Volume 19 1910 > Volume 19, No. 2 > History and traditions of the Taranaki coast. Chapter XIX, The second siege of Motu-tawa at Mokau, p 47-83
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THE fall of Puke-rangiora in December, 1831, and the serious losses sustained by Ati-Awa at that place, together with the siege of Otaka at Nga-Motu by Waikato, induced the leading men of the tribes from Waitara to Nga-Motu to consider the necessity of migrating to Kapiti and that neighbourhood to join the large numbers of their own people who had left the Taranaki district and settled in the vicinity of the Ngati-Toa tribe. Notwithstanding the success of Ati-Awa in driving off Waikato at Otaka, they began to see that now Waikato had become possessed of so many muskets, they were bound to return to Taranaki, and eventually would exterminate Ati-Awa. Even after the success at Otaka the whole of the people from Nga-Motu to the White Cliffs were living away from their homes near the coast at inland villages and cultivations, for the fear of predatory parties of Waikato was great. There were differences of opinion as to whether the migration should take place at once, or, as others contended for, after an attempt had been made to avenge some of their losses on Ngati-Mania-poto living at Mokau. Finally, this latter course was decided on; and not long after Waikato had retired from Otaka, a strong force of Te Ati-Awa (including some people from Nga-Motu, Puke-tapu, Otaraua, etc.), with contingents from Ngati-Ruanui and the Nga-Mahanga hapu of the Taranaki tribe, who were allied to the Nga-Motu hapu of the Sugar-loaves, started northwards on vengeance bound and proceeded, on arrival at Mokau, to invest Motu-tawa pa. This was at the hauhaketanga of the crops, or the month of March.

Old Rihari of Mokau, who was actually at Motu-tawa at the time of the siege, says this Ati-Awa ope had another reason for the attack as well; and that was the great defeat of Ngati-Tama and Ati-Awa at the battle of Nga-Tai-pari-rua in 1815, as related in Chapter XI. hereof. The ope, which had a good many muskets among them, went on down the coast to the Mokau river. Their coming was known to the local - 48 people, who hastily collected into their island fortress of Motu-tawa, taking all their canoes with them. This island pa has already been described in Chapter XI. Not being able to procure canoes to cross the Mokau, the invaders proceeded to make mokihis of raupo and flax-stems, with which the majority succeeded in reaching the northern shore; but others were not so fortunate, for the river, being in flood, carried several of the rafts out to sea, where some of the people were drowned—indeed, some of the rafts were carried away north by the current and finally came ashore at Awhitu, Manukau South Head—a distance of one hundred and fifteen miles—but no bodies were found on them.

Arrived on the north bank of the Mokau, the taua occupied the high land to the west of Motu-tawa, and from there fired down on to the pa, doing some execution. But after a time, and taking advantage of low water, they crossed the mud-flats and attacked the pa itself, when a fierce fight took place, resulting in the lower (south-east) part of the fort being taken, and in which action two chiefs of the pa—Tikawe and Te Whatu-moana—were killed, besides some of the attacking party. Te Huia, who was chief of the Puke-tapu section of the invaders, on finding that Tikawe (to whom he was related) was killed, was very wrath, and immediately withdrew his hapu from the attack, which weakened the rest of the party so much that the whole were obliged to retire, much to their chagrin, which they vented on Te Huia in a storm of words. Seeing the enemy retiring, the people on the tihi (or summit) of the pa were greatly elated, and now poured on to the retreating taua volley after volley of musket shots, during which the Ati-Awa lost Tu-paoa, Nga-Ika-hui-rua, Te Poka, Te Rangi-tua-kaha, Te Waha-hou, and Nga-Rau. The losses of Ngati-Mania-poto in the lower part of the pa had been serious also, but very few of those occupying the tihi were killed. Before leaving, the Ati-Awa managed to seize and drag along with them the bodies of the two chiefs named above. Ihaia-Te-Kiri-kumara of Otaraua hapu, so well known to early Taranaki settlers, was at this siege.

Tikawe's body was put to the usual purposes by the invaders, and his two arms were left on a rock on the south side of the river at a place named Pekanui, as a sign for his relatives.

On the way north, or whilst at Mokau, someone of the ladies of Ati-Awa composed the following kai-oraora about Tikawe:—

Taku pere ra, e tu nei
Ki te riu ki Mokau,
Kia riro mai nei taku kai ko Tikawe
E tomina kau ake nei te korokoro.
Ki te kai-angaanga o Tai-papaki-rua,
Ka haoa mai ki te “kupenga
A Tara-mai-nuku.”
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Ko iho te waihoe
Te kongutu-awa ki Whakahutiwai,
Hei rahui pipi.
Ko iho te haere ki Waitara,
Kia whakaparua ki te pihapiharau,
Tutakina ai te puta i te whati-toka,
Kei puta te upoko-roro,
Ki roto ki te angaanga tohe riri
Mai ki te pakanga
Ko te kai-whakamoe, Whakatimu,
I keua mai ki te pu a taku kai nei,
A Tawa-warakī.
Ka kite koe te ngare o Ngati-Hau,
Ko te puru ki te Ao-marama.
Kei whea he utu mo aku kai,
Whakapae ki Manga-rapa,
I pehi kau ake ai
Nga paiaka o Papa-kauri,
I hahua te roro o Hari—
O tona tama, ki Te Maire,
Ka kai te Tini-o-Makehua
Ka kai taku tini taureka.

This is the regular style of kai-oraora, or abusive, cursing song; but I hesitate to translate it in the absence of anyone who could explain the local references.

My informant for some of these particulars tells me that, in return for this invasion of the country by Ati-Awa, the Mokau people directed an attack on the Ngati-Maru tribe of Upper Waitara, but I did not gather the particulars. This expedition to Mokau, however, was the immediate cause of the Waikato and Ngati-Mania-poto attack on Miko-tahi at Nga-Motu in the following year.


For much that follows as to the above migration, the narrative dictated to Mr. A. Shand and myself by Rangi-pito of Ngati-Rahiri, and written down in shorthand (in Maori) at the time, will be followed. On the return of the war-party from Mokau, nearly all the tribes of Northern Ati-Awa gathered together at Tikorangi—on the north bank of the Waitara, four miles from the mouth of the river. The object of this meeting was to arrange details for their proposed migration to Kapiti, already alluded to. There were gathered there nearly all Ati-Awa, some of the remaining Ngati-Tama, Ngati-Mutunga, and others. After the decision to remove had been decided on (mainly through the urgency of Te Pononga, Te Hau-te-horo, Rangi-wahia, and Te Ito), the whole body moved down to Waitara preparatory to starting. Here they were joined by some of the people of Nga-Motu, - 50 but not all; for some decided to remain, and should necessity arise, take shelter on the Sugar-loaf Islands. The whole party now moved on to Kapua-taitu, on the Wai-o-ngana river, where all who were to form the heke assembled, for from here the forest road started for the south.

The expedition had not yet started in March, 1832, as we may infer from the following, quoted from “Brett's Historical Series, Early History of New Zealand”—by R. A. A. Sherrin—1890; page 172. “In 1832 H.M.S. ‘Zebra’ was at Taranaki, having gone thither in consequence of a report which had been circulated (in Sydney) that the Waikato tribes meditated hostilities on the settlers—i.e., flax dealers and others in the district; but finding the alarm groundless, she pursued her voyage to Kapiti, where she arrived on the 16th March, 1832, and learned that the chiefs and warriors had gone to Banks Peninsula, whereupon she consequently proceeded through Cook's Straits on her voyage to Tahiti.”

“I was a boy at that time,” says Rangi-pito, “but well remember all the circumstances. Before we started we were joined by R. Barrett, Love, Billy Keenan, and their families from Nga-Motu. We then started on our long journey—men, women, and children being altogether in one party. There were many of us; some fourteen hundred fighting men, without counting the women and children, who must have numbered quite as many, or more, than the men. The following was the order of march: Each tribe marched as a body and close to each other, so that none might be left behind, nor was there any straggling allowed. The men of each tribe marched in front and behind, the women and children between them, and certain men were told off to see that the distance (tiriwa) between each party was maintained. The heke was composed of members of the tribes: Nga-Motu, Puke-tapu, Manu-korihi, Puke-rangiora, Ngati-Rahiri, Kai-tangata, Ngati-Tu, Ngati-Hine-uru, Ngati-Mutunga, Te Whakarewa, and Ngati-Tama. The principal chiefs were: Tau-tara, Raua-ki-tua, Te Whare-pouri, Te Puni, Rangi-wahia, Hau-te-horo, Te Ito, Te One-mihi, and others. All our men were armed, for we had to pass through an enemy's country part of the way. Many of us had guns, for the whalers from whom we principally obtained fire-arms had been settled at Nga-Motu for several years. Our course was by Te Whakaahu-rangi 1 track, which leads southwards from Matai-tawa through the forest inland of Mount Egmont, and comes out into the open country near Kete-marae (not far from Normanby). We slept in the forest the first and succeeding night. It was very cold, being winter (June), and the frost was on the ground. The kakas (parrots) were very fat at the time of our passage through the forest.”

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Rangi-pito does not mention any of Ngati-Maru as being with the heke, but there were several—under their chiefs Haere-tu-ki-te-rangi (who died at Whareroa, Otaki, a very old man), Te Rangi-huatau, Te Whita, Rakuraku, and Pukere; some of whom eventually settled at Titahi Bay, Porirua—others were assigned lands at Tipapa, between Wainui and Whareroa by the Ngati-Toa chief Te Pani. Most of these people returned to their homes at inland Waitara after Christianity was introduced. But all of Ngati-Maru did not go south; many remained in their forest-clad homes on the Upper Waitara, and amongst them one of the principal men named Te Ika-tere, who lamented the departure of his people in this waiata-tangi:—

E kai noa ana i te kai,
Heke rawa iho,
Te mohiotia nga wa o te he—e—i.
Uia, pataia, ki a Tāne,
Te ipo māna e ki mai;
Kei au te hara—e—i.
Ka kai manu i te pua,
Ka inu i te Wai-ora-o-Tāne,
Ka ko te manu-e-i
Wareware ki runga,
Ki tauranga a te hoa tau muri e—i
Roua ki Whiti, roua ki Tonga,
E tu i te pa o aitua,
Ka irirangi te mahara e—i,
Ka tautuku ki raro,
Ka tuku nga turi
Ka noho i te he,
Ka moe i te moenga na—i.

Even as I sit at my meals,
The fast flowing tears descend.
Who could have foreseen this trial?
Ask, enquire of the god Tāne,
The loved one, who will say,
If mine was the fault.
The birds still feed in the preserve,
And drink of the Living-waters-of-Tāne, 2
Singing blithely as is their wont,
They heed not the thoughts of the south
(Whither ye all are now departing)
Where my friends will shortly be.
The thoughts extend to Fiji and to Tonga, 3
But still encompassing evils find,
Suspended is the imagination.
- 52
And when it returns to the present,
My knees fail to support me.
I am dwelling in the midst of sorrow,
And wish for the long death-sleep.

