Volume 26 1917 > Volume 26, No. 4 > The Land of Tara and they who settled it, by Elsdon Best, p 143-169
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ABOUT the time that the Norse seafarers were exploring the new found coasts of far Vinland, the Harbour of Tara lay lone and silent in the south land. From the storm lashed cape of the far north to the rugged island outposts of the south, the smokeless lands awaited the coming of man. The far stretching forests, the lakes, rivers and seas, the plains, vales and mountains, were occupied only by the offspring of Tane and Tangaroa, of Punaweko and Hurumanu. The fair isles of the south had, through countless centuries, slowly ripened for occupation by man; man the destroyer, and man the maker.

The story of the discovery and settlement of Port Nicholson, or Wellington Harbour, is closely connected with that of the discovery and settlement of New Zealand by Polynesians, hence we give a brief account of those happenings, both due to the energy and skill in navigation of the old-time Polynesian voyagers. In most cases we are able to assign an approximate date for historical occurrences connected with the Maori Tradition, but in regard to the time of the discovery of these isles we are at fault, for apparently no reliable genealogy from the discoverers has been preserved. From other evidence, however, we can assume that such discovery was made not less than forty generations ago, or say the tenth century.

The first voyagers to reach these isles are said to have been two small bands of adventurers from Eastern Polynesia, who, under the chiefs Kupe and Ngahue (also known as Ngake), reached these shores in two vessels, probably outrigger canoes, named ‘Mātāhorua’ - 144 and ‘Tawiri-rangi.’ We are told that Kupe was accompanied by his wife and children, and this is probably correct, for the Polynesian voyagers often carried their women folk with them on deep sea voyages, even as Maori women accompanied their men on war expeditions. The wife of Kupe, one Aparangi by name, was a grand-daughter of Poupaka, whom tradition claims to have been a famous and bold navigator, though tradition claims too much for him when it dubs him the first deep-sea sailor, for at that period the Polynesians had sailed far and wide athwart the great Pacific Ocean. However, it is well to extol one's own ancestors. Part of the tradition reads:—“It was Poupaka who began sailing abroad on the ocean, when all others feared to do so on account of their dread of Tawhirimatea and his offspring (personified forms of winds), hence the following saying became famous:—‘Tutumaiao Tawhirimatea, whakatere ana Poupaka,’ as also this:—‘Tutu te aniwaniwa, ka tere Poupaka i te uru tai.’”

Family Tree. Poupaka=Mowairangi, Pouturu=Tahapunga, Aparangi=Kupe

The story of the coming of Kupe is encrusted with myth, and there are several versions as to the cause of his coming. One of these versions is to the effect that his daughter Punaruku was slain while bathing at Wai-o-Rongo, at Rarotonga, where she was attacked and, as our mythopoetic Maori puts it ‘carried off to Tai-whetuki,’ the house of death. Kupe pursued the monster who had slain his daughter across far ocean spaces until he finally caught and slew him at Tua-hiwi-nui-o-Moko, in Cook Straits, assisted by his nephew Mahakiroa. Others who assisted him were his relatives Tipua, Kaiponu, Awa-pururu, Te Awa-i-taia, Maru-hangahanga, Maru-ehu, Hau-puhi, and his attendants Komako-hua, Popoti and Ahoriki. The following table shows the position of persons mentioned in this tradition in regard to Kupe. It was given by Te Matorohanga 1 of Wai-rarapa, and shows Matiu and Makaro as nieces of Kupe, instead of daughters as they appear in another version:—

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Family Tree. Marewa, Tama-uhu=Marama-titaha., Kupe., Maukuuku=Potoru., Kahukura-a-tai=Puhi-rakerake., Moko-tuarangi., Hau-puhi., Rukuruka., Rere-whakaaitu., Whakaaraara., Maru-ehu., Maru-hangahanga, Makaro., Mahaki-roa., Matauranga., Matiu., Mata-o-peru., Whatu-kaiponu., Tipua., Awa-pururu., Te Awa-i-taia.

It is unnecessary to give the full account of the voyage of Kupe and Ngahue from Eastern Polynesia to Aotearoa, as he named New Zealand; we will confine ourselves to that part of it that affects the Wellington district. Kupe was a chief who possessed interests in three different islands, for his father belonged to Hawaiki, by which name the island of Tahiti seems to have been known, his mother was a native of Rarotonga, while his maternal grandfather was of Rangiatea, now called Ra'iatea (one of the Society Islands).

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After a weary voyage across the southern ocean, one day a low hung cloud attracted attention. Quoth Kupe, “I see a cloud on the horizon line. It is a sign of land.” His wife cried, “He ao! He ao?” (A cloud! A cloud!) That cloud betokened the presence of land, rest and refreshment for cramped and sea racked voyagers. The two vessels made the land in the far north, where the crews remained for some time, after which they continued their voyage down the east coast of the North Island. On the way down Kupe named Aotea island (the Great Barrier), and the mainland was named Aotearoa, after the white cloud greeted by his wife Hine Te Aparangi (ao tea=white cloud). The longer name may thus be rendered as Greater Aotea, or Long, or Great Aotea. When Kupe returned to Hawaiki from these isles, the people asked him:—“Why did you call the new found land Aotearoa, and not Irihia or Te Hono-i-wairua, after the homeland our race originated in?” But Kupe replied:—“I preferred the warm breast to the cold one, the new land to the old land long forsaken.”

Our voyagers stayed a while at Castle Point (Rangi-whakaoma) and then came on to Palliser Bay, where they remained for some time to refit, at a place called Te Matakitaki-a-Kupe, so named by his daughter Hine-uira, because, from a rock at that place, Kupe looked upon the South Island and Mt. Tapuae-nuku (matakitaki=to inspect, look at). In a saltwater pool at Te Kawakawa Kupe is said to have kept two kinds of fish known as kahaparu and ngongopuni. We are told that Kupe left Rere-whakaaitu at this place, Matauranga at Turaki-rae, Kahukura-a-tai at the entrance to the Whanga-nui-a-Tara, and Matiu and Makaro within the harbour, while he went on to the South Island after exploring Wellington Harbour. All these folk gave their names to the places they were left at, which probably means that places were named after them, and not necessarily that they lived or camped at all of them.

Our seafarers now came on from Palliser Bay, and entered the harbour, landing at Seatoun, the foreshore of which place is known as the Turanga-o-Kupe, possibly so named from the fact that the sea rover was hurt against a rock when bathing at the Pinnacle Rock, known as the Aroaro-o-Kupe. While encamped at this place Matiu and Makaro are said to have named the two islands, Somes and Ward, after themselves. Rocks in the sea at Sinclair Head and Tongue Point are said to have been named Mohuia and Toka-haere after two of the daughters of Kupe.

Hori Ropiha, of Napier, remarks that Kupe and Ngake (Ngahue) distributed their children all round Aotearoa. Their food was wind alone, and in these days those folk bear the aspect of rocks. The following lines from an old song refer to these occurrences:—

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“He uri au no Kupe, no Ngake
E tuha noa atu ra kia pau te whenua
Te hurihuri ai ko Matiu, ko Makaro.”

The Maori, with his mythopoetic mind, would not state baldly that certain places, rocks, islets, etc., were named after these personages.

Hori goes on to relate the old myth that Kupe left here the obstructions to travellers by land, such as the ongaonga (nettle, Urtica ferox), the tumatakuru (Discaria toumatou), and papaii (Aciphylla), which were burned in after times by Tamatea of Takitumu, an immigrant from the Society Group. Again we refer to a reference in song:—

“Nga taero ra nahau, e Kupe!
I waiho i te ao nei.”

