Volume 1 1892 > Volume 1, No. 2, 1892 > The occupation of the Chatham Islands by the Maoris in 1835: Part 1 - the Migration of Ngatiawa to Port Nicholson, by A. Shand
THE OCCUPATION OF THE CHATHAM ISLANDS BY THE MAORIS IN 1835.
PART I.—THE MIGRATION OF NGATIAWA TO PORT NICHOLSON.
THE following account has been derived from the Maoris themselves, many of those who supplied the information having been actors in the scenes here related. The story has been checked wherever possible by members of other tribes, who either themselves or their fathers were engaged in the same incidents. Recourse has been had to European sources for some of the dates, for the Maoris do not know anything of chronology in our sense of the word. Such as it is, it is believed to be the fullest account ever yet published of the migration of the Taranaki tribes from their former homes to the neighbourhood of Cook's Strait, whilst the actual occupation of the Chatham Islands by them has never before been written. Mr. W. T. L. Travers, in vol. V., Transactions of the N.Z. Institute, has given an interesting account of the Ngatitoa migration from Kawhia, which is intimately mixed up with that of Ngatiawa. The Maori account of the seizure of the French whaler Jean Bart places an entirely different aspect on this episode to that given by the French, and proves that the Maoris were not so much to blame in the matter as has generally been supposed. The history of the Maori occupation of the Auckland Islands is quite new, and adds another interesting chapter to the history of the race. Brief mention of this occupation is to be found scattered through various works, but none so complete as that now given by Mr. Shand as derived from the people who formerly resided on the Island.
In narrating the occupation of the Chatham Islands by the Maoris of New Zealand—for it can scarcely be called a conquest: the aboriginal Moriori inhabitants absolutely made no resistance—it may prove interesting to give a slight sketch of the causes, as related by themselves, of their leaving their ancestral homes in Kawhia and Taranaki, and of their subsequent settlement in Waikanae and other places on the north shore of Cook's Strait prior to their occupation of Port Nicholson (Whanganui-a-Tara). It was from the latter place, after seizing the brig Rodney, that they compelled the captain to take them to the Chatham Islands, or Wharekauri, so called by the Maoris from a small Kainga on the north coast of that name. The real name of the island is Rēkŏhū (Maori, Rangikohu), which means “misty land,” presumably so named from the hazy atmosphere of the island.
In the first place, the advent of Europeans to New Zealand in the early years of this century had a very disturbing influence on the Maori population generally, and more especially on those who first procured firearms. The tribes first acquiring them, although as a rule not a whit braver than their neighbours, instantly made themselves terrible, and sufficiently powerful to subdue their neighbours and adversaries. For instance, the Ngapuhi, with a taua (war party) of hokowhitu (140), which only possessed two old flint muskets—one of French, the other of English make—made the circuit of the North Island, going by the east, and returning by the west coast. Their mode of operation—as told by one of themselves—was to fire off these two muskets at their adversaries at the offset, who immediately on hearing the report broke and fled, on which the others rushed at once in full pursuit, knocking their enemies down and killing them as they ran away. The Maoris, however, were not slow to find out the weak points in such a mode of warfare; later on the Whanganui people managed to inveigle another Ngapuhi taua into a thicket, where their guns could not be used to advantage, and with superior numbers attacked and killed the whole party, after which Ngapuhi returned no more to trouble them.
About 1819, Rauparaha, with his tribe, the Ngatitoa—a section of the Ngatiraukawa tribe—were living in Kawhia, and he had been indulging his ferocious propensities by murdering his Waikato and Ngatimaniapoto neighbours. Having killed Te Uira and others, the Waikato tribes, led by Potatau te Wherowhero, of Ngatimahuta, combined with Ngatimaniapoto, and made war upon Ngatitoa, who lost many lives, and were fast being hemmed in. On seeing this, Te Rangituatea, a Ngatimaniapoto chief, but a connection of Rauparaha's, opened the way for him, and told him “to go;” and so he was able to leave Kawhia, where he was then besieged, and would in the end have been killed. The account of his leaving Kawhia is given in vol. VI. of Mr. John White's “Ancient History of the Maori” by Tamihana - 85 Rauparaha, who, however, does not go into details, or narrate anything regarding his father's deeds which called for Te Wherowhero's pursuit of him and his people to obtain revenge.