But to return to Rangi-pito's narrative: “So we arrived at the Ngati-Ruanui country, coming out to the open lands at Kete-marae, where we stayed one month. Te Hana-taua was the chief of the pa in those days. From there we passed on to Whiti-kau, then to Whenua-kura by way of the mouth of the Patea, in preference to the inland track by Hukatere, because we feared trouble with the people of that part, and so on to Te Karaka, near Wai-totara. So far, we had passed through the territories of Ngati-Ruanui without trouble, but we were now in those of Nga-Rauru, who were inimicable to us. Here some of us went to procure food (ao-kai), and falling in with Nga-Rauru a skirmish ensued, in which some of them were killed.

“We then passed on to Whanga-nui without further trouble, where we found that a large party of Ngati-Mania-poto and Ngati-Tu-whare-toa of Taupo were in the district, but were absent on our arrival, having gone on an expedition to Kapiti in order to escort some of the Ngati-Raukawa tribe who were migrating to that place to join Te Rau-paraha. In consequence of this no fighting took place on our first arrival. Their canoes, by which they had come down the river, were on the opposite side at Putiki, where they had been left. Some of our party swam over the river and secured these canoes for our own use. We plundered them all; so that when their ope returned they found their canoes gone, and their return up the river prevented. When they reached Putiki (just opposite the present town of Whanga-nui) our people were encamped at Te Karamuramu (seaward of the present town).

“When my younger brother was born he was killed by my father, Te Ito, who was at that time somewhat out of his mind; he crushed the body into a hole which he had dug for it—this was before we left our homes. On account of this his atua, or god, was angry with him, and so he fell at Whanga-nui, as will be seen. One morning shortly after the Taupo people had returned, a little canoe with some of the Whanga-nui people in it paddled across the river; in it were three men of Ngati-Ruakā. Te Ito, who was wandering about, saw the canoe, and went towards it. He asked them, ‘Is Tia, or Rere (Hukarere), there?’ ‘Yes!’ they replied, ‘he is here!’ They said this so as to entice the old man to approach them. Te Ito went towards them without suspicion, and when close enough, one of the three men in the canoe shot him, whilst another afterwards tomahawked him in the forehead as he lay. Hearing the shouting, some of Te Ati-Awa made towards the place; but the three men effected their escape in the canoe, - 53 leaving his friends to carry Te Ito—who was not quite dead—back to their camp, where he soon after died. Rangi-wahia was absent at this time collecting food. After the death of Te Ito, the karakias for the dead were said over him, and when they were finished Rangi-tamaru remarked, ‘Hei apopo ka whawhai’ (‘There will be fighting to-morrow’);he knew this by the signs when he repeated the karakias over the old man.

“The following day we saw Whanga-nui and Ngati-Tu-whare-toa crossing the river in force to our side. Rangi-wahia said, ‘Let them all come over together in force’ (before we attack them). ‘No!’ said Te Tu-o-te-rangi, ‘not too many together; they will be too much for us.’ One man amongst the party was noticed, as they crossed the river, who was inciting (whakahau) them on, to be brave. On landing, the enemy came on in solid bodies, but in two divisions. Then Ngati-Tawhiri-kura (connected with the Hamua and Nga-Motu hapus, from near New Plymouth) commenced firing on the advancing foe. Te Heuheu—the head chief of Ngati-Tu-whare-toa of Taupo—and his younger brother Te Popo returned the fire. The guns used were uruuru-purumu (flint locks). Ngati-Tawhiri-kura, in their advance, happened on a thicket which was occupied by Whanga-nui, and here they suffered a repulse which caused them to fall to the rear of our party. Ngati-Tama and Te Ati-Awa, in the meantime, were forcing their way to the front, led by Te One-mihi, with his broad battle-axe—which he flourished all the way, making cuts and guards with it. He advanced boldly in front of his people towards Ngati-Tu-whare-toa without any fear, and succeeded in killing the friend of Te Popo. Whilst he was disengaging his axe, Te Popo advanced and shot him dead. Te Ketu of Ngati-Tama, who was near, in return, shot down Te Popo and killed him. The two opposing parties were by this time in close quarters and actively engaged, when Ngati-Tawhiri-kura, who had rallied after their first repulse, now came up and renewed the fight, and between them they and Te Ati-Awa drove their foes back and thus secured the victory over Taupo and Whanga-nui. In this fight the Taupo people lost the chiefs Te Popo and Tu-tawa—the latter a very fine-looking man, with light hair. The heads of both these people were preserved by Ati-Awa and eventually taken to Kapiti.

“The Whanga-nui and Taupo people now fled, taking to their canoes or jumping into the river, whilst Te Ati-Awa followed them up and kept firing at them in the canoes, or as they swam in the river. Numbers were killed, the bodies floating away down stream, and were afterwards found drifted ashore on the beach. Some of the canoes capsized in the crossing, a few of the occupants escaping by swimming, whilst their friends stood on the opposite bank watching and tangi-ing over them, unable to assist them. What was to be done? Were they not killed?

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“The taua of Te Ati-Awa and the others remained on the field of battle by direction of the old chiefs Rangi-wahia, Raua-ki-tua, and Te Hau-te-horo. Whilst there, and as evening came on, Te Ati-Awa recited the ngeri, or war-song, of Waikato, used by them during the expedition to Puke-rangiora, as a matakite, in which their success was foretold:—

Haere ki Manga-reporepo—i aha!
Ka haere te tiere,
He whiu aha?
He aha kei roto atu?
He nihinihi!
He aha kei waiho mai?
He kiri tapa!
E kai o tapa, eke a! o! o! 4

The above fight took place to the eastward of Puke-namu, which is the Maori name of the hill in the town of Whanga-nui and now used as a park, and on which formerly stood the Rutland Stockade—in fact, the fighting occurred in what is now the densest part of the town, between the Stockade and the river. The chief men of Te Ati-Awa killed there were: Tama-kite-roa, Te Makere, Marama-ra, Rangi-tuaka, Tu-taiaroa, Te Ito, together with Tu-tawa and Te Rangi-apukea of the Patu-tokotoko hapu, and some thirty other men. The white men—Barrett and others—materially assisted their friends in this battle. It is said (but not on first-rate authority) that Te Rau-paraha incited the Taupo people to this attack on Te Ati-Awa.

“After the fight,” says Rangi-pito, “the Ati-Awa returned to their camp and at once commenced fortifying it, at which they worked right on through the night, putting up palisades interwoven with flax leaves, 5and completed the whole by digging a trench and making a parepare or wall.

“The next morning the Taupo and Whanga-nui tribes advanced to the attack; but after trying an assault they failed in carrying the Ati-Awa defences. They advanced down a ridge near the place now called St. John's Wood, having crossed the river higher up, and then came across the flats now covered by the town of Whanga-nui, and occupied Puke-namu hill. Iwikau and Papaka, 6principal chiefs of the Taupo people, led the advance, but they did not come very near the Ati-Awa position, being afraid of the muskets, but some skirmishing took place outside.”

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Towards evening there was a cessation of firing, when a scene occurred which is truly Maori. The two parties were not very distant from one another in their camps, and in the still evening voices could be heard some distance. It must have been an interesting scene as the grim old warriors of either party held a parly, which is described by Rangi-pito as follows:—

“After the skirmishing was over, Te Heuheu's (head chief of Taupo) voice was heard calling out, ‘Whākina mai taku tangata, kowai?’—(‘Declare the name of my man, victim of my prowess.’)

“Said Te Tu-o-te-rangi of Ngati-Tama to his friends, ‘Whākina! kaua e huna. Ka pa he tangata noa iho, e huna. Ko tenei, he rangatira. Whākina atu!’—(‘Declare the name! Do not conceal who he was. If he had been a nobody, it were well to hide his name; but as he was a chief, declare it!’)

“Then Rangi-wahia of Ngati-Mutunga answered Te Heuheu, ‘Ae! to tangata, ko Te One-mihi. Heoti ano a Pou-tama; heoti ano a Nga-Motu!’—(‘Yes! Your man was Te One-mihi. The only famed one of Pou-tama; the only one of Nga-Motu!’) Te One-mihi belonged both to Ngati-Tama of Pou-tama and Nga-Motu of the Sugar-loaf tribes.

“Te Heuheu then went on to say, ‘I rangona tera Te One-mihi ki hea?’—(‘Where has that Te One-mihi been heard of?’)

“To which Rangi-wahia replied, ‘Nga putanga a Te One-mihi, ko Mokau, ko Nga-Motu.’—(‘The places where Te One-mihi has distinguished himself were at Mokau and Nga-Motu.’)

“These were nga ara kai riri (the ways of war—the paths in which he had distinguished himself). Both he and Te Ito were celebrated warriors; indeed, they were the last of the braves of old times. Te One-mihi was a small man, but well built, and square in the shoulders.

“Then said Te Tu-o-te-rangi, ‘Uia atu ano hoki!’—(‘Ask him also!’) So Rangi-wahia called out, ‘Kowai taku tangata? Whākina mai taku tangata; kowai?’—(‘Who was my man? Confess the name of my man; who was he?’)

“The answer came from Te Heuheu, ‘To tangata, ko Te Popo! Heoi ano to tangata, ko Tongariro. Kua whati te tihi o Tongariro!’—(‘Thy man was Te Popo! Thy man was Tongariro itself. The peak of Tongariro has been broken off!’ 7)

“Then again Rangi-wahia asked, ‘I rangona a Te Popo ki hea? Kei hea tana ara kai riri?’—(‘Where has the name of Te Popo been heard of? Where was his way of war?’—literally, battles).

“To which Te Heuheu replied, ‘Kua whati te tihi o Tongariro!’— - 56 (‘The peak of Tongariro has been broken off!’—implying that Te Popo had not distinguished himself in war, but was of exalted rank).

“Thus ended the conversation, for Te Heuheu could not cite any battle in which Te Popo had shone. No firing took place during this interlude, as it was getting dark, and also because Te Ati-Awa recognised Te Heuheu's voice. He was a huge man. At the same time the enemy knew quite well that it was Rangi-wahia who was replying; his fame was great, as one of the principal leaders at the battle of Te Motu-nui (1821–2—see Chapter XIV.), at Puke-rangiora (1831), and other places. He was a big, tall man, with much hair on his neck and shoulders—he pukeke, he maia—a veteran; hard and tough; a warrior. He was the depository of all knowledge.

“We were seven hundred (i.e., fourteen hundred) warriors strong, without counting women and children. Amongst them were seven hundred who escaped from Puke-rangiora. The chiefs of Whanga-nui in this affair were Pehi-Turoa as supreme leader, and his younger brothers and relatives—one of whom was Ha-marama, who killed Tu-whare, the Nga-Puhi leader (in 1821—see Chapter XII.) Pou-tama was the leader of Ngati-Mania-poto, and most of his people were killed at Puke-namu the previous day.

“After the events above related, the people of the place and their allies returned to their pa at Puke-namu, whilst we remained in our camp at Koko-huia, near where the old Maori track leaves the beach (? of the river), and came inland to Puke-namu.

“While the fight at Puke-namu was going on during the first day, messengers were despatched to Kapiti to inform our people living there and Ngati-Toa of our doings, for it was then uncertain what the result would be; and also to inform them of the death of Te Ito and Te One-mihi. There were some seven men sent as messengers, and they proceeded by sea in one of the canoes we had taken from Ngati-Tu-whare-toa. They made some sails of raupo (bullrushes), and by this means reached Kapiti in two days (the distance is over seventy miles). The principal man of the messengers was Tapiri, a son of the celebrated Tupoki of Ngati-Tama.

