Volume 19 1910 > Volume 19, No. 1 > History and traditions of the Taranaki coast. Chapter XVII, Barrett and Love settle at Nga-motu
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IT is necessary now to turn our attention again to the North Island, where events of considerable importance were happening. In order to preserve the continuity of Te Rau-paraha's doings in the South Island, we have got in advance of our proper dates.

As far as can be made out from several references in what is irreverently called “The fat book,” being the early reports of the officers of the New Zealand Company, Richard Barrett, Love, and a party of men from Sydney arrived at Nga-Motu (or the Sugar-loaf Islands) in 1828 or early in 1829, probably the former. Their object was trade with the natives and the establishment of a shore-whaling station—but probably this latter was a subsequent project. According to Maori accounts the name of their vessel was the “Tohora” (or whale); she made several trips in the course of the following years, taking produce to Sydney and bringing back trade. On one of these voyages to Sydney many of the principal natives of Nga-Motu accompanied the vessel to that port, and returned home by way of the Bay of Islands. The names of these people were: Te Puni, Te Whare-pouri, Tu-te-rangi-haruru, Oue-tapu, and Te Keha (who afterwards died at Motueka, South Island). Another early vessel that traded to Nga-Motu from Sydney was the “Ameriki Wāti”—a name which looks like “American Watch.” A reference to the shipping records of Sydney would no doubt show the real names of these two vessels.

Old Watene Taungatara, who has often been quoted, gives the following account of the early settlement at Nga-Motu: “As the heke (‘Heke-whiri-nui’) reached the Whanganui river, Hakirau (Love), in his vessel the 'Tohora,” of which Tiki Parete (Richard Barrett) was mate, arrived at Nga-Motu. The hapus that lived about there at that time were Ngati-Rahiri, Ngati-Tawhiri-kura, Ngati-Te-Whiti, and Ngati-Tu-pari-kino. Directly the ship was seen sailing along outside, two large war-canoes were launched—named ‘Te Pae-a-huri,’ belonging - 2 to Ngati-Rahiri, and ‘Te Rua-kotare,’ the property of Ngati-Te-Whiti. They followed in all haste after the vessel, which was south-ward bound, and overtook her off Cape Egmont. After coming alongside the chiefs and people went on board. Then Te Whare-pouri stood forth and said, ‘You must take your ship to Nga-Motu, where there is plenty of muka (prepared flax) and numerous pigs.’ Hakirau (Love) consented to this, and then the ship put about and anchored off Nga-Motu. When the white men came ashore, a very fine, handsome woman named Hika-nui was given to Love as a wife, whilst another (afterwards) named Rawinia was given to Barrett. They were both high-born women of Ngati-Te-Whiti.

After this the goods on board were brought ashore; they consisted principally of three cannons, six thousand small-arms! six thousand! 1 casks of powder, and large quantities of bullets and flints, besides blankets and other goods of the white people.

Then all the people of the Ati-Awa assembled at Nga-Motu to construct a very large house to contain the goods of the white men, which house was named Patarutu. This was the period during which these tribes sold large quantities of muka and pigs for guns, powder, and other things. Right away down the coast to the Taranaki tribe extended the commerce in these articles. The pigs were converted into bacon to be taken to Port Jackson. The vessel was now loaded; she was quite full of muka and pork. According to my idea it took three months to fill the vessel, and then she sailed for Port Jackson, taking several chiefs (mentioned previously) with her to see the wonders of the white man's country.

Not a very long time elapsed, and then the ‘Tohora’ returned to Nga-Motu. On this occasion all the crew came ashore except one man, and during the night a gale of wind arose, the anchor broke, and the vessel was driven ashore. But she was not much damaged, for she came ashore on the sandy beach at O-tai-kokako, at Nga-Motu. Everything was now taken out of the vessel, and then there gathered over two thousand men, who, by aid of skids overlaid with seaweed, dragged her into the water again, and then she anchored outside to take in her cargo. Whilst this was being done, a heavy cask of pork fell out of the slings into the hold and broke the ship's bottom, so that the water rushed in. Now was the vessel completely wrecked.

No very long time elapsed, however, before another vessel, named ‘Ameriki Wati,’ arrived at Nga-Motu, and she continued to trade between Nga-Motu and Port Jackson for a long time, making many voyages.” (Here, unfortunately, ends Watene's first volume; the second was lent by his heirs, and is now lost—a great loss, for the old man was one of the best writers that I have laid under contribution.)

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The settlement of these white men at the Sugar-loaf Islands—or rather on the mainland just inside the islands—made a considerable difference to the natives of the district, for Nga-Motu became a small centre of civilization and trade, and a mart for local produce; but above all, the local people were now in a position to obtain muskets, so long and ardently desired by them. The important part these white men played in the course of the ensuing years will be seen as this narrative progresses.


It was just a little before the time that Barrett and others settled at Nga-Motu that a further migration of Ati-Awa took place to the south. This migration was called “Te Heke-whiri-nui,” because of the large twists or curls put on their koka, or mats, by way of ornament, says Mr. Shand. 2 Whilst this party was at Whanganui, the news of Love and Barrett's arrival reached them at that place, and as many of the people forming this heke were engaged in the conquest of Tasman Bay, referred to in last chapter, it would seem that the party left Taranaki say late in 1828. Mr. Shand says (loc. cit.) “that it included the people who lived between Waitara and Puke-tapu, whose chief was Te Manu-tohe-roa … and also the hapus named Puke-rangiora, Manu-korihi, Otaraua (of which Te Tupe-o-Tu 3 was chief), and finally the Puke-tapu hapu, besides stragglers from the districts of Onaero and Urenui.” It is not to be understood, however, that the whole of the tribes mentioned left at this time, for many remained in their old homes. Watene Taungatara says, “thousands went and thousands remained.” Nor did they all stay in the neighbourhood of Kapiti when they reached there, for there was a constant going backwards and forwards of small parties.

As to the immediate cause of this migration, my Taranaki notes are silent; but it was probably due to a fresh inroad of Waikato, which so far as can be made out must have occurred just about this period. Te Awa-i-taia, in his account 4 of the Waikato incursions, refers very briefly to this particular expedition. He says, “Waikato continued to bear in mind the death of their great chief Te Hiakai at the battle of Te Motu-nui (see Chapter XIV.), which was still unavenged. When Te Ao-o-te-rangi and his party of sixty went to Taranaki, many of them were murdered (so translated by Mr. White, but kohuru equally means treachery, and it is probable it was some unexpected attack that caused Waikato's loss). It was Te Whare-pouri (of Nga-Motu) who saved the life of Te Ao-o-te-rangi and the others.” Beyond this brief note, nothing further is known of this invasion, but that Waikato had - 4 neither forgotten nor forgiven their defeat at Te Motu-nui is manifest; indeed, as we shall see, it was only a couple of years after this that they took a most signal revenge for their losses, at the fall of Puke-rangiora.


The next event that must be placed in this year was the attack on Putiki-whara-nui pa at Whanganui. Mr. Travers refers to this incident, but indicates no date; but several circumstances seem to concur in indicating 1829 as the time. 5 Rangi-pito, to whom I am indebted for so much information as to these times, says it occurred four years after the arrival of the “Heke-niho-puta” at Otaki (see Chapter XV.) or in 1828, but 1829 seems to agree with other data better.