After his escape from Kawhia he came to Okoki in the Urenui district of Taranaki, and resided there. This migration was called the Heke-mai-i-raro.1 The Waikatos, not having had sufficient revenge, followed him up, and attacked him there, together with their old enemies the Ngatimutunga, the owners of the soil. Te Wherowhero brought a large war party with him, including many very notable Waikato and Ngatimaniapoto chiefs, and encamped at a small ridge called Te Motunui, on the south side of the Mimi River, where the Waikatos attacked Te Rauparaha and his Ngatimutunga allies under their chiefs Rangiwahia, Rangitokona, and many others. The fight was commenced by the Waikatos, led by Potatau, Te Hiakai, and other chiefs. Whilst Te Rauangaanga, Potatau's father, was busy on the eminence with his incantations “concealing the stars,” his brave son was fighting on the flat below. In the Waikato's first great rush they carried everything before them, and the Ngatimutunga, with Rauparaha, broke and ran back in the direction of Okoki, a conical hill a little to the north of the Urenni River. Te Hiakai, flushed with the intoxication of victory, shouted, “Paddle, paddle the canoe, that it may be heard; a battle won, a pa taken!” (“Hoea, hoea te waka, kia rongona ai, he parekura, he pa horo”); but he little dreamt of the sequel. The Ngatimutunga and their allies meanwhile had lost several men, and more were being killed as they retreated towards Okoki. Seeing this, one of them—Ketu te Ropu—who was running away with Te Rauparaha, kept saying to him “Turn,” a request which the latter refused to comply with until he had got to the kaumatuas and old chiefs, Rangiwahia and others, who were in reserve. The Waikatos, having followed in pursuit for over half a mile, were in straggling formation, and out of wind, and while some of them were cutting up the slain, Rauparaha and his party made a fierce and determined rush at their pursuers, killing all the foremost men, including Te Hiakai, Hore, Mama, and others. Te Hiakai had a gun, the possession of which formed the subject of a contest between two warriors of the Ngatimutunga, and he would have escaped whilst the others were fighting for its possession had not another person perceived him in time, and killed him. At this period the fight was raging fiercely; Rauparaha, with his Ngatimutunga allies, were pressing the Waikatos sorely, and it is alleged that but for the extreme bravery of Potatau the latter's tribe would have been annihilated. Potatau was very hard pressed, but fought like a lion; many attacked - 86 him, but paid dearly for their temerity. One Puanaki, who died long afterwards in the Chatham Islands, made a blow at him with his taiaha, just grazing his forehead. Potatau replied to this by a return blow, knocking out one of Puanaki's eyes, but barely escaped a second adversary's taiaha, which was only intercepted by a branch of tutu. It is said also that at some part of this fight Potatau met a celebrated warrior of the Ngatimutunga named Pitawa; each faced the other, making slight feints, but neither daring to strike the first blow with his taiaha, both well knowing that he who did so would lose his life, The fight had continued till evening; the Waikatos, after the second onset, being barely able to hold their own, and repel their adversaries. At this juncture a pause occurred, and it is said by some that Te Rangituatea, who had previously allowed Rauparaha a passage from Kawhia—in fact, protected him, being related to him—called out, “E'Raha, he aha to koha ki au ?” (“'Raha, what is your kindness to me ?”) Rauparaha, immediately recognising the voice, said, “E tika ana. E ahu koe ki runga ka ora koe, e ahu koe ki raro ka kati te kauae runga ki te kauae raro” (“It is true.2 If you go south you will be saved, if you go north the upper jaw will snap on the lower jaw”). Very brief, but thoroughly comprehended by both parties, and understood as implying a great deal. The meaning was that Rangituatea should go south to Pukerangiora pa, where Tukorehu and his party of Waikatos were beleagured by the Atiawa,3 but that if he went north the way he came he would encounter Te Kaeaea or Taringakuri, and between the two parties none would escape. The Waikatos took this advice, and left in the darkness, crossing the Waitara River at the mouth, the tide being favourable, and went direct to Pukerangiora, where they joined their relatives under Tukorehu, and had a grievous cry over their losses. After some time, and being thus reinforced, Waikato marched back home, neither attacking nor being attacked; neither side evidently deeming it prudent, and the Waikatos well pleased to get away.