“Having delivered their message, the Ngati-Toa, under Te Hiko-o-te-rangi (son of Te Pehi-kupe, killed at Kaiapohia, see Chapter XVI.) and that portion of Te Ati-Awa under Hone-tuwhata and Rere-tawhangawhanga, 8who had settled at Kapiti and Wai-kanae, after some time came up the coast to assist us, being eight hundred topu (sixteen hundred) strong. But Ngati-Raukawa did not join in this force. When the party reached Whanga-nui we ferried them across in our canoes.

“Before the arrival of these people, Ngati-Rua-nui from Patea - 57 and that neighbourhood, hearing of our troubles, came down one thousand topu (two thousand) strong. They came to assist us, having heard that we had been defeated. When all had assembled, we fed both parties on the bodies of our slain enemies. 9 After this was ended a great ngarahu, or war-dance, was arranged, several ngohi, or companies, taking part. After the companies had been assigned their positions, we furnished the first wero, or spear-throwing party. Altogether, with the southern and northern people, there were e rua mano tauere—i.e., over four thousand men—camped in separate places. Then said Te Tu-o-te-rangi of our party, ‘Tikina werohia te mano o Ngati-Rua-nui, kia kitea ai te heanga o tera!’—(‘Cast a spear at the thousands of Ngati-Rua-nui, so that we may see if they go wrong!’—i.e., whether their runner would turn to the left or not (korapa) an evil omen). There were four hundred men in each company of Ngati-Rua-nui, and five companies in all. When the tangata-wero, or spearsman, advanced, there was no korapa with them. After this the wero for the Kapiti people took place, but there was a korapa with them, which was the reason they suffered so much afterwards. These people were in four companies of four hundred men each, and they had a great many guns.

“After this, it was proposed by many in the assemblage to attack Puke-namu where the Taupo and Whanga-nui people still remained; but strong objections were raised by Raua-ki-tua and Tautara, so nothing came of it—the proposal being vetoed, so that we might not be detained there fighting and thus delay our arrival at Kapiti, for it was now about the month of August, and the time for crop-setting near. On this general decision being arrived at, Te Hana-taua—who was the principal chief of Ngati-Rua-nui—gave the order for his tribe to return home, and we of the heke, together with our allies and relatives from Kapiti, departed on our way south after having been at Whanga-nui about a month.

“The main body proceeded by land, whilst the women and children, together with the old people and some of the warriors, went by sea in the canoes we had looted at Whanga-nui. The white men (Barrett and others) were with us all this time, and, stripped to their skins, had fought with us at Puke-namu. We next reached the Manawatu river, travelling during the night and part of one day, Ngati-Toa showing us - 58 the paths. We passed one night there, having to wait till those in the rear joined us, and all were ferried across the river in the canoes. The next day we reached Ohau, the canoes following along near the coast. Staying one night at Otaki, we passed on to Te Mahia—a place on the coast between Otaki and Wai-kanae—where we stayed, whilst the Ngati-Toa people who were with us crossed over to Kapiti Island. It was early summer when we reached here, having been delayed so long at Whanga-nui by the fighting and other obstacles. During our stay at Te Mahia we subsisted principally on pipis (cockles) and fern-root.

“After some time the whole party moved on to Wai-kanae to a pa named Whangainga-hau, situated near the coast. The pa occupied by those of Ati-Awa, who had preceded us at that place, was very large indeed; and on our arrival they gave us a great feast, consisting of potatoes, shark, warehou (a fish), and whale's flesh. Our residence here became permanent, for food was very abundant. It was in the eighth month (January or February) that we reached here (this would be in 1833), and were able to plant the seed potatoes given to us (? by Ngati-Toa), and they grew luxuriantly. The Puke-tapu and Nga-Motu hapus settled down at Te Uruhi, whilst we (Kai-tangata) took up our abode with Te Ati-Awa inland of Wai-kanae. Ngati-Tama settled down at Te Pou-o-te-moana, further to the north—they were a numerous people in those days.


“It was some time after our settlement at Wai-kanae that the next heke, called by some ‘Te heke paukena,’ arrived from Puke-tapu, Taranaki” (Rangi-pito says three years, but this cannot be right—it was probably in 1833–4—and with it went Wiremu Te Rangi-tāke and all his people, some of the Taranaki tribes, and a large number of the Ngati-Rua-nui tribe). “Te Ura was the principal chief; it was the last of the many migrations from the northern parts of the Taranaki coast”—says Rangi-pito.


But the migration named above was possibly the last. If not, it came shortly after the “Tama-te-uaua,” and consisted largely of the Ngati-Tama tribe under their well-known chief Te Puoho. This was the second migration in which he took part. It was so named because all the available lands near Otaki and that neighbourhood had already been occupied.


In the beginning of this Chapter, the expedition of Ati-Awa to Motu-tawa at Mokau was described. At that place some of the

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- ii
Plate No. 15.
Miko-tahi Island and pa. Motu-roa Island beyond.
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Ngati-Mania-poto people fell to the prowess of the invaders, notably the chief Tikawe. According to Maori law, this death could not be passed over without notice, so Ngati-Mania-poto and some of the Waikato tribes determined on again visiting Nga-Motu (or the Sugar-loaf Islands), notwithstanding the defeat they had suffered at the siege of Otaka in 1831—see Chapter XVIII. In the meantime the news of the “Tama-te-uaua” migration, in which most of their late enemies had departed for Kapiti, reached the Waikato country; and this emboldened them to attack the few remaining people who were living in the neighbourhood of Nga-Motu. These people, anticipating that revenge would be sought for Motu-tawa, and not being strong enough, after the departure of so many of the tribe for the south, to hold Otaka, removed to Miko-tahi—the half-tide island close to the foot of the present breakwater—which they fortified by strengthening the palisading, collecting provisions, and making arrangements for storing water, for there is no spring on this little island, nor could water be obtained within some distance on the main land. Ati-Awa had not in this case the advantage of the presence of the whalers who had so materially assisted them at the siege of Otaka, for they had all gone south with the great migration of the previous year, and (it is believed) had moved across the Straits to Te Awa-iti on Tory Channel—which, a few years later, became a whaling station of some importance. 10

Although so many of Ati-Awa had departed for the south, a considerable number still remained living about Nga-Motu, under their chiefs Te Puke-ki-mahurangi (who married Tautara's daughter, and their daughter, Rawinia, married Richard Barrett), Tautara, Kāpūia-whariki, 11 Waiaua (Rawiri), Katatore-te-waitere, Te Huia, Ngahuka (Piripi), Poharama, Te Kiri-kumara (Ihaia), and others. They numbered altogether, says Watene Taungatara, nearly three hundred people—men, women, and children; and must have been very closely packed in so small a space as is offered by the flat top of the island, even though some few of them occupied the pa on the summit of Paritutu. Plate No. 15 shows Miko-tahi with its perpendicular sand-stone cliffs and level top. Palisaded, it was impregnable; for a few determined men could hold it against a great number in the days when Maori weapons and old flint muskets were used. It is clear from the names of the chiefs mentioned above that there were people - 60 right away from Onaero to the Sugar-loaf Islands included within the garrison, and some of these people had returned home from Kapiti after the fall of Kaiapohia (near Christchurch), in 1831.

The Waikato taua was under the chiefs Te Wherowhero, Waharoa (of Ngati-Haua, Upper Thames), Hau-pokia, Tariki, Tao-nui (of Upper Mokau), Te Tihi-rahi (of Waipa), Te Pae-tahuna, Te Kanawa, Kaihau (of Ngati-Te-Ata), and Tu-korehu (also of Waipa, Kawhia, etc.) The latter, who was the celebrated warrior so often mentioned in this narrative, was an enormous man, distinguished (according to my informant) by a profusion of grey hairs hanging down from his chest like a garment. The taua occupied the point of land on which is now the Harbour light, opposite the island and the adjacent shores, and kept up a musketry fire on the pa, but with little or no result. The place was too strong to take by assault; so the invaders sat down to starve out the garrison. Watene Taungatara says they were a whole year before Miko-tahi was taken, but probably this is far too long a period. The garrison would have been starved into submission in no very long time had it not been for canoes from the Taranaki tribe to the south and also from Waitara to the north, which, taking advantage of calm weather and dark nights, managed from time to time to convey supplies to the garrison, the canoes landing on the rocks outside the island where musket balls could not reach them. In one of these canoes, a woman of Ati-Awa named Koro-pīkī—a daughter of Te Rangi-matoru, and married to a Kawhia man named Karu-whero—got away from the pa and proceeded to Kawhia to obtain assistance through her relatives for the purpose of mediating between the hostile parties.

Whilst she was absent, the siege went on; but the Waikato forces began to tire of it, for they met with no success, and provisions were getting scarce. They, therefore, made overtures of peace, which the garrison, now much reduced by hunger, agreed to consider, and towards that end admitted a few of the Waikato into the fortifications to disuss the matter. Whilst this was going on, the garrison detected what they considered signs of treachery in the emissaries, so turned on them and killed Te Aria and others—only one man named Te Heru escaping, which he did by jumping from the cliff into the sea, and then swam round to join his friends. One of the garrison named Whakapapa killed Kere of Ngati-Haua in this affair. Just at this juncture the party from Kawhia arrived, and Koro-pīkī, through her relationship to both sides secured a truce and took the garrison away to her camp. Here Waikato were most urgent to fall upon them and slay the whole party as utu for Te Aria; but Tu-korehu and his Ngati-Mania-poto party would not consent, and, indeed, prevented what might have been a massacre. Negotiations now proceeded, but I do not know the details beyond this, that several of the chiefs of the garrison were - 61 taken away to Kawhia by Koro-pīkī; amongst them the Puke-tapu hapu, besides Poharama, Te Waitere, Miti-kakau, Waiaua, Tamati Waka, Iharaira, Te Waitere, and Te Huia; and they appear to have become vassals, if not slaves, to some of the Waikato chiefs, and did not return to their homes “until the days of Wairaweke,” as my informant put it, i.e., “until Colonel Wakefield arranged to purchase all this coast in 1840.” 12

Those of the garrison who did not go to Kawhia, Waikato, etc., retired to Motu-roa Island, where they lived as best they could in the caves, rock-shelters, and in little huts built on any tiny spot that admitted of the erection of a roof, for many years to come, occasionally sojourning on the mainland to cultivate their little patches of kumaras, etc., etc.