(The obstructions there, by thee, O Kupe! left in the world.)

Another old local myth is to the effect that our harbour was at one time a lake in which dwelt two monsters named Ngake and Whataitai (syn. Hataitai, the native name of Miramar peninsula). These two beings attempted to force their way out of the harbour. Ngake succeeded by forming the present entrance, but Whataitai failed in a similar attempt at Evans Bay. Hence he assumed the form of a bird and betook himself to the summit of Tangi-te-keo (Mt. Victoria), where his shrieks were plainly heard.

In the quaint conceit in which the North Island is called Te Ika-a-Maui (Fish of Maui), Wellington Harbour is styled the right eye of the fish, and Wai-rarapa Lake the left eye.

Leaving Wellington Harbour our seafarers moved on to Sinclair Head, where they camped for some time in ordor to lay in a stock of sea stores in the form of dried fish and shellfish, for which that place has ever been famed in Maori annals. Here also they procured quantities of rimurapa (D' Urvillea utilis), the great wide stems of which they utilised as vessels (poha) in which to store and carry their dried foods, a use to which this giant seaweed was frequently put by the Maori. It was on this account that the party named Sinclair Head Te Rimurapa. The point near this head known to us as the Red Rocks is called Pari-whero, or Red Cliff by natives, on account of the peculiar colour of the slate rock in that vicinity. Here are two old myths concerning the origin of such redness. One is a somewhat prosaic one, namely that Kupe had his hand clamped by a paua (Haliotis) so severely that the flowing blood stained the surrounding rocks, as also the ngakihi (limpet, Patella) of the adjacent waters. The other version sounds better, and is to the effect that Kupe left his daughters at this place while away on one of his exploring trips. He was away so long that the maidens began to mourn for him as lost to - 148 the world of life. They lacerated themselves after the manner Maori, even so that the flowing blood stained the rocks of Pari-whero for ever.

Moving on from Sinclair Head the rovers stayed a while at Owhariu, and then went on to Porirua Harbour. While at this place one of Kupe's daughters is said to have found on the beach at the northern side of the entrance a stone higly suitable for a canoe anchor, hence it was placed on board ‘Matahorua’ to be used for that purpose. This stone anchor was named Te Huka-a-tai because such is the name of the kind of stone it was composed of. On account of this occurrence Kupe left one of his stone anchors at Porirua; one named Maungaroa because he had brought it from a place named Maungaroa at Rarotonga in the Cook Group. This anchor is said to have been carefully preserved for centuries, and is now in the Dominion Museum, Wellington. Long years ago old Karehana Whakataki of Ngati-Toa conducted the writer to a spot near, and on the eastern side of the railway line at Paremata, a few hundred yards north of the bridge, and there showed him Kupe's anchor. It is a heavy and unwieldly waterworn block of greywacke, of a weight that casts a doubt on the assertion that it was used as a canoe anchor, certainly it could not be handled on any single canoe. A smooth faced hole through one corner of it is said to have been where the cable was attached, but it bears no sigh of human workmanship. This change of anchors is said to have been the origin of the name Porirua, but the statement is by no means clear. We know of no meaning of the word pori that throws any light on the matter.

The voyagers went to Mana Island, off Porirua Heads, where Mohuia suggested that the island should be so named as a token of the mana (authority, etc.) of the voyagers, which was agreed to. This name origin is by no means clear, for the name of the island is pronounced Mānă, whereas in the other word both vowels are short, mănă, and the correct rendering of vowel lengths is most essential in Maori. A point or headland at Ra'iatea island is known as Mānā, and it may be thought that the name is a transferred one that has been corrupted, but this seems doubtful. A native writer, however, seriously enough, gives the island name as Manaa to show that the final vowel is long, but as this method of denoting long vowel sounds is never consistently followed by any native, we are still in doubt concerning the first syllable.

From Mana Island the explorers crossed Cook Straits, went down the West Coast of the South Island, and, at Arahura, discovered greenstone, a very important occurrence in Maori history, of such value was that hard and tough stone to them in the manufacture of implements. Here also at Arahura the explorer Ngahue is said to have slain a moa at or near a waterfall in the river. On his return - 149 home to Hawaiki he reported that the most remarkable products of Aotearoa were greenstone (nephrite) and the moa.

The explorers coasted both islands ere they left on their return voyage, but these further adventures do not concern our harbour story. On his return Kupe visited Rarotonga, Rangiatea, Tonga, Tawhiti-nui, and Hawaiki, that is Titirangi, Whangara, Te Pakaroa, and Te Whanga-nui-o-Marama, and at these places gave an account of his voyage, and of the moisture laden land he had discovered at tiritiri o te moana, that is, in the great expanse of the southern ocean. Here Kupe the voyager passes out of our story.

The interesting feature of this voyage is that the discoverers of these isles came to a lone land. They found here no human inhabitants, according to tradition, but when the next Polynesian voyagers reached these shores they found a considerable part of the North Island occupied by man, showing that probably not less than eight or ten generations had passed since the time of Kupe.


The people found here by the first Maori (Polynesians) to settle in New Zealand, are generally alluded to as Maruiwi, though that was not a racial name for the people, but merely that of a chief, and, later, of a tribe. Three famous pu korero, or conservers of tribal lore, of the early part of the last century, named Tu-raukawa, Nga Waka-taurua, and Kiri-kumara, stated that the Chatham Island natives were known as Mouriuri, not Mooriori, and we know that those folk were descendants of the original inhabitants of the North Island, or Aotearoa. There is no explanation as to whether or not the Maori bestowed that name upon them, either prior to their leaving these shores, or on the occasion of the islands being discovered by Europeans and visited by Maori adventurers some time later. Presumably the alleged corrupt form of Mooriori (so spelled in a Maori manuscript) was obtained either from the natives of the Chathams or from Maori experts (to be corrupted later). Such primitive peoples seldom have a racial name for themselves, and the racial name of Maori for our New Zealand natives was apparently not used as such formally, for none of the earlier writers mention it.

In giving the positions of some of the aborigines of New Zealand at the time they left the Rangitikei district to settle at the Chathams, the above experts remarked that the persons named were the principal men of the Mouriuri folk.

According to traditions handed down by the Maori the original settlers of New Zealand were descendants of the crews of three canoes that came to land on the Taranaki coast and settled in the Urenui district. These folk had been driven from their home land by a westerly storm, but must apparently also have been driven southward, - 150 to reach these shores. They may have drifted hither from the New Hebrides or the Fiji Group, for they described their home land as having a much warmer climate than that of New Zealand. That land they called Horanui-a-tau and Haupapa-nui-a-tau, which are unknown to us as island names, and their three vessels were called Okoki, Taikoria and Kahutara.

Maori tradition states that these early settlers were an ill favoured folk, dark skinned and ugly, tall and spare, with flat faces and flat noses, upturned nostrils, projecting eyebrows and restless eyes. Their hair was harsh and stood out, or was bushy; an indolent folk and treacherous, extremely susceptible to cold. They erected no good houses, merely rude huts, wore no garments in summer, but merely leaves, and rough woven capes in winter. They lived on forest products and fish, and did not understand the preserving of food. Their weapons were the huata (long spear), the hoeroa, the kurutai, and the tarerarera (whip thrown spear); another was the pere or kopere, to project which they bent a piece of manuka (wood), using dog skin for cords.