It will be remembered that the heke referred to above had been attacked by the Nga-Rauru tribe of Wai-totara river, and that a party of Ngati-Raukawa under Te Rua-maioro had been nearly all cut off on the Upper Whanganui (see Vol. 18, p. 165). It was to square the account for their losses in the above places that the tribes interested decided to attack Whanganui. At this period several large parties of Ngati-Raukawa had migrated from their homes between Cambridge and Taupo, and were living in close alliance with Ngati-Toa and Ati-Awa in the neighbourhood of Kapiti. Te Rau-paraha had also his own reasons for assisting the two other tribes; so it was decided to make a combined attack on Putiki-whara-nui pa—situated just opposite the present town of Whanganui, on the south bank of the river.

Rangi-pito (referred to above) gave to Mr. Shand and myself the following account of this expedition: “They (Ati-Awa) had been three years settled at Port Nicholson (besides one at Waikanae) when, after discussion, an ope or war-party was collected at Otaki in order to retaliate on Nga-Rauru for the losses suffered by the ‘Niho-puta’ heke when they came down from Taranaki. This was consented to by all (i.e., Ati-Awa, Ngati-Toa, and Ngati-Raukawa), so they started. At this time Te Rau-paraha had some quarrel with the Ngati-Tu hapu of Ati-Awa (related to the Kai-tangata hapu, now of Onaero), and wanted to punish them on the way; but this was overruled by the other allies, and so the whole force—‘nearly one thousand men,’ says Mr. Travers (loc. cit., p. 84, but Rangi-pito says nine hundred topu, or eighteen hundred)—started on their way to Whanganui from Otaki. The chiefs of the force were Te Rau-paraha of Ngati-Toa, Te Whata-nui of - 5 Ngati-Raukawa, Rere-tawhangawhanga, 6 Te Manu-tohe-roa, Ngatata (father of Pomare), Te Poki, and Te Arahu—all of Ati-Awa. At Whanga-ehu river the ope was stopped by the people of that place for a time. From here two messengers, Taki-rau and Te Kapu-ahu, were despatched on to Whanganui to tell Pehi-Turoa of Upper Whanganui to keep away from the pa, as they wished to save him. He was ‘Kaua e tutaki i te huarahi’—(‘Not to stop up the road for the war-party.’)

When the messengers arrived at Putiki pa, Pehi said to them, ‘Whitia te korero, ka pehea?’—(‘Deliver your message! What is it?’) The two men replied, ‘Kia haere koe ki uta; kaore i haere mai ki a koe; engari ki te takitaki i taku mate.’—(‘It is, that you go inland; we have not come against you, but to avenge our losses by Nga-Rauru.’)

Then arose Te Whainga of Ngati-Apa, and said, ‘A! he tane koe; he wahine ahau?’—(‘A! Art thou a man, and I a woman?’) He was desirous of fighting the on-coming war-party. He went on, ‘Whenei ake koe apopo me te punga-tai nei—kongakonga ana!’—(‘By this time to-morrow you will be like this piece of pumice stone—utterly crushed!’) taking up at the same time a piece of pumice and crushing it.

When the messengers returned to the ope, they reported the above conversation. Te Rau-paraha said, ‘Ae! ae! ae! Kei kona a Te Rua-maioro!’—(‘Yes! Yes! There lies Te Rua-maioro to be avenged!’)

It was enough. The war-party arose and marched for Whanganui and commenced the siege of Putiki by making an assault on it. It was broad daylight at the time of the attack. Putiki was a very large pa defended by pekerangi, or palisades. The ope dashed straight at these defences, and by aid of tomahawks cut the lashings and then entered the pa. Thus was the place taken, and those of Whanganui who were not killed fled away inland. Te Pehi-Turoa, Topine-te-mamaku, Te Anaua, Rangi-tauria, 7 and other chiefs escaped, but a great many people were killed, both men and women—the latter during the firing at the pa before it was taken, and besides the deaths a great many women were captured and brought away as slaves. The taua followed after the fleeing Whanganui for some distance and caught many of them outside the pa. There were great numbers of people in the pa. Topine was chased, but was not caught. ‘Mei i mate a Topine kua waiho hei ingoa mo Te Rau-paraha,’”—said Rangi-pito—(If Topine had been killed it would have been great fame for Te Rau-paraha.)

Although Rangi-pito seems to imply that the pa was taken soon after the war-party reached the place, Mr. Travers says the siege lasted upwards of two months, and this is most likely to be correct.

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The party went no further, and did not carry out their intention of attacking Nga-Rauru. Their action had, however, given Whanganui abundant reason for reprisals, which they were not slow to act on when the time came a few years later.

During the time that the taua was besieging Putiki, a woman of Ati-Awa, who was somewhat out of her mind, suddenly appeared in the midst of the council of warriors, and shouted out so as to call the attention of the whole assembly, “Katahi au ka kīhia! kīhia!”—(“Now am I utterly cut off, destroyed!”) The assemblage all took this as an aitua, or evil omen, and anticipated some calamity befalling them. The very next day arrived messengers from Otaki with the news of the massacre of some of the Ngati-Tama at Te Tarata, South Wai-rarapa, where this brave little tribe suffered very severely at the hands of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu. But as that incident falls in here, and as Ngati-Tama are one of the Taranaki tribes, it is necessary to describe the matter more fully.


The date of Te Tarata depends on that of Putiki, described in the last paragraph.

It will be remembered that soon after the arrival of the “Niho-puta” heke from Taranaki, and after they had removed to Port Nicholson in 1825, as related in Chapter XV., page 171, many of the Ngati-Tama tribe removed over to the Wai-rarapa valley into the country belonging to the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu tribe. What the relations were between these two tribes from 1825 for the next few years, I know not, but undoubtedly at first they would be at enmity. I have only a brief note of this period to the effect that one Tamatoa of Ati-Awa was killed at a place named Okorewa, and that soon after Ngati-Tama came into the district, they killed a high chief of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, named Te Tire-o-te-rangi, which induced some of his particular people to flee to Nuku-taurua on the Mahia peninsula, north of Napier, for safety, for the fear of the invaders was great. This was the first movement of this people to Te Mahia, to be followed in later years by a great many of that tribe. But by 1829 or 1830, matters had changed so much that intercourse between the two tribes had commenced and a transient peace reigned. It was during these times that the celebrated canoe Te Ra-makiri was taken from Wai-rarapa by Ngati-Tama, and presented to Te Rau-pa-raha as already related.

At the time we are about to refer to, Ngati-Tama and some members of Ati-Awa were living at a place named Te Tarata, on the west side of the outlet to Wai-rarapa lake, but a little way inland from the sea. This old pa still remains in fair preservation, and not - 7 far off is Kakahi-makatea, 8 a good specimen of the old pa, at that time occupied by Paenga-huru, chief of Ngati-Tama. The site chosen by these invaders for a home was a good one, for close to them was the Wai-rarapa lower lake with abundance of eels, and on the west the forest ranges of Remu-taka 9 from which a supply of birds could be obtained. Here they decided to build a fortified pa, and as peace now prevailed with Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, the owners of the soil, Ngati-Tama prevailed on the local people to assist them by cutting raupo rushes on the borders of the lake, with which to build houses. Ngati-Tama, in the meantime, occupied themselves in felling timbers in the forest to be used as palisades and for the framework of the houses. The principal chiefs engaged in these operations were Paenga-huru, Te Kahawai, Pehi-taka, and Tuhi-mata-renga. No doubt, one of the reasons why these people were anxious to possess a fortified pa was (as Mr. Shand says, Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. I., p. 91) that they had been warned by “Te Poki, who was closely related to Paenga-huru—one of the head chiefs of Ngati-Tama—with others of the old men, to be on their guard.” Apparently, this warning came about the time they had commenced operations, for at that time Paenga-huru called a meeting of their tribe at Te Tarata to discuss the situation, “when it was decided,” says Mr. Shand, “to send Pukoro, 10—wife of Paenga-huru and a sister of the celebrated Tupoki 11 a woman of rank—to Otaki to get Ngati-Mutunga, Ngati-Tama, and other allies to come over and exterminate Ngati-Kahu-ngunu.”