The following incident in the career of Te Huia, mentioned above, during his sojourn in Waikato, is interesting as depicting the manners and customs of the times. It is taken from the Rev. James Hamlin's journal during his residence at Manga-pouri, on the Waipa river, the MS. of which was in the possession of the late Dr. Hocken: “August 17th, 1836. Wednesday evening about nine o'clock, Kaihau 13 came to tell me he expected a fight, and asked what he should do, whether or not he should commence making cartridges. I enquired into the case, and he then said it was on account of Te Huia (the head chief—sic—of Taranaki, but who had been routed and brought to Waikato as a slave) who had run away from his master after having witnessed the killing and eating of his daughter and her child at Otawhao, and he supposed he should share the same fate, and that his master had sent for him, but he would not go.…” 18th August, “Te Huia's master came for him, and used both kind and rough words to him, as did the Manga-pouri chiefs. But Te Huia would not move, so fully persuaded was he that he would be killed. …. The Manga-pouri chiefs were distantly related to Te Huia, or else he would have been dragged off by his master, who urged him again and again to go with him. But he replied, ‘There are firewood and stones here’ (meaning to roast him with) ‘as well as at their place.’ My feelings may be better imagined than described, for the natives here seem to think more of a pig than a slave.… After Te Huia's master had returned, Kaihau told me that Te Huia had been the means of saving the lives of as many as twenty of the head chiefs of Waikato at one time at Taranaki, and if he had said the word not one - 62 would have escaped. 14 I said, ‘Is this how he is served in return? Do you think they would have killed him if he had returned?’ Said they, ‘No doubt they would; for he has just told us someone warned him that if he returned he would be killed.’ ‘Then,’ said I, ‘how could you have the heart to tell him to go in the manner you did?’ He replied, ‘What is that to us what that man does with his slave?’”

SIEGE OF TE NAMU. June, 1833.

The Waikato taua, having been so far successful at Miko-tahi, were still not satisfied with the result, for few had been killed, and consequently little “long pig” had been consumed. The fact of the Taranaki tribe having assisted the garrison of Miko-tahi by occasionally supplying them with stores brought by canoe from further south was, in the opinion of the invaders, sufficient reason for attempting to punish that tribe. Besides, there were other reasons in the death of some of Waikato on the previous expeditions to the south. The taua, therefore, marched south for Te Namu—a very strong but small pa, situated a mile to the north of the modern town of Opunake, on a jutting rocky point that when palisaded formed a position of great strength. There are perpendicular cliffs all round, whilst a hollow some forty feet below the summit of the pa, and sixty yards wide, separates it from the general level of the country inland. Plate No. 16 shows this pa, and Map No. 8 the nature of the ground. To the north at less than one-fourth of a mile is another strong position named Te Namu-iti, separated from the generally level country inland by a deep ditch. It is shown in Plate No. 17. It does not appear to have been occupied during the siege of Te Namu. It will be remembered that after the defeat and scattering of the Taranaki tribe at Maru in 1826 (Chapter XV.), a large number of them migrated to Kapiti. But still there were a few left—not more than one hundred and fifty fighting men—and these, on the news of the approach of Waikato, gathered into their fortified pa of Te Namu, and stored it with a plentiful supply of provisions and water. The principal chief of Taranaki, who was appointed to conduct the operations in defence of the pa, was Wi Kingi Mata-katea—or, as he was more generally called in later days, Moke; the second in command being Te Kongutu-awa. For the benefit of their descendants, the names of the principal men within the pa at the siege are here recorded:—

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Plate No. 16.
Te Namu pa, from the north.
Plate No. 17.
Te Namu-iti pa from the base of Te Namu, looking north-west.

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  • Wi Mata-katea
  • Te Iho-o-te-rangi 15
  • Te Kutu 16 (Hone)
  • Te Wetere (Hone)
  • Rupaha
  • Maru-whenua (Hakaraia)
  • Pororaiti
  • Tawai-mua (Mohi)
  • Tapu-o-rongo
  • Te Uira (Parata)
  • Tai-hakapu
  • Te Ama-mako
  • Kai-puke
  • Mouri-o-rangi
  • Hohua
  • Heremia Te Horo
  • Reweti-Kuri 17
  • Tūi
  • Tupara
  • Patimiu
  • Rawiri Pikitu
  • Reweti Huanga-pango
  • Waitere Te Kongutu-awa
  • Tutara
  • Pera Wetoi

The scriptural names of the above people were given in after years. According to the Maori accounts the siege took place in the June before the wreck of the “Harriet,” which occurred on 29th April, 1834.

The Waikato forces came down and camped near Te Namu, but subsequently retreated to the banks of the Heimama stream, about a mile north of Te Namu, where they made their principal camp, and they also partially fortified a little hill near Te Namu called Kaiaia. From here as a base they sent forward strong parties, who occupied the plateau divided from Te Namu by the hollow referred to, and from thence kept up a musketry fire on the pa. Te Kahui of Taranaki supplies the following account of the successive operations of the siege: “The Waikato taua occupied the cliffs inland of Te Namu, indeed, almost surrounding the pa, except the seaward side. After a continuous firing lasting a long time, an assault was made on the pa by some of the invaders, whilst others supported it by musketry fire from the cliffs. But this attack was in vain; they could not take the pa. The besieged kept up a continuous discharge of stones on the advancing enemy, by which means many were killed and others wounded, which eventually led Waikato to retreat by way of a neighbouring valley. In this engagement Mata-katea distinguished himself by shooting many of Waikato. There was only one musket 18 in the pa, and that belonged to him. His aim never failed; a man fell each time he discharged his gun—even if half a mile off (sic)—so long as he could see his man, he shot him. The position he occupied during the fighting was high up in a puwhara, or tower, within the pa, from whence he had a clear view of the enemy.

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“For a time the punis, or camps, of the enemy were near the pa, but they were subsequently removed some way off, to Heimama stream, on account of the fear inspired by Mata-katea's musket. The Waikato besieged Te Namu for a whole month, during which time they made five separate assaults on it without success. There were eight hundred warriors in the Waikato taua opposed to the few in the pa, and they gave Mata-katea plenty of occupation in shooting at them. Arama Karaka of Taranaki, who had been taken prisoner by Waikato at Maru (Chapter XV.), was appointed by Waikato to hunt up food for the invaders, which he and a party of other prisoners did, as they knew the country well. But as his sympathies were of course with the besieged, he did the best part of his finds, only supplying Waikato with a small quantity of potatoes in the hollow (tangere) of the baskets, so that they might run short of food and leave.

“Food thus becoming scarce it was decided, on the advice of Kaihau (of the Ngati-Te-Ata tribe of Waiuku, Manukau), to make a final assault (the sixth). Before the attempt Kaihau stood on the little hillock before mentioned—named Kaiaia—and shouted out to Mata-katea, ‘Hei te tai-rakau-nui ahau.’—(‘When the moon is full, expect me.’) The next attack was made at that time; but in the interim the besieged had collected large quantities of boulders and piled them along the defences on the inland side of the pa. The Waikato advanced as before, and some managed to get quite close up to the pa, where they commenced undermining the face of the cliff on which the palisades stood, but they found it very difficult to make any impression on the solid concreted boulders which forms the base of the pa. All this time Taranaki was hurling over boulders and stones and Mata-katea using his musket, so that Waikato found the object unattainable and commenced a retreat. This was just at dawn; it was a rout, for Waikato did not stop at their camp, but picking up their baggage, etc., started at once for their homes. Just after they abandoned the siege, however, Kaihau came back to the cliff and shouted out, ‘Ka whati au! Ka hoki ki toku whenua. Nau ano te oneone!’—(‘I am retreating! I am returning to my own land. The land remains thine!’) which was a promise that he would leave them alone in future” (but evidently this did not apply to Waikato as we shall see). Mata-katea and his people now followed the retreating Waikatos, firing into them and attacking them until they reached Heimama stream, when the pursuit was abandoned, and they returned to pick up the dead killed in the pursuit. During the whole period of the siege Mata-katea is known to have shot sixteen men, whilst the whole number of Waikato killed was sixty-eight, bodies found; on the side of the besieged only one man, named Te Ao-moko, was killed by Waikato, and he was one of the chiefs of Te Namu.

“The bodies of the dead were burnt with fire” (my informant does - 65 not say if any were eaten, but no doubt they were). “Notwithstanding Kaihau's speech, Taranaki did not believe him. Te Iho-o-te-rangi said (addressing Kaihau in imagination), ‘Ko te ingoa, a Nga-tai-rakau-nui, kua irihia mai ki runga i a au, ka riro mai noku.’—(‘Your name, Nga-tai-rakau-nui, that you named me, will be adopted by me).’ Which was done to bear in mind this promise of Kaihau's not to return, and old Hori ever after used it.

“Soon after the return to the pa, Mata-katea proposed that a great feast (hakari) should be held to commemorate the victory over their enemies. All agreed to this, and when the time came there were to be seen potatoes, kumara, taro, hinau-bread (made of hinau berries), steeped karaka berries, mamaku (tree-fern cores), pua (bread made from raupo, or bullrush heads), pohue (convolvus roots), fish in numbers, and all the preserved products of the sea. There was plenty of food in the pa, and none of the besieged suffered in the least during the siege. After the feast, Mata-katea made a great speech to the people, pointing out the danger they were subject to in this small pa, and declaring his intention to lead them all away a few miles further south, to Nga-teko, a stronger place, and where the scattered people of Ngati-Rua-nui might join them; and thus with increased numbers they would be able to repel the next attack by Waikato, which was certain to follow in order to secure utu for their dead killed before Te Namu.

“Shortly after this all the people from Te Namu and that neighbourhood moved away to Nga-teko.”

The defeat of Waikato at Te Namu was the second they had suffered from those West Coast people within three years—and they evidently did not like it, for their losses had been considerable. It was therefore not long before they attempted to regain their lost prestige, as we shall see. We shall not lose sight of Mata-katea altogether until this narrative closes, for he had made a name for himself and became the principal leader of Taranaki—leading them to victory and preserving their country to them during the few remaining raids of the powerful Waikato tribes.

The chief tohunga, or priest, of the branches of Taranaki besieged at Te Namu was Mata-katea's brother, Nga-tai-rakau-nui, who was engaged the whole time with his assistants in invocating the gods, to whose assistance the people ascribe the victory they obtained over Waikato. 19

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After the return of the Waikato forces to their homes, another expedition was despatched to the Taranaki coast, the particulars of which are only to be found briefly related by Te Awa-i-taia in A.H.M., Vol. VI., p. 6, for there were none of the Ati-Awa in that part of the country to which the visit was made to record it. Te Awa-i-taia says, “After a while the Ngati-Mahanga, Ngati-Tahinga, Ngati-Te-Wehi, and Ngati-Mania-poto—numbering in all three hundred and forty men—again went to Taranaki. This party searched in vain for men; they could not find any. It was a mere remnant of a tribe that worked at catching lampreys at Waitara. Ihaia-Te-Kirikumara of Ati-Awa was present on this occasion (he was a Waikato prisoner). He accompanied our people in order to look at his home at Waitara. Waitara was again ‘marked’ (i.e., taken possession of) by Wiremu Te Awa-i-taia and his people. This was done by burying a musket used for shooting men. This was the second taking possession of this district. The party then returned to their own homes.”