This description does not seem to fit the Fijian, and the origin of our first settler remains a mystery. A few alleged Mouriuri words preserved are of Polynesian form, but the description of their persons points to a Melanesian origin. They apparently differed much from the Maori, and may be the origin of the Melanesian peculiarities seen in many of our natives, a fact noted by a number of writers.

These Mouriuri, or Maioriori, or Maruiwi folk were found occupying the northern half of the North Island by the first Polynesian settlers to arrive here. Their settlements extended as far south as Oakura, or, as another version has it, Wai-ngongoro, on the west coast of the island; and about as far as Mohaka, in Hawkes Bay, on the east coast. After the arrival of the Maori-Polynesian settlers some of the original people settled in the Napier district, the inner harbour at that place being named after one of their chiefs, Te Whanga-nui-a-Orotu. We shall see, in the days that lie before, that a remnant of these people, known as Ngati-Mamoe, were pushed southward in later times, and took refuge at Wellington, prior to occupying the South Island.

The incoming Maori seem to have rapidly increased in numbers, owing to the fact that they obtained numbers of women from the aborigines to supplement the number of those brought from Polynesia. As time rolled on this people of mixed descent waged relentless war on the original people, until the remnants of the latter were found only in the wild interior, such places as Maunga-pohatu and Taupo. A few fled to the Chatham Isles, as remarked above. 2 But we are - 151 anticipating, and must now bring the Maori from the sunny isles of Eastern Polynesia.


We have here no space for the whole of this most interesting tradition, and can give but the bare outlines of it. In the time of Toi, who flourished at Hawaiki, Society Isles, thirty-one generations ago, a number of vessels were carried away by a storm from that island. Among the crews were two near relatives of Toi, one of whom, Whatonga, was his grandson. Many of these ocean waifs, including Whatonga, did not return to the home island, hence Toi sailed in search of his grandson. He visited a number of islands, and sailed as far west as Pangopango, at Hamoa (Samoa), and found some of the castaways at that group, but not his own relatives. He then sailed down to Rarotonga in the Cook Group, but again met with disappointment. He now resolved to go further afield, and said to Toa-rangitahi, a chief of Rarotonga:—“I now go forth to seek the mist moistened land discovered by Kupe. Should one come in search of me, say that I have sailed for land in far open spaces, a land that I will reach or be engulfed in the stomach of Hine-moana.” 3

Even so Toi the voyager sailed from Rarotonga in his vessel named ‘Te Paepae-ki-Rarotonga,’ and boldly went forth on the great expanse of ocean that rolls for 1500 miles between that isle and New Zealand. The story of how he missed this land, but discovered the Chatham Isles, need not be told here, sufficient for us that he eventually reached the land of Aotearoa. He stayed some time with his crew at Tamaki (Auckland isthmus) among the Mouriuri folk of that place, then the party proceeded to the Bay of Plenty and settled at Whakatane, where his descendants are still living, and point out the site of the home of Toi, the voyager from far lands—one of the gallant old-time sea rovers who laid down the ara moana or sea roads for all time.


Some time after the departure of Toi, from the home island in Eastern Polynesia, Whatonga returned to find that Toi had sailed to range the wide seas in search of him. Whatonga resolved to go after him, and, having prepared his vessel, ‘Kurahaupo,’ he carefully selected a crew of hardy deep sea sailors, and bade farewell to his home for ever. As the sacred ritual performance over his vessel closed, Tu-kapua said to him:—“O son! Fare you well. You will yet find and greet your elder. He ihu whenua, he ihu tangata.” And - 152 then, as dawn broke, Kurahaupo was hauled down to the sea and launched on the broad, heaving breast of Hine-moana.

In course of time, after divers wanderings to and fro across the wide seas, Kurahaupo arrived at Rarotonga, where one Tatao told the voyager that Toi had, in the month of Ihomutu, sailed for the humid land discovered by Kupe. And so, after due preparation, in the month of Tatau-urutahi (October), Kurahaupo sailed out from the land and lifted the long, rolling water-ways to Aotearoa.

Kurahaupo made her landfall in the far north, and after a short sojourn there, her crew ran down the west coast as far as Tonga-porutu, where Whatonga learned from the Mouriuri folk that a stranger from far lands, named Toi, had settled on the east coast. Our voyagers then sailed northward again, rounded the North Cape, and ran down the east coast, finally reaching the home of Toi at Whakatane.

Having sojourned some time with his elder, Whatonga again manned his sea going canoe and went to seek unoccupied lands on which to settle, finally making his home at Nukutaurua. This party obtained a number of women from the aborigines of the Bay of Plenty district. Whatonga was happy in the possession of three wives.

Family Tree. Hotu-waipara=Whatonga=Reretua=Poa-tautahanga, Tara, Tautoki, Rere-ki-taiari, Rangitane.

Tara, after whom our harbour was named, was the son of Hotu-waipara, and the eponymic ancestor of the Ngai-Tara tribe of Wellington district. His half-brother Tautoki had a son, Rangitane, whose descendants, the Rangitane tribe, occupied Wai-rarapa and southern Hawkes Bay. Reretua and Poa were aboriginal women, but as to Hotu tradition is not clear. Shortly before the birth of Tara his mother, while engaged in cleaning fish, was wounded in the hand by a spine of a nohu, the same being a fish resembling the porcupine fish, and having poisonous spines. Hence, when the child was born soon afterwards he was named Tara (spine) in memory of the incident.

When Whatonga left Whakatane with his party, he said to Toi:—“Farewell! Remain here, while I go forth in search of lands whereon your descendants may dwell, to seek a resting place for them in parts not already occupied by man, and where they may dwell in peace; after which I will return to visit you here.”

Said Toi:—“Go to the eastern side of the island which is but thinly settled, and seek a home on coastal lands, that you may possess two good baskets, that of the ocean and that of the land, inasmuch as - 153 food is the parent of the orphan, of women, and of children. Quarrel not with such peoples as you may encounter, let peace encompass the land, that women and children may walk fearless and unharmed abroad.”

The party of Whatonga was increased in numbers by some of Toi's folk joining it, as also by the women they had acquired from the aborigines living at Moharuru, a place now known as Maketu. On arriving at Huiarua our travellers resolved to remain there for some time. The hut of Whatonga at that place was constructed largely of trunks of a small tree fern, and was named Tapere-nui-a-Whatonga. After some time the travellers moved on to Maraetaha, and finally to Nukutaurua, where a permanent settlement was made at a place called Taka-raroa.

In after days, when Whatonga felt the weight of years, he resolved to despatch his sons to explore the country to the southward, to examine it and seek desirable lands whereon they might settle. Those sons were the half-brothers Tara and Tautoki, the full name of the latter being Tautoki-ihu-nui-a-Whatonga.


Whatonga said to his sons, Tara and Tautoki:—“O sons, go forth and examine the land. Take but few companions with you, and leave your women and children here, that you may travel quickly.”

Then were carefully chosen the men to accompany them, in numbers thirty twice told. The party came by way of Te Wairoa to Heretaunga (Napier district), then occupied by a tribe of aborigines. After an examination of that district, they came on to Rangi-whaka-oma (Castle Point), thence to Okorewa (in Palliser Bay), thence to Para-ngarehu (Pencarrow Head), from which place they explored the surrounding district, and Tara remarked, “This is a place suitable for us.”