The Waikato did not trouble the Ngatiawa after this for several years, indeed, not until they once more returned, and, taking advantage of the absence in the South at Waikanae of a large proportion of those who formerly defeated them at Te Motunui, they took the Pukerangiora Pa on the Waitara, slaughtering a great number of Ngatiawa. This event occurred in December, 1831.- 87
After this, Rauparaha left Taranaki and went to Kapiti Island in Cook's Strait, many of the Ngatiawa tribe going with him, notably some of Ngatitama and Ngatimutunga (both divisions of Ngatiawa), with a considerable number of the Onaero people. Amongst them was Te Pehi4, subsequently killed at Kaiapoi, who was partly Ngatikoata and partly Ngatiawa, and also Te Whetu, chief of the Ngatikoata of the Tainui migration. With them also went the Ngatihinetuhi and Ngatirahiri hapus under their chiefs Tu-mokemoke, Te-pa-kaiahi, and others. These people settled at Waiorua, on the north end of Kapiti, while Rauparaha lived at Rangatira, on the south end, and it is these people who are said to have fought the battle of Teumu-pakaroa against the combination of Whanganui and all the other tribes, who came in canoes to attack them at night. It is said there were not many more than 200 of them in all, and that apparently whilst on the watch they heard the grating of the Whanganui canoes as they landed on the pebbly beach. Allowing them to land, the Kapiti people laid an ambush in two parties; then suddenly and fiercely attacking, threw their enemies into utter disorder, chasing and killing them all the way down to their canoes, those only escaping who managed to reach the canoes which were afloat. The next day Rauparaha came from Rangatira, where he and Ngatitoa lived, and found only the dead, Whanganui having fled from the island.
This was the first commencement of the migration southward of the great Ngatiawa tribe, which came down from Taranaki in several large parties or hekes, many members of which returned northwards, to again leave with successive hekes at various intervals. Among these hekes may be mentioned that of the Niho Puta, composed of the Ngatimutunga tribe, which—women and children not included—numbered Erua rau e whitu, i.e., 540 men. This section of Ngatiawa came from the country between Whakarewa and Onaero, north of the Waitara River. The old chiefs of the party were Ngatata (Pomare's5 uncle), Te Arahu, Te Poki, and many others, the majority of whom left subsequently for the Chatham Islands. The whole population of the district, however, did not leave at this time; many stayed at Taranaki and came with the subsequent hekes. On their way southward Ngatimutunga arrived at Waitotara, where they were received by the Nga-Rauru people with apparent hospitality, and were distributed among the separate houses of the kainga. Thus separated, many of them were killed in detail by Nga-Rauru, the rest being unaware of what was going on. During the slaughter one of the Nga-Rauru came into a house where their guests were, and said to his comrades:—“U, - 88 ku mate taku niho puta mo taku manuwhiri”—“My long-tooth is killed for my stranger,” intending it to be implied that he had killed a large pig with tusks6 as food for his guests, while in reality his words were an intimation to his friend that the massacre had commenced. An old man called Hone Potete who heard this, in telling the story afterwards, said:—“I suspected that there was treachery, and sitting beside my companion, with my big toe-nail, scratched him (kia whiwa) to indicate that we should attack our hosts, but he was afraid to do so. They attacked and killed many of us, but the bulk escaped. The tribe afterwards took ample retribution for it.” The heke then went on to Waikanae, and on their arrival so strengthened Rauparaha and party that they were able to cross freely to the mainland to dig fern root or cultivate. Prior to that time anyone so doing was sure to be pounced upon and killed by the Mua-upoko, Ngatiapa, Rangitane, and other tribes there living.
