of the west centre of the North Island. The Ngati-Toa tribe, however, remained, settling down near where their ancestors landed. But it was not until some ten or eleven generations ago that the present tribal name was adopted from one of their principal chiefs, named Toa-rangatira. Previous to that they were called Ngati-Mango.

There are many hapus claiming ancestry with Ngati-Toa, of which the following are some:—Ngati-Rarua, Ngati-Koata, Ngati-Haumia-whakatere-taniwha, Te Kiri-wera, Ngati-Hangai, etc.

The following is an interesting genealogical table showing the descent of Ngati-Toa from Turi of the “Aotea” canoe. It is supplied by Tungia Ngahuka of that tribe (son of the famous Tungia). On it will be noticed both Mango and Toa-rangatira, eponymous ancestors of the tribe:—

Table No. LIV.
Family Tree. Turi (of “Aotea”), 20, Turi-mata-kino, Turi-mata-oneone, Kura-waka-i-mua, Tuhinga, Pou-tama, 15, Mango, Kai-hamu, Te Uru-tira, Tu-pahau, Koro-kino, 10, Toa-rangatira, Marangai-paraoa, Te Maunu, Te Mahutu, Taka-mai-te-rangi,
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Family Tree. 5 Te Matoe, 1 Te Kanae 2 Te Puaha 3 Tama-i-hengia, Te Whirihaua 2

I do not think that Turi's son here shown is known to his other descendants, but it is probable that Turi found some of the original inhabitants at Kawhia, and, as was the custom, one of their women was given to him as a wife, from whom this line descends. That Ngati-Toa claim descent from the old tangata-whenua, the following table will show, which is from the same source as the preceding one:—

    Table No. LV.
  • Ngai-nui
  • Ngai-roa
  • Ngai-peha
  • Ngai-tuturi
  • Ngai-pekapeka
  • 28 Te Manu-waero-rua (father also of Toi)
  • Uenuku-hangai
  • Rongomai-ahu-rangi
  • 25 Ranga-pu
  • Kaihu
  • Kahu-tai
  • Uru-hina
  • Tangi-wharau
  • 20 Te Awe-o-te-rangi
  • Ngarara-kura
  • Ehau
  • Hau-nui
  • Hau-roa
  • 15 Haumia-whakatere-taniwha 3
  • E tara-tukunga-reka
  • Haumia
  • Taonga-iwi
  • Tama-iwi-tarekareka
  • 10 Maki
  • Kuru-whare
  • Hine-wairoro = Turanga-peke
  • Kahu-taiki = Te Maunu
  • Maui
  • 5 Apitia
  • Apitia
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The first five names on this list beginning with Ngai are well-known tangata-whenua ancestors of the Bay of Plenty people, and Te Manu-waero-rua is either the father or mother of Toi-kai-rakau of the same people. In Chapter IV. it is shown that this Toi lived thirty-one generations ago; here his parent is shown to have flourished twenty-eight generations ago—not too great a discrepancy to disprove the identity of the individual.

The above table, in its latter end, runs into the Ati-Awa tribe; Apitia, the last named, died at the Chatham Islands about thirty years ago at a probable age of forty to fifty years.

Haumia (15 in table) received his name from the following circumstance: Haumia, who lived at Kawhia fifteen generations ago, possessed a kumara plantation situated on a cliff (let us suppose it to be a low one) overlooking the sea. His crops were constantly destroyed year after year in a most unaccountable manner. At last, Haumia found out the cause, in the existence of an immense taniwha (or sea-monster), which dwelt in a cave in the base of the cliff, and which caused the waves to rise and inundate the cultivations. This taniwha, whose name was Rapa-roa, was slain by Haumia, who thereafter received the name of Haumia-whakatere-taniwha (Haumia-the-taniwha-floater), which is borne by his descendants to this day as their tribal cognomen.

I have been favoured by Mr. James Cowan with the loan of a copy of the notes taken by Mr. John Ormsby at the Native Land Court, Otorohanga, in 1886, detailing the evidence given by Major W. Te Wheoro (sometime M.H.R.) and Hone Kaora, in the case of the title to Kawhia, from which is taken the following information as to events at that place in the early times of Te Rau-paraha. I am further indebted to Mr. Andrew Wilson, Government Surveyor, for the identification of some of the place names and other information.

The notes are unsatisfactory, as they do not make any pretence to be a continuous narrative, but enough can be made out to furnish an outline of the perpetual state of warfare, murders, and treacherous actions which characterised the period. Te Rau-paraha is believed to have been born about 1780—see Mr. W. T. L. Traver's “Life of Te Rau-paraha”—and therefore the first event noticed below would not occur until about the year 1800—for he would not have been a leader much before that time. All the troubles that ensued on the death of Te Uira occurred within the next twenty-one years or prior to 1821, when Ngati-Toa left Kawhia.

It appears that during the constant strife that existed between the Waikato tribes and those living on the west coast from Whainga-roa - 51 (Raglan) to Kawhia (which there is no need to follow Major Te Wheoro in describing)—that a large taua of Ngati-Paoa (of the Hauraki Gulf), Ngati-Haho, and Ngati-Hine (of Waikato) made an excursion to Whainga-roa, which district they found at that time to be practically uninhabited, due to previous wars. From there the party passed southward to Aotea Harbour, and proceeded to attack a pa on the western side towards the sea, called O-whakarito, where they succeeded in killing the chiefs Whata and Wai-tapu, and took the pa. It is not stated to what tribe these victims belonged, but evidently they were allies of Te Rau-paraha's tribe, Ngati-Toa. Two chiefs of the pa, Ra-waho and Patete, succeeded in making good their escape. At this period most of the Aotea district was unoccupied, due to previous wars, and so the Ngati-Mahanga people (now of Raglan) came down and took possession.

This proceeding on the part of Ngati-Mahanga incensed the Ngati-Toa and their allies of Kawhia, and consequently Te Rau-paraha raised a taua and proceeded in his war-canoes to Whainga-roa, where he attacked Ngati-Mahanga, killing Tu-tonga, Ue-hoka, Te Whare-ngori, and Moana-taiaha; after which the victors returned to their homes at Kawhia. Although Ngati-Pou are not mentioned, it is clear from other sources that they suffered in this raid.

There was apparently another reason also for this attack on Whainga-roa. Mr. Shand obtained the following from Petera Te Puku-atua, the late head chief of the Ngati-Whakawe branch of Te Arawa. Mr. Shand says, “It may be remarked that the people whom Te Rau-paraha attacked were killed in revenge for the massacre, by Ngati-Pou, living at Tarahanga (query, on the Waikato between Rangiriri and Kopu) of a number of Ngati-Toa women, his relatives, who were on their way to an uhunga (or crying over the dead) at the home of Te Hia-kai, several of them being Topeora's and Te Rangi-haeata's brothers and sisters. Some say there were thirty, others ten, of them. The massacre took place at Te Whakairoiro. Had Te Hia-kai been there, the people would have been saved. The cause of Ngati-Pou's action in this matter is uncertain, but no doubt due to some old quarrel. Te Rau-paraha sought revenge for it, first apprising Ngati-Pou of his intentions, especially Uehoka (mentioned above) who was living in a semi-fortified village. He replied to Te Rau-paraha's message in a derisive strain, on learning which, Te Rau-paraha said, ‘O indeed! Does he say so!’ and then took immediate action, capturing Uehoka's pa, killing and eating him and his people, with another of their chiefs named Kuku, all of whom are mentioned in Topeora's lament to be found in Nga-Moteatea, p. 300.”