They then went on to Pori-rua, to Rangi-tikei, thence up the river to Patea, to Tongariro, to Taupo, whence they struck across to Titi-o-kura, and returned by way of Mohaka and Te Wairoa to Nukutaurua, to their home.

On the return of the party of Tara, Whatonga rejoiced in once more seeing his sons, for they had been absent nearly a year. Tara and his brother, with the other members of the exploring expedition, now began to relate their experiences, and to describe the lands they had seen, the hills and mountain ranges, the rivers, lakes and harbours thereof, as also the plains and forests, together with the lie of the lands in regard to the sun and prevailing winds.

Whatonga enquired:—“Which do you consider the most desirable place to settle at, as in regard to food supplies?”

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Tara and Tautoki explained:—“At the very nostrils of the island, where are situated the two isles we have heard of as having been named by Kupe after his daughters Matiu and Makaro. The largest island (now Miramar peninsula) is situated to the southward, where the two channels connect with the vast expanse of Hine-moana 4 (the ocean), but only a numerous people could occupy and hold this large island (ma te umauma tangata tenei e noho). The two small islands are desirable places whereon to settle; they can be reached only by canoe, and the larger one (Somes Island) has fairly good soil, wherein food products might flourish. The isle to the east of this one is a bare place, with inferior soil (Ward Island).”

Whatonga enquired:—“What sort of a place is the large island you speak of, in regard to the cultivation of the kumara (sweet potato Ipomœa batatas)?”

Tara replied:—“The soil is good, being a loam, vegetation flourishes and is not stunted in growth; water soon flows off it.”

Whatonga remarked:—“On dry lands a damp season is needed to cause crops to flourish.”

Said Tara:—“Just so; but some sheltered parts are suitable.”

Again Whatonga enquired:—“Are the channels deep, did you observe, at low tide?”

Tara answered:—“One of them, the channel on the eastern side, is deep (the present entrance). In the entrance channel on the western side (now an isthmus) a sand ridge extends from the ocean right through to the harbour. It seems to me probable that the western entrance channel may yet fill up and be raised.”

Whatonga asked:—“Are there no rock-reefs at the seaward end, outside?”

“No! The rocks are congregated near the cliffs (at Lyall's Bay).” Tara continued:—“The other island (South Island) looked quite near, and is apparently about a day's voyage distant. The harbour on the western side (Porirua) is a fine expanse of salt water, and sheltered; we observed that the hills shelter it from the winds. The soil of its lands is a loam; and the entrance to the harbour a good one, but it is not a desirable place for a few people to settle at, it can be safely occupied only by a numerous folk. There is an island lying outside the entrance (Mana Island), which, if a canoe started at dawn, we thought might be reached by noon. It seemed a fine island, from what we saw of it, with a well exposed, fair surface, but the food of winds. Still it would be an excellent parent (place of refuge) for women and children.

“The fresh-water sea on the eastern side of the mountain range (Wai-rarapa Lake) is surrounded by open land; its shores are - 155 swampy, but it is apparently a good district for food supplies. Streams from the mountain ranges flow into it; it has such ranges on its eastern and western sides (The Aorangi and Remutaka Ranges), as also some lower ridges to the eastward. The mountain range to the westward is rocky, the soil thereof stony and poor; snow lies thereon but not permanently. That range is one of the shoulders of the island, and extends right down to the ocean near our encampment. Streams from the eastern and western ranges flow into the lake, the outlet of which is but a small stream; there is a small islet just off the eastern shore. It would require a large number of people to occupy and hold this district, as also the lands round the first harbour I spoke of, but the soil is good, in some places a loam, in others black soil, in yet others somewhat stony. The plain lands we saw are fine and have a good exposure.

“There is another sheet of salt-water much nearer here (? Napier Harbour), which receives certain streams from the interior, but those lands would require many people to settle them. However, I have claimed the harbour at the point of the island as a resting place for us.”

“It is well,” said Whatonga, “But do not attempt to occupy much of the land you saw, for you are not numerous enough to do so. It will be well, however, to hasten and lose no time in going to settle on the lands of the salt-water sea (Wellington Harbour), and of the freshwater sea (Wairarapa Lake).”

This was agreed to, and Whatonga accompanied his sons and their followers southward to take possession of and settle on the shores of the harbour discovered by Kupe. Some of Whatonga's men were left at Nukutaurua to hold those lands, and to protect the people who were dwelling in the open (not in fortified villages).


Whatonga, with his sons and their followers, came by sea, staying a while at Heretaunga (Napier District), where Whatonga admired the lands of that region. At Rangi-whakaoma (Castle Point) he caused the canoes to be beached, that the party might rest a while. It was in the month of Akaakanui (December) that these folk came to Wai-rarapa, and to the Whanga-nui-a-Tara. They remained at Rangi-whakaoma until they had prepared a stock of food, fern-root and dried fish, when they came on to Okorewa (where the waters of the lake flow into Palliser Bay). One of the canoes was taken up to Wai-rarapa Lake to facilitate the exploration of its shores. On the return of this party to Okorewa the whole of the migrants came on to Poneke (modern name for Wellington district, and a corruption of Port Nick, as Port Nicholson or Wellington Harbour was termed by early European settlers), and brought their canoes to land at Matiu (Somes Island), on which island they settled.

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The migrants now set about making a home for themselves, and their first task was to erect houses and plant food products. The timbers and thatch wherewith to construct houses were brought from the mainland. When these tasks were completed and land cleared for cultivation, kumara and korau were planted. These crops were for winter stores, the sweet potatoes being dried and converted into kao, while the korau was dried by means of exposure on elevated platforms.

The three superior houses built on Matiu island were named Haere-moana (ocean traversing), Aotearoa and Te Pu-o-te-tonga. These were properly framed houses, though adorned with painted patterns only (not carving), and, when finished, the kawa rite was performed over them. Those names commemorated their coming hither across the ocean from Hawaiki in seach of Toi, that is Haere-moana. The land where they settled, after abandoning their old home Hawaiki, Aotearoa, so named by Kupe when he crossed the ocean without seeing land, even unto this island, was the origin of Aotearoa (house). As for Te Pu-o-te-tonga (the true south) this name was to commemorate his leaving his children Tara and Tautoki, their sister Rere-ki-taiari, and his grandchildren, to dwell at the very southern end of this island, and their separation from him.

Whatonga dwelt here with his family and his grandchildren, Tuhoto-ariki, Turia, Hine-one, Rangitane-nui, and others, also the people who had been selected to assist his children during the autumn.

The party consisted of one hundred, twice told, of men and women, and Whatonga divided them, one hundred to Tara, and one hundred to Tautoki. Their sister, Rere-ki-taiari, was taken back by Whatonga to Nukutaurua, to look after him in his old age. For at that time Whatonga was an old man with great grandchildren.

After the houses were finished, Whatonga, Tara, and some others as canoe paddlers, went to inspect Te Mana o Kupe (Mana Island). They reached Matakitaki, paddled onward to Kapiti, and then returned to live at Matiu island. Then they went to examine the entrance of the ocean and the large island between those two channels, after which they returned to Matiu.

When the Ihonui (February) came Whatonga addressed his sons and their respective followers:—“After I have returned, this island will not be a suitable place as a permanent residence for you. Let this be a home for the women and children, and let the men proceed to the forest on the mainland to split timbers and obtain aka (stem of climbing plants) wherewith to construct houses and defensive stockades. Erect a stockade and houses at the place where I thrust in my staff, let all that part be enclosed within the stockade. When the fortified village is completed, then render the water spring accessible in times of stress by means of erecting a stockade on either side of the path leading to it, adding an elevated outer stockade, lest it be cut off by a besieging - 157 force. The elevated storehouses should be erected on the summit of the hill.