The heke Whirinui included the people who lived between Waitara and Puketapu, at Taranaki, whose chief was Te Manu Toheroa. It also included the hapus Pukerangiora, Manukorihi, Otaraua (Te Tupe-o-tu, the chief) and Puketapu7, besides stragglers from the districts of Onaero and Urenui. It was called whirinui because of the large twists or curls put on their koka mats by way of ornament.
The heke Hauhauā was that of the Ngatitama, who came from Poutama, a place situated about seven miles south of Mokau. Their leaders were Pehitaka, Te Puoho, Taringa-kuri, and others. The heke was called Hauhauā, in derision, by some of the Ngatitoa.
The heke called Tama te Uaua (Son of Muscle), because of the fighting encountered on the way, took place in the winter after the fall of Pukerangiora, which happened in the summer preceding (or in December, 1831), and was caused by the dread of the Waikato tribes after that event. Members of all the great sections of the Atiawa joined in this migration southward, including—1st, Ngatimutunga, the leading chiefs of which were Rangiwahia and Te Ito from Waitara, and Te Pononga from New Plymouth; 2nd, Ngatitawhirikura, the leading chiefs of which were Tautara, Rauakitua, Te Puni, Ngatata, Te Wharepouri, and others; 3rd, Ngatitama, the leading chiefs of which were Te Tu-o-te-rangi, Te Rangi-katau, and Te Rangi-tamaru. Between all these various hekes were several minor ones, as well as many individual goings and returnings.- 89
The last great Atiawa heke was called Te Heke Paukena, in which Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake, and all his people, with very few exceptions, left Taranaki, as well as the Taranaki tribe proper, whose residence was around Cape Egmont; and it also included Ngatiruanui, or a large section of them. On arriving near Otaki this heke came into collision with Te Rauparaha and his people, whom they reduced to such straits that he had to apply for help to Te Heuheu, of Taupo, and to the Waikato and other tribes, great numbers of whom answered his summons, but could not overcome the Atiawa, which tribe stubbornly held its own. Finding this to be the case, peace was finally made between them.
One of themselves, afterwards telling the story, said:—“I was a lad at the time, and after encamping at Ohau; I with others went out to gather food (ao kai)8. We went to the cultivation and gathered potatoes”—apparently from the whatas—“filled our kits and roasted some of them. After our meal we got our burdens on our backs and departed to our camp. On the return, one of our number suddenly recollected that he had forgotten his pipe—it was one of the old fashioned kind and much prized by him—so he left his burden in the forest and returned to seek it. The owners of the cultivation seeing the fires had arrived by this time, and catching sight of the man returning, hid themselves, caught and killed him, leaving his body there, but cutting off his head to offer to the god Maru—hei whangai hau (‘to feed the wind’). Seeing he did not return, some of our party searched and found the headless body, which they took away. After this, day after day we found odd numbers of our people, twos and threes, killed at short intervals, so that we dared not go out anywhere but in numbers. The Ngatitoa hung up the slain on their pa that we might see from afar that they were killed. Then the thought grew ‘we are in a strait’ (or shall die)—Ka tipu te whakaaro, ka mate. Thereupon we consulted tegether and built a pa in the bush near Ohau, which cut Rauparaha off from his cultivations and fern root, so that he was reduced to great straits and besieged in his pa. Upon this, Rauparaha sent ten messengers to the Taupo, Waikato, and other tribes to bring them to his assistance ‘to kill the Atiawa’—I tuturia kia patua Te Atiawa. The Ngatiruanui tribe, which happened to be out getting thatch on the river with their canoes, intercepted and killed these messengers, and their heads were hung up on our pa so that they might be seen by Rauparaha and his people.” Learning the fate of his messengers he sent others through the back country, who succeeded in reaching Waikato, and brought back the assistance as above detailed. Peace was then made.
