Volume 2 1893 > Volume 2, No.1, March 1893 > The fall of Pukehina, Oreiwhata, and Poutuia Pas, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, by Timi Wata Rimini, p 43-50
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Illustration
THE FALL OF PUKEHINA, OREIWHATA, AND POUTUTA PAS, BAY OF PLENTY, NEW ZEALAND.

IN a previous paper by Timi Wata Rimini, allusion was made to the inhabitants of New Zealand who were found here on the arrival of the historical canoes in, or about the beginning of the fourteenth century. The following account also refers to several of the tribes who at that time lived in the Bay of Plenty, and who were finally extinguished as tribes at the time of the fall of the above pas, the remnants being absorbed in the conquering tribes. The names of several of these tribes were given to me by Taupe Pururu, an old man of the Ngatiawa tribe of Whakatane, in the Bay of Plenty, and some of them are mentioned by Timi Wata in his paper. These people were stated to have been living along the coasts when the Mata-atua canoe, under the command of Toroa, landed at Whakatane from Hawaiki.

If we allow 20 years to a generation, and suppose that Mara-ika must have been at least 20 years old at the time of the fall of Pukehina, we shall find that this event occurred about the year 1690. It is probable that the people of the pa had a mixture of the Arawa blood in their veins, for these latter people were their near neighbours on the west, and at the time of the siege had been in the country some 250 years or more; indeed, it is not improbable that one of the clans mentioned—Waitaha-turauta—derived its name from Waitaha-nui-a-Hei (the son of Hei), one of the chiefs who came over in the Arawa canoe. However this may be, the other clans named are believed to be some of the original people of the country. The following are the names of the ancient clans of that part of the Bay of Plenty which lies around Whakatane, referred to above; they are all said to be of “Te whanau a Toi”: “The family of Toi,” or his descendants:—(1.) Te - 44 Rarauhe-turukiruki, (2.) Te Rarauhe-maimai, (3.) Te Tururu-mauku, (4.) Te Raupo-ngaoheohe, (5.) Te Tawa-rariki, (6.) Te Kotore-o-hua.

The three pas mentioned above are situated about five miles to the eastward of Maketu, and about thirty miles westward from Whakatane. Though the fall of Pukehina occurred so many years ago, its earthen ramparts are still most distinctly to be seen, indeed are almost in as good a state of preservation as when the siege took place probably, although the wooden pallisading which formerly stood on the top of each rampart has decayed and disappeared.

The story is a veritable chapter in the history of New Zealand, and is interesting as showing the effect produced by a curse on the sensitive feelings of the Maori.

S. Percy Smith.
KO TE HORONGA O PUKEHINA, O OREIWHATA ME POUTUIA.

Ko enei pa me tenei whenua katoa no Waitaha-turauta. Ko nga iwi i rokohanga mai e Maruahaira i konei, ko Waitaha-turauta, ko Te Raupo-ngaoheohe, ko Te Rarauhe-turukiruki me te tini o nga iwi i konei. Na Maruahaira katoa enei iwi i patu i nga ra o namata, katahi ka riro tenei whenua i a ia.

Ko tenei tangata, ko Maruahaira, i Hakuranui1 e noho ana, i tua atu o Turanga-nui, i ko mai o Uawa. I reira katoa hoki nga tini tupuna o te iwi Maori e noho ana i nga ra o mua. He roa te wa i noho ai ki reira, ka wehewehe ratou ki te mata o te whenua. Ka ahu te haere a Maruahaira ki te tai whakararo, a, noho rawa atu i Kaputerangi, ara, ki Whakatane,—no muri nei i tapaina ai e Wairaka ki te ingoa nei ko Whakatane, no tana whakatauki i te whakauranga mai o Mata-atua. Ka u te waka nei ki uta katahi ia ka tu ki runga ka mea; “Kia tu whakatane ake ahau i au,” koia Whakatane.2