“Erect the stockades on the lines we marked with pegs, so that ample space may be enclosed. Let there be but one entrance to the main way into the fort, and see that that main way is stockaded on both sides. Construct two elevated platforms for defenders at the entrance to such way, also two where the passage enters the plaza of the village. There should indeed be three such stages on either side of the passage way. Let all the posts of the stockade be bulky ones, with but two palisades between them, that an attacking force may be baffled.

“All parts overgrown with manuka, fern and brush should be burned off each year that it is abundant, less it be used by an enemy as a means of burning the stockades when piled against them, that is why you will so clear all such places.

“Let there be three lines of stockades, one oblique line, leaning outwards, one elevated screen stockade, and the main stockade, which is the innermost of such defences.” Here he explained that his advice was intended to lay stress on the protection of old folks and women and children.

Whatonga continued:—“Now, bear in mind that this will be your exposed, accessible position, whereat the want of food will be sorely felt, for such will be the weapon for an enemy to use; they will invest the place in order to starve you and cause its fall. Construct many storage places for yourselves at the rear of your dwelling-houses, as places wherein to store fish, dried kumara and korau, also shellfish, dried pipi, kuku, and paua (Chione, Mytilus, and Haliotis) as food supplies. Then, when enemies appear, you will have a goodly store of foods, including fern root and kernels of karaka and tawa, the sustenance of your forbear Toi-kai-rakau, on which account he was so named ‘Toi who consumes forest products.’”

Again Whatonga continued:—“Your cultivation grounds situated near the village will be no care, for those working thereat will return to the village to sleep. But regarding cultivations situated some distance away, you must erect secondary fortified places to protect them. There are two objects in constructing this kind of pa, the protection of the cultivations, and also the warning of the principal village when an enemy force is advancing to attack it.”

“Let the stockaded village of one of you (brothers) be built on the hill on the right (eastern) side of the eastern entrance, in the same manner. But the principal cultivations should be on the big island, as I remarked. The storehouses should be of a similar kind to those I have described the aspect of, as also their situation. I so advised that, when an investing enemy force see no storehouses and stages, it will believe that a short siege will cause misery in the - 158 village through lack of food, hence he will continue to invest the place, and you know that a long continuance of the seige will cause hunger to hustle him away. And if you are able to deliver an attack on the enemy at some distant part of his lines, then ere long that enemy will fall, enfeebled as he will be by lack of food. Such is the reason why food supplies should be placed in the places described. I have spoken to you two in this manner so that one of your fortified villages may ever act as succourer of the other, when a hostile force attacks one let the other come to its aid.”

Again Whatonga addressed them:—“Another task for you two is to seek a suitable place, unseen by travellers and difficult for a person to find, and construct a hamlet at such place, and there store food supplies that keep well, such as dried fish, fern-root, dried shell-fish, foods preserved in fat, dried karaka and tawa berries. Such a home is called a kainga punanga and is intended to be unseen. At night only are food preparing fires kindled, not in daytime, lest the smoke be seen curling up. This punanga (place of concealment) is for occupation when a fortified place is taken, then survivors congregate and dwell there, or when a hostile force is said to be approaching, then the women, old folks and children flee at once to that place and live there, so that the fortified place be left clear for the fighting men, not crowded, and that they may not be hampered by the old men, women and children. If you follow my instructions you will never be worsted by an enemy.”

Here Tautoki remarked to Whatonga:—“The isles would be suitable places as a place of sojourn for the old folk, women and children.” (Alluding to Somes and Ward islands.)

Whatonga replied:—“No, the weakness of that plan is that the enemy would see that the old people, women and children were there, whereupon they would leave the bulk of their force to invest the fort, and others would go and capture the islands.”

Here ends the instructions as to the construction of the fortified village, the refuge, and the secondary forts. Again Whatonga spoke:—“There are three weapons of which you should learn the use, the spear, a short striking weapon, and the taiaha or pouwhenua, the two latter being practically one and the same. Do not delay learning the use of these weapons. The principal sign for you to judge by is given by the shoulders of a person, when you see his shoulders move, he is about to deliver a blow at you. Another such sign: watch closely the big toe of his waewae whangai (advanced foot), take no note of his waewae tarewa (rear foot), but gaze only at the foremost foot, or the shoulder that controls the weapon. (As you gaze at the big toe you will see, a brief moment before your adversary delivers his blow, or point, that toe clinch downwards on the earth; that is your moment for action, to parry, avoid, or strike.)

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“If your adversary is grasping his spear, or taiaha or pouwhenua with both hands, note which hand controls the weapon, for an adept is ambidextrous, both right handed and left handed. You also must acquire that facility. Should he shift his weapon to the left, do you also shift yours to the left, and should he shift to the right hand, then you must shift yours to the right, and so hold it, keeping your eyes on his shoulder, or his big toe. Do not disregard these directions, and you will ever be forewarned of a coming blow.

“Now, as to the short striking weapon, there is no particular rule as to its use. If you grasp yours in your right hand, it is well, and should he hold his in his left hand, that also is well, for these are but short weapons, and their use is about equivalent to using the hands only.

“Now, if you and your adversary come to close combat, keep your feet moving, do not stand still. If he turns so as to face your side, then do you turn so as to face him, but be swift to close in on your opponent, and to make a feint so that he will quickly spring aside. Do not allow the point of your weapon to project far outward, but keep the point of your spear, taiaha, or pouwhenua just in front of your advanced foot. If you are using one of the last two, the point is for feinting with, the blade end to strike with. If a spear be your weapon, keep the point quite near your advanced foot, or waewae taki as it is sometimes styled.

“As to the short striking weapon, one mode is to hold it blade downwards; another method is to hold it out with extended arm, that he may be tempted hastily to strike in at you past your guard. When you see him attempt to do so, let your left arm ward off the blow, so that your right arm be free to deliver a blow, and, as he withdraws his weapon-wielding arm he is already struck by your weapon. The place where a person may be quickly killed is the base of the ear, the skull at that part is thin, no second blow will be needed; never strike at the body. If the weapon-wielding arm be exposed, deliver a cut on the upper arm, just below the point of the shoulder, but keep your arm well up as you deliver the blow.”

Again Whatonga spoke:—“In regard to making a sortie out of the fort against the enemy, let the warriors issue forth quickly, two at a time, the couples following up quickly. Let the proved warriors lead, but not to pass out and stand just outside, they should at once run to a clear space, to which tried men will follow them, thus the gateway will be left clear. It also gives courageous men a chance to dash forward and secure the mātāika (first man slain) and so make a name for himself. When all the party is clear of the fort, if the enemy be congregated outside the gateway, charge straight into the body of them, but let the expert weapon-wielders press to the front. That force will not stand against you, be it ever so numerous.”

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Again Whatonga spoke to his children:—“Should you be leading a force against our enemy, send ten nimble legged men in advance, and, when they are well forward, send out the kaikape relief. If this party contains as many as ten trusty men, let five of them follow close behind the nimble footed ones, still at some little distance from them. If the warriors of the other force attack, let them approach close to your first ten, then let them be lured on by a deceptive flight of your nimble ones. When the first ten men turn back, let the five trusty warriors advance slowly, crying out, ‘Turn! Turn!’ merely as a feint, not that they will turn, let the ten retire behind the five and then turn and act as a support for the five braves. Now the other five braves told off to the rear should remain close behind the ten nimble ones. If matters be so conducted, none can prevail against you. The main body is behind ready to rush in, which act should be accompanied by every activity.”