The time was propitious for the realization of such a scheme. Ngati-Kahu-ngunu were known to be engaged cutting raupo for the new houses, and were expected shortly at Te Tarata with their canoes laden with rushes.

Mr. Shand says (loc. cit., p. 91): Unfortunately for the success of the plot, an old Ngati-Kahu-ngunu cripple named Hapimana Kokakoka 12 was in the house at the time of the meeting apparently fast asleep, and who, on discovering the subject under discussion, feigned sleep to the utmost.” The Maoris are very fond of minute detail, hence we learn - 8 from old Kokakoka's descendants that the attention of the meeting was called to “strangers within the house.” Some one went and shook the old man by the shoulder; but he only snored the louder, so it was decided to leave him alone. The consequence was that he heard the whole of the details of the plot. In the morning Kokakoka communicated with his people, informing them of the design to massacre them, also that reinforcements had been sent for Messengers were at once despatched with all speed to Rangi-whakaoma (Castle Point) to the chief Te Po-tanga-roa; to Matai-kona, on the east coast; and to Maunga-rake (near Masterton); in fact, to all the settlements of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu within a day's travel by a swift runner. Distant as these places are—forty-five, sixty-five, and seventy-four miles in a straight line from Te Tarata—the message was delivered in the same day, for time was of consequence, seeing that reinforcements were expected by Ngati-Tama. Within two days a large force of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu had assembled at the camp of the raupo cutters under the following chiefs:—Te Hamai-waho of Ngai-Tahu (Wai-rarapa), Te Po-tanga-roa, Nuku-pewapewa (so called from the peculiar tattooing across his face), Nga-hiwa, Tu-te-pakihi-rangi, Te Kaukau, Te Oko-whare, Pihanga, Te Hika, Te Warahi, Pirika-te-po, Te Toru, Nga-Rangi-e-rua (father of Manihera), Te Noho (or Hapopo), Te Huri-po (or Tawaroa), Tama-i-hikoia, Tama-i-whakakitea, Ngairoa-a-puroa (or Takataka-putea), Pu-angiangi, Te Korou, Kokakoka, and Te Rahui. With the party were also women, amongst them Hine-mauruuru, wife of Tu-te-pakihi-rangi. This large party proceeded down Lake Wai-rarapa in canoes and mokihis (rafts) laden with raupo for Ngati-Tama, but with the additional object of driving the latter tribe out of their country.

There were two settlements then occupied by Ngati-Tama—Te Tarata and Whare-papa—the latter not far from the former, but situated in the forest at the foot of the mountains, over a spur of which the path to it led. At this time Tuhi-mata-renga of Ngati-Tama was the chief of Whare-papa. When the hostile forces drew near Te Tarata, they divided, one party going direct to Te Tarata, the other over the spurs to Whare-papa.

When those at Te Tarata beheld the fleet of the enemy approaching they prepared to receive them with the usual welcome in order, as they thought, to put Ngati-Kahu-ngunu off their guard, for they had now determined to fall on them without waiting for reinforcements. As the party landed and approached, Paenga-huru sung the following ngeri as a welcome:—

Te po i tuku mai,
Mai runga i a Te Pori ra
Ko Nuku-pewapewa,
Ngau mai taua ki te miti—
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Ngau mai taua ki te hongi
Kia tu honoa ki roto ki te harakeke,
Ai i te kai aku tapa
To kikoki' kiki tere kaha.

The guests were now ushered into a long wharau, or shed, where their hosts were temporally lodging, and preparations were made to give them a feast, and mutual interchanges of their women took place. All seemed peaceful. Paenga-huru, who carried a celebrated mere 13 round his neck, gave the signal, and the hosts rose on their guests and commenced killing. But Te Oka-whare, who was sitting next to Paenga-huru, warded off the blow made at him by the latter, and made a thrust at Paenga-huru with his koikoi (short spear) at the same time grasping the mere, which he succeeded in securing, with which he made a blow at Paenga-huru and killed him with his own weapon. By this time the fight had become general, and Ngati-Tama, being outnumbered and demoralised by the death of their chief, were very badly beaten; great numbers being killed, whilst others made their escape. Amongst these latter was Pukoro, the wife (or relative) of Paenga-huru, who, together with some other women, fled away along the forest track to Whare-papa, hoping to be in safety there.

In the meantime, the other party of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu had proceeded by an inland track over the ranges to attack Whare-papa. As they descended a steep spur just above the village, a large stone was detached accidentally, which, rolling down with great noise, gave warning to Ngati-Tama that strangers were approaching, for none of their own people were out in that direction. Finding their purpose of surprising the village thus frustrated, Ngati-Kahu-ngunu advanced in friendly guise to the settlement. Here they were welcomed by Tuhi-mata-renga of Ngati-Tama, and asked into the village to have something to eat. Whilst they were waiting, Hine-mauruuru (wife of Tu-te-pakihi-rangi, chief of the visitors) sang the following song, as a whakawhare, to put Ngati-Tama off their guard:—

Kowai koe e haere nei,
E hara koe i a Mokau,
E tiki mai ana koe i ahau,
E hiki taua ana
Kei Rua-puke e—i.

Preparations were now made by Ngati-Tama to feed their unexpected guests. Tuhi-mata-renga was busily engaged at the whata, or store-house - 10 handing out some baskets of potatoes 14 when the signal was given, and the slaughter of Ngati-Tama commenced. He jumped down from the whata, but was immediately slain by a blow on the forehead with a mere (? by Tu-te-pakihi-rangi), and then the affair was soon over. The few that escaped rushed off in the direction of Te Tarata. On their way they met Te Pukoro, who, as stated above, was on her way to Whare-papa in hopes of finding shelter there. As the parties met, she cried out, “Heoi ano, ko maua anake te morehu!”—(“There are only us two left alive!”) After lamenting their losses, the survivors made the best of their way to Port Nicholson to the rest of their tribe living there. “About ten or more of the best men of the tribe of Ngati-Tama escaped, but the majority were killed, a few only being taken prisoners with the women,” says Mr. Shand.

Paenga-huru's daughter, Te Whakarato, was taken prisoner at Te Tarata by Takataka-roa, who afterwards married her. She bore him Te Naira-Rangatahi, who married Rēta, and they had Peti, who married a Pakeha and had Tamati Te Naira.

Takaroa of Ati-Awa was also killed at Whare-papa, besides a great many others.

Thus the schemes of Ngati-Tama to massacre the Wai-rarapa people fell to the ground, and they in turn became the victims of those they had planned to kill. Mr. Shand (Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. I., p. 92) gives some further details of this affair, to which the reader is referred.