Na, ka noho nei a Maruahaira i Whakatane, he roa te wa. Ka ki atu ki tana tama matamua ki a Maraika; “E tama, haere ki te arataki i to tuahine, i a Kuao-takupu.”3 Na, haere atu ana ia, ka ahu te haere ki te tai whakararo. Ka tae ki te Awa-o-te-atua, ka ui ake ki nga pa e tu iho ana i runga i te maunga, i te Kaokaoroa4; “Kaore he wahine i kona?” Ka whakahokia iho e te hunga o te pa; “Kaore kau i konei.” Pena tonu tana mahi, he ui haere i nga pa, a, ka tae ki Pukehina. Ka ui ake ki nga tangata o Oreiwhata pa, ka mea; “Kaore ranei a Kuao-takupu i kona?” Ka whakahokia iho e te hunga o te pa; “Tenei a Kuao-takupu.”

Ka ora te ngakau o te maia nei; katahi ka piki ake ki te pa. Tae atu, kei te tangi ki te tuahine, ka mutu. Katahi ka haere tona tuahine ki te paoi aruhe mana; i te tomonga atu o tona tuahine ki te whata, ka kite atu ia i te whaka-rae o te aruhe. Ka maoa mai nga kai mana; he kiore,5 he manu, nga kinaki.

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Ka tae ki te ra e hoki mai ai ia, ka homai e tona tuahine nga aruhe ki a ia. Katahi ka ki puku mai tona tuahine ki a ia; “Haere, korero atu ki to taua matua—ki a Maruahaira—kua kangaia ia e taku tane, e Te Arairehe.” Ka uia mai e tona tungane—e Maraika—“Pehea te kanga?” Ka whakahokia atu e tona tuahine,—ka mea; “I te wa e hao ana i nga kupenga ika ka pae mai ki uta, ka patai iho taku tane—a Te Arairehe—‘He aha te ika o te moana?’ Ka whakahokia ake e te kai-hao ika, ‘He koheriheri,’ ka whakahokia iho e Te Arairehe, ‘Ko rihariha o Maruahaira.’”6

Heoi, ka pouri te tungane; ka hoki. Ka tae ki Whakatane, ka uia mai e Maruahaira; “He aha te korero?” Katahi te tangata ra ka hoatu i te pupu aruhe—he motuhanga nga aruhe nei; katahi a Maruahaira ka whakatauki: “Ko te pito kumara, me te pirau taro kua kitea e au, ka whai ahau ko te pito aruhe.”7 me te whakarongo o nga iwi. Ka ki mai ano tana tama—a Maraika—“Kua oti hoki koe te kanga e Te Arairehe!” Ano ra ko Maruahaira:—“Pehea te kanga?” Ka whakahokia mai e Maraika, “I ki iho ia ki nga koheriheri o te one i Maramarua, ‘Ko rihariha o Maruahaira.’”

Heoi, ka tino pouri i konei te maia nei, a Maruahaira; ka whakahau atu ki ona rangatira-whakahaere: “Aukahatia nga waka-taua!” Kihai i roa i nga mano,—kua oti te aukaha. Te mahi ra o te Tararo, o te Pitau, o te Tote!8

Ka tae ra pea te rongo o te ope nei ki nga iwi e noho mai ra i te Kaokaoroa, i Otamarakau, tae rawa atu ana ki Pukehina, ka ikiiki noa iho i te whakamataku. Kihai i roa, ka rewa te ope nei ma waho i te moana; i taria ano hoki ki te “Paki-o-Ruhi” rewa ai taua ope nei. Ka tu ki waho o Toangapoto, ka kitea mai e nga mano-iwi e noho mai ra; ano ka tae ki waho o Te Kaokaoroa ka huri katoa iho nga mano-tini o nga pa ra ki te akau whai ai i te ope nei. Ko nga waka ra ki waho rere ai, ko nga mano ra ki uta haere ai, nawai, a, ka ngaro te akau i nga mano ra. E hao ana ra pea i tetahi miti!9