Such was the advice of Whatonga to Tara and his younger brother Tautoki-ihu-nui-a-Whatonga. Having so concluded, Whatonga taught them the mata rakau (charm repeated over weapons in order to render them effective), and the hoa tapuwae (charm used when pursuing a person). Having done so, Whatonga said:—“The mauri (stone employed as a shrine or abiding place for spirit gods) of the principal fort should be taken by you two to the lower side of the beam of the latrine of the fort, and there deposited. It should be a huka-a-tai or an onewa stone, no other kinds should be used. Then locate Tuhinapo and Tu-nui-o-te-ika at that place, the two will be enough, those were the gods dwelling at latrines even from olden times. Maru is another god employed in that manner; these gods protect the fort, give warning of the approach of hostile forces, and also warn armed forces, or village communities of impending misfortunes.”

Having delivered these instructions, Whatonga stated that he intended to return home, but he would yet come back and visit them:—“When your ancestor is concealed within the great stomach of the earth-mother, then will I by degrees move your younger relatives and the people generally to settle the lands on this side of Te Wairoa, and it is for you folks to gradually settle this end of the east coast of the island. If immigrants should arrive after you, send them on to settle on the western coast, and retain Te Mana-o-Kupe and Kapiti islands for yourselves, to serve as a resting place for old men, women and children during such times as you are conducting forays. Do not utilise these isles (Somes and Ward) as such retreats for old men, women and children, lest it should necessitate a division of your weapon-wielding braves, but be strenuous in inciting your nimble footed men to learn the use of arms, that they may become accustomed to thrust and parry in the presence of strange folk.”

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After the return of Whatonga, in the month of Putoki-nui-o-tau (March), the twain turned to the collecting of timber and llianes for house building, and also for the village defences marked off with pegs by their father, by Whatonga.

(Here, as this matter was being recited by the adept Te Matorohanga, one Kereopa enquired:—“O Moi! What was the year in which occurred the events you are narrating, so that we may know the years during which the island was gradually settled, down to the present time.”

Moihi Te Matorohanga replied:—“The native folk had no reckoning of years, as the white man has. The only things that are clear are the months and the days, as also summer and winter.)

Te Matorohanga continued: Let my discourse return to Tara and the younger brother, as also their people. They busied themselves in procuring timber, some in rafting timber, some in felling trees, others in cutting the lops into given lengths, others in splitting, others in hewing, others in carrying the timber to the bank of the river called Heretaunga (the Hutt river), whence they were rafted across to the other side of the Whanga-nui-a-Tara (or Port Nicholson).

But be clear as to this: when Whatonga left his grandfather, Toi, no names had been assigned to Ohiwa, Huiarua, Turanga, Marae-taha, Nuku-taurua, and, down this way, Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara, Porirua and Kapiti; but as to Matiu, Makaro, and Te Mana-o-Kupe, those places had been named by Kupe and his young people; thus the places where they stayed, or went to, possessed names. It was Katorangi, a person fourth in descent from Kupe and Hine-te-aparangi, who stated that his forbear had told him the names of the parts of the island successively named by him and his children.

Well, the main fortified place was erected, that is the stockaded place; when finished, the houses were built within it. There were two good framed houses among them, one of which was named Raukawa after the sea between this island and the other (Cook Straits); this house belonged to Tautoki. The other framed house was named Whare-rangi, as a remembrance of the place where stood (the sacred house of) Wharekura at Te Hono-i-wairua, at Uru (the original homeland of the Maori, situated west of a land named Irihia). The water spring was given the name of Te Puna-o-Tinirau. That name they so gave refers to the place in the ocean where whales are said to originate. The fort was named by them Te Whetu-kairangi, the origin of that name being the fact that they here saw no persons of other tribes, but dwelt in a lonely manner, the stars (whetu) of the heavens - 162 were the only things they had to gaze at every night, hence the name of Te Whetu-kairangi.

When the fort was finished, Te Umu-roimata (wife of Tara) said to Tara:—“You should give your name to the harbour,” to which Tara agreed, hence it was named Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara (the Great Harbour of Tara).


Again Te Umu-roimata addressed Tara:—“Three fortified places should be erected on the other side, on the mainland, so as to observe approaching hostile parties, or visitors from tribes of distant parts, so that you of Te Whetu-kairangi may be prepared. Those forts should be erected as a shelter for Te Whetu-kairangi, lest we be rent by man whilst the sun be shining.”

Tara agreed to those three fortified positions being constructed. Uruhau was built on the southern end of the Ranga-a-Hiwi ridge, and completed; Te Maioha was the big house therein; it was not an elaborate, framed house.

Then Te Aka-tarewa was erected, another pa, on the south side of Matairangi (Mt. Victoria) was the site of that fort. The principal house within it was named Moe-ahuru, which was not of the superior, carefully fitted type. When this fort was completed, another was erected on the extremity of that ridge facing the north (Point Jerningham); when built it was given the name of Te Wai-hirere. The origin of that name was the distressful wet condition of the women and men during a heavy rain storm. So abundant were the waters of the rain storm on that point that a ditch was dug, whereupon the water flowed into the harbour, so the name of Te Wai-hirere (The Gushing Water) was given to that fort. The principal house within it was named Waipuna, a name pertaining to the water supply of that fort, which was an excavated spring, and this name was given to the house.

The difficult part of all their labours was the preparing of the timbers. The length of the secondary posts of Te Whetu-kairangi and the fort of Tautoki, that is Para-ngarehu, on the point of the eastern side (Pencarrow Head) was the site of Para-ngarehu, which was also a large fort, though not so large as Te Whetu-kairangi; well, the length of the intermediate posts was three arm stretches (three fathoms), while the palisades were two fathoms. The secondary posts and palisades were sunk one hau (half fathom) in the ground. There were four stockade rails all lashed to the uprights with aka tokai (stem of climbing plant). The main posts of the stockade were five fathoms in length; the size of those posts, if a single post, was one fathom (in circumference), the secondary posts - 163 being half a fathom in girth, not to speak of the palisades inserted between the posts, which resembled those of a pa (fortified village) of the present time, and the length of which was two fathoms and a half, while they were sunk half a fathom in the earth. Now you can perceive the magnitude of the task (as performed with stone age tools) and the weight of those timbers, as also the labour of floating them from the place at which they were prepared to the other side of the Great Harbour of Tara, timbers for those forts, including the small forts and their houses. The refuge hamlet prepared as a dwelling place for women, old men and children, when fleeing from a fallen fort, or battlefield, was located at Takapau-rangi, at the head of Wainui-o-mata, a lagoon to the eastward of the Great Harbour of Tara, inland of the fort of Para-ngarehu that refuge camp was situated.

Now there were many cultivation grounds, as Kirikiri-tatangi (Seatoun Flat) on the eastern side of Te Whetu-kairangi, also Marae-nui, likewise on the shores of Te Au-a-Tane (entrance channel). Another was Huri-whenua, the place now called Te Aro, which extended as far as the base of Tawatawa to the north west. The place reserved as a pleasure ground (Basin Reserve) is the site of the Hauwai cultivation ground. The place called Watts Farm, that region right through to the western side of Uruhau (pa on hill east side of Island Bay) was all known as Pae-kawakawa, and was a kumara cultivation ground belonging to Hine-kiri. This was a wellborn woman, offspring of Tara, a sister of Wakanui, Hine-kiri being the first born, then Wakanui, then Ti-whana-a-rangi, all were children of Hine-akau, the superior wife of Tara; Hine-akau being a grand-daughter of Whata.