As has already been stated, page 6, Te Ati-Awa were engaged in the siege of Putiki when the news of this disaster to Ngati-Tama reached them. Naturally, it created considerable excitement and a determination to avenge on Ngati-Kahu-ngunu the losses they had afflicted on Ngati-Tama at Te Tarata. Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, in the meantime, knowing full well that the blow they had inflicted on Ngati-Tama would not pass without an attempt to secure revenge for it, had all retired inland, and had fortified a pa on a high hill called Pehi-kātia, situated a few miles from Greytown. How long a time elapsed before steps were taken to raise a taua-hikutoto, or avenging party, is uncertain. Mr. Shand (loc. cit., p. 93) says, “Immediately the massacre of Ngati-Tama became known, Te Kaeaea (or Taringa-kuri 15) came over to Wai-rarapa from Kapiti and Wai-kanae with one hundred and forty (hokowhitu) of the - 11 Ngati-Tama (and Ngati-Toa) as well as Ngati-Mutunga of Port Nicholson; in all, three hundred and forty men” (? six hundred and eighty, for men are always counted in pairs).

Whilst Ngati-Kahu-ngunu were still engaged in fortifying Pehi-kātia the Ati-Awa, Ngati-Tama, and Ngati-Toa force appeared on the scene, and immediately proceeded to attack the place. Mr. Shand says (loc. cit., p. 93), “The attack commenced early in the morning, and shortly after noon the pa was in possession of the allies. They killed all they could get hold of, following the fugitives for a long distance, and in so doing overtook and rescued most of the Ngati-Tama captives taken at Te Tarata. Not one, however, of the chiefs mentioned in Pukoro's kai-oraora (loc. cit., p. 92) fell into the hands of her tribe; they all escaped at the fall of Pehi-kātia. Ngati-Mutunga, evidently well aware of what they might expect from the incensed and powerful Ngati-Kahu-ngunu so soon as the news of the fall of the pa reached the ears of their friends, said, ‘Let us get the stars (chiefs) out of sight—me kowhaki nga whetu.’ This they did with effect, but only two chiefs, however, were taken prisoners. One named Te Ohanga-aitu 16 was suspended by the heels, his jugular vein pierced, and then each of his captors imbibed a mouthful of his blood, a thumb being placed on the wound until the next man was ready to take his share.”

I learn from Taiata, a very old man of Ngati-Tama, that in the fight at Pehi-kātia the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu lost the chief Te Noho-mai-tua (? Te Ohanga-i-tua—see the lament), the elder brother of Tu-te-pakihi-rangi, whilst the latter with Kai-a-te-kokopn, Te Uaua, Nga-Tuere, and Kawe-kai-riri—all high chiefs—escaped up a river bed, and so in process of time to Nuku-taurua at Mahia Peninsula, which place became a refuge for many of the East Coast tribes during the troubles of these early years of the nineteenth century. All the women and children, says Taiata, were captured at Pehi-kātia. The celebrated canoe, Te Ra-makiri, was taken during this expedition at Pahaua, and then presented to Te Rau-paraha, as already related.

The following is the lament for Te Ohanga-i-tua, killed by Ngati-Tama at Pehi-katia, for which I am indebted to Mr. T. W. Downes:—


Haere atu ra, E Tama ma! e.
I te mate o te rakau, E Tama! e.
Tau eanga i patua ai Kaupeka
I roto o Kau-whare-toa.
Ka tangohia te manawa,
Ka poia ki a Aitu-pawa—
Ki a Rehua, ki a Tahu-rangi,
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I te mata takitaki i tupea ai a Rangi,
Ki te poho o Rangi-tamaku i Tahua-roa.
I hikaia e Tupai, e Tamakaka,
Ki te ahi tapu na Rangi-nui.
I takahia ki Tauru-rangi ata mai,
Ka tu tona ahi, koia te ahi tapu—
Koia te ahi toro, koia te ahi tipua
Ka puta ki te hou-mata-pu
Ka ea ki te ao, E Tama ma—e.
Haere ra, E Tama ma e!
I te ara ka takoto i Taheke-roa,
Kia karangatia mai koutou
Ki te Muri ki te Wai-hou,
I to koutou tipuna, i a Ruai-moko
E whakangaoko ra i Raro-henga.
Ka puta te hu ki te tai-ao
Koia Hine-puia i Hawaiki
E tahi noa mai ra i te kauhika
Ki waho i te moana.
Ka tere Hine-uku, ka tere Hine-one
Ka tere Para-whenua-mea
Ki a Hine-moana e tu mai ra,
I Tahora-nui-atea.
Ka whakapae ki uta ra
Koia Hine-tapatu-rangi
E haere atu na korua,
E Tama ma! e.

Note.—This lament is so full of references to ancient beliefs and teachings that no translation without a volume of notes would do it justice. It refers nearly all the way through to the great wars of the gods after the separation of heaven and earth, and when some of them ascended to join the sky-father Rangi, whilst others descended by Taheke-roa to Raro-henga, or Hades, led by Whiro-te-tipua, the embodiment of evil and death, and the resulting earthquakes originated by Ruai-moko—youngest of the heavenly offspring. All of this is emblematical of the wars in which the two chiefs were killed, and the introduction of this ancient simile is intended to honour them.


After the pa was taken, says Manihera Maka, Ngati-Kahu-ngunu fled northwards up the river valley and over the forest-clad hills, finally assembling at some of the distant villages, where, after some time spent in discussion (and probably after the Wai-kanae massacre), it was decided to migrate to Nuku-taurua, at Te Mahia Peninsula, where some of their tribesmen had preceded them. Thus the greater part of the Wai-rarapa valley was for a time without inhabitants, though some few lingered in their old homes. It was not for some years afterwards that they returned, being induced to do so by Te Whare-pouri of the Nga-Motu hapu of Ati-Awa, who went specially to Nuku-taurua to make peace and induce them to return. Te Whare-pouri was at that time one of the principal chiefs of Ati-Awa, and afterwards the great friend and protector of the immigrants sent to Port Nicholson by the New Zealand Company - 13 in 1839. He was induced to undertake this peace-making with Ngati-Kahu-ngunu largely owing to the following circumstances: Not long after the fall of Pehi-kātia, Te Whare-pouri was at Wai-rarapa with a party of Ati-Awa, somewhere near Te Tarata, engaged in making canoes; for the fears that Ngati-Kahu-ngunu would soon return to take revenge for the fall of Pehi-kātia were not realized at once, which gave confidence to some of Ati-Awa and Ngati-Tama to return from Port Nicholson and again occupy part of Wai-rarapa. It is said also that some of Ngati-Toa also came over and occupied part of the country near where Featherston now is; but after Te Whare-pouri's adventure, as detailed below, they returned to Kapiti.

Whilst engaged in the canoe-building, some of the women were out on the lake in a canoe engaged in eel-fishing, and amongst those on board were Pare-kauri, Te Whare-pouri's sister, Tama-tuhi-ata (mother of Rau-katauri), and others. Just at this time the celebrated taniwha, Pupu-kare-kawa 17 (according to Maori accounts) caused the lake to break out to it occasionally does. At first the waters cut a subterranean channel through the shingle, then, as the water increased in power, it rushed out with great force, drawing with it the canoe in which were the women, which was thus carried into the breakers, where all were drowned. Not very long after this, and before the new canoes were completed, a party of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu under Nuku-pewapewa came down to ascertain if Ngati-Tama and Ati-Awa were still in occupation of the country, and discovered by the smoke of their fires the whereabouts of Te Whare-pouri's party. Te Whare-pouri was at this time engaged in building a house, and when Ngati-Kahu-ngunu attacked his party he was inside. The attacking party attempted to spear him by thrusting their long spears through the sides of the house; but he climbed up to the roof, and there held on to the rafters until help came from his own party by way of diverting the enemy's attention, and he was released from his awkward position, and so escaped.