Ka tae ki waho o Otamarakau pa, ka ki atu a Maruahaira ki a Te Hapu:10 “Taua ka ruru ki uta!”11 Ka ki mai a Te Hapu: “Ahu atu koe ki uta, ka ahu ahau ki Motiti.” Heoi, rere ana a Te Hapu ki Motiti, ka tika tonu a Maruahaira ki Pukehina. Ka tae ki waho o Pukehina te taua ra, ka tu iho te puhi a Te Arairehe i runga i te tihi o tona pa, o Oreiwhata, kia tau mai te ope ra i waho; rongo tonu a Maruahaira.

Ano ka ki noa te tai, katahi ka hinga te puhi a te maia e tu iho ra i runga i te tihi o tona pa—a Te Arairehe—kia whakaheke mai nga waka ra ki uta. Kua kapi tonu hoki a uta i nga mano-tini, kua kau mai hoki ki te whatianga ngaru whanga atu ai ki nga waka nei. Katahi ano ka pa te whakahau a te maia nei, a Maruahaira, ki tona ope; “Hoea! kia rite te pounga o te hoe ki te moana.” Ko tana tama matamua, ko Maraika, i te ihu o tetehi o nga waka; ko tana - 46 tama potiki, ko Patukarihi, i te ihu o tetehi o nga waka. Ko te kaha o te hoe me te kaha o te ngaru ki te karawhiu i te mahi nei, i te waka-taua ki uta. Tino rerenga i roto i te tini o te tangeta e tu mai ra i roto i te wai, anana! me he ia taiheke e aki ana ki te tahatika.

Kihai ano i ata tae ki uta, ka pekena, e Maraika, tamarahi ai, “Kai au te ika i te ati!” He pekenga to Maraika, he pekenga hoki to Patukarihi i te ihu o tetehi o nga waka, ka tamarahi, “Kai au te tatao!”12 Heoi ano, ka kokiri katoa te ope ki te patu haere i nga mano-tini i uta ra. Ka whati; whaia ake; horo katoa enei pa i a Maruahaira. He mano-tini i te takotoranga. Ka mate katoa enei iwi i a Maruahaira, ara:—a Waitaha-turauta, a Te Raupo-ngaoheohe, a Tururu-mauku, a Te Rarauhe-turukiruki, a Te Haere-marire, a Te Pururu-tataka.

Ka riro katoa tenei whenua i a Maruahaira; mate noa ia, ka tupu ake ko tona uri ko Maraika; noho tuturu tonu ki runga i tenei whenua. Mate noa a Maraika, tupu ake ko tona uri ko Kaiakau, noho tuturu tonu ki tenei whenua. Para tonu te noho o nga whakatupuranga i muri i a Maruahaira tae noa ki te whakatupuranga i a Te Rangituakoha ratou ko ona teina. Kua tae mai tenei ki te ra o te Ture. Ka mate a Te Rangituakoha ratou ko ona teina, ka tupu ko Mita te Rangituakoha raua ko tona teina ko Timi Wata Rimini, a, e noho tonu ki runga ki te whenua nei.

Na, no Maruahaira tae noa mai ki a Mita, ko Timi Wata, ka te kau nga whakatupuranga, ara:—

  • Ko Maruahaira tana
  • ” Maraika ”
  • ” Kaiakau ”
  • ” Te Ingo ”
  • ” Paretaira ”
  • ” Tirangi ”
  • ” Ngamakini ”
  • ” Te Awhe-o-te-rangi ”
  • ” 1 Te Rangituakoha, 2 Pakeke, 3 Rimimi, tana ko Timi Wata Rimini
  • ” Mita Te Rangituakoha

No te tau 1878 ka whakawakia tenei whenua ki te tikanga o te ture Kooti-whakawa-whenua-Maori, e Tiati Hiira ki Maketu; ka riro i a Timi Wata tenei whenua.