Wiremu Te Awa-i-taia—chief of Ngati-Tahinga branch of Waikato, whose home was at Raglan and that neighbourhood, a very fine old man handsomely tattooed, dignified and courteous, whom I remember well on his visits to Auckland to see the Governor in 1859-64, and who was our loyal ally in the Waikato war of 1863-4—was one of the early converts of those parts to Christianity, and used his powerful influence to check the constant state of warfare into which the whole of the North Island had drifted—mainly through the introduction of muskets. In his narrative (A.H.M., Vol. VI., p. 7) he says, “The party (from Te Namu) then returned to their homes. Then the Gospel was introduced, and after the arrival of the missionaries I always restrained my people from going to war—I, Wiremu Nero Te Awa-i-taia, and all my tribe have accepted the Word of God. After the introduction of Christianity the Waikato carried the war further on—namely, to Ngati-Rua-nui—because there were no men whatever at Taranaki.” (This is a general statement; there were people at Nga-Motu and at Wai-mate). “Subsequently a Waikato war-party went against Ngati-Rua-nui, and Te Ruaki pa was invested. When I heard of the pa being besieged, I took the Word of God to the Waikato party and to Ngati-Rua-nui (in Orangi-tua-peka pa). The work of the Gospel could not well be carried on at that time. Eighty of us went; we spoke to Waikato and said that should be the last war of the Waikato. Enough, that pa was taken by Waikato; they came back, remained, and believed in God.”

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TE RUAKI. 1834.

This old pa is situated on the Whareroa Native Reserve, immediately south of the junction of the Mangimangi stream with that of Tangahoe, three miles E.N.E. of the town of Hawera. It is still in good preservation, and excepting here and there where the cattle have trodden paths up the terraces, the ramparts are intact. It is a large pa, capable of holding several hundred people. On the north side, and leading from the ramparts down to the Tangahoe stream, is a deep fosse with high embankments on either side, which in former times have evidently been palisaded. This was the covered way down to the water-supply of the pa, and is noticeable because of the rarety of such provision generally in Maori fortifications. Another peculiarity of this pa is the sloping ground to the west, which is fortified, and was evidently a modern addition to the main and more ancient part, due to the fear that this part should be occupied by an enemy possessed of muskets, who could from there command the main position.

Not far from Te Ruaki is another old pa, named Ohangai, which, when I stayed there in 1858, was fully fortified in the old-fashioned way with ramparts, fosse, etc., besides being palisaded with great posts, many of them carved in the usual manner with grotesque heads. A large number of people were then living there, who kept the place beautifully clean and neat. It was surrounded by karaka groves, many of which trees grew in the pa itself and furnished a grateful shade. The views from the pa, where the groves of wood admitted were picturesque and charming in a high degree; and never, in the extensive course of my travels, which have taken me to every corner of New Zealand, did I ever behold so charming a site, or so complete and beautiful an example of an old-fashioned pa. Gillfillan's beautiful picture of the Putiki pa, Whanga-nui, is very like this place as it was in 1858. It may be added that this picture is the best graphic representation of Maori old-time life that has appeared.

But to return to Te Ruaki. The bitterness of Waikato against Ngati-Rua-nui was principally due to the loss of some of their people through the latter tribe, when they came down at the instance of the Nga-Motu Ati-Awa to assist them to avenge the death of Te Karawa, as described in Chapter XV. To this, their late defeat at Te Namu added another take, or reason. So, not long after the return from Te Namu, Waikato again assembled and started for Taranaki under the chiefs Te Wherowhero, Pae-tahuua, Te Kanawa (of Waikato), Waharoa (of Ngati-Haua), Te Kohu-wai and Ti-kaokao (of Ngati-Mania-poto), and others—numbering altogether some twenty-five hundred men. Their avowed intention was to capture or kill Te Rei-Hana-taua, principal chief of Ngati-Rua-nui, who then lived at Te Ruaki pa. The Waikato forces came down by the old war-trail known as Whakaahu-rangi, - 68 inland of Mount Egmont, and soon after they got into the open country near Kete-marae they fell across some of Ngati-Rua-nui, and with that extraordinary delight of foolish boasting so often noticed in the Maori, one of the advance guard of Waikato called out, “We have come to fetch Te Hana-taua!”—which of course alarmed the local people, who flew to Te Ruaki and gave the alarm there, whilst another man departed for Orangi-tua-peka to warn those under Mata-katea to be on the alert; and then the taua advanced on Te Ruaki—which was only about three miles away, and where a large number of Ngati-Rua-nui had assembled under Te Hana-taua and Tikitiki—but it is said the majority of the tribe were away at the time. An assault was at once made on the pa at break of day. During this assault Te Hana-taua shouted out to the advancing host, “Whose is this army? Is it Te Wherowhero's?” One of Waikato replied, “Presently thy head shall be food for our guns!” Te Hana-taua replied, “It is well, O people! Tread on your peace-making!”—in which he referred to the doings after the siege of Te Namu, in which Kaihau had stated that they would not return to trouble Taranaki. 20 After this Te Hana-taua returned within the pa, and the enemy at once commenced firing into it, whilst the bravest rushed up to the palisades and tried to effect an entry. But they were repulsed with heavy loss. Waikato, seeing that assaulting the pa was useless, now proceeded to starve the garrison into submission. They went to the trouble of building a palisade all round outside the pa, so that no one might escape, and kept careful guard all the time, knowing full well that the provisions must fail in the end. During this siege an incident occurred which is very characteristic of Maori life in the old days: Within the pa was a man named Nga-Motu who was related to some of the besiegers, who desired to save his life; so he was karangatia, or called by name, and told to come out, when his life would be spared. But, mistrusting Waikato, he replied that he preferred to remain with his Ngati-Rua-nui relatives, and, if necessary, die with them.

So the siege continued until Ngati-Rua-nui were reduced to straits for want of sustenance. Three months—the Native accounts say—did they hold out, and then one of the Waikato chiefs, Tikaokao of Mokau, was admitted to the pa to discuss terms of surrender. Some of Ngati-Rua-nui proposed to kill the emissary. 21 This was not agreed to by the others, but when the surrender of the pa took place shortly after, it led to the killing of some of those who had entertained the treacherous design. The rest of the principal people of the pa were taken as prisoners, and amongst them their high chief Te Rei-Hana-taua. It - 69 was principally the Tangahoe division of Ngati-Rua-nui who suffered in this affair.

It is said by one of my informants that Te Hana-taua 22 was not taken at Te Ruaki, but after the pa fell Waikato raided into that part of Patea occupied by the Paka-kohi hapu of Ngati-Rua-nui, when, in an engagement, he and others were captured. After these events Waikato moved off to try conclusions again with Mata-katea, who then occupied Waimate pa.

The following is the lament composed by Waikato and sung for those of their tribe who fell at Te Ruaki. It was obtained from the well-known Waikato chief Honana Te Maioha in 1895:—

Tera ia te pae-whenua
He ata ka marama,
E mihi ana au—e—.
Ki te kino kainga i raro i nga muri
Ma Tama na Tu—e—,
Hurihurihia iho ra
Te kiri o te makau—u—
Kia hongi atu au—e—i,
He kakara ka ruru,
Te kakara o te ipo,
Te rangi e tu, te papa e takoto,
Nau mai e haere,
E tae ki raro ra,
E uia mai koe, ka hinga te rahui,
He aha i hinga ai?
Mo nga korero whakataki rau,
I runga o Tawhiti, he moenga rangatira,
E whai ana ahau—e—i,
Te mata o Tuhua, kia haehae au—e—i,
Mo koutou ra e haupu mai ra,
Te wetekia atu, tau o “Te Awhiowhio”—
Te “ika o Ngahue,” he ika hu atu.
Mo koutou ki te po na—e—i.

On the bounding line of vision,
The clear light of dawn appears,
Whilst I in sorrow here lament,
For deeds done in that ill-favoured land.
'Twas there the sons of the war-god Tu
Were overwhelmed and slain.
Handsome was my loved one:
Oh! that I could now salute him,
And feel the sweetness that was his.
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The fragrance of my lover
Was of the heaven above and earth below.
Welcome then, and now depart,
And when thy spirit reaches the north,
Thou wilt be asked, “Have the noble ones fallen?
And what was the cause that laid them low?”
(Thou shalt reply),
“'Twas the many urgent incitations
Beyond there at Tawhiti 23 stream,
The death-bed of the chiefs.”
And, now, alas, I seek
Obsedian of Tuhua, my flesh to score
In sorrow for ye all, that there in heaps do lie.
Why didst thou not unloose
The wrist-band of “Te Awhiowhio? 24
The “fish of Ngahue,” the weapons that
Caused ye all to death to descend.


After the departure of Waikato from Te Namu, in 1833, as described a few pages back, Mata-katea and his people, whilst elated at their victory over the northern tribes, at the same time felt that Te Namu was not of sufficient size, nor such an impregnable place as others in the event of Waikato returning to seek utu for their losses. With the idea of securing a place of greater security, the tribe decided on occupying Nga-teko or Nga-ngutu-maioro pas, which are generally known as Waimate; Orangi-tua-peka is another name for the second of the places named above. It is a very strong position, formed by the separation of a point of land from the mainland through the action of the Kapuni river, which, however, now runs on the west of the pa, having abandoned its old channel which cuts off the pa on the east, leaving a gorge some two hundred feet deep, with almost perpendicular sides, whilst the abrupt cliffs of the sea-coast form an impregnable barrier on that side. Orangi-tua-peka is quite level on top and perhaps two acres in extent. The ascent to it is on the eastern end, up the narrow ridge shown in Plate No. 18. Major Heaphy has preserved a drawing of this celebrated pa, as seen by him in 1840, when its palisading was intact; but his sketch must have been taken from the bottom of the gorge, and thus omits the level top of the pa, as seen in Plate No. 18, which, however, excludes the deep gorge, a little to the right of the picture. Nga-teko is seen just over the top of this pa, and is also shown in Plate No. 19, taken from the beach under Orangi-tua-peka. Both of these places were formidable positions when palisaded. The Kapuni river runs between the two pas and its mouth formed a

- v
Plate No 18.
Orangi-tua-peka, or Waimate pa, from the south.
Plate No. 19.
Nga-teko, from below Orangi-tua-peka.

- vi Page is blank

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landing place for the fishing-canoes. The pas are two and three-quarter miles S.E. from the modern town of Manaia, and are situated within the Ngati-Rua-nui tribal territories.

When the Taranaki people from Te Namu, under Mata-katea, arrived at Waimate, they found no one there, but soon ascertained that Hukanui Manaia—the chief of those parts—together with all his people, were living away in the wilds of the forest, for the dread of Waikato was great. Mata-katea went out himself and sent out other parties also, and gradually brought all the people in, who were found here and there living in twos and threes in separate places. It took them a fortnight to gather together all these fugitives, who numbered about two hundred, and then the whole party agreed to throw in their lot together and renew the fortifications of Orangi-tua-peka and Nga-teko ready for the inevitable return of Waikato. There were thus in the pas—says my informant—three hundred and fifty men, besides women and children, composed of Taranaki and Ngati-Rua-nui. In Mr. T. W. Gudgeon's account of this affair (loc. cit., p. 78), he says (or implies, for he confuses the names of the two pas) that there were eighty Taranaki and forty Nga-Ruahine warriors in Nga-teko, under Mata-katea, Ngatai, and Tihe; two hundred of Ngati-Rua-nui under Titoko-waru, Pakeke, Tiako, and Te Awaroa in Waimate or Orangi-tua-peka. Every preparation was made by provisioning the pas; Mata-katea was appointed fighting chief, and Nga-Tai-rakau-nui as his assistant, to whom fell the duties of the karakia to the Maori gods and the government of the internal affairs of the pa—“to incite the men to be courageous; to abandon their bodies to death; to feel no fear; and act as true warriors. Such are the encouraging words of a leading chief to the common people” (says my informant) “Mata-katea had two duties, the one internal and the other external, of the pa. When danger arose it was his duty to lead men forth to fight to the death, whilst Nga-Tai-rakau-nui taught them to be cautious so that they might live long to fight their enemies and preserve the land. The reason of this was, that nearly all had fled to Kapiti, to Wai-kanae, and even to Arapaoa in the South Island, for fear of Waikato. Commencing at Pari-ninihi (the White Cliffs, forty miles north of New Plymouth), right away south to Wai-totara, all the tribes of Ngati-Tama, Ngati-Mutunga, and Ati-Awa, with most of Taranaki and Ngati-Rua-nui, had fled through fear of Waikato. The two last mentioned departed after the others; but some remained, having been restrained by Mata-katea and others under Te Hana-taua, and were now under his guidance.”