That lament is as follows, and we note in it the virulent vehemence which characterises this lady's many effusions. She was Te Rau-paraha's neice.

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Kaore hoki koia te mamae,
Te au noa taku moe ki te whare,
Tuia ana te hau taua
I a Te Kahawai, whakaoho rawa.
Kia kaha, e te iwi kaha-kore
Te hapai o te patu,
Kia riro mai taku kai ko Titoko.
Ka nene aku niho
Puhi kaha ko Ue-hoka
Ka kohekohe taku korokoro,
Roro hunanga no Pou-tu-keka,
A horo matatia e au
Te roro piro o Tara-tikitiki.
Whakakiki ake taku poho,
Ko Taiawa, me ko Tu-tonga.
Waiho mai ra aku huruhuru,
Te puahau o Te Tihi-rahi.
'A kai atu ko Kuku, ko Ngahu,
Ko te tupuna i tupu ai
O mahara tohe riri.
E tapu ra te upoko o Te Rua-keri-po,
Tē homai hei kotutu wai kaeo.
Ki Te Kawau,
Ka tukutuku i te ia
Ki Tarahanga,
Ki te kai-angaanga i Ngati-Pou
Ka hirere taku toto
Ki runga ki te tumuaki koroheke,
Te Rangi-moe-waka tohe riri.


Alas! how great this constant pain,
That prevents all sleep in my house,
For I am pierced by war's alarms,
Due to Te Kaha-wai; 'tis this arouses me.
Then be ye strong, ye listless people
In skilfully plying your weapons.
And hither bring Titoko, as a meal for me,
My teeth will gnash and tear
My throat, with eager desire, is tickling
For the hidden brains of Pou-tu-keka,
The stinking brains of Tara-tikitiki
Will I swallow still uncooked.
Kai-awa and Tu-tonga, both,
Shall fill me up inside.
My hair shall form a top-knot
To degrade the head of Te Tihi-rahi,
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Kuku and Ngahu, will I gladly eat,
The ancestor from whom did spring
Thy thoughts of angry strife.
Sacred is the head of Rua-keri-po,
But as a dish for mussels shall it be
At Te Kawau, at our home.
Then turn my thoughts to the current
At Tarahanga, on Waikato's bank,
Where dwelt those cursed heads, Ngati-Pou,
There shall my blood spout forth
On to that old man's head, on to
Rangi-moe-waka, originator of strife.

This success on the Te Rau-paraha's part, was reported far and wide, and soon reached the ears of those branches of Waikato living at the mouth of the river, some thirty-five miles north of Whainga-roa, who decided at once to take up the cause of Ngati-Mahanga (and ? Ngati-Pou), and aid them to avenge their losses.

Accordingly the tribes mentioned below assembled at Waikato Heads and proceeded by sea to Kawhia. Te Wheoro has preserved the names of the various canoes in which the party embarked. The taua must have been a large one.

Canoe Kau-te-uri manned by Ngati-Tipa, of Waikato Heads.
Canoe Tai-ki-harare manned by Ngati-Pou, of Tuakau.
Canoe Rakau-mangamanga manned by Ngati-Mahuta, of Raglan.
Canoe Mauku-wae manned by Ngati-Mahuta, of Raglan.
Canoe Tuatea-rahi manned by Ngati-Mahuta, of Raglan.
Canoe Te Aha-tua-roa manned by Ngati-Te-Ata, of Waiuku, and Ngati-Paoa, of Hauraki.
Canoe Te Whata-kai-kuri manned by

As the fleet came along “Rakau-mangamanga” was driven on shore near Rua-puke (near Woody Head, a few miles south of Raglan), but by aid of the other canoes she was got off, and then they all went on to Kawhia, and encamped at a place named Otiki, where all were assembled under the great Waikato chief, Kare-waho. Whilst here the local people (? Ngati-Toa) advanced, and a fight ensued, in which the latter were defeated, losing Te Weu, Patea, and Ingoa, after which the rest retreated to Ohaua, which was their pa. Waikato now attacked this pa, and whilst the attack was in progress Wai-tohi, Te Rau-paraha's sister (and mother of Te Rangi-haeata and Topeora) recognised the Ngati-Te-Ata chiefs, Awarua, Rahurahu, Te Tuhi, Te Tawa, and Te Kauae, and exclaimed, “These are the servants of Ngati-Mai-o-taki who are attacking us.” The meaning of this is not clear, but evidently Ngati-Toa saw, in the presence of these people, a chance of making up the quarrel, which the attacking party appear not to have been sorry to acquiese in, for peace was made and the Waikato taua returned home.

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It would appear that at this time Aotea, or parts of that district, was still unoccupied notwithstanding that, as related above, Ngati-Mahanga, a Waikato tribe, had taken possession, and been defeated there by Te Rau-paraha. About this time Te Uira, a great chief of Ngati-Mahuta, hapu of Waikato, visited Aotea in order to indulge in fishing, and whilst there a man of Ngati-Toa named Te Huri-nui visited the place also, and was killed by Te Uira. The news of this murder caused great indignation to Te Rau-paraha, who, on learning that Te Uira was still there, left Kawhia with a war-party and preceeded by sea to Aotea in search of Te Uira. On finding him at the place named Mako-mako, Te Rau-paraha and his party attacked it and succeeded in killing Te Uira and also Te Ao-marama of Ngati-Te-Wehi (of Waikato), whilst Te Mohi and Te Tautara of Te Uira's party were saved by a Ngati-Toa woman named Te Patu, who was a sister of Tahuri-waka-nui of the same tribe and related to Ngati-Koata (hapu of Ngati-Toa), and Ngati-Hikairo of Kawhia. Te Mohi was allowed to escape, but Te Tautara was brought back to Kawhia, to the Ngati-Hikairo pa at Nga-toka-kai-riri, an island in Kawhia harbour, east side. Mr. Shand says “Te Uira's body was taken to Te Rau-paraha's pa and there eaten. This was at Powewe (present town of Kawhia), so after Waikato had finally expelled Ngati-Toa a few years later, this particular place was given to Te Uira's representatives (Te Hia-kai and others).