The Wai-hirere fort belonged to Te Rangi-kai-kore, a son of Tuhoto-ariki, elder brother of Turia. He was a well-born man of fine character and great kindness. A certain woman and her three children, of the Mua-upoko tribe, had been captured by a raiding party of Ngati-Rangi. On arriving at the Uruhau fort, which belonged to Pakau, that woman was handed over by Whiri-kai, chief of Ngati-Rangi, to Pakau, as an equivalent for a basket of dried barracoota and a basket of fern-root given him when they were on their way to raid Mua-upoko at the time of the slaughter at Pukehou, which is a pa east of Otaki.

That woman and her children were brought from that place, brought away alive to serve as payment for those food supplies. Te Rangi-kai-kore was staying at that place when Ngati-Rangi arrived, and the woman and her children were handed over to Pakau. When this was done, Pakau rose and said to Te Rangi-kai-kore:—“Let two - 164 go to you to serve as a savoury food to eat with your sweet potatoes; and two to me as a food relish for my daughter, Whakapiriuha.”

Te Rangi-kai-kore said to Pakau and Whirikai:—“Man! Should a person die three deaths, the fallen fort (destroyed home), the handing over as payment for food for you two, and the decision to slay them as a tasty food for you. This is by no means a just procedure of yours.”

He then called to that woman, to Hine-rau:—“Young woman! Arise, let us and your children go to the shelter of Te Whetu-kai-rangi, the refuge of mankind.”

Even so was that woman and her children taken away. On their arrival at that place, Wakanui said:—“O friend! Te Rangi-kai-kore! Go, conduct the woman and her children to Pukehou, there to dwell at their own home. You are right; is it meet that a person die three deaths in one day? They are still living, let them remain so. Do not enslave them.”

Now that is why I remarked that Te Rangi-kai-kore was a fine and noble person.


The raid of Ngati-Rangi clan against the Mua-upoko tribe of the Otaki district resulted in Te Kopara, chief of Mua-upoko, going to Patea to raise a force of the Nga-Rauru and Ngati-Ruanui tribes to avenge the defeat of Mua-upoko at Pukehou, where the chief of the fort was slain. Even so came Tamatea-kopiri 5 and Kakataia, who were the chiefs of that armed force raised by Te Kopara. This force did not advance by way of the vale of Heretaunga (Hutt Valley) against Te Hau-karetu, Pa-whakataka and Pari-horo, the places (forts) occupied by Ngati-Rangi, but struck off to Hataitai, Uruhau, Te Aka-tarewa and Te Wai-hirere, so that, these places having fallen, they might be able to attack Te Whetu-kai-rangi, the high-class fortress of the island of Motu-kairangi.

It was Hine-kiri who gave this name to the island (Miramar Island). Tara had remarked to Umu-roimata:—“What shall be a name for our island on which we are dwelling?”

Te Umu-roimata said:—“Is Te Whetu-kairangi such an insignificant name?”

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“Oh,” said Tara, “That name already applies to the pa.” Whereupon Hine-kiri called out:—“Let Motu-kairangi be a name for it.”

It was agreed to by the elders and people that Motu-kairangi should be its name. The reason why that name was agreed upon was the fact that there was never a level place, or flat, or plain to serve as a strolling place for the people. Looking forth at night one saw nought but the stars and moon; in daytime, only the sun, and the clouds drifting across the heavens, with the sea on either side. Hence was that island named Motu-kairangi, the fortress being Whetu-kai-rangi. On the western side (of the island) is a swampy lagoon where eels were kept, having been brought thither from up Te Awa-kairangi, that is the Heretaunga river (Hutt river).

As to this name of Heretaunga: When Rangi-nui and his party arrived here on a visit to Tara and his younger brother Tautoki, while staying here, seeing nothing but hills on either side, and forest, he said:—“Alas! How dreadful! Is Heretaunga truly your home, that you should bury yourselves in this place?”

Tautoki remarked:—“O man! What is the open basket compared to the closed one wherein the mind is at peace?”

Those remarks of Rangi-nui referred to the fine aspect of Heretaunga (Napier district), its open nature, where an approaching party is seen afar off and cannot be undetected. Whereas Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara is but a poor place, hills and forests alone are seen, and where the sudden appearance of travellers from afar startles one. Now the remark made by Tautoki implied that Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara was a superior place to Heretaunga, where people were safe from the attacks of enemies, and derived sustenance from the ocean, where also cultivated foods were abundant, where abounded food supplies of the ocean, and birds of the forest—for such was the meaning of the ‘closed basket.’

So then Rangi-nui exclaimed:—“O son! Let the river Awa-kai-rangi be Heretaunga in memory of our discourse.” And such was the origin of the name of the Heretaunga river.

Now let our discourse return to the war-party of Te Kopara, of Mua-upoko. The real cause of the consenting by Nga-Rauru and Ngati-Ruanui to that enlisting of their forces to avenge Pukehou was a desire to obtain huia plumes, native garments, and shark-tooth ear pendants. So they came; but this part of the story I did not thoroughly acquire, nevertheless, I heard that that party came by canoe, in four vessels, all war canoes, and landed at Porirua. They encamped at Papa-kowhai (between the Gear homestead and Bowler's wharf), at the eastern side of Porirua, and there awaited the arrival of Mua-upoko.

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Mua-upoko arrived at the time the kowhai (Sophora tetraptera) was in bloom. When the force arrived at the summit of Te Wharau (the range above Kaiwharawhara village, north side), the members thereof saw fires burning at Te Wai-hirere, Te Aka-tarewa, Uruhau, Te Whetu-kairangi, Pae-kawakawa, Motu-haku, Makure-rua, and Wai-komaru, the last two being the fortified villages of Tu-kapua of the Ngati-Mamoe tribe. These two places were in the vicinity of Te Rimurapa (Sinclair Head).

Tamatea-kopiri enquired:—“To which one of the fires we see burning shall we direct our way?”

And it was said:—“Let us keep to the clear way of the far spread region,” that is the part where the people dwelt in scattered communities. To this the party agreed.

Now, during the night of quite a different day, Kauhika, who was an aunt of Te Rangi-kai-kore, and a dreamer of dreams, had a vision. In a dream she saw Te Wharau ridge occupied by men:—“The fire kindled there cast its glow here to Uruhau, and I was alarmed and awoke.”

Te Rangi-kai-kore said:—“Let a person go to Te Wharau, and there stay on the eastern side of the main ridge, where the crest of the spur of Te Wharau breaks down suddenly, there to lurk aside from the path, to see if we cannot light upon a solution of the dream of the old woman.”

So Mohuia and Kaipara were sent, and on arriving at the place advised by Te Rangi-kai-kore, remained there. When the sun became suspended over the bounds of night, the invaders were seen advancing along the Wharau ridge. The scouts returned, and reported:—“There is a hostile force at Te Wharau examining the appearance of the burning of the fires.” Te Rangi at once commanded:—“Go to Te Aka-tarewa and Uruhau in order that the women and children may be sent to Te Whetu-kairangi. Send a person to Para-ngarehu (fortified village at Pencarrow Head) to advise them of the hostile force at Te Wharau that is examining the country.”