So Waikato returned on their tracks from Te Ruaki determined to beard the lion in his den. As the taua reached Kaupoko-nui river, they were seen by Mata-katea's scouts, and soon after they camped at Manga-porua—not far from Kauae pa, a little distance from the mouth - 72 of the river. Mr. Gudgeon says another party camped at Te Matihe— above Inaha stream, to the south of Waimate. Mata-katea, taking a chosen band of fifty warriors, marched during the night along the beach to the mouth of the Kaupoko-nui (about seven miles west of Waimate). Arrived there they were able to see the fires of the Waikato camp, and hear the chiefs addressing their warriors, and mentioning Mata-katea's name. “Stay all of you here whilst I creep forward,” said Mata-katea. He then went stealthily toward the enemies' camp, and happened right on one of their men who was fishing by the side of the river. As he drew near the fisherman the latter detected the slight noise made by his footstep on the gravel; he sprung up and called out, “Who is that?” Said Mata-katea, “Friend! It is I. How many fish have you caught?” The man answered, “I have none!” He mistook Mata-katea for one of their own people, for the latter had assimulated his speech to that of Waikato. Then Mata-katea sprang forward, and with a blow of his taiaha felled the man—he cut off his head, took out his heart, and left the body on a prominent stone. The head, on his return, was stuck on a pole on the palisades to dismay the enemy, whilst the heart was offered to the gods, Aitu-hau and Aitu-pawa in the Whangai-hau 25 ceremony; Waikato did not discover the death of the missing man.

“When the light of the sun appeared next morning, the taua marched down towards the pa, which was soon encompassed, and they commenced firing, which was returned by those of Nga-teko. Mata-katea shot one of the Waikato chiefs named Tai-puhi. This caused the taua to fall back inland, to the side of the Kapuni stream. Mata-katea shouted out, “Search for one of your men; last night he was killed. Here is his head stuck on top of this post, and his heart has been offered to the gods.” On return to camp, the taua collected together and searched amongst themselves as to who was absent, and then found that Te Waka was missing; they came to the conclusion he had been killed at Kaupoko-nui. 26 Then the taua came to this conclusion, “It is Mata-katea and his people who will prevail in this war, since the heart of this man has been offered to the gods. We shall not be able to take the pa.” Te Kanawa and Pae-tahuna were for retreating and leaving the pa alone, for the omens were unpropitious; others wished to continue the assault. The first said, “Even if we remain, the pa will not be taken. As for this great taua, Mata-katea alone appears to be able to beat it! Are not two of us already killed by his hand?”

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“However, when next morning came, the pa was attacked. As soon as the taua was seen approaching, Mata-katea and Manaia ascended the tower, and from there kept up a fire on the enemy, shooting one man as they advanced. But this did not stay the taua; they came along pouring a heavy fire into the pa, and continued to do so for a long time. But the assault failed, and the taua had to retreat again to Kapuni. The gun used by Mata-katea was a urumu-ngutu-parera (? blunderbuss). Six of the enemy were shot by Mata-katea, Manaia, and Whetoi. Some of the dead were carried off by the taua when they retreated, but three of their muskets and some ammunition fell into the hands of the besieged—making four then in their possession.” This looks as if Taranaki had followed up and fought the taua outside the pa, which is confirmed by Mr. T. W. Gudgeon (loc. cit.), who says: “On the following day the Matihe party attacked Orangi-tua-peka, but were met in the open and driven back, leaving five of their number behind them; the others they carried off and burnt. The brunt of this fight fell on Taranaki, who, highly delighted at their success, cut off the heads of the slain and sent them over to their allies at Waimate to decorate their palisades.”

Mr. Gudgeon continues: “On the following morning Waikato made another combined attack. A party of one hundred men was told off to lay an ambush near the pa during the night, while at early dawn the main body was to make a vigorous attack on Waimate, hoping in this manner to draw the garrison away from their pa (? that at Nga-teko), and so give the ambush a chance. Probably this scheme might have succeeded had Waikato's courage been equal to Taranaki's cunning; for no sooner did Waikato attack in earnest than both Taranaki and Nga-Ruahine (of Ngati-Rua-nui) rushed over (from Nga-teko) to assist their friends, but before leaving made their women and boys go outside the pa, as though ready to meet the enemy. The ruse succeeded admirably, and the ambush, believing the occupants of Waimate were waiting for them to attack, remained hidden, while their people, assaulted by the full strength of the allies, were thoroughly beaten and fled unpursued, Nga-Ruahine being suspicious of ambushcades.”

“Thus ended the battle of Nga-ngutu-mairo,” says Mr. Gudgeon. “Waikato lost in all about sixty men, including the chiefs Mere-kai-kaka and Pungatara, chiefs of Ngati-Hine-tu (of Waikato); Te Kohu-wai, a leading chief of Ngati-Mania-poto; Hiahia, Toa-ranga-tira, Tu-pekepeke, Te Oi-tai and Rae-taha. The allies lost only one chief, Te Kamia, and five men. That day it was ascertained that Waikato really had retreated; and the same night they were followed by the most able-bodied men of the allies, two hundred and fifty strong, and found camped at Otu-matua pa (situated on the coast, at the point fourteen miles W.N.W. from Waimate, and two miles S.W. of the present village of Pihama). Nga-Ruahine hid themselves - 74 carefully, intending to storm the camp at sundown; this plan, however, was defeated by a few straggling Taranaki, who, for reasons best known to themselves, gave warning to Waikato, and they taking alarm, left everything and stole away, so that when the allies rushed the camp, the birds had flown. The hurry and confusion of the retreat had, however, one good effect, and that was that Te Hana-taua and most of his people (captured at Te Ruaki) succeeded in making their escape, and eventually took shelter with Nga-Ruahine and Taranaki at Waimate.”

Te Kahui says, “Nine days were occupied by Waikato in assaulting the pas, but without success; and on the last day the besieged sallied forth and fought their enemies in the open and beat them (as described above), losing six men killed, and thirteen wounded—who all recovered.” Mr. Gudgeon says (loc. cit.) that after the above fight Waikato departed for their homes, but Te Kahui tells a different tale, as follows:—

“After the defeat of Waikato, the principal chiefs of the taua desired to make peace with Taranaki, and communicated with Mata-katea to that end. Mata-katea proceeded by himself to the enemies' camp, where he was greeted by the whole taua, and a tangi for the dead was held with some of the Taranaki prisoners still in the hands of Waikato. Then arose Te Wherowhero, and addressing their visitor said, ‘For the first time has my weapon been broken on this day.’ This was all he said. Next Mata-katea addressed the assembly, ‘On the morrow we will talk; after which I shall know if this is a true peacemaking.’ To this the chiefs of Waikato—Te Wherowhero, Te Kanawa, Te Waharoa, and Pae-tahuna—consented. Mata-katea now proposed to the taua that their arms should be left in charge of the Taranaki and other prisoners, to guard, at the meeting. After this had been assented to, Mata-katea returned to his pa, and reported proceedings, saying to the people, ‘The enemy desires peace, let us consider this very carefully, whether it is to be a permanent peace or not. If so, it will be well.’”

The proposition being favourably received, “When morning came the whole of the people from the pas marched out and went to meet Waikato, carrying with them a great abundance of food—potatoes, kumara, taros, karaka berries, dried fish, dried shark, etc., and finally, on reaching the Waikato camp, laid it all down before them. It formed a great, high pile; and as the people came up they were welcomed by the women of Waikato, Mata-katea going over and joining the ranks of Waikato. Te Wherowhero now stood up to address the two bodies of people, saying, ‘This is my final peacemaking; I have ended—ended for ever; and shall return at once and not come back. Your lands remain with you on account of your prowess. Were I to fight again after this my arm would be - 75 broken under the shining sun.’ He was followed by Nga-tai-rakau-nui, who assented to the peace. Next Mata-katea called on Te Wherowhero and Nga-tai' to approach and stand on either side of the pile of food. He, together with Manaia, Toi, Titoko-waru, and Whetoi, being joined by some Waikato chiefs, stood not far off, and then Te Wherowhero and Nga-tai' (as the chief priests) repeated some karakias usual on peacemaking, all the others joining in. And so peace was concluded.”

Neither of these narratives mention the fact that Te Awa-i-taia, after visiting the Waikato camp at Te Ruaki, had come on to Waimate, and was actually in the pa during the time of the Waikato attack. As he says himself, his object was to induce them all to accept Christianity, and no doubt his influence helped to cement this peace. Taranaki people say Waikato committed a breach of Maori tikanga, or etiquette, in attacking the pa, whilst one of their own chiefs and his party were inside its ramparts.

Te Awa-i-taia says (A.H.M., Vol. VI., p. 8), “Beyond Orangi-tua-peka there were no inhabitants on our return. We passed through the deserted district of Taranaki and came to Nga-Motu. We found a remnant of the people living on Motu-roa Island. We passed through the uninhabited district of Waitara and came to Mokau—there we saw the face of man; the people residing there were Ngati-Mania-poto. When we arrived at Waikato, Christianity had greatly spread.”

It will be noticed above that Te Kohu-wai, a high chief of Ngati-Mania-poto was killed before Waimate. Very shortly after the return of Te Wherowhero's taua, the celebrated warrior Tu-korehu, and Taonui, of the above tribe, made a raid with a small party into the Ngati-Rua-nui country to seek revenge for Te Kohu-wai's death. They fell on a small party of the local people, and there killed Piri-mai-waho—a Ngati-Rua-nui chief—and thus squared the account, and at the same time ended the Waikato raids into the Taranaki district for ever.


We must for a time change the scene of our narrative to the neighbourhood of Kapiti island, where some of the Taranaki tribes became involved at this time with another of the migrating tribes from the north, the Ngati-Rau-kawa, which tribe had removed from their old homes in the neighbourhood of Maunga-tautari in consequence of complications arising with the tribes of Waikato, Ngati-Haua, etc. By this time—1833-4—Ngati-Rau-kawa were in considerable force around Otaki; they had come down in several parties, and their adventures on the way form an interesting study, but it does not belong to this history.