The last fight the Ngatiawa had with the Ngatiraukawa (Rau- - 90 paraha's people) was at Te Kuititanga, near the mouth of the Waikanae Stream, where they effectually thrashed the latter. Christianity having then arrived put an end to further fighting.
After the arrival of the heke of the Niho Puta and others, the Ngatimutunga and Ngatitama, with a mixture of other tribes, settled in and around the present site of Wellington, the Ngatitama more especially in the Wairarapa Valley, in close proximity to the Ngatikahungunu tribe. Regarding the Ngatitama, it may be necessary to explain that they inhabited originally, and owned the land from the south bank of the Mokau River inland to Puke-aruhe; the Kekerewai from Mokau to and around Mimi; the Ngatimutunga from near Mimi to the Onaero district. The Kekerewai was a sub-section of the Ngatimutunga, but all these tribes were closely related by blood and marriage connections with one another, and formed part of the great Ngatiawa tribe.
After arriving and taking possession of Port Nicholson (Whanganuia-Tara) the Ngatitama section moved to Wairarapa, as stated, but previously had assisted Ngatimutunga in treacherously murdering the Ngati-ira, a section of the Ngatikahungunu tribe, who were the former owners of Port Nicholson. The Ngati-ira were destroyed at Waiwhetu,9 Te Mahau, Okiwi, Kohanga-te-ra, Orongorongo, and Paraoa-nui.
When the Ngatimutunga and others first arrived in Port Nicholson the Ngati-ira, although taking no active measures to eject them, evidently did not like the state of affairs, but perhaps somewhat undervalued their adversaries, one of them making use of the proverb—“When Poua's jawbone becomes loose, then the land may be taken”—Kia mahaki ra ano te kauae o Poua ka riro ai te whenua. Poua it is said was an ancestor, as well as the name of a rock—Te Kauae o Poua—near Te Rimurapa. Both tribes lived in their respective kaingas for some time, apparently in friendship, constantly seeing and visiting one another. Meanwhile some of the Ngatitama had made friends with the Ngatikahungunu chiefs Hehe and Takapaua, who joined them in a visit to their friends at Waikanae. Hehe stayed with Kekerengu and his relatives on the way. Te Poki then proposed (he being one of the old men of rank of Ngatimutunga) to massacre the Ngati-ira, otherwise they might, he was afraid, take the initiative, and the Ngatimutunga might suffer. Acting on this proposal, a body of them, with their tomahawks concealed, went to the Ngati-ira kaingas, ostensibly on a visit of friendship. The moment having arrived, a Waikato chief of Ngatikoroki named Taui, who had been adopted as one of the tribe, and had married Patukawenga's sister, Tipi, gave the word “turn the edge” (huri kiko), and in an - 91 instant the slaughter of Ngati-ira commenced. After a number of Ngati-ira had been killed, in the places mentioned, the remnant which escaped fled to Tapu-tē-ranga, a little island outside Port Nicholson (in Island Bay). Hearing of the massacre, the Ngatitoa of Waikanae fetched them away to their own residence, and here Ngati-ira dwelt for a time in peace, but through an amour of Kekerengu, their chief, with the wife of Mokau, or Rangihaeata, the former and all his people, dreading vengeance, took to their canoes and went to Kaikoura, in the South Island. Here they were set upon by Ngaitahu, Ngatikuia, and Rangitane, who exterminated them, leaving none to further trouble the Ngatimutunga.