I muri iho ka whakawakia ano, ka hinga katoa nga keehi tawari a Te Arawa, i runga i te toa, me ta Ngati-makino keehi, i ki nei i a Waitaha-nui-a-Hei tenei whenua. Heoi, ka tino tuturu ki a Timi Wata ratou ko tona hapu ko Ngati-whakahemo—hapu o Te Arawa—e noho nei i Maketu i runga ano i nga take-toa o Maruahaira.

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TRANSLATION.

These pas and all this country formerly belonged to the Waitahaturauta tribe. The clans that Maruahaira found here on his arrival were: Waitaha-turauta, Te Raupo-ngaoheohe, Te Rarauhe-turukiruki, and the other numerous tribes of the land. Maruahaira killed all these people in the days of old, hence this country passed to him.

This man Maruahaira lived at Hakuranui,1 between Gisborne and Uawa (or Tologa Bay). It was there that all the many ancestors of the Maori people lived in ancient times; they lived there for a long time, and then spread over the land. Maruahaira journeyed to the northern coast, and finally took up his abode at Kaputerangi, that is to say, at Whakatane,—a name which was afterwards given by Wairaka, when she uttered her famous “saying” on the arrival of Mata-atua. When that canoe landed, she stood up in her canoe and said: “Let me act like a man,”—hence Whakatane.2

Behold then, Maruahaira dwelt at Whakatane; he remained there for a long time. Then he said to his first-born—to Maraika—“Oh my son, go and seek for thy sister, for Kuao-takupu.”3 So the son went on his journey and directed his course by the northern sea (Bay of Plenty). When he arrived at Te-Awa-o-te-Atua, he asked of the people of the pa which stood on the hill at Te Kaokaoroa4: “Is there any [strange] woman there?” The people of the pa returned: “There is none here.” Thus did he, asking at each pa, until he arrived at Pukehina. He called up to the people of Oreiwhata pa, and said: “Is, perchance, Kuao-takupu there?” And the people of the pa replied: “Kuao-takupu is here”

Our hero felt delighted [at the success of his search]; he climbed up to the pa. Arrived there, he cried (tangi) over his sister; and when that was ended, she proceded to pound fern-root as food for him. As the sister entered the storehouse he saw the great piles of fern-root packed away there. Then the food was cooked for him; rats5 and birds were the relish to the rest of the food.

When the day for his return came, his sister gave him a present of choice fern-root to take with him, and at the same time whispered to him: “Return, and say unto our father Maruahaira that he has been cursed by my husband, by Te Arairehe.” The brother Maraika asked: “What was the nature of the curse?” The sister replied and said: “When the fishing-net was drawn, and the fish heaped on the shore, my husband—Te Arairehe—called down: ‘What are fish of the sea?’ and the fishermen replied to him: ‘They are koheriheri. ’ Then, exclaimed Te Arairehe, ‘They are the disgusting things of Maruahaira!’”6

That was enough; the bother returned full of dark thoughts. Arrived at Whakatane, his father Maruahaira asked him: “What is the news?” Then the young man gave to his father the bundle of - 48 fern-root; it was of the best motuhanga kind. Maruahaira uttered the following saying: “Blemished kumaras and rotten taros have I seen before, I now possess some fern-root fragments,”7 whilst the people listened. His son then said: “You have been cursed by Te Arairehe!” Said Maruahaira: “What was the curse?” Maraika replied: “He said of the koheriheri on the sands of Maramarua: ‘They are the disgusting things of Maruahaira!’”