“It was afterwards sold to one Cowell (father of Hone Kaora, much of whose evidence before the Land Court is herein incorporated), a man who assisted at the capture of Tama-i-hara-nui at Port Cooper in about 1829 or 1830. The powder, tomahawks, etc., paid for this piece of land by Cowell, were distributed to those related to Te Uira as a pure or ‘cleansing,’ for the death of that chief. Subsequently this fell into the hands of one Charlton, Captain Fairchild's father-in-law, and the latter sold it to the Government.” 4

Hone Kaora, in his evidence before the court in relation to the events of this period, mentions an interesting fact with respect to this - 55 inland pa of Nga-toka-kai-riri. He says, “I will now explain the phrases, ‘tukutuku puraho-rua’ and ‘te ruru-rama.’ Some of Ngati-Mania-poto (of Waipa) and Ngati-Hikairo were living at Kawhia—indeed the home of the latter tribe is there. If a war-party were passing from inland to attack the people of Kawhia, those of Waipa would send a messenger to warn those of Kawhia. There is a track through the forest called Tihi-toetoe, that passes over the southern shoulder of Mount Pirongia. 5 No war-party was allowed to travel by this route because it was tapu to expeditions of that nature. Our expression is, ‘Te ara tukutuku puraho-rua 6 kei Tihi-toetoe’—(‘The road by which one related to both sides may pass is at Tihi-toetoe’)—by which we learn that it was not tapu to the messenger who went to give the alarm, but was so to the war-parties, which illustrates a characteristic of Maori warfare often noticed—i.e., that due notice was generally given of an intended attack. ‘At Nga-toka-kai-riri island in Kawhia, on the arrival of the messenger, beacon fires would be lit (ruru-rama) warning all the pas of the district of the approach of an enemy. The messenger would light a big fire on one side of the pa (which was named Poroaki), and this could be seen by the Ngati-Toa pas at Te Whenua-po (a hill and old pa of Ngati-Toa, one thousand and eighty-one feet above the sea, situated between the rivers Rakau-nui and Te Mahoe, three miles from the southern shores of Kawhia, on which is Trig Station A), Te Totara (another Ngati-Toa pa situated on the first point inside Kawhia Heads on the south side), and other pas in the district. All these pas were generally antagonistic to the Ngati-Hikairo pa at Nga-toka-kai-riri, but the advent of an outside enemy caused them all to become allies.”

The death of a great chief like Te Uira, who was father of Te Hiakai (another great chief of Waikato, who, as we shall see, fell at the battle of Te Motu-nui in 1821—see Chapter XIV.), and others of the principal families of Waikato—and whose end was evidently brought about by Te Rau-paraha in a manner which the former's tribe looked upon as approaching the treacherous—could not be passed over without an attempt to exact utu. Te Wheoro says this was the third great take, or cause, Waikato had against Kawhia, and consequently this powerful tribe decided that the latter people must be exterminated. It was the knowledge of this decision of Waikato—with other things—that first imbued Te Rau-paraha with the idea that Kawhia was no longer a safe place of residence for him and his tribe. Later on he - 56 expressed the thought of migrating to join Ngati-Rau-kawa in the neighbourhood of Cambridge, which people were closely connected with his own. Again, both Rotorua and Taranaki were thought of, but it was apparently not until he had joined Tu-whare in his southern expedition (1819-20—see Chapter XI.), and had then noticed the facilities offered by Kapiti Island as an anchorage for ships, from which he might obtain arms, that the decision was arrived at to migrate thither. But this was not for some years yet, and, in the meantime, Waikato sent taua after taua to Kawhia in the hope of carrying out the tribal decision, many of which are described in Te Wheoro's and Hone Kaora's evidence, but are passed over here, excepting those that immediately affect Te Rau-paraha.

The first step taken by Waikato to avenge the death of Te Uira was to send forth a taua composed of hapus with which the slain man was connected, viz.: Ngati-Reko, Ngati-Rehu, Ngati-Mahuta, and Ngati-Mahanga, which attacked and took a pa on the south side of Aotea, named Horo-ure, where Rangi-potki, a woman of high rank of Ngati-Mahanga, 7 together with Tokoua were killed.

This was followed by another taua, having the same object in view, which proceeded to the north shore of Kawhia and fought a battle with Ngati-Toa under Te Keunga, and Tarahape, at Po-wewe, the present site of Kawhia town, and defeated them. The taua then attacked and took the Motu-ngaio pa, overlooking the present township. The women and children of the pa fled to the water side and started to cross the sands; but Ahi-pania and Te Piē gave chase hoping to catch, and make slaves of them. In this they were frustrated by Te Whare-puhi and Taiko of Ngati-Toa, who turned upon the pursuers and killed them. This defeat was called Puta-karekare. Waikato now crossed the harbour to Te Totara, already referred to, which was one of the principal strongholds of the Ngati-Koata branch of Ngati-Toa; but apparently landed first on the long peninsula forming the south head of the harbour, and here they suffered a defeat at the hands of Ngati-Toa. “It was during this fight,” says Te Wheoro, “that Kiwi and Te Rau-angaanga—father of the celebrated Te Wherowhero—were nearly killed. They escaped by jumping over a cliff. Waikato then fled to Maika, (headland, forming the south entrance to Kawhia,) and whilst there they could see no sign of life at Te Totara pa (about a mile and a half away); so they sent two scouts named Kahu-ina and Taiko by canoe to reconnoitre, both of whom were caught by Ngati-Toa and killed.”

Waikato seem to have had enough of fighting for the time; evidently Ngati-toa were getting the best of it, although they had lost the pa at Motu-ngaio. So Waikato returned across the harbour and over the - 57 mountains to their homes on Waikato and Waipa rivers, but with the intention of returning.

Soon after, another element was introduced into this intertribal war, and for reasons not stated the great Ngati-Mania-poto tribe were drawn into the quarrel between the East and West Waikato tribes. Te Rangi-tuatea (of whom we shall hear a good deal later on) and Te Whaka-maru, both high chiefs of the tribe mentioned led forth a great taua to Kawhia, coming on as far as Te Awaroa river, which falls into the harbour on its eastern side. Te Rau-paraha at this time was at Tutae-rere, where also were some of the Ngati-Pou tribe (? of Tua-kau Lower Waikato), staying there as guests—amongst them two men named Hau-rora and Hau-pare. Soon after the arrival of Ngati-Mania-poto at Awaroa, Te Rau-paraha met them in battle at a place named Ta-whitiwhiti, and defeated them heavily, killing Te Whakamaru—one of the leaders—whose head was taken away to Te Rau-paraha's pa, where, no doubt, it was put to the usual purpose and stuck up on a rod to be jeered at. During the fight, Te Rau-paraha aimed a blow at Te Rangi-tuatea, which was warded off by the weapon striking a branch, and thus the latter's life was saved. These two men were related in some distant way, hence Te Rangi-tuatea's subsepuent action in helping Te Rau-paraha to escape to Kapiti, notwithstanding the latter's attempt on his life just related.

This defeat accounts in a large measure for the subsequent energetic pursuit of Te Rau-paraha by Ngati-Mania-poto, which we shall learn of at a later period.

The part that Ngati-Pou played in the above conflict is uncertain, but it is clear that they were inimical to Te Rau-paraha, though Te Wheoro says that some of them were then staying with Te Rau-paraha as his guest, a fact difficult of explanation after reading the account of Te Rau-paraha's attack on Ngati-Pou at Whainga-roa (Raglan) for which see ante.