Mr. Downes tells me that Nuku, the leader of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, was anxious to save Te Whare-pouri in order that peace might be made between the two tribes, and that when the latter escaped from the house Nuku and two fleet runners pursued him in order to catch him. But Te Whare-pouri was too quick for them; he flew into the forest, and finally jumped over a cliff and escaped, his pursuers not daring to follow him.

But Ngati-Kahu-ngunu did not go back empty-handed, for they captured and took away to Nuku-taurua with them Wharawhara-i-te-rangi, a daughter or niece of Te Whare-pouri's, who, however, was very kindly treated by her captors, and eventually returned to her tribe.

- 14

Mr. Downes also says that Te Ua-mai-rangi, Te Whare-pouri's wife, was captured at this time, and with the desire of cementing a peace between these two tribes, she was sent back to Port Nicholson with an escort, and handed over to her husband, followed later on by the return of Te Whare-pouri's daughter to her father. Mr. Downes gives the name of this young woman as Te Kakapi.

It was this kind action that induced Te Whare-pouri afterwards to make peace with Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, and for that purpose he went to Nuku-taurua, on the Mahia Peninsula, by sea—it is said by a sailing vessel—and then concluded a peace with the tribes there, not long after which they came back and occupied their old homes at Wai-rarapa. The date of this event is uncertain, but probably it was between 1830 and 1834.

Te Whare-pouri's visit to Nuku-taurua was followed by a return visit of the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu tribe, who came to Pito-one, Port Nicholson, where Te Whare-pouri and Ati-Awa were then living, when this peace was cemented. An old Maori describes the event as follows: “At the peace-making held at Pito-one, soon after which the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu tribe returned from Nuku-taurua to their homes in Wai-rarapa, Tu-te-pakihi-rangi (one of the principal chiefs of the latter tribe) said in his speech, ‘The people from Taranaki and Maunga-tautari (Ngati-Raukawa) need not return to their own lands. Although I gave you no reason to come against me from those distant parts to kill and rob me of my lands, do not be anxious about it. Live, all of you, on this side of the bounding mountains (Remu-taka)—you on this side, I on the other. I will call those mountains our shoulders; the streams that fall down on this side are for you to drink, on the other side for us. Behold! Here is Te Kakapi, daughter of my friend Te Whare-pouri, who will act as a go-between—she and Wai-puna-hau; they both are he ika toto nui no te whatu-kura-a-Tāne, piki ake, heke mai. 18 The god of the white man shall be our god. Although they are a new people we will cherish them, notwithstanding that their weapons, the muskets, are evil. I judge them to be an evil people by their weapons. I have now set up our daughter Te Kakapi as a go-between. Hold on to this rope!’ To this speech Ngatata, Te Puaha, Pakau, Te Puni, Te Kawakawa, Kuru-kanga, and others, consented to this peace made with Ngati-Kahu-ngunu.”


The particulars of the above massacre are as follows, but I am unable to say exactly when it took place—probably before Ngati-Kahu-ngunu migrated to Nnku-taurua, and indeed their losses at Wai-kanae may - 15 have been one of the causes inducing the migration. The following note is supplied by Mr. Shand: “Subsequent to the great defeat of Ati-Awa and Ngati-Tama at Te Tarata, and after they and Ngati-Toa had defeated Ngati-Kahu-ngunu at Pehi-katia, the two tribes were still pouri on account of their dead, as they did not consider they had had enough utu for them. Some time after, a peace was patched up with Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, and then an invitation was given to that tribe to cross the mountains and come over to Wai-nui and Wai-kanae to partake of a feast. The invitation was accepted, and a considerable party came over. A large house had been specially built in which to receive the guests. With the treachery so common at this time—much of it learned from Te Rau-paraha, as the Maoris say—a decision had been arrived at to murder their guests. When the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu were assembled in the house, their suspicions of foul play were aroused; but too late. When they beheld their hosts assembling outside the house all armed, some said, ‘We shall all be killed;’ others replied, ‘No, it is only the women bringing food.’ Ati-Awa and Ngati-Toa now entered the house and gradually placed themselves in favourable positions amongst their guests. At a given signal they arose and commenced the massacre, and it was not long before nearly the whole of the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu party were dead or dying. One of the doomed men, casting off all his clothes, rushed outside, and would have effected his escape, but remembering that many of his younger relatives were still in the house, returned there to die with them. Te Aweawe of the Rangi-tane tribe, who was with Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, and who was the younger brother of Mahuri and a son of Tokipoto, was saved alive by Tungia of Ngati-Toa, because the latter had been preserved from death at the fight at Hotu-iti, Manawatu, by Te Aweawe (see Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. XVIII, p. 158). This is the only redeeming feature about this dastardly affair, which is so much in keeping with other doings of Te Rau-paraha's that it is possible he was the author of it. He had, however, very apt pupils.

FALL OF PUKE-RANGIORA PA. 1831 (second siege).

We now approach the time of one of the most momentous events and the greatest disasters that ever happened to the Taranaki people, resulting eventually in the practical abandonment of the whole coast from Mokau to Patea, with the exception of a small number of the Taranaki tribe who remained in their own country near Opunake, and an equally small party of Ati-Awa at Nga-Motu.

The battle of Te Motu-nui, fought near Ure-nui in 1821 (see Chapter XIV.), in which the Waikato tribes had suffered so severely and lost so many of their great chiefs, was not by any means forgotten, nor the Taranaki people forgiven. Waikato had by this time acquired - 16 many stand of arms through the fact of traders having become established at Kawhia, Tauranga, and other places, and consequently felt themselves more able to cope with their southern enemies. W. Te Awa-i-taia (A.H.M., Vol. VI., page 5) says, “Waikato were continually thinking about those deaths (i.e., of Te Hiakai, Hari, Mama, and others) and the matter of seeking utu for them was referred to Pota-tau Te Wherowhero. The Waikato assembled together to discuss the matter, but nothing was done. This was continually repeated, but it never resulted in anything. Te Hiakai was uncle to Potatau and also to W. Te Awa-i-taia, or, in other words, he was a father to them,” and it consequently devolved upon them and their particular hapus to wipe out the disgrace attaching to them for Te Hiakai's death. “When the council of Te Ao-o-te-rangi (who had been defeated by Ati-Awa, see page 6) and Muri-whenua was not heeded, the latter applied to his relative Te Awa-i-taia. He said, “Son! Are you not willing that the death of Te Hiakai should be avenged?” The reply was, “I am willing!”

It was probably after this consent of Te Awa-i-taia that the incident related by Thos. Ralph, quoted by Polack in his “New Zealand,” Vol. II., p. 290, occurred: “In November, 1831, some Waikatos, under the pretence of purchasing some dried fish of a particular kind, only to be found on that part of the coast, arrived in two canoes at Taranaki (? Waitara). They were well received, and prior to their departure their canoes were repaired and filled with presents of dried fish and other provisions. These Waikatos were sent as spies to ascertain the strength of the defences of Taranaki.”

There is no reason to doubt this account, and, if true, the spies would easily ascertain from the local people of the many migrations that had left the district. But many thousand people of Ati-Awa still remained, as we shall see.