Then was the hero—Maruahaira—very much troubled. He issued his orders to his commanding chiefs: “Fasten on the top-sides of the war-canoes.” This did not take long for the many people to do; the fastenings were soon finished. Then indeed were seen the several kinds of war-canoes—the tararo, the pitau, and the tete!8

The news of the organisation of a war-party soon reached Te Kaokaoroa, Otama-rakau, and even unto Pukehina, and the people trembled with fear. It was not long before the war-party was afloat out on the ocean; they had waited until the “Paki-o-Ruhi” (the fine weather of February) to start. When they were opposite Toangapoto they were seen by the many people living there, and when they got off Te Kaokaoroa the numberless people of that pa descended to the coast, and following the war-party along the beach, as the latter sailed along outside, until the beach seemed hidden by the numbers of people. Perhaps they expected to net some fresh meat!9

Arrived off Otamarakau pa, Maruahaira said to Te Hapu:10 “Let us two go (enter) ashore!”11 Te Hapu said: “Go thou ashore, whilst I go on to Motiti.” Enough; Te Hapu sailed away to Motititi, whilst Maruahaira went on direct to Pukehina. When the army got off that place, the signal of Te Arairehe was stuck up on the top of his pa—at Oreiwhata—as a sign to the host to anchor outside. Maruahaira at once complied.

When the tide was at its full, down came the signal, which was standing on the top of the pa of Te Arairehe—it was to indicate that the canoes should land. All the coast was covered by numberless people; some had even waded out to the breakers to await the arrival of the canoes on shore. Then was heard the command of the hero—of Maruahaira—to his host: “Paddle! Let the dip of the paddles into the sea be altogether.” His first-born—Maraika—was in the bows of one of the canoes, and his youngest son—Patukarihi—in the bows of another. Between the strength of the paddles and the force of the waves, the canoes were quickly rushed ashore. They flew in amongst the numbers of men standing in the water. Ah, it was like the strong current of the flood-tide dashing on the coast!

Hardly had they reached the shore when Maraika jumped out and shouted his war-cry, “I have the first fish!” As Maraika sprang out, so also did Patukarihi, from the bows of one of the other canoes, shouting his war-cry. “I have the second!”12 Enough, then all the - 49 host dashed forward to the fight with the numberless people on shore. They broke and fled; they were followed up; and all the pas fell to Maruahaira. The fallen were numberless. All these tribes were killed by Maruahaira, that is to say, Waitaha-turauta, Te Raupo-ngaoheohe, Tururu - mauku, Te Rarauhe - turukiruki, Te Haere - marire, and Pururu-tataka.

All this country passed to Maruahaira, and at his death his offspring Mairaka grew up and remained continuously on the land. On the death of Maraika, his offspring Kaiakau grew up and lived constantly on the land. So it continued during each generation after Maruahaira down to the generation of Te Rangituataka and his brothers,—that is, down to the time of the [English] law. When Te Rangituataka and his brothers died, his son Mita te Rangituataka and his cousin Timi Wata Rimini grew up and dwelt continuously on the land.

Now, from Maruahaira down to the time of Mita and Tima Wata, there are ten generations, thus:—

  • Ko Maruahaira whose son was
  • ” Maraika ”
  • ” Kaiakau ”
  • ” Te Ingo ”
  • ” Paretira ”
  • ” Tirangi ”
  • ” Ngamakini, ”
  • ” Te Awhe-o-te-rangi ”
  • ” 1 Te Rangituakoha, 2 Pakeke, 3 Rimini, whose son was Timi Wata Rimini
  • ” Mita Te Rangituakoha

In the year 1878 this land was adjudicated on according to the law of the Native Land Court by Judge Heale at Maketu, when the land was awarded to Timi Wata. Afterwards, the title was again enquired into, when all the counter-claims of Te Arawa through conquest, and those of Ngatimakino, who claimed through Waitaha-nui-a-Hei, fell through. Enough, the title was finally vested in Timi Wata and his tribe Ngatiwhakahemo—a sub-tribe of Te Arawa—who live at Maketu, through the conquest of Maruahaira.