At this time the Ati-Awa tribes of Waitara, and that neighbourhood, were very numerous about Wai-kanae, Otaki, etc., for their own - 76 territories on the west coast were practically abandoned through the repeated raids of the Waikatos, as has been related. Living, as were these migratory tribes as manene, or strangers, in a conquered country, and before any permanent settlement had taken place; obtaining their food from hand to mouth, and ever on the watch against their neighbours, the Ngati-Toa and Ngati-Rau-kawa, the leader of the former of which tribes, Te Rau-paraha, was far from being trusted by Ati-Awa, though ostensibly allies, led to more than ordinary savage and lawless ways. Hence, about this time, our Ati-Awa friends became embroiled with their Ngati-Rau-kawa neighbours to the north. The description of the troubles that ensued will be left to old Rangi-pito—parts of whose narrative have frequently been quoted before. He says:—

“Some time after the arrival of the Tama-te-uaua migration (see this Chapter, ante), and before we moved on to Port Nicholson, there came down from Taranaki another heke named ‘Heke-paukena,’ which was the last from that district. 27 Not long after their arrival a man named Tawake, of the Ngati-Tawhake hapu of Ati-Awa from Puke-tapu, but formerly of Kairoa inland of Lepperton, and others went inland to a place on the north side of the Otaki river—to the territory then occupied by Ngati-Rau-kawa—to ao-kai, or steal food. As the party returned, Tawake remembered that he had left his pipe behind, and so went back to fetch it, when he was caught by Ngati-Rau-kawa, who killed him with their tomahawks. Finding he did not return, his companions went to look for him, and found and brought away his headless body to the coast where the migration was camped. Great excitement was caused by this death, and, as usual, revenge was determined upon. Messengers were at once despatched to Wai-kanae, ten miles to the south, where the main body of Ati-Awa was living. The tribe arose at once and came to Otaki, where they attacked Ngati-Rau-kawa in the open near their pa at that place. The latter tribe was driven into their pa, in which at that time Te Rau-paraha was staying, and was eventually reduced to great straits, for Ati-Awa completely surrounded the pa, and cut off all communication with the outside. Matters continued thus for some time until the feeding of the many people in the pa began to become a serious affair, and it was seen that if the siege continued much longer, the pa would have to capitulate. Te Rau-paraha, who as usual took the most prominent part in directing the defence (although he was fighting against his late allies), seeing matters begin to look very serious, despatched ten messengers to bring down the Waikato tribes to his assistance. This meant at least a month or six weeks' delay. The men travelled by the coast, but were captured and killed by Ngati-Rua-nui. He next - 77 sent two messengers, who travelled by way of the mountains, and they managed to get through their enemies, proceeding by way of the Whanga-nui river, Lake Taupo, and finally to Waikato. The messengers were successful in rousing these tribes, and a considerable number of Waikato and Taupo people (the latter under Te Heuheu) came to Te Rau-paraha's assistance. In the meantime the siege went on. At this time Ngati-Rua-nui, which tribe was assisting the Ati-Awa, wished to make peace; and for this purpose sent Tu-rau-kawa and ten other chiefs to the pa to make overtures towards that end. But Te Rau-paraha—in keeping with his usual character—incited Ngati-Rau-kawa, whilst the emissaries were in the pa, to kill them. This was done, and thus died one of the most learned men, probably, that the Maoris have ever known. Tu-rau-kawa was a tohunga of the first rank, and a poet of no mean order. His compositions are full of most interesting references to the ancient history of the people. As the Maoris say, they show a greater knowledge of ancient history than any others, and contain ‘all the wisdom of the Maori world.’”

The arrival of these reinforcements from the north altered the state of affairs for a time and caused the Ati-Awa to withdraw from before the pa at Otaki, and retire to Paka-kutu—a pa on the north side of the Otaki river, not very far from the sea-coast, and between there and the Rangi-uru (or Whakarangirangi) stream. 28 The Ngati-Rau-kawa and their northern allies now advanced and attacked Paka-kutu, which was occupied by Ati-Awa, Ngati-Rua-nui, and Taranaki. Both sides suffered severely in the fighting that ensued for two whole days. And then Ati-Awa retreated to the south side of Otaki river to a pa of theirs named Hao-whenua, situated close to the site of the old accommodation house there.


In the fighting that occurred at this period both sides were well armed with muskets. Rangi-pito says, “Then the enemy in their thousands advanced against Ati-Awa in their pa at Hao-whenua, but Te Rau-paraha remained in his pa at Otaki, whilst Ngati-Rau-kawa and Waikato advanced to the attack—he was afraid of Waikato, kei apititia mo nga he o mua—(lest he should be killed on account of his former evil deeds against that tribe). So the ope came on to Hao-whenua full of bravado and anxious to exterminate Ati-Awa and their allied tribes—Taranaki and Ngati-Rua-nui. The pa was held by the chiefs Tu-whata (Hone), Huri-whenua, Te Hau-te-horo, Raua-ki-tua, Rere-tawhangawhanga, Rangi-wahia, Tau-tara, Te Tupe-o-Tu, Te Manu-toheroa, and others. It was a very large pa, palisaded with - 78 pekerangi (the lower line) and kiri-tangata (the upper and inner line), about two miles long (sic.) On the arrival of the enemy before the pa, three ngohi, or companies, were sent out by the pa to meet them, each two hundred men topu (four hundred), under Hone Tu-whata, Te Ua-piki, Rere-tawhangawhanga, and Huri-whenua as leaders. So they went forth, and were given over to death by the guns (ka tukua ratou katoa hei ngaunga ma te pu). As they went forth, those divisions under Hone and Te Ua-piki led the advance—the other two remaining in the rear as a whakahoki, 29 or support. Then the enemy fled, followed by Hone's party. After watching his advance for some time, the two other ngohi gave chase also as a support—for by that time they knew it was a real retreat and not a feint. They only followed the enemy as far as a swamp, however; and from there the enemy returned to their punis, or camps. The first attack on Hao-whenua was at an end, and the victory lay with Ati-Awa.

“The following day the enemy returned. They advanced by way of Pahiko, which is the same place as Muka-kai, a place on the south side of Hao-whenua, where Hau-te-horo and Te Tupe-o-Tu were posted with a small party of Te Ati-Awa. The enemy fell on them and killed most of them. This event occurred early in the morning. Ati-Awa only got one man in payment for these deaths—one, Kuri, of Taupo, who was shot by Te Whaiaipo. Te Tupe-o-Tu was shot by Puke-rua of Ngati-Mania-poto. Then the enemy came on towards the sea-shore, where they fell across a party of women belonging to Ati-Awa, who were bringing food to the pa; many of these were killed, whilst several escaped to their friends—na tana kaha ki te tahuti ka ora ai etahi—(by their powers of running did several escape). This occurred on the beach at a place named Te Mahia, which was not far from Hao-whenua pa. The enemy got on all sides and enclosed them, as it were. This event occurred in the forenoon.

“Then the enemy came on towards Hao-whenua, when Ati-Awa went forth in force from the pa to stop them. The two parties met about a mile distant from the pa, when the firing commenced. About noon they came to close quarters, and here Papaka—younger brother of Te Heuheu of Taupo—fell, shot in the forehead (by Te Naeroa, says old Taiata of Ngati-Tama, and his death squared that of Te Tupe-o-Tu). The Ngati-Tu-whare-toa, the Ngati-Mania-poto, and Ngati-Rau-kawa (the two first the allies from the north) suffered severely in this - 79 engagement—toto ana i te ngaunga a te pu—(the ground was covered with blood through ‘the biting’ of the guns). The enemy then retreated, carrying off Papaka's body with them, but leaving the rest of their dead lying in heaps on the battlefield. There were no other men of consequence who fell there besides Papaka (kaore he ingoa a roto i a ratou).

“The enemy retreated under the cover of night, for evening had come by the time the fighting had ceased—it was in the month of March—lest they should be seen by Ati-Awa, who had remained watching on the battlefield, but did not follow the retreating enemy. The following is the order in which the Ati-Awa allies remained on the field:—Ngati-Tama, nearest the sea; then inland of them the sub-tribe Kai-tangata; then Puke-tapu; then Manu-korihi; then Otaraua; then Ngati-Rahiri; then Nga-Motu; then Ngati-Mutunga. After some time, finding the enemy did not return, they all went back to the pa at Hao-whenua, for they did not care to follow up the enemy in the dark for fear of ambushes. The enemy retired to Pahiko, and thence to their punis (camps) at Otaki, where was Te Heuheu, the head chief of Taupo lake, to whom was shown the dead body of his brother Papaka, who had been persuaded to join in this affair by his elder brother. No one equalled Papaka in arrogance; he was a fine, handsome man of great personal attractions and of an aristocratic bearing. Te Heuheu was much cut up at the death of his brother, and proceeded to lament his death in the following tangi:—

Taku tirotiro noa i te hono tatai,
Ka wehe koe i ahau!
Te murau a te tini—
Te wenerau a te mano.
Taku manu tioriori
Mo nga hau kopanga-rua ki te tonga
Ko Te Tupe-o-Tu, ko Hau-te-horo
Ka whakairi te toa.
Rangahau atu ra
Nga titahatanga ki Pahiko
He kauterenga nui na koutou
Nga taumata i Te Horo
E whakamakuru ana ko aitua tonu
Ko Tiki raua ko Te Toa,
Ko whana-ihu, ko whana-rae
Ko te tama i aitia
E tera wahine, e tera tangata
I whakatutuki ana
I nga waitete a Tu-matauenga.
Taku whatiwhati-ki ka riro,
Taku poroporo tu ki te hamuti
Taku wai whakatahetahe,
Ki te kauhanga riri.
He unuhanga a toa.
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He rutunga patu,
Na koutou ko ou matua
Ki te one i Purua
Ka whakina atu ra,
Kia whana ai ou ringaringa,
Kia hokai ai ou waewai,
Hare ra, E Pa!
I nga tai whakarewa kauri,
Ki te uru,
Tutanga pononga e, roto i a au,
Kei te aha to hara?
Kei nga hara tata nunui,
A Tiki-maeroero
Kei o hianga i tuku atu ai,
Ka moe koe i te kino,
Te Hoa—e—!

To continue Rangi-pito's narrative:—“Ngati-Rau-kawa, Waikato and their allies now remained in their camp considering what they should do. It was finally decided to proceed against Te Kenakena (a place near the mouth of the Wai-kanae stream, and close to a little lake there now—1897—covered by the sand hills), which was occupied by that branch of Ngati-Toa under the chieftainship of Te Hiko-o-te-rangi, son of Te Pehi Kupe who was killed at Kai-apohia, South Island, in 1830. This branch of Ngati-Toa had divided off from those under Te Rau-paraha, because of the relationships of Te Hiko-o-te-rangi's mother to Ati-Awa.

“In the morning the toro, or scouts, went forth from Te Kenakena pa, and discovered the advancing enemy” (who apparently had slipped past Hao-whenua in the dark); “but nothing came of this just then—the fight commenced later in the morning, and continued until the afternoon. During this engagement, Waikato made a dash at Ngati-Toa (under Te Hiko), who were sent reeling backwards in confusion, but none were hurt. As they retired they carried their guns at the trail (raparapa toia te pu). They fell back on the main body of Puke-tapu, Manu-korihi and Nga-Motu” (who had apparently came to assistance of Te Hiko'). “Then Ati-Awa charged down on the enemy, and Ngati-Mania-poto, Waikato and Ngati-Tu-whare-toa were worsted in the fight and fled right away.