The Ngatitama, as before stated, dwelt at Wairarapa in apparent friendship with the Ngatikahungunu, but Te Poki, who was closely related to Paengahuru, one of the head chiefs of the Ngatitama, with others of the old men, warned the latter to be on his guard. The Ngatitama began to think that the situation was dangerous; they consequently held a meeting of the tribe at Te Tarata—a place near the exit of the Wairarapa Lake into the sea—where they lived, at which it was decided to send Te Pukoro, wife of Paengahuru, and sister of Tupoki, a woman of rank, to Otaki to get the Ngatimutunga, Ngatitama, and other allies to come over and exterminate their Ngatikahungunu neighbours.10
Unfortunately for the success of this plot, an old Ngatikahungunu cripple (Hapimama Kokako) was in the house at the time of the meeting apparently asleep, and who, on discovering the subject under discussion, feigned sleep to the utmost. No one appeared to have noticed or suspected him. So soon as he could do so safely he at once warned his people of the treachery intended, and informed them that a messenger had already gone to fetch the Ngatimutunga and others to kill them. Without delay the Ngatikahungunu tribe—gathered tegether by special messengers—came to Te Tarata. The Ngatitama, seeing them approach, at first thought they were their own friends, but soon found out their mistake, although they did not appear quite to realise their danger. Some of them proceeded with the women to get food for their guests, a proceeding which may have been merely an attempt on their part to keep up the deception, as they were unaware of their treachery having been discovered. The Ngatikahungunu meanwhile advanced, and had already arranged their plans. Putting two of their best men alongside Paengahuru—the chief of Ngatitama—and doing the same with the other principal men, the massacre commenced. In spite of the terrible odds—Ngatitama being unarmed—Ngatikahungunu had the greatest difficulty in killing Paengahuru, - 92 who was a noted warrior, but he was finally dispatched by Okowhare. About ten or more of the best men of Ngatitama escaped, but the majority were killed, a few only being taken prisoner with the women. One noted old warrior—Te Rangikahaunga, afterwards in the Chatham Islands—told the tale how he was in a pool in comparatively deep water getting out food of some kind—possibly steeped karaka nuts—when a party with their spears (tao) rushed down and attacked him. They tried to run him through, while he, with his bare hands only, kept warding off the points. The scars on his hands obtained in so doing he showed long afterwards. Ultimately he seized and wrenched away a weapon, or part of one, with which he managed to escape, gradually throwing off first one and then another of his enemies. While doing so he heard loud voices saying, “Do not let so and so (of his own tribe) escape,” by which he knew they were still alive, and on their gathering together he found that there were about ten or more of them, and amongst others Te Timore, Meremere, Ngatuna, and Tikaokao.
Paengahuru's wife (Te Pukoro) was frantic with grief at the loss of her husband, and composed a lament (kaioraora) which for venom could not well be surpassed. This form of composition, or cursing, always took the form of an expression of the pleasure the composer would feel in roasting and eating the object of dislike, and the intention of acting on its precepts at the first favourable opportunity. The following is the mode in which this lady gave vent to her feelings:—
He Kaioraora (Na Te Pukoro).
Kaore te kotaitai o taku waha i te inumanga i te wai roro o Nuku11 i pupu mai ona riri. Ona taringa whakarongo korero. Haere roroa Tutepakihirangi12 ki roto i a Hinewai; tuku tonu iho oku niho ko Kaukau13. Te parara (angaanga) ki a Toru ka kawea hei kohu (dish) hapuku ki te rae ki Te Papa-nui-a-Henga14. Te hiwi ki Maungaraki15 taku kai ko te Hamaiwaho. Whakatahuri ki tua ki Rangiwhakaoma16 taku kai ko Te Po Tangaroa. Mene rukukuku te rau hokowhitu o Te Kiri-kowhatu ki roto i ta' kumete. Ko Te Hika ko tona tini ka koropupu ki roto i taku paata, ko Ngaitahu he whakaporanga reka e—i.
O the saltness of my mouth in drinking the liquid brains of Nuku, whence welled up his wrath. His ears which heard the deliberations. Tutepakihirangi shall go headlong into (the stomach of) Hinewai. My teeth shall devour Kaukau. The assemblage of Toru I will take to feed (bait for) the hapuku on the headland at Te Papa-nui-a-Henga. The ridge of Maungaraki: my food there shall be Te Hamaiwaho. Turning over to the other side to Rangiwhakaoma, my food shall be Te Po Tangaroa. The three hundred and forty of Te Kiri-kowhatu shall be huddled in a heap in my trough. Te Hika and his multitude shall boil in my pot. Ngaitahu (the whole tribe) shall be my sweet morsel to finish with e—i.