In consequence of this consent of Te Awa-i-taia, Ngati-Tipa (of Waikato Heads) arose, together with Ngati-Tahinga (of Raglan), Ngati-Hourua, Ngati-Mahanga, and Ngati-Wehi (all of Waikato) with Ngati-Haua (of Upper Thames), in all, three hundred and forty men (i.e., six hundred and eighty). They went from Raglan to Aotea, where they were joined by Te Hutu; then to Kawhia, where Te Kanawa and Tu-korehu also joined them; and from the latter place they went straight on towards Taranaki. When they reached Mokau they heard that other Waikatos had joined them in the rear. At this time, which was about November, 1831, a young man named Thos. Ralph was living at Mokau, acting as agent for Montefiore and Co., of Sydney. He estimated the numbers of this great war-party at four thousand men. They were joined by the Ngati-Mania-poto people of Mokau in the proposed expedition. Either this same party on their return, or another from - 17 Aotea, took Mr. Ralph prisoner and helped themselves to about twenty tons of goods. 19

“Our party of Ngati-Mahanga now started on ahead from Mokau, and killed some of the enemy a little way beyond. We advanced as far as Pari-ninihi—that is, to Wai-pingao stream, where others were killed, and Nga-Rape (a chief of Ngati-Tama) taken prisoner. The attacking force still advanced—one party going inland, and the other by the principal coast road. Those pursued by the inland party were overthrown with very great slaughter. Te Ao-o-te-rangi (a chief of Ngati-Tama) was killed there; he was shot by Te Awa-i-taia. Those who were pursued by the coast party were also overthrown, and the slaughter did not end until they reached Urenui. Tu-tawha-rangi was taken prisoner, whilst Manu-ka-wehi was allowed to escape (probably of the Ngati-Mutunga tribe). We, Ngati-Tahinga, then returned (a few miles) and stayed at Ara-pawa-nui (a pa on an isolated hill, near the mouth of the Mimi river, south side—see Plate No. 9). The Waikato forces now came up to us for the first time and found that we had routed the enemy.”

The foregoing account of the advance of the great taua shows that some few of Ngati-Tama had remained in the Pou-tama country, though - 18 the bulk of the tribe with their principal chiefs had left for the south, and where, as we have seen, they lately suffered in Wai-rarapa. Had they remained in their ancient homes, this strong force of Waikato, large as it was, would not have passed the “gateway of Taranaki” with so much ease.

Te Awa-i-taia says that after the assemblage of the whole force at Ara-pawa-nui, “The party now urged an attacked on Puke-rangiora; the cause of this was that they learnt from slaves in that pa, who belonged to Rangi-wahia (of Ngati-Mutunga) and Hau-te-horo (of Nga-Motu), that the latter had said, ‘This act of kindness shall be the weapon to destroy Waikato’” (meaning the assistance rendered by Puke-tapu and other hapus to Waikato when the latter tribe were besieged in Puke-rangiora in 1821. But the application is not very clear.) From Ara-pawa-nui the taua started on their work of destruction.

Mr. Skinner, whose narrative of the siege of Puke-rangiora will now be followed, says, “The first intimation the Ati-Awa had of the presence of the Waikato taua in the district was by observing the numerous fires of the invaders, who were engaged in cutting off small parties of the tribe living round Urenui and Onaero, etc. It appears that the invaders made a night attack on Poho-kura pa, situated on the north bank of the Urenui river, a fourth of a mile below the present bridge, on an isolated hill rising from the river flats. The inmates were quite taken by surprise and the pa easily fell into the hands of the taua, with scarce a struggle. Whakapuke of Ngati-Mutunga, chief of the pa, and a few others escaped in the darkness, and swimming the river managed to reach Kai-pikari—a pa on the wooded heights about two miles south-west of the mouth of the river. From here he probably sent messengers warning the people further south, and I believe was one of those who afterwards harried this taua on its return northwards after the defeat at Nga-Motu.

“The various northern and central hapus of Te Ati-Awa immediately gathered together to give battle to the enemy; but when the strength and numbers of the invaders were discovered, a panic seems to have taken Te Ati-Awa, and all who could, fled to the great fighting pa of Puke-rangiora, overcrowding it to a frightful extent. The total number of people in the pa was about four thousand. 20 So precipitate had been their flight that they quite neglected to gather the crops of potatoes and other foods now nearly or quite ripe, thus weakening themselves in proportion as they strengthened the enemy, who had thus abundance of - 19 food, whilst the inmates of Puke-rangiora were soon in a state of starvation. This was due to the provisioning of the pa being quite inadequate for the purpose of a siege, owing to the unexpected nature of the attack, and the fact that the ordinary provisions within the pa at this time was at its lowest ebb, due to the previous season's crop of potatoes, kumara, etc., being just about finished prior to the gathering in of the new season's harvest. Unfortunately for Te Ati-Awa this latter had not been done. This, together with the fact that the supply of water within the pa was only sufficient for the daily use of its ordinary population, led to early and most disastrous results to the various hapus gathered within the pa.

“The first prisoners taken by the invaders as they came along—about the Urenui district—were offered as a sacrifice to their atuas, or gods. They next captured a party of twenty-five persons who were returning from an inland settlement, and who were unaware of the presence of the invaders in the district; these people were all slain and devoured by the leaders of the Waikato party. They laid waste the whole of what is now known as the Urenui, Onaero, Waihi, and Tikorangi districts, occupied at that time by the Ngati-Mutunga, Ngati-Rahiri, Otaraoa, and other hapus of Te Ati-Awa, burning the sacred cemeteries and committing with impunity every barbarity a savage is capable of.

“As the taua approached Puke-rangiora, the depredations were plainly to be seen from the pa, which commanded an extensive view of the surrounding country. To attack the place, the invaders had first to cross the Waitara river, and an excellent opportunity was then offered for Te Ati-Awa to attack their foes whilst the large straggling party was fording the river and climbing the steep hill that commanded the crossing on the southern side. The ford used is about seven hundred yards down stream from Puke-rangiora and in full view of the pa. 21 An immediate attack on the fort was made by the invaders, but they were repulsed with the loss of four chiefs and several others, and obliged to retire from Te Arei plateau 22—the north-west division of the pa—to the low ground some six hundred yards to the north, where they camped for the remainder of the siege.

“On the following morning a more determined assault was made by the whole of the invaders, which was directed against different parts of the pa. This also was successively repulsed and the enemy defeated - 20 with considerable loss. In the two days' fighting the invaders lost forty killed and double that number wounded.

“After these repulses the invaders contented themselves with closely investing the pa, and awaited the effect of starvation on its over-crowded occupants. Very soon the besieged were suffering the horrors of a dreadful famine. The provisions, originally but scanty, had been early consumed with the usual Maori improvidence. Their condition was truly wretched, and a deplorable state of affairs existed within the pa. To save the strength of the garrison, it was decided to send away a large number of the old and infirm people, together with many women and children, who all helped to consume the food but were no help in the defence. This was accordingly done under cover of darkness with the hope that they would make good their escape into the forest to the southward. But the enemy, ever on the watch, soon discovered what had been done, and following up this helpless crowd, fell upon them near Pekatu, killing and taking prisoners about two hundred of their number. Several smaller parties left the pa at various times, some of which effected their escape.

“The siege had now lasted three months, and starvation had reduced the besieged to the lowest ebb of despondency, and their ultimate fate was hastened by their own foolish action. Every morsel of food having now been consumed, famine drove them to leave the shelter of the pa; but instead of doing so under the cover of darkness, they evacuated their stronghold in daylight and in full view of the enemy; all running away in all directions and in the greatest confusion. The vigilant enemy at once gave chase and soon came up with the famished wretches, who had neither strength nor power to defend themselves. Neither age nor sex was considered in the general massacre that ensued. To save their children from the brutality and lust of the conquerors, numbers of parents threw their offspring over the precipice on which the pa stood—some three hundred feet high—and then lept over after them, hoping in this way to end their woes. But their inveterate foes followed them even here by making a long detour and creeping along the face of the cliff above the Waitara river. Many of the unfortunates were still alive, saved from being dashed to pieces by the bodies of those who had lept over before them, which thus formed buffers or pillows to break the fall. Some of those who were but slightly injured escaped by following up the banks of the river, which were wooded in that part; the remaining bodies were examined, and those who were still alive, if not too seriously injured to be of service as slaves, were at once despatched and their bodies taken up to the plateau to be devoured.” (The Taranaki slaves of Waikato were very active in this work—see infra.)