Even so Mahuia went to Te Whetu-kairangi, and Kaipara went to Te Aka-tarewa and as far as Uruhau. The canoes of the local people were taken across to Motu-kairangi (Miramar Island), while certain persons went to watch the main ridge extending from Te Wharau by way of the spur extending towards the south. A man was despatched to Puke-ahu (Mt. Cook), above Hauwai (Basin Reserve), for it is said to have been a moonlight night. The enemy was now seen advancing along the beach at Kumu-toto (Woodward Street). The scouts of Puke-ahu returned and reported the rear of the force as passing Waititi (foot of Charlotte Street) while the head was at Kumu-toto. ‘The men are ranked as close together as trees in a forest grove.’ The scouts then remained at Kaipapa (site of Vice-regal residence), on the - 167 eastern side of Hauwai, there to await developments, and to note which fort the enemy made for. It was then seen that the force was moving directly on Uruhau to deliver an attack.

When the stars of the morning were high up, the people of Te Wai-hirere (at Point Jerningham) marched out and joined the people of Te Aka-tarewa. Then the people of Uruhau began to move out. One division of the invading force made for the sea beach below the Uruhau fortress, while the other division occupied the ridge; thus they invested the fort. Pahau, the chief of Uruhau, was now convinced that the enemy would be defeated by him, and he also knew that the men of Te Wai-hirere and Te Aka-tarewa were outside the fort waiting for him to sally forth. There also were Tara and Tautoki, who had ascended the ridge at Orongo (ridge extending from signal station to eastern head of Lyall Bay), a name given by Tamatea-ariki on his arrival at Te Whetu-kairangi. He ascended that ridge to obtain a view of the Great Harbour of Tara, also of the other island. ‘Takitumu’ (his vessel) was below, at Te Awa-a-Taia, being relashed as to her top-strakes, and having gum of the houhou (Nothopanax arboreum) worked into the lashing holes, and, when this was done, ‘Takitumu’ went to Arapawa, that is to Te Wai-pounamu (the South Island). It was Kupe who gave this name to that island; and by him also was the first greenstone found at Ara-hura, on the west side of that island.

However, Tara and Tautoki ascended that ridge at Orongo, there to await the attack of the enemy on Uruhau. As the light of morn came the enemy force was seen on the beach below the fort of Uruhau, and the men of the land had moved out of Uruhau, as was denoted by the voice of Pakau being heard shouting out, “Charge! Charge!” Some of the local braves had diverged by the track to the beach, where fighting had commenced, while those of Te Wai-hirere and Te Aka-tarewa joined the Uruhau men. Te Rangi-kai-kore cried out:—“O Pakau! Attack! Join in!” On hearing this the enemy fled to the forest to the west of Uruhau. Then fighting was carried on at the seaward side, and Te Toko, one of the chiefs of the enemy force, was slain in a fight at Waitaha, on the beach at the promontory on the western side of Te Awa-a-Taia.

When night fell, the people of this part, the clan Ngati-Hinewai, bethought them that the enemy might turn to and dig up their seed kumara, which had been planted and were sprouting, so they pulled them up during the night. This act was the cause of the name Ngati-hutihuti-po (The Night pullers) being assigned to the clan Ngati-Hinewai.

This task completed, all crossed over the channel and entered Te Whetu-kairangi. When Te Rangi-kai-kore, Pakau and Te Piki-kotuku, the chiefs of the forts of the mainland, arrived, the women, children and old men had crossed over to Para-ngarehu, where they - 168 were then staying. Dwelling within Te Whetu-kairangi nought remained save weapon-wielding braves; the fort was well manned, for Ngati-Tara numbered six (? hundred) twice told at that time, while the enemy force of Ngati-Ruanui and Mua-upoko was four hundred once told.

That night the bodies of Te Toko and Whakatau (two slain chiefs of the invaders) were burned with fire in Hoewai (Houghton Bay), west of Te Rae-haihau (western headland of Lyall Bay) on the coast.

Next morning the invaders burned the forts of Uruhau, Te Aka-tarewa and Te Wai-hirere, the huts in all the cultivation grounds at Pae-kawakawa and all other cultivations of the mainland. The raiders then betook themselves to the making of rafts, whereby to cross over to Motu-kairangi. Having all assembled on Motu-kairangi, they then invested the Whetu-kairangi fort. One hundred were stationed at Takapuna, one hundred at Kirikiri-tatangi (Seatoun), one hundred at Te Mirimiri, and one hundred at the side toward Kaiwaka, the lagoon on the western side of Te Whetu-kairangi, thus was Te Whetu-kairangi invested. Fern was obtained from the mainland wherewith to set fire to the stockade defences of the fortress, to be kindled when wind sprang up. A contention ensued in the rolling of bundles of fern against the defences, which did not reach them, so energetic were the men in the fort in casting whip-spears from the fighting stages of the fort. Seven men were slain by the garrison by means of these spears slung with a whip from the elevated platforms. This weapon was of this form: one end was brought to a point and deeply notched behind the point; when this notched end pierced a person, it broke off in his body. (It is said that some of these rough spears had two such notches, and, when a man was pierced with one, and a person endeavoured to pull it out, then it broke at the second notch, the one nearest the point, which end piece was left in the wound, and would assuredly cause death.)

It is said that the investing force camped out in the open, and on a certain night came on a southerly storm accompanied by rain, whereupon the invaders were greatly distressed by the rain and cold, even to the next day. Also they suffered for want of food, for they had consumed all the kumara sets they had dug up in the cultivation grounds. The food supplies of the ocean, and paua (Haliotis), Kuku (Mytilus), and pipi (Chione) of Te Awa-a-Taia were unprocurable on account of the storm.

Then Tara said to his warriors:—“To-morrow, in broad daylight, let us issue forth, and let three men challenge the company, while those behind press on and cover them. Grant them no rest; ere the fight has raged long, they will be wearied on account of their hunger and exposure to the storm.”

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All the people within Te Whetu-kairangi agreed to this action. In the dead of night they prepared food; as they were eating it day came. Then Te Whetu-kairangi poured forth its braves. On account of the heavy fall of snow of the previous night continuing until the sortie was made by the warriors, when the enemy realised their action the whole six hundred once told had issued forth from the fort.

The invaders fled to the western side of Te Awa-a-Taia; some reached it in safety, others, owing to the flood tide, perished in the waters, while yet others were slain by the local folk. Tamatea-kopiri and Marohia were the only chiefs killed; one of the chiefs perished in the waters and his body was cast on shore. The story is that many escaped, that is they crossed the channel of Te Awa-a-Taia, floated across it, and when the pursuers arrived at the shore of Te Awa-a-Taia, the majority had already crossed. This was known by the number of dead, which amounted to one hundred odd. It is said that most of the dead were of Mua-upoko. Here ended this fight.

At this period the folk occupying the three pas on the Ranga-a-Hiwi ridge were known as Ngati-Hinewai.

(To be continued.)

1   This is the ‘Sage’ of our Memoirs, Vol. III. and IV.—Editor.
2   These Chatham Islanders called themselves Maioriori when Europeans first went among them.
3   Hine-moana, personified form of the ocean.
4   Hine-moana—The Ocean Maid. Personified form of the ocean.
5   In the “Journal of the Polynesian Society,” Vol. IX., p. 229, is given a genealogy from Turi, showing one Tamatea-kopiri as his grandson. The latter flourished twenty-three generations ago. This, however, may not be the same chief.