On the return of this Ngati-Mania-poto taua to their homes, messengers were at once dispatched to Ngati-Pou, Ngati-Mahuta, Ngati-Hine and other sub-tribes of Waikato calling on them to assemble at Tu-korehu's pa, Manga-toatoa, on the Waipa river, for the purpose of attacking Ngati-Toa in their headquarters at Te Totara pa; at Manga-toatoa the Waikato taua was joined by Ngati-Apa-kura (now of Kawhia) and Ngati-Mania-poto, so that they numbered altogether sixteen hundred warriors. Te Rau-angaanga, father of Te Wherowhero, appears to have been in chief command. Crossing the ranges, the taua drew near to Hiku-parea pa, situated on the long peninsula at the east end of Kawhia, called Tiritiri-matangi. During the night two divisions were formed, eight hundred men in each, one of which went into ambush near the pa whilst the other division made a feigned attack on the pa. - 58 This brought the garrison out, who, not knowing of the ambush, were set upon and badly beaten. This was followed up by the taking of the pa, which was easily accomplished. A great chief named Te Kanawa (not the great Waikato chief of that name) who was chief of the pa was killed here, as was Te Haunga and others. The latter was killed by Mau-tara, who was a brother (? distant cousin) of Taka, father of Te Poa-kai (? of Ngati-Hikairo) who was chief of that district and closely related to Te Hia-kai.

Not satisfied with the above success it was decided by Te Kanawa and Pikia (of Waikato) to attack Te Totara pa, in revenge for the scouts killed by Ngati-Toa, as related a few pages back. On reaching the pa, Ngati-Toa came forth and gave battle to Waikato, but in this case Te Rau-paraha and his tribe suffered defeat, losing Hikihiki, Kiharoa, Tara-peke, and others. Tu-whatau (of Waikato) had a very narrow escape of capture by Te Rangi-haeata. “Tara-peke (of Ngati-Toa) was killed by Te Whare-ngori in view of all the people and without interference, as he was a relation of their people.” 8 After this, both sides being satisfied for the time, Te Rau-paraha called out to Te Rau-angaanga, the leader of Waikato, to approach the pa, and, on his doing so, a temporary peace was patched up and the Waikato party returned home.

But the turbulent spirit of Ngati-Toa was not satisfied. Hearing that Te Whare-ngori (referred to in the last paragraph) had gone to Whainga-roa, Te Rau-paraha and a party of Ngati-Koata (of Te Totara pa) put to sea in a canoe and went round to Whainga-roa, where they found Te Whare-ngori, and killed him and others, besides taking some prisoners, who were carried back to Te Totara. It was one part of this taua, apparently, that made an attack on another branch of Waikato, Ngati-Tama-inu, 9 at Whainga-roa, where they killed Totoia, and at Manga-kowhai killed Po-wha and Karetu. This taua was under Te Whare-puhi and Taiko (of Te Totara pa).

This incident ruptured the peace made between Te Rau-angaanga (of Waikato) and Te Rau-paraha (of Ngati-Toa). And hence a further war-party was raised by Waikato, consisting of Ngati-Mahuta, Ngati-Ngahia, Ngati-Reke, Ngati-Mahanga, and Ngati-Tama-inu, who forthwith went over to Kawhia, and at a place named Torea found a party of Ngati-Toa that had just crossed over from Te Totara. Waikato attacked them at Te Waro (said to be near the present town of Kawhia) and killed Taiko and Te Whare-puhi (the leaders in last Ngati-Toa expedition to Whainga-roa), Te Manu-ki-tawhiti, Te - 59 Hahana, Te Pou-kura, and many others. The taua then returned home.


We have already had occasion to refer to Raparapa, the warrior chief of the fighting Ngati-Tama of Pou-tama (south of Mokau). 10 He was a very daring man, whose exploits are still the pride of his tribe, and which is illustrated by the following incident in his career which led up to the great fight at Taharoa.

Unu-a-tahu was a member of that branch of Waikato named Ngati-Mahanga (now of Raglan). His sister married a man of the Ngati-Tama tribe of Te Kawau pa, Poutama District, near the White Cliffs, and on one occasion this man went on a visit to his sister at that place, where he found a party of Ngati-Raukawa staying with Raparapa. It would appear that in some of the intertribal fights between Waikato and Ngati-Raukawa—a tribe that was nearly related to Te Rau-paraha and which eventually cast in their fortunes with him at Kapiti—this man, Unu-a-tahu, had been present. Thinking this a good opportunity to wipe out an old score, his visitors suggested to Raparapa that the man should be killed. What arguments were used we know not, nor why Raparapa should take on himself the quarrels of others; but he consented to the request of his guests. The brother-in-law of Unu-a-tahu, however, learnt of the proposal, and therefore hurried the latter off before any action could be taken. Unu-a-tahu started on his way home, making for his own tribe, Ngati-Mahanga, who were then living in the Waipa valley.

Raparapa, as soon as he heard that the bird had flown, started off in pursuit, and on his arrival at Kawhia, found that Unu-a-tahu was at Nga-toka-kai-riri, the island pa already referred to. The people of the pa prepared food for the traveller, and then advised him to hasten his departure for fear he should be caught, for Ngati-Hikairo (the people of the pa) evidently knew that Raparapa was in chase of him, and that he was a man not likely to change his plans without very strong opposition. Unu-a-tahu replied to his hosts, “Who am I—Te Unu-a-tahu, that they pursue me?” It was night, and he was weary, so he decided to stop at the pa against the persuasions of the people. Raparapa, at that very time, was crossing Kawhia in chase of his prey, and on arrival at the pa found Unu-a-tahu there, and forthwith killed him. He then returned home to Te Kawau.


We now come to the series of incidents that were the immediate cause of Te Rau-paraha's migration to Kapiti.

Reference to the frequent alliances that existed from ancient times - 60 between Ngati-Toa (of Kawhia), and both Ngati-Tama (of Pou-tama) and Ngati-Mutunga (of Urenui) has already been recorded; and this murder of Unu-a-tahu, by Raparapa, evidently was considered by Waikato as involving Ngati-Toa in the inevitable vengeance that the former tribe considered it necessary to take to square the credit and debtor account between these ancient enemies. There were other causes inducing to the same end: The death of the great chief Te Uira, of Waikato, at Te Rau-paraha's hands; the defeat of Ngati-Mania-poto at Ta-whitiwhiti, and other disasters were by no means forgotten by the tribes concerned, and who had suffered at Te Rau-paraha's hands. Moreover, Waikato had not as yet fully carried out their formal decision of exterminating the Kawhia tribes.

The death of Unu-a-tahu, by Raparapa, accentuated the determination of Waikato to complete their work, and for this purpose they undertook the war at Te Taharoa.

Te Taharoa is the northermost of a chain of small lakes situated four or five miles south of Kawhia, and is in the heart of the country, then owned by Ngati-Toa, and around which they had many villages and fortified pas, some of which were named Te Kakara, Rangi-hura, Te Rako, Ara-raparapa, Te Kawau, and Tau-mata-kauae.