“It is said that twelve hundred of Te Ati-Awa and their allied hapus were killed or captured in the final overthrow of the pa. The - 21 greater part of the prisoners were women and children, and these were driven back into the pa to be killed or tortured at leisure. That day Waikato glutted themselves on the bodies of the slain lying in gore around the pa.

“The next morning the prisoners were brought out, and those amongst them whose faces were well tattooed were decapitated on a block of wood, with the view of making mokaikai, or preserving them, as trophies to be taken back to the country of the Waikatos. Others, with little or none of this decoration, were immediately killed by a blow on the skull. It is asserted that Te Wherowhero 23—the head chief of Waikato and principal leader of the invaders—sat in the gateway of the pa, and as the prisoners were brought to him he killed one hundred and fifty of them by a blow on the head with his jadeite mere named ‘Whakarewa,’ and that he only desisted because his arm became swollen with the exercise. The headless bodies were thrown across a trench, which was dug to carry off the blood lying in pools about the plateau on which Puke-rangiora stood. Others, less fortunate, were killed with every conceivable form of torture; some again were cast into the ovens alive, to the amusement of their sanguinary foes. Yonng children and lads were cut open by incisions made hastily down the stomach, evicerated and roasted on sticks placed round large fires, made of the palisading of the pa.

“A similar massacre to that in the morning took place in the afternoon. It is said (by Polack) that many of the invaders died from the effects of their abhorrent gluttony. These cannibal feasts were held whilst the heads of the slain, placed on sticks stuck into the ground, faced the victors, whilst the most insulting expressions were addressed to the lifeless heads. In all, some two hundred prisoners had been killed on the day after the capture of the pa; and this seems to have satisfied the victors, for the remainder of the captives were led away as slaves, and had on the return journey to carry the preserved tattoed heads of their unfortunate relations, which heads were to be hung up as trophies of war in various northern villages.

“Amongst those killed by Waikato were some of the leading chiefs of Ati-Awa—viz.: Whatitiri, Pekapeka, Maru-ariki, Pahau, and Taki-waru. The two first were the head chiefs of the Puke-rangiora hapu, and the leaders who had taken under their protection, and defended them against great odds from the overwhelming numbers of their own tribe, these very Waikato chiefs who had now brought about their destruction. The prime mover in this base ingratitude and treachery seems to have been Tu-korehu—the man who Whatitiri and Pekapeka rescued from imminent peril in the fight at Nga-Puke-tu-rua—see Chapter XIV.

- 22

“The heads of Whatitiri and Pekapeka were placed on poles in front of the great council house of the pa, called ‘Te-waha-o-te-marangai,’ and facing towards the mouth of the Waitara river, which flowed at the base of the precipice three hundred feet below. A most striking and lovely panorama is to be observed from this spot …. and here for the last time the now sightless eyes were gazing on the view so familiar to them. But alas! the glory of Puke-rangiora had departed, and all was death and horror around.

“Into this mute circle of the former leaders of the tribe came a woman of high rank of the Puke-rangiora hapu, bowed and emaciated with trouble and want. She crept up and sat beside the poles that supported the heads of Whatitiri and Pekapeka and began the tangi for the dead. This woman was Kanga-rangi (? Hekenga-rangi, S.P.S.), sister of the two chiefs. Some of the northern leaders, drawn to the spot by the woman's lamentations, began to taunt and jeer at the broken-hearted sister, saying, ‘Cry! Cry, old woman, to your brothers who are taking a last good look over their country towards the mouth of the river.’ Thus taunted, Hekenga-rangi turned on them fiercely, saying, ‘Hei Whatitiri aha? Hei Pekapeka aha? Ka pa ko aku pikitanga, ko aku heketanga, ko Te Arei-o-Matuku-takotako; titinga heru o tenei iwi, o tenei iwi’ (a free translation of this is: “What of Whatitiri? What of Pekapeka? Why consider them? When you do not remember my ascendings and my descendings at Te Arei', the place where were seen the dress-combs of various people—where my people saved yours from death in former times!') Waikato was silenced and ashamed at this covert reproach for their base ingratitude and treachery. ‘They had no respect for the old woman; they were ashamed at her words, for they knew they were true. They took her and cast her at once, alive, into an oven, and afterwards devoured her. This great evil of Waikato is known to all the tribes,’ says the native history.

“With this tragic story ends the history of Puke-rangiora, for it was never occupied again, and with its fall ended the federation which made up the great Ati-Awa tribe—the most renowned, perhaps, of all the greater clans of New Zealand. The whole of the surrounding country was deserted, with its great pas and innumerable plantations and gardens. To quote the words of Ihaia Te Kiri-kumara—the late chief of Otaraua, and one of those who escaped from Puke-rangiora: ‘All was quite deserted—the land, the sea, the streams, the lakes, the forests, the rocks, the food, the property, the works; the dead and the sick were deserted; the land marks were deserted’ (Wells, p. 11).

“Of those who escaped, numbers led a wretched, hunted life in the dense forests around the base of Mount Egmont, but the greater part made their way through the forest and sought protection among the Ngati-Ruanui people; some even going on and joining their fellow tribesmen already settled round Wai-kanae and Kapiti. Others - 23 made their way to Nga-Motu, and eventually helped in the siege of Otaka, whither the great Waikato taua had decided to proceed.”

So far, Mr. Skinner's account. I have a few notes to add. Te Kope, Horo-atua, and Te Punga of Ati-Awa, and Rangi-wahia of Ngati-Mutunga were some of the chiefs besieged in the pa, but (it is believed) escaped. Amongst the leading chiefs of Waikato were, besides those mentioned, Poro-koru, Rewi-Mania-poto (of Ngati-Mania-poto), Tai-porutu (of Ngati-Haua), Te Kanawa (of Kawhia), and Kuku-tai (of Ngati-Tipa). The latter distinguished himself by following up and killing many a fleeing party of Ngati-Maru of inland Waitara.

It will be remembered that at Maru, when Waikato defeated Taranaki in 1826 (see Chapter XV., Journal Polynesian Society XVIII., page 180), that vast numbers of slaves were taken back to the north; and also, the fact was noted that Ati-Awa had assisted Waikato in that campaign. The result of this was that the most intensely bitter feeling was engendered in these Taranaki slaves against Ati-Awa, who were really the cause of Waikato undertaking the Maru expedition. It was these slaves who kept alive the animosity of Waikato, and urged them to avenge the defeat of their own chiefs at Te Motu-nui. Hundreds of these slaves came down with Waikato against Puke-rangiora, and there they glutted their revenge on the unfortunate inmates of the pa. They caught many an Ati-Awa man on their approach to the pa, and insisted upon their acting as guides; if they showed any disinclination, they were tomahawked at once.

After the fall of the pa, many of these Taranaki slaves went up the river bed and secured numerous bodies of those who had been thrown, or jumped, over the cliff. And this was how they cooked the bodies: They made a great big native oven—he umu-tao-roroa—in which the bodies were laid on the hot stones, all radiating from the centre, the heads outwards, which latter were left uncovered by the usual covering of earth. When the hupe, or exudation, from the nose, mouth, and eyes began to run freely, it was known that the food was properly cooked!