Te Pukoro was also in a great measure the cause of a haka made to deride the Ngatitama by the Ngatimutunga a short while before - 93 leaving for the Chatham Islands. It was occasioned by herself and others helping themselves to the kai (potatoes, and possibly kumaras) of their Ngatimutunga neighbours, at that time living between Pipitea Point and Kaiwharawhara. It recited their evil deeds, and the trouble incurred in other places by their depredations, as follows:—
Te iro mai koe i Whareatea17 te ngata mai koe i Kaputi.18 Rokohanga mai Poneke19 e ata raupapa ana ka puta te kauae-tehe te Awaiti.20 Ka ngaro te kai ki te reinga, e.
Were you not punished at Whareatea ? were you not satisfied at Kaputi ? Port Nicholson was found dwelling peaceably when the woman of the tattooed chin arrived at the Awaiti. The food was (then) lost in the Shades, e.
In explanation of the foregoing, it may be mentioned, as already stated in the account of their hekes, that many, after leaving their homes, returned again, as did several of the Ngatitama after the fight of Te Umupakaroa on Kapiti, only to set out again with succeeding migrations when they were numerous enough to hold their own on the main-land against the Southern people. The Ngatitama, or rather a section of them, returned to Hangatahua (Stoney River), where it appears they committed depredations on their neighbours' kai, possibly as wanderers having little of their own. This occurred again on Kapiti Island, and lastly in Wellington, at the place named. It is said that this incident was chiefly the cause of the tribe removing to Te Tarata, where they were nearly all killed, as already described.
Immediately the massacre of Ngatitama at Te Tarata became known, Te Kaeaea—or Taringa-kuri—came over to Wairarapa from Kapiti and Waikanae with 140 (hokowhitu) of his tribe—the Ngatitoa—as well as the Ngatimutunga from Port Nicholson; in all 340 men. By this time the Ngatikahungunu were entrenched in their pa of Pehikatia, but they were attacked with the utmost bravery by Ngatitoa and their allies. The attack was commenced early in the morning, and shortly after noon the pa was in the 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 Ngatitama captives taken at Te Tarata. Not one, however, of the chiefs mentioned in Pukoro's Kaioraora fell into the hands of her tribe; they all escaped at the fall of Pehikatia. Ngatikahungunu, evidently well aware of what they might expect from the incensed and powerful Ngatimutunga so soon as the fall of the pa reached the ears of - 94 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, was suspended by the heels, his jugular vein pierced, and then each of his captors had a mouthful of his blood, a thumb being placed on the wound till the next man was ready to take his share.
The following is the Tau, sung at the attack on Pehikatia to incite the warlike feelings of the people by Pehi-tawhia of Ngatitama:—
Te kotaratara i a Hape ra e, ka tuku whakararo te waha o te kupenga, a, ha, ha. Ureia te tangata mate, Ureia te tangata mate, i houhoua ai te ure ki roto i te one-hunga, kei motu te karihi o te tupere, i.
After the storming of Pehikatia, the scattered remnant of Ngatitama returned, and dwelt in Port Nicholson. The Ngatitama always had the reputation of being a very brave and warlike tribe, rendered the more so probably by being the first objective point of war-parties (tauas) from their northern neighbours when going to attack either themselves or others living to the south of them at Taranaki. Doubtless this also tended to increase their ferocity and cannibalistic tendencies, as shown in many instances both before and after these occurrences. As far as can at present be ascertained, the approximate date of the massacre of Te Tarata was about 1833. It was but a short time previous to the seizure in Port Nicholson of the brig Rodney by the Ngatimutunga in 1835. It was several years prior to the Tarata massacre that a large proportion of the Ngatitama and Ngatimutunga had taken part and assisted in the capture and destruction of Kaiapoi, Onawe—situated at the head of Akaroa Harbour—and other pas of the Ngaitahu (Middle Island natives).