“Meanwhile Hone Tu-whata and Te Ua-piki were engaged with Ngati-Rau-kawa. Ruru of the latter tribe distinguished himself by flourishing about with his tomahawk; Rakatau and Hakaraia (of Ati-Awa) both fired at him, but missed him, being too excited to take aim. In this affair Waikato and their allies were on one side of a hill, and Ngati-Rau-kawa on the other facing Wai-kanae. Hone and his party of Ati-Awa repulsed Ngati-Rau-kawa. These fights all took place on the same day, and on the following came the peacemaking by Nini.

- 81

“Nini was a high chief of Ngati-Tipa, of Waikato Heads, and had come down with the Waikato party to help Ngati-Rau-kawa in their distress. After the defeat of that tribe and their Waikato allies, they came to the conclusion it would be well to make peace.” After all, though both sides had scored against the other, Ati-Awa were getting the best of it. “It was now arranged that overtures should be made, and with that view Nini was despatched to Hao-whenua to open the negotiations. On his arrival the usual feast was given by Ati-Awa, and numerous speeches made. Then Nini declared his errand, which was favourably received by Ati-Awa and their allies. Nini requested that some one of rank should accompany him back to the Ngati-Rau-kawa stronghold to set on foot the negotiations. So Te Patu-kekeno (son of Te Manu-toheroa of Puketapu) accompanied Nini on his return. After this thirty chiefs of Ngati-Rau-kawa and their allies returned to Waikanae, where many speeches were made, and the peace concluded. Nini declared this should be an enduring peace; his final words to Ati-Awa on leaving were, ‘Hei konei, E Ati-Awa! E kore au e hoki mai. Ki te tae mai he iwi hei patu i a koe—ka mate.’—(‘Farewell, O Ati-Awa! I will not return. If any tribe comes to make war on you, they will die’). 30 On Nini's return home to Waikato Heads his father, Kukutai, approved his action.

“This peace was not ever broken by Ati-Awa; but Ngati-Rau-kawa trod on it by attacking Ati-Awa at Te Kuititanga in October, 1839 (see Chapter XX.); and the Taupo people did the same against Ngati-Rua-nui at Patoka in 1841.

“It was shortly after Hao-whenua that the bulk of us (Ati-Awa) moved over to Port Nicholson to join our relatives there.”


Arising out of the fighting just described was the following incident, which is very characteristic of Maori life in the old days: Tiwai was a brother of Pomare (one of the young chiefs of Ngati-Mutunga of Ati-Awa at that time, afterwards to become a leading man at the Chatham Islands, a nephew of Ngatata) and was killed at Hao-whenua. After his burial, the brothers of Pomare's wife (who was named Tawhiti, and was a daughter of Te Rau-paraha) dug up the body and desecrated the grave. The perpetration of this indignity by his brothers-in-law so enraged Pomare that he abandoned his wife, sending her and the two younger children back to her people, - 82 while he retained the eldest. At this time Pomare was about thirty years of age, and a fine looking man. He had taken Hera Wai-taoro, the daughter of Te Manu-tohe-roa (of Puke-tapu) as a wife. Topeora, sister of Rangi-haeata and aunt of Te Rau-paraha, the lady celebrated for her compositions referred to in Chapter XI., came to see Pomare to try and heal the family quarrel, bringing with her Tawhiti, and two younger women—one of whom was another Topeora (afterwards married to Te Hiko-o-te-rangi, Pehi-Kupe's son) who was a daughter of Mokau, or Te Rangi-haeata—and offered them all to Pomare. The latter refused them with disdain, not looking at or speaking to them on account of the indignity offered to his brother's remains. Where-upon, the elder Topeora threw off the cloak round her shoulders, leaving only a very short mat round her waist, and commenced to pukana, or grimace, singing the following song:—

Aue taku tane! taku tane!
I kukume kau ai taku kaki, ka roa,
I kite pea te makau i tohoku,
Ka whai ngaio, ka putere te haere,
Whawhai, E Koeke! te teke
I whakapiria ki te ware-kauri
Ka hua ai i ara
E kore e takatiti
Te hua o te inanga ki waho na
Ana! ka whatero te arero-pipi kei waho.

The above was told to Mr. Shand and myself. Some time after, Mr. Shand sent me the following note:—“Tapu-Hirawana (a Moriori who knew much of the Ati-Awa history) recited to me Pomare's lament—about 1843-4—when he went from the Chatham Islands to Wellington, and his former wife, Tawhiti, came to see him. She fell on his neck lamenting most bitterly, whilst he was overcome by her affection after—it must have been—nine or ten years separation. In her sorrow she cursed her people for the separation, and also her then husband who was really a rangatira, though she called him a mokai, saying he was not like her first husband Pomare, who had always been kind to her and had never maltreated her until the remains of Tiwai were desecrated. At that time Pomare had buried some negro-head tobacco with Tiwai, and it was this that Tawhiti's brother dug up and smoked, in the Maori ideas, equivalent to eating the body. So Pomare, for a time, got the name of ‘Nika-heti’ (Nigger-head). The lament Pomare sung was that of a Ngati-Mania-poto chief for his wife who had been inveigled by her Ngati-Tama brother named Te Whare-kura (who died at the Chatham Islands) under the pretence of visiting him. When she did so, she was detained and given to another man of her own tribe.”

The celebrated Topeora, according to Rangi-pito, was a short woman - 83 and (at that time) plain, with mahunga-puru, or short, crisp hair, not at all well favoured; her mental qualities and her birth alone made her celebrated. “Ko Topeora, ko te aha? Ka pa ko Nga-rewai, ko te tamahine o Te Ahuru”—(“Topeora indeed! What of her? If it had been Nga-rewai, the beautiful daughter of Te Ahuru, chief of Ngati-Apa!”) is a saying about this great lady, that enjoyed much favour about the time her tribe, Ngati-Toa, occupied Kapiti.

It was not long after the Ati-Awa removed to Port Nicholson, as stated a few pages back, that parties of them moved across the Straits to join their fellow tribesmen who had already settled there—see Chapter XVI.

1   See the origin of this name in Chapter IX., and description of the track in Chapter I.
2   The-living-waters-of-Tane, where life was renewed.
3   Whiti, or Fiji, and Tonga, the islands of those names, often referred to in old poetry, meaning here, they vainly seek safety in the neighbouring tribes. A very old, old reference.
4   The translation of this is not suitable to European readers, though not at all shocking to the Maori.
5   Flax leaves woven thickly in this manner are almost impervious to bullets fired from the old-fashioned musket.
6   Killed at Hao-whenua by Ati-Awa not long after this.
7   There is a saying, ‘Te Heuheu is the man, Tongariro is the mountain.’ implying the intimate connection between the high chief of Taupo and the volcanic mountain; he was, like the mountain, the head and summit of his tribe. Te Popo belonged to the same family. Te Heuheu himself was overwhelmed in a land slip at Taupo in 1845.
8   Father of Wiremu Kingi Te Rangi-tāke.
9   Bodies were cooked, says Rangi-pito, in the Maori steam oven, and then hung up in houses so that they became pakapaka, or dried, in which condition they would keep a month. “Other foods we had were aruhe (fern-root), korito (raupo roots cooked), and dried kumara (kao). There was abundance of fern-root and raupo-root to be obtained close to our camp. Sometimes bodies were cut into strips and hung in the sun to dry; or in other cases they were first cooked, then put into ipus, or calabashes, and the fat poured over them; in such cases the flesh would remain good for a long time.”
10   I have been unable to ascertain when Barrett's companions returned to their homes at Nga-Motu; but it is certain that they were not there in April, 1834, as we shall see. In fact, it seems probable that they did not again occupy Motu-roa until after the year 1840, though Barrett himself came back with Colonel Wakefield, and landed there in November, 1839.
11   In “Nga-Moteatea,” page 106, will be found a song by this man; but it has, apparently, nothing to do with these events.
12   Colonel Wakefield mentions on his visit to Nga-Motu in February, 1840, that many of the returned slaves from Waikato were at that time passing through to their Taranaki homes.
13   Of the Ngati-Te-Ata tribe of Waiuku, Manukau; grandfather of Henare Kaihau, M.P., which tribe was then in exile in the Ngati-Mania-poto country.
14   Probably this was at Motu-tawa, as described in the early part of this Chapter.
15   Took the name of Hori Nga-tai-rakau-nui.
16   All these five were assistant prlests to Te Iho-o-te-rangi, chief priest.
17   Three noted braves of Taranaki.
18   This musket was obtained by Taranaki at Kiki-whenua—see Chapter XV.
19   A description of the siege of Te Namu will also be found in Mr. T. W. Gudgeon's “History and Traditions of the Maoris” (Auckland, 1885), which differs in detail from the account given above, but not materially. My account is principally from Te Kahui—a very well informed man—and from other Native sources. Mr. Gudgeon's story places the taking of Miko-tahi after Te Namu; but the best authority on this coast—old Watene Taungatara—was quite clear it occurred in the order I have given it in the text above.
20   One account I have accredits Mata-katea with this conversation, who, says the same story, had come from Orangi-tua-peka to the assistance of Te Hana-taua.
21   One account says he was killed, but I saw the man at Upper Mokau in 1858, then of a considerable age.
22   Te Hana-taua had a son named Tai-te-ariki, who, says my informant, was named after the son of Whiro—an ancestor who lived in Hawaiki, shown on Table XVI., Chapter III., hereof—from whom he descended, as do the Ngati-Tangiia tribe of Rarotonga.
23   Tawhiti stream flows near Te Ruaki pa.
24   Is probably the name of a mere, called in the next line “the fish of Ngahue”—an emblematical name for the greenstone, often said to be a fish.
25   Whangai-hau, “feeding the wind,” is a ceremony performed over the first slain in battle. The hau is any part of a corpse which may be taken by the priest, over which to repeat incantations; it is therefore an offering to the gods who reside in the wind (hau meaning wind). J. White's Lectures, 1860.
26   All these sayings and doings of the taua would be learnt from the Taranaki prisoners after they escaped from Waikato, as we shall see—I am quoting Te Kahui here.
27   See ante. Probably the “Heke-hauhauā” was really the last.
28   The long, sandy beach outside Rangi-uru is named Pare-mata. Here were killed two of the Ati-Awa by Pakiha and Manu-ariki.
29   If the hunuhunu, or advance party, were driven back, then the matua, or main party, served us a whakahoki (to return, or, in fact, as a support), and they would then join in the advance. If any evil omen had occurred to the hunuhunu, such as a kohera (when the leading men turned to the left by mistake after he had cast the spear of defiance at the enemy), then would the people say, “E! He tai tahae! Unuhia!”—(“Ah! There is the devil to pay! Withdraw! (free translation) and advance no further!”
30   Te Whetu told me that after leaving the Hao-whenua pa, Nini advised that the emissaries should return by the inland road; but Ngati-Rau-kawa insisted on going by the beach, where they fell into an ambush and some were killed. This was at a hillock called Taranaki. But it requires explanation, after a peace just made.