The following is one of the laments for Whatitiri, Pekapeka, and others that fell at Puke-rangiora. It is by Uruhina:—

Tera te pokeao whakakuru i Okakawa,
He raro mihinga atu ki te iwi ka ngaro—i—
Kati ano au i konei mihi ai,
Kohu ka tairi ki Honi-paka ra ia
Kei raro iti iho ko koe nei—e—
He kamo i maringi a wai
- 24
Te roimata ki waho ra
Kowai rawa ra he tuahine moku?
Ko “Hewa” te rakau i patua ai koe—i—
Ko “Mata-te-kaikai” he rakau anini.
Kati E Parara! te tuitui te waka,
Te tangi ai ra ki nga oranga nei
He whakahemonga mate ki Tau-whare ia.
Behold the dark cloud dashing on Okakawa 24
Emblem of grief for the tribe now lost.
Leave me here in solitude to grieve,
Overwhelmed like the mists on Honipaka, 25
Near where art thou, O beloved!
Like running waters my tears gush forth;
Who now shall be a sister to me?
“Hewa” was the weapon that felled thee,
And “Mata-te-kaikai,” the headache giver,
Cease, O Parara! 26 binding the canoe sides,
And lament over those who are left alive,
For like are they to the fainting ones at Tau-whare.

Old Taiata of Ngati-Tama tells me that a very few of his tribe assisted in the defence of Puke-rangiora, but none of their principal chiefs. During the siege, Te Puoho—the head chief of Ngati-Tama—came down from the north with a party and occupied the hills on the north bank of the Waitara river, near Tikorangi. Their intention was to succour the Ati-Awa in the pa; but they found Waikato too strongly posted and too well armed with muskets to make their help effectual, and so they returned home.

1   Probably Watene's figures require dividing by a hundred.
2   Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. I., p. 88.
3   Killed at Hao-whenua in about 1834.
4   A.H.M.. Vol. VI., p. 5.
5   I observe since writing the above that the Rev. R. Taylor, in “Te Ika-a-Maui,” p. 371, states that Putiki was taken two years before 1831, which agrees with my date.
6   Rere-tawhangawhanga was father of Wiremu Kingi Te Rangi-take, the originator of the Maori war in 1860. The former died at Wellington, 26th September, 1843.
7   Died at Whanganui, 16th April, 1850.
8   A brief history of which is given in Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. XIII., page 126.
9   Usually spelt Rimu-taka; but the above is correct: remu means the border of a garment, and probably the name originated in someone having the border of his mat torn off there.
10   I learnt from Manihera Maka of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu that Pukoro was not a wife, but a near relative of Paenga-huru's.
11   See account of Tupoki's death at the battle of Para-rewa in 1821—Chapter XIV.
12   Uncle of Te Kume-roa, one of the members of the Polynesian Society. He got his name, Kokakoka (or limper), from the fact that in his boyhood he was wounded in the groin by a spear, which caused him to limp ever afterwards.
13   This mere was named “Tawa-tahi.” Although, as my informant says, it was made of jade—it was light in colour, indeed, just the same tint as the mere-paraoa, or white whale-bone mere. From Te Oka-whare it passed into the hands of Karaitiana—one of the principal chiefs of Hawke's Bay—and at his death his widow secreted it in some place that is now unknown.
14   My informant, Maniera Māka, on being questioned, is not sure if they were potatoes. The question is of interest, because it is said Ngati-Toa first introduced this tuber to South New Zealand in 1822–3. The Wai-rarapa people never grew much kumara, or taro, but largely used the korau, or native turnip.
15   Died at Pito-one, near Wellington, 5th October, 1871, of a very great age.
16   A teina, younger brother or cousin of Tu-te-pakihi-rangi.
17   The Maoris say this taniwha used to live in the sea near the mouth of the Wai-rarapa, but when the lake was closed for any length of time, he used to migrate to the Wairau river, Marlborough District.
18   This expression refers to the high rank of the two women, who are compared to the whatu-kura, or treasures brought down to earth by the god Tāne, when he visited the supreme god Io, in the twelfth heaven.
19   See Sherrins' “Early New Zealand,” p. 218. Mr. Ralph is probably the man known to the Mokau people as Tame (or Thomas), and according to them he was there at the time of the attack on Motu-tawa in 1832 (see ante). He had two Maori wives—Manu-te-wai and another, whose father was killed by Ati-Awa on the south side of the river at the time of Motu-tawa. Tame was landed at Mokau by the vessel already referred to, named “Ameriki Wāti.” Another white man who resided at Mokau in early days was Pero, who lived at the west side of the present village of Te Kauri—near the present wharf. He was one of the crew of the “Harriett,” wrecked at Cape Egmont in 1834. Tiaki Kari (Jack Guard, captain of the “Harriett,”) also visited Mokau, coming overland from Nga-Motu in the winter time, and his bare feet were terribly cut by the frost. Takerei Waitara, the then chief of Mokau, took him in charge, and by kind treatment restored the captain to health.
The present village of Te Kauri is a very small one, but in former days the flat was covered thickly with houses, as was the top of the terrace up which the present road ascends. Some long time ago a serious accident happened here, which was the cause of a great many deaths. A large totara tree formerly stood in the curve of the terrace behind the village. One night the tree and the whole side of the hill came down in an avalanche and buried a large part of the village, killing many people.
Te Kauri is so named from a large log now (1906) lying on the beach there, and which has been there beyond the memory of man. It is a totara tree, not a kauri, and is a tipua (or endowed with uncanny powers). According to my informant, not very long ago a man, daring the tipua, cut a notch in the tree with an axe. The next morning he was found lying dead on the beach; such is the power of the tipua, says my informant. My friend says that when a young man he was driving near the present wharf with another youngster, and at the bottom he saw the totara that caused the landslip, “e kura ana” (glowing there), and was so frightened thereat that he never has dived in the river since. Such is superstition.
20   Watene Taungatara, who was one of the garrison of this pa, and otherwise a reliable man, told Mr. Percy Smith and myself that there were eight thousand people (men, women, and children) shut up within the pa. We thought this an exaggeration. Other estimates supplied by old natives vary from three thousand to five thousand. Ralph, already quoted, gave the population of the surrounding districts as three thousand who gathered into their fortifications. So if we estimate the population at four thousand it will not not be far from the truth.—W.H.S.
21   Map No. 5 shows the Puke-rangiora pa—this was the second and final siege.
22   Te Arei was the marae, or plazza of the pa, and was a level piece of ground defended by bank, ditch, and palisades. It is better known as the stronghold of Hapurona—the fighting chief of Te Ati-Awa—who defended the place against the British troops in the Maori war of 1860–61. Te Ati-Awa were assisted in the defence by the Waikato and Ngati-Mania-poto, the very tribes that were fighting against them in 1831. For a description of Puke-rangiora pa, see Chapter XIV.
23   Afterwards the first (so called) Maori King.
24   A place near Puke-rangiora.
25   The country near Cape Albatross.
26   Parara was one of the men in Puke-rangiora. The song was dictated by old Watene Taungatara of Te Ati-Awa, who supplied much of the information in this work. He died at Mata-rikoriko, Waitara, in 1895, aged about 80 years. He was held in much respect, and latterly was considered by the Maoris as a good doctor, many people coming from as far as Hawera for the benefit of his advice. He was one of the native police engaged by Sir George Grey at the capture of Te Rau-paraha, 23rd July, 1846.