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[Page of endnotes]

1  Hakuranui. This is the name of a place said to be between Gisborne and Tologa Bay, which is believed by the Ngatiawa and some other tribes to be the “source of the Maori people,”—Te puna o te iwi Maori. I first heard of this place 33 years ago, when the Ngatiawa people of the West Coast told me it was the landing place of the Mata-atua canoe on her arrival from Hawaiki, but that in cansequence of a quarrel between the captain of the canoe and his brother—the latter having taken improper liberties with the former's wife—the Mata-atua sailed on and finally landed at Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty. Archdeacon W. L. Williams at my request kindly made some enquiries recently as to whether any knowledge of this place still existed in the locality, and, strange to say, nothing is known of it by the people resident there. I do not, however, on that ground reject the tradition, and believe that we shall yet locate the exact position of Hakuranui, and learn its history.
2  Whakatane, the well-known river in the Bay of Plenty. There is very interesting story connected with this “saying” of Wairaka's—too long to repeat fully here—but, briefly, it refers to the following incident, which was first told me by Major Mair. When the Mata-atua canoe touched the shore, the crew looked up and beheld on the cliffs above them a pa belonging to the ancient people of the country. An unaccountable feeling of alarm and uncertainty seemed at once to paralyse the crew, no one offered to land, but each sat moodily, paddle in hand, awaiting someone to break the spell which appeared to bind them. Of a sudden, up sprang Wairaka, the spirited daughter of Toroa the captain, and, flourishing her paddle, shouted out, “Let me act like a man [as no one else will],” and jumped ashore. Whakatane means “man-like,” or “masculine,”—hence the river ever since has been called by that name in memory of this lady's spirit and courage in daring to do what all her fellows feared to try. The author is, however, wrong in stating that Whakatane got its name after the arrival there of Maruahaira, for Wairaka lived some eight or nine generations before him.
3  Kuao-takupu, “the young gannet.” The story does not tell us how Maruahaira's daughter became lost to her family, so that it became necessary for the brother to go in search of her. Seemingly her marriage with Te Arairehe had taken place some time before the epoch of the events herein narrated.
4  Te Kaokaoroa is the name of the high cliff facing the coast just to the west of the point where the Matata River falls into the sea, some thirteen miles from Whakatane.
5  He Kiore, “rats.” It is perhaps necessary to say, for the benefit of foreign readers, that the kiore-maori, or Native rat, was esteemed all over Polynesia as a delicate morsel. Unlike the omniverous Norway rat—so familiar to us—the Maori rat fed exclusively on dainty herbs and roots, so that there was really nothing more disgusting in eating it than in a hare or rabbit.
6  Ko rihariha o Maruahaira. The literal translation of this is: “The lice of the head of Maruahaira.” Now, to to the Maori idea, the head was extremely sacred, and therefore to call the fish which were to eaten by this name, and thereby associate food with the tapued head of his father-in-law, was a most dreadful curse according to all rules of Maori etiquette, and only to be wiped out with Te Atairehe's heart's blood.
7  The true sense of Maruahaira's words are not given by the bare translation of them, but they are intended to convey the idea that, notwithstanding the superior quality of the Motuhanga (considered to be the best kind of edible fern-root) having come from the country of one who had cursed the speaker, they were not relished as the blemished kumara and rotten taro of his own farm.
8  Three kinds of canoes are mentioned—The tararo is a vessel without top-sides or carved figure-head, the pitau has a high carved stern-post and carved figure-head, the tete, smaller than the last, and without the carved figure-head or stern. Many of these canoes would carry over a hundred men.
9  Our author here uses the Maori pronunciation of the English word “meat,” and intends to indicate that the people on shore looked forward to the usual cannibal feast following a battle.
10  Te Hapu is said to be the ancestor of the people who own (in part) the island of Motiti, off Tauranga, in the Bay of Plenty.
11  “Let us two go ashore.” A chief always addressed his army as “us two,” or “we two.”
12  The first slain in a battle was called mataika or ika i te ati, the second tatao. Man was frequently alluded to as a “fish,” as ika in this instance.