For the account of what follows, I am indebted to the notes of Major Te Wheoro, Hone Kaora, Rangi-pito, W. Taungatara, A. Shand, and others collected by myself. In the length of time that has elapsed since the events occurred, the recollection even by such splendid memories as were possessed by these old Maoris, is somewhat at fault, and consequently we have some uncertainty as to the precise order in which Te Taharoa should be placed with regard to the well ascertained date (1819-20) of Te Rau-paraha's and Tu-whare's southern expedition. The evidence is conflicting; but on the whole it seems to point to this latter expedition having taken place first, and, therefore, Taharoa was probably about 1820 or early in 1821. If this is right, then the next event in our narrative which should come in here is the expedition of Te Rau-paraha and Tu-whare, which has already been described in Chapter XII., but it has been thought best to keep all these Kawhia incidents together.

So when Ngati-Mahanga heard of the murder of Unu-a-tahu, their chief Te Puna-toto was urgent that Waikato should avenge it. This was agreed to, and many of Waikato, including Ngati-Mahuta (Te Wherowhero's hapu), Te Patu-po, Ngati-Mahanga, and others assembled in great force to attack Ngati-Toa. This great taua was divided into two portions, one going by sea (probably from Whainga-roa), under the chiefs Te Kanawa, Kiwa, Te Hiakai, Te Awa-i-taia, and others; the other by the Waipa valley, and thence over the ranges - 61 to the coast. This last party was under Te Wherowhero, Te Tihi-rahi, Te Pae-waka, Hou (of Ngati-Apakura, now of Kawhia), Tu-korehu (of Ngati-Mania-poto), Te Au, Te Ake (of Ngati-Hikairo, also now of Kawhia), and many others. They were to proceed to the coast and attack Ngati-Rarua (of Ngati-Toa) of Wai-kawau pa, situated fourteen miles north of Mokau, in order to punish those people for a curse they had uttered against the great warrior Tu-korehu, as he and his people returned from some raid into the Ngati-Tama or other territory of Taranaki. Referring to this incident, Mr. Skinner says, “As Tu-korehu's taua journeyed northward along the coast, they had to pass under the pa, which was built on a high cliff jutting out into the sea, and it was only at low water that a passage round the base could be effected. As they passed underneath, one of the inmates of the pa (of the Ngati-Rarua hapu of Ngati-Toa) exclaimed, “Look at the steam rising from his bald head!” in allusion to Tu-korehu—a very stout, and presumably from this a bald-headed man. Now the mention of the head of a chief was a breach of the law, for the head was tapu, and never, therefore, mentioned; how much more insulting then to name it in this derisive manner, and on such a sacred personage as Tu-korehu. It was a deadly insult; and in revenge Wai-kawau pa was assaulted and taken, and all the inhabitants killed and eaten.” 11

This part of the taua went on to Wai-kawau, and sat down to besiege the place, where we will leave them for a time to follow the fortunes of the other branch of the expedition.

The second taua was composed of Ngati-Mahuta, Te Patu-po, Ngati-Mahanga, and others. Te Awa-i-taia was “the young chief” of the party. On arrival at Kawhia, by water, they proceeded overland to Taharoa where the bulk of Ngati-Toa had assembled under Te Rau-paraha; but the Ngati-Koata branch of that tribe remained in their pas at Kawhia, with the intention, should Waikato be defeated, of attacking them on their retreat, or, of taking Waikato in the rear. Major Te Wheoro says, “Whilst the taua were besieging Taumata-kauae pa, near Taharoa lake, a child of the enemy was caught, killed, and then served up to the taua with some fish. Te Puna-toto (apparently of Ngati-Pou, who had induced Waikato to engage in this undertaking) arose and stood over the food with a ko (or wooden spade, which is sharp-pointed like a paddle) in his hand. He was a Tohunga, or priest. He pierced the body of the child, - 62 saying, ‘Here I will stick this ko.’ At these words all the fish raised themselves up (!), and thereupon he recited his whakatapatapa 12:—

Papa, papa te whatitiri
I runga i te rangi, etc., etc.

The child's body was then divided out to the Tohunga and the people. Te Rau-paraha was at this time within his pa—the battle had not commenced.”

The pa at Tau-mata-kauae was taken, and then Te Kawau, situated (Mr. A. Wilson says) on a point projecting out into the lake. This is the place mentioned in Topeora's kai-oraora (see ante). After these two pas fell (or perhaps before, for the Native narrative is very obscure), came the battle of Te Kakara, which is (says Mr. A. Wilson) an old settlement situated to the north-west of Te Kawau. W. Taungatara says that before the battle Ngati-Toa were in their pa named Te Roto, and saw the advancing host of Waikato, four thousand strong, with Ngati-Mania-poto, one thousand strong, coming to attack the place. Ngati-Toa, who had a few muskets given them by Tu-whare on his return to the north in 1820, sallied forth to meet this great force with only—as W. Taungatara says—three hundred men, composed partly of Ngati-Toa, Ngati-Koata, and Ngati-Rarua, under their various chiefs, of whom Te Rau-paraha, Te Pehi-kupe, Pokai-tara, and Te Rangi-haeata had guns. Immediately before the battle the famous Raparapa of Ngati-Tama had arrived on a visit to Te Rau-paraha—by himself, says Taungatara; accompanied by Rangi-numia and some ten men from Onaero, says Rangipoto—and they were quite unaware that fighting was taking place. With characteristic valour Raparapa immediately insisted on joining in the fight though disuaded from doing so by Te Akau, Te Rau-paraha's principal wife. She said, “E Rapa! E Rapa! waiho ma te pu!”—(“O Rapa! let the guns decide it!”)—for Raparapa had only a long handled tomahawk as a weapon. But he was determined to join in the fight and was quite annoyed at the woman's interference, exclaiming, “Ata! Nawai i ki ma te wahine au e ako!”—(“Aha! who says I am to be instructed by a woman!”)

The opposing forces now approached, each side in companies according to their tribes. Te Rau-paraha's people, Ngati-Toa and Ngati-Rarua, were posted in two bodies awaiting the onslaught of the enemy, which advanced, and were met by vollies from Ngati-Toa, each shot—says Taungatara—knocking over a man. After a time, and whilst the opposing forces were squatting down watching one another, - 63 Raparapa, who was impatient with that kind of fighting, dashed forth into the open space between the two forces, and with his long handled tomahawk felled one of the enemy with a right-handed blow, another with a left-handed blow. A Waikato warrior now advanced to meet him; Raparapa made a blow at him and buried his axe so deeply in his body that he could not extricate it quickly, so he seized the man by his belt and flung him over his shoulder—Raparapa was noted for his great strength, see an instance of this, Chap. XI.—and bore him off. Seeing him thus encumbered, Rota (or Kiwi) 13 of Waikato, rushed forth from the ranks, and catching Raparapa by his belt (about six inches wide and made of strong muka) took a grip of his naked body. Several more of Waikato now rushed out to assist their tribesman, and in the struggle that ensued, Raparapa tripped up in a pig-rooting and fell, where Kiwi, watching his chance, succeeded in giving him a blow that killed him. Thus perished the great toa of Ngati-Tama, no doubt, in the manner he would have most desired.