At the time of Rauparaha's escape from Ka-pare-te-hau, the lake near Cape Campbell, having lost several of his men (see page 121, vol. VI., John White's Ancient Maori History), he came across to Port Nicholson, and got a large body of the Ngatimutunga and Ngatitama, who were settled there at the time, to join him. The combined forces returned across Cook's Strait at once to attack the Ngaitahu. On landing in the darkness at Waiharakeke they were so eager to attack the Ngaitahu that some of the Ngatimutunga—Te Wharepa, Riwai, Taupata, Mohi Ngawaina, and many others now forgotten—together with the people of other tribes, took the wrong track in the darkness—luckily for the Ngaitahu—who, finding their enemies there in force, began to wail aloud in prospect of the morrow. The attacking-party heard them distinctly, but were unable to get at them until day dawned. Meanwhile the Ngaitahu managed to get silently away to their canoes, which, apparently, in the darkness had not been perceived by Te Rauparaha's party, and made good their escape, the attacking-party finding only the ashes of their fires early in the morning.
[To be continued.]
1 Mr. Travers gives this name to a subsequent heke—or migration—of the Ngatiraukawa tribe to join Te Rauparaha in Cook's Strait, but it is believed to be correctly applied in the text above.—Editors.
2 Thereby acknowledging his right to ask the favour. It is said by some that it was Potatau who addressed the above question to Rauparaha, as he was a mokopuna, or perhaps a great nephew of the latter. Both of them being great chiefs, it was allowable thus to permit an adversary to escape.
3 Te Atiawa is another name for Ngatiawa, the people who owned the country lying north of the present site of New Plymouth as far as Mokau; it is a convenient term to distinguish them from the Ngatiawa tribe of the Bay of Plenty, with whom, however, they claim kindred.—Editors.
4 Te Pehi Kupe was an uncle of Rauparaha's. He visited England in 1826, having made the voyage (in the whaler Urania) for the purpose of securing arms. See a portrait of him at page 331 of the “Library of Entertaining Knowledge” for 1830.—Editors.
5 Pomare of Ngatiawa, not the chief of Ngapuhi of the same name.
6 Hence the name of this heke, Niho puta, or “pig with tusks.”
7 These hapus or sub-tribes are named after their old homes in Taranaki. Pukerangiora is the pa, about four miles up the Waitara River, celebrated for the massacre of Ngatiawa by Waikato in 1831. Manukorihi is the large pa immediately above the bridge over the Waitara River, at the town of that name. Puketapu is the name of an old pa a little south of the mouth of the Waiongona river, and which was still occupied, and well fortified, as lately as 1856.—Editors.
8 This proceeding of appropriating their neighbours' food was quite legitimate, although not accepted in the same light by the owners, as hereafter described.
9 There was a Ngatikahungunu pa at Waiwhetu, dug up afterwards by the Europeans, on the river side. All the other places named are in and around Port Nicholson.
10 It may be added that the Ngatitama were living at the time among the Ngatikahungunu, who were helping the former to build a pa, which proceeding caused much doubt to arise in the minds of the Ngatikahungunu regarding the intentions of Ngatitama.
11 The name of a Ngatikahungunu chief.
13 Ditto, otherwise called Te Kauamo.
14 A fishing-place outside Port Nicholson at Orongorongo.
15 Hamaiwaho's residence.
16 He whenua, he waka no Kupe. A place where Kupe's canoe is supposed to be represented by a rock.
17 Near Stoney River, Taranaki.
18 Or Entry Island, in Cook's Strait.
19 The Maori pronunciation of Port Nicholson.
20 A small stream between Pipitea Point and Kaiwharawhara. In connection with these names, I venture to call attention to the deplorable absence on the maps of so many native names of places in and around Wellington, names with which are connected so many histories and stirring incidents, &c., all of which are rapidly becoming lost through being known to so few people now. If not rescued and recorded before the last of the old men who know them are gone, these names will be lost for ever.