All this time the muskets were doing their work; but on seeing the fall of Raparapa, the two companies of Ngati-Toa sprang to their feet preparatory to a rush, which being observed by the Waikato chief Pungarehu (or Hone Papita as he was afterwards named) of Ngati-Hine-uru, he called out, “Ara! He waewae tu!” expressive of there being no force in reserve behind the two companies of Ngati-Toa. All Waikato thereupon made a rush forward, and by weight of numbers drove back Te Rau-paraha's people in confusion, each man trying his best to save himself. Waikato continued the chase close up to the pa, killing great numbers as they fled, amongst them Te Rau-paraha's elder brother. 14 Waikato now took Raparapa's body to their camp, where they cut him up (and no doubt ate him with great satisfaction, though our Maori narrators do not say so). It was a great triumph for Waikato to have killed so very noted a warrior. “Had Raparapa known in time of this expedition of Waikato, he would have brought up the fighting Ngati-Tama, when the result would have been different”—says Rangi-pito.

Those of Ngati-Koata who had remained in their pas on the shores of Kawhia with the intention of cutting Waikato off, should they be defeated, had by this time advanced to the assistance of Te Rau-parah - 64 whilst the battle was raging, but on seeing that the day was lost, they returned. Many of the others (Ngati-Rarua etc.) after the defeat fled south to their fellow tribesmen at Wai-kawau, several miles down the coast, and with them, says Te Wheoro, were some of Ngati-Tama and Ngati-Mutunga (of Poutama and Ure-nui).

The fall of these several pas and the loss of the battle of Te Kakara was a very serious blow to Ngati-Toa, in which they lost a great many warriors. As Wi Karewa says, “Ka mate kino te iwi o Te Rau-paraha i konei; i patua i te ra, i te po, e Ngati-Pou”—(“the losses of the tribe of Te Rau-paraha here were very serious; by day and by night were they killed by Ngati-Pou.”) It was these losses that inspired the muse of Topeora when she composed the Kai-oraora given a few pages back. According to the same authority, Te Rangi-hokaia and Te Awa-i-taia were the most prominent leaders of the Waikato taua.

After the battle of Te Kakara, the Ngati-Toa left their pa Te Roto and retired to their stronghold, Te Arawi, a pa situated on the coast three miles south of Kawhia Heads, and two and a half miles eastward of Taunga-tara or Albatross Point. Mr. Andrew Wilson gives the following brief description of this stronghold. “It is situated on a point projecting into the sea, and is connected to the mainland by a narrow razor-back neck, and has cliffs all around it. On the north eastern side was an entrance to the pa, by means of a rope and steps cut in the rock, but it is so steep my informant thinks no one with boots on could make the ascent. The cliffs are all rock, in which pits have been cut out (for store houses), but there is no water on the point; off the pa, at sea, is a shark-fishing place.”


A few pages back it was stated that the great taua of Waikato had divided into two parties, the first of which under Te Hiakai and others fought Ngati-Toa at Taharoa, as described above, whilst the second proceeded by another route up the Waipa valley and then crossed the forest plateau to the Wai-kawau pa, situated on the coast fourteen miles north of the Mokau River. This place they proceeded to besiege, and whilst doing so a number of fugitives from the battle of Te Kakara arrived there and succeeded in making their way into the pa. These people were Ngati-Rarua (of Ngati-Toa) and others. During the night the besiegers heard the people of the pa lamenting the dead, and they therefore knew at once that the other taua had been successful, and Ngati-Toa defeated. So next morning the Waikato and Ngati-Mania-poto taua stormed Wai-kawau and took the place, killing all the inhabitants besides the fugitives, amongst whom where two chiefs, one of whom was slain by Tu-korehu, another by Te Au of Ngati-Hikairo, which tribe now for the first time joined in the war against Ngati-Toa, for generally they had supported the latter tribe in case of outside invasion. “It was,” says Te Wheoro, “at these two fights, Te Kakara - 65 and Wai-kawau, that many chiefs of Kawhia were killed. After this, the two tauas, one from Te Kakara, the other from Wai-kawau, returned to their homes.” Thus Tu-korehu obtained revenge for the insult offered him by the people of Wai-kawau.


The death of Te Rau-paraha's first wife, Marore, is said to have occurred just after the former returned from his southern expedition with Tu-whare, or early in 1820, but whether before or after the fighting at Te Taharoa is uncertain, though probability seems to point to the latter date. It appears that Marore went from Kawhia to Waikato to attend a tangi, or crying, over some relative. Whilst there, Te Wherowhero, Te Kanawa, and Te Ika-tu (of Waikato) heard of her being in the district, and the former urged Te Rangi-moe-waka to kill her. This man, nothing loath, then murdered her. When Te Rau-paraha heard of this he said nothing but the death of one of the murderer's relatives could atone for this. A party was therefore sent out and Te Moerua (of Ngati-Mania-poto) was killed by Te Rako, and the murder thus avenged. This event (says Mr. Wilson) occurred at Kare-rauaha, near Otorohanga, and the body was eaten at Kawatea.

Ngati-Mania-poto, to square this death, sent a party over to Maro-kopa river, where they killed Te Mahutu (of Ngati-Toa). Mr. Wilson adds, “My informant, Whiti-nui, says this was not a murder like the others, as Te Mahutu was killed in a small skirmish.”

Te Rau-paraha's retalliation for this was the death of Te Ara-taua, a woman of note of Mokau. 15 Mr. Wilson says, “She was on the track outside the Ara-pae pa in company with a woman of Kawhia, named Niho, who was spared. At this time Te Whainga (? of Ngati-Mania-poto) was just returning from the east coast, and hearing what had occurred did not go on to the pa, but at once went after the murderers and overtook them at a place named Te Raupo, where he killed twenty of them in the night. Again, near Manga-o-hae, he overtook another party and killed Pekapeka. After this, Te Au-nui (of Arapae) went against Te Rau-paraha.”

- 66

One of the Ngati-Toa women composed the following lament for Marore:—

E Hine! e tangi kino e,
E tangi aurere nei,
Ko Te Wherowhero, ko Te Kanawa,
Nana i unga mai,
Ka eke nei taua,
Te tihi ki Te Kawau,
He maunga tu noa
Kaore nei he mokorea tangata.
Kei te amu au i te wai-takataka
No Hari ranei; no Hau-pokia.
No Mama-uruahu,
Whakaki tonu ake
Ko Hihi, ko Te Whakaea,
Ko taku kai reka nei, ko au, etc., etc.
O Lady! in thy bitter grief,
Thou cryest aloud in wailing tones,
'Twas Te Wherowhero 16 and Te Kanawa,1
That instigated the foul deed,
And also drove us to Te Kawau's 17 summit—
A mountain now, with no sign of life.
I would that I were chewing the brains
Of Hari, 18 perhaps, or of Hau-pokia, 19
Or even of Mama 20 -uruahu,
And repleting myself by feasting on
Hihi and Te Whakaea,
These to me were sweet food indeed.

These various killings, no doubt, widened the breach between Waikato and Ngati-Toa, and it therefore causes no surprise when we learn that Ngati-Hikairo (of Waikato) and Ngati-Mania-poto raised a taua and proceeded to Kawhia to chastise Ngati-Toa. Moreover, news had been received that Te Rau-paraha and his tribe had again occupied their old settlements, one of which was the pa at Whenua-po already referred to. At this time Te Poa-kai 21 was chief of the latter pa together with Rae-herea and Rawaho, whilst at Te Arawi were Te Rau-paraha, Rangi-haeata, with Matu (of Ngati-Koata).

The Waikato taua first went to Whenua-po and began an attack on the pa, “But,” says Te Wheoro, “Te Hiakai was desirous to prevent bloodshed and asked the chiefs of the pa to come forth, together with the hapu Ngati-Te-Ra. When they did so Te Hiakai escorted them so - 67 they should not be harmed by Waikato. Ngati-Te-Wehi (Waikato) pursued the party, and Te Moke, seeing a greenstone heitiki on Te Hiakai's neck, snatched it off, which heitiki I (Te Wheoro) now have. But these people, together with Ngati-Whanga, were led away by Te Hiakai and Muri-whenua.”

What the attack on Whenua-po ended in is not related; but from there the taua went on to Te Arawi with the intention of attacking that place. On their arrival Te Whakaete and Taki-waru of Waikato succeeded in killing two men of Ngati-Toa, named Arawaka and Whakatau-poki; and directly after an attack was made on the pa. Whilst this was going on Hau-tutu saw a man of the pa come outside whom he pursued but did not capture. On his return he found himself blocked on all sides and had to spring over the cliff to escape Te-Rangi-haeata. He landed on a rock and seriously injured his thigh, his blood staining the stone. When Te Rangi-haeata saw this he licked up the blood from the rock. Parakete is the name of the place where Hau-tutu jumped over. The circumstance is referred to in the song, “Mokai 'Haeta whakarauora,” etc.

During the night the pa was surrounded (on the land side) and after dark Riki and Maru of Ngati-Te-Kore let a man down from the pa by a rope who wished to communicate with Taiawa, of Ngati-Mahanga (Waikato). At the interview Tai-awa arranged that they should escape, for they wished to leave the pa without the knowledge of the rest of the garrison. Te Kanawa (Waikato) at the same time arranged for the escape of Ngati-Tuiri-rangi (related to Ngati-Toa, though often their enemies—see Chap. IX.) In the morning Ngati-Toa within the pa discovered that the garrison was decreasing by desertion.

“During the progress of the siege,” says Hone Kaora, “Waikato caught Taunga-wai, a younger brother of Te Rau-paraha, whilst Te Aka and Rua-tahora, two women, were also caught, but their lives spared. Werewera 22 was also killed by Ngati-Hikairo, which tribe, with Ngati-Mania-poto, were surrounding the pa. Te Rangi-tua-taka (Waikato) took the two women back to the pa and delivered them to their relatives,” an action which no doubt facilitated the negotiations that followed for the evacuation of the pa.

Amongst the Ngati-Mania-poto who were thus pressing Te Rau-paraha and his people to extremity, was Te Rangi-tua-tea of that tribe, but who was also related to Te Rau-paraha, and hence he did not wish to see matters carried to the bitter end by his own people. He therefore watched his opportunity when the watch kept on the pa was - 68 slacker than usual, and approached the fortifications in the night, and softly called to the sentries that he wanted to see Te Rau-paraha, giving his name. On learning of this Te Rau-paraha descended to the beach where his friend was awaiting him, and there a consultation was held, ending in Te Rangi-tua-tea saying, “Maunu! Haere! withdraw, and be off at once before you are attacked and it is too late. Go all that can, and leave only such as are unable to travel; leave them to be made cinders (kongakonga) of. Go to Taranaki; to Te Ati-Awa, for safety.” 23 W. Taungatara, after relating much the same, says, “Rau-paraha replied that he thought it better to go to the Ngati-Raukawa tribe, who were his relatives (their home was at Munga-tautari, near Cambridge), but Te Rangi-tuatea said at once, “E kore koe e pahure; engari me ahu koe ki te pa-ngaio e tu mai ra, ka ora koe!”—(“You will not be able to pass (the Waikato tribe), but turn towards the pa-ngaio there and you will be saved”—the pa-ngaio being the Ati-awa tribe.) Te Rau-paraha then asked, “When shall we go?” “This very night; do not delay;” W. Taungatara says that they left that same night; but it is probable Major Te Wheoro is right in saying that Te Rau-paraha possibly thinking there would be a difficulty in thus escaping without the help of—at least one part of—Waikato, summoned Te Hiakai to a conference, which took place within the pa. During this interview, Te Hiakai agreed that he would restrain his people and allow Te Rau-paraha to depart in peace on his way south. Te Rau-paraha, turning towards Kawhia, said to Te Hiakai, “Behold your land! Do not follow me to the south!” It would have been well for Te Hiakai if he had taken this advice; but he did not, and consequently lost his life at the battle of Te Motu-nui, as we shall see in Chapter XIV.

It appears that Te Rangi-tua-tea, in pursuance of his friendship for Te Rau-paraha and his desire that Ngati-Toa should get away, persuaded most of the besieging force to leave the neighbourhood of the pa and go a-fishing—probably in Kawhia Harbour. Evidently, Te Hiakai and he were now acting in unison, for Te Wheoro says, on the return of Te Hiakai from the pa, he and Ngati-Mahuta took great care that Waikato should not pursue Ngati-Toa. He adds, “Many of the garrison went by canoe with Te Rau-paraha, Te Rangi-haeata, and Te Kaka-kura, whilst others went by land” (see next Chapter). It was not the whole of Ngati-Toa that left, for some remained and became, as Te Wheoro says, slaves—rather would they be rahi, or vassals to the conquerors.

Te Rangi-tua-tea, in thus assisting Ngati-Toa, was secretly rejoiced at the discomfiture of Waikato, but evidently was not a believer in the doctrine that “virtue is its own reward,” for “immediately on the abandonment of Kawhia,” says Mr. Shand, - 69 “he, with all his people, at once took possession of part of Kawhia and instantly set to work to entrench himself in order to prevent Waikato claiming the place. He fortified a pa named Te Kawau (? that at Taharoa), where he left a guard of his own people, and then returned to Waipa and brought over four hundred of the Ngati-Raukawa (? Ngati-Mania-poto) to assist in holding the place.”


Before passing on to the further doings of Ngati-Toa, which are most intimately connected with those of our Taranaki tribes, I will smmarize from the evidence of Major Te Wheoro and Hone Kaora, some information given by them as to the visit of the first ships to Kawhia.

First, I may say that on the 3rd November, 1894, Mr. Elsdon Best and I visited an old Ngati-Toa warrior named Te Paki, then living at Takapuahia, a place at the southern end of Porirua Harbour (named after Takapuahia, a mile and-a-half seaward of Kawhia township). This old man came down from Kawhia with Te Rau-paraha in 1821-22, at which time he was old enough to walk most of the way. He told us that up to the time of their leaving Kawhia no ships had visited the place, but they had been seen passing along outside, and were supposed by the natives to be manned by gods—waraki, or retireti, gods of the deep sea. Both these words are interesting; waraki was one of the first names given to Europeans as “gods of the sea.” The name raises a very big question which cannot be discussed here: Who were the originals of the waraki, gods of the sea and white in colour, known to Maori tradition? Reti, or Retireti, is what may be termed an obsolete word for waka, a canoe, but used nowadays very rarely and then only in poetry. The suggestion is, that the word was originally used to denote a vessel of a different class to the Polynesian canoe. Reti has another meaning, for a kind of sleigh or toboggan used in a game, like the Holua game of Hawaii.

The following is from Major Te Wheoro's evidence. After describing the peace made with Nga-Puhi subsequent to the fall of Matakitaki in May, 1822, and the occupation of Kawhia by Waikato, he says, “When Nga-Puhi returned, peace was made, and at that time some of my female relatives were left at Matakitaki, viz: Pare-kohu and Ra-huru for that purpose. This peace was confirmed afterwards, Te Whakaete (of Waikato) was brought here, and Toha (Matire-toha, daughter of Rewa, of Nga-Puhi) was brought as security for peace, by Turi-ka-tuku (Hongi's wife). Toha married Kati, brother of Te Wherowhero.” Now, the Nga-Puhi returned to their homes at the Bay of Islands in August or September, 1823, after having cemented this peace, together with several Waikato - 70 chiefs. 24 Te Wheoro proceeds: “After the return of Te Whakaete (from the Bay, which occurred early in 1824 *) Te Puaha went on a visit to Nga-Puhi. When he returned he brought back with him ‘Hamu-kete,’ a Pakeha; they came back in the latter's vessel to Kawhia, to Heahea, at the entrance.” Hone Kaora says, “The first ship that sailed into Kawhia was about this time (i.e., the death of Pomare, which occurred in June or July, 1826 25), ‘Hamu-kete’ was the captain, he brought muskets and powder to trade for flax.” “Hamu-kete” is believed to be Captain Kent. From the evidence given above, we may assume that he entered Kawhia some time between 1824 and 1826, though it is usually stated that 1829 was the date of his first visit to that harbour. “The people asked the captain to obtain more arms for them, so he made a trip to Sydney, and on his return brought back the following Pakehas:—‘Te Kaora’ (J. V. Cowell), ‘Te Kawana,’ ‘Te Rangi-tera,’ and ‘Tamete.’ These different Pakehas were appropriated by various chiefs, who settled them as follows:—‘Hamu-kete’ was taken by Te Wherowhero, and settled at Heahea (near Kawhia Heads, north side); Te Tuhi took ‘Te Rangi-tera’ and settled him also at Heahea; Kiwi took ‘Te Kaora’ and settled him at Powewe (Kawhia township); Te Kanawa took ‘Tamete’ and settled him at Maketu (near the above). ‘Hamu-kete’ married Tiria, Te Wherowhero's daughter; ‘Te Rangi-tera’ married Heihei, Te Tuhi's daughter, and ‘Tamete’ married Rangi-atea niece of Te Kanawa.” Who the other Pakehas were, beyond Captain Kent and Cowell, I do not know. They would be appropriated by these various chiefs in order that they might, through them, obtain arms, etc., and with whom to barter their flax.

Captain Kent is buried at a place named Te Toro, a point of land that projects into the Waiuku Channel of Manukau Harbour, just opposite to the embouchure of the Mauku Channel, where I saw this grave in 1863. The Rev. James Hamlin, in his Journal (MS. in the possession of Dr. Hocken of Dunedin) says, under date 1st January, 1837, “Captain Kent died at Kahawai, Manukau; 3rd, was interred at Kahawai in a sacred place. He lived for many years at Ngarua-wahia, the junction of the Waikato and Waipa rivers, where he employed himself in trading with the natives.”

1   Most of the localities referred to in this chapter will be found on Map No. 4.
2   A draughtsman, Survey Department, Auckland, in 1863; then about twenty years old.
3   Eponymous ancestor of the hapu of Ngati-Toa of that name.
4   The original deed transferring this land from Kiwi and Porima to Mr. John Vittoria Cowell is dated 11th January, 1840, though, no doubt, the purchase took place many years prior to that. The consideration was: one cask tobacco, forty spades, forty axes, eight casks of powder, ten pieces of print, ten pieces of handkerchiefs, forty iron pots, ten pair of blankets, six muskets, twenty cartouche boxes, twelve pairs of trousers, twelve frocks, twelve shirts, one thousand flints, one thousand pipes, two cedar chests, etc. This payment was for an estimated area of 20 thousand acres, which was reduced on Survey to forty-four acres! On the 2nd February, 1883, the Hon. William Rolleston, Minister of Lands, Hon. John Bryce, Native Minister, myself, and Mr. Frank Edgecombe, District Surveyor, landed at Powewe from the s.s. “Stella,” she being the first vessel to enter Kawhia since the war. On that same day Mr. Edgecombe and I schemed out the present town of Kawhia, which he then proceeded to survey.
5   Some time in the eighties of last century I attempted to cross over the ranges by this track from the town of Alexandra to Kawhia, but found it so overgrown that my Maori guide could not follow it, so I had to abandon my journey by that route.
6   Puraho-rua has the same meaning as Kai-whakarua—i.e., one who is related to both sides.
7   Probably married to one of Ngati-Toa's allies, for her own tribe formed part of the taua.
8   These notes are so defective in the names of the tribes to whom the people belonged that the narrative is frequently very difficult to make out. It was allowed, nay, proper, under certain circumstances, for one relative to kill another.
9   See the origin of this hapu name, A.H.M., Vol. IV., p. 173.
10   See Chapter XI.
11   Mr. Skinner places this incident after the defeat of Waikato at Te Motu-nui (see Chapter XIV.), but I think his informant probably had forgotten the exact occasion.
12   Whakatapatapa usually means the act of naming some object after a part of one's self in order to tapu it and prevent others from taking it. But it appears to have a different meaning here. The lines of the karakia quoted are the opening ones of the pihe sung over the dead—see “Te Rou,” p. 267.
13   Hone Kaora's evidence states that it was Te Awa-i-taia who killed Raparapa. This is confirmed by Mr. Shand, who heard the same story from Mr. Edwards (a native assessor), who had heard the incident related by Te Awa-i-taia himself.
14   Which of his brothers my informants do not say. The father of this family was Werawera and their mother Pare-kohatu; their children were (in order of seniority): 1, Te Rangi-katukua; 2, Waitohi (who married Te Ra-ka-herea and had Te Rangi-haeata and Tope-ora, the poetess); 3, Te Kiri-pae-ahi; 4, Mahu-renga; 5, Te Rau-paraha.
15   It must be remembered that the Mokau people are practically members of the Ngati-Mania-poto tribe.
16   These two instigated the murder of Marore.
17   The pa taken at Taharoa.
18   Hari, killed afterwards at Te Motu-nui.
19   A great chief of Kawhia.
20   Killed at Te Motu-nui.
21   Mr. A. Wilson says the Whenua-po pa was built by a great chief named Nga-Tira.
22   Werawera was Te Rau-paraha's father, but it does not appear whether this was the same man. Te Aka is possibly Oriwia Te Aka, daughter of Tungia, and referred to in that stinging Kai-oraora to be found at p. 284 of Nga-Moteatea; where the incidents of this siege are described.
23   From Mr. Shand.
24   “Wars of The Nineteenth Century,” p. 117.
25   Loc cit, p. 185.