Volume 55 1946 > Volume 55, No. 1 > Iconography of Te Kooti Rikirangi, by William Greenwood, p 1-14
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IN The Upraised Hand (Polynesian Society, Memoir No. 21 dated 1942), this caption appears under the frontis-piece:

“Lest it be supposed that no portraits of Te Kooti are known, three pictures purporting to be portraits, published at various times, are reproduced here, though all are as unlike Te Kooti himself, as they are unlike one another. They are reproduced as a record, however, to show how his person has been misrepresented as well as his personality; also in the hope that they may bring a true portrait to light.”

The frontispiece referred to consists of three of the portraits contained in the present volume; Gudgeon's Kerry-Nicholls', and Ryan's. Other alleged likenesses have since been traced, but they too are of doubtful origin, and the purpose of this article is to give an account of the research on the subject as far as it has been conducted, again, let it be said, in the hope that it may bring a true portrait to light.

From narratives given, it seems that a written sketch, fairly accurate, can be compiled, and the following is submitted as a result of the author's research:—

Te Kooti Rikirangi was a short wiry-looking man, of sinewy frame, not more than 5 feet 9 inches in height. He was not tattooed, and there were two fingers missing from his left hand. In 1869 he was stated as having no beard but a short tuft of hair on the chin. In 1884 Kerry-Nicholls says he had a pointed beard going grey, and later descriptions give him a straggly white beard. He is said to have had an acquiline nose, his appearance stern but kindly, and his eyes variously described as piercing, keen and searching, and restless. All accounts agree that he was intelligent looking.

To the Maori an iconograph of any great native personage would hardly be complete without at least some reference to his whakapapa. The complete genealogical - 2 record of Te Kooti is given in lattice form in The Upraised Hand facing page 20, and also in the Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 51 (1942), facing page 20. A portion of it is given here:

Family Tree. Rongowhakaata, Rongomairatahi, Turourou, Ruawhetuki, Whare, Parematawhanui, Rongomai, Nihotunga, Rongoteuruora, Kahuputangarau, Terangihiria, Tiakiwhare, Mokaiohungia, Ongaonga=Atuakauru, Rangirukuhia, Hemongaherehere, Kori, Kaiora=Ngetengeteroa, Takingawhetu, Arero, Pita te Hukinga, Amotutu, Hokohoko=Waiokura, Waaka Puakanga, Turakau, =, Hone Rangipatahi, Irihapeti, =, TE KOOTI RIKIRANGI, Wetini Rikirangi

Te Kooti is descended from the Poverty Bay ancestor, Rongowhakaata, and a study of the whakapapa shows a close connection with Ngati-ruapani. His paternal grandmother Waiokura was of that tribe, and also his wife Irihapeti through the line of Kaiora who married Ngetengeteroa. It is said that in Te Kooti's time the north-west division of Ngati-raupani had intermingled with the Urewera folk of Maunga-pohatu, and according to Maori custom had become related to Te Kooti. It is thought that this fact might account for their loyalty to him, and their subsequent role as the main centre of the Ringatu Church.

Today (1946), to thousands of adherents of the Ringatu faith, Te Kooti was the greatest prophet of the Maori race, and to thousands more the greatest general of the Maori Wars. The leaders of the Ringatu Church are definite that he at all times refused to be photographed, nor did he sit for a painting or sketch. The result of the present author's research tends to confirm this view.

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An interesting portrait of Te Kooti (Portrait 1) stated by some to have a resemblance to him, appears in The King Country, by J. H. Kerry-Nicholls, 1882. The picture is made from a sketch by the author of that book, and is accompanied by the following reference:—

“When the new arrivals had pitched the tents they had brought with them, and were squatting in a circle round the hero of Poverty Bay, I went into the camp, when Te Kooti saluted me with ‘Tena koe, pakeha,’ and invited me to be seated. I took in his outward appearance at a glance. He was a man apparently of about fifty years of age, over medium height, of athletic form, broad shoulders and keenly knit, and with a remarkably stern expression of countenance, which imparted to his whole visage a hard and even a cruel look. His features, cast in the true native mould, were strongly defined. His head was well formed, with a high arched forehead, and his lips were well cut and firm, while his quick, dark, piercing eyes had a restless glance about them as if their owner had been kept all his life in a chronic state of nervous excitement.
“He wore a moustache and long pointed beard, which, for the apparent age of the man, appeared to be prematurely grey. There were no tattoo marks about his face, but when he smiled in his sinister way every line of his expressive features seemed to be brought into play. Taken altogether, Te Kooti had a decidedly intelligent cast of countenance, in which the traits of firmness and determination appeared to be strongly marked.
“His wife, who was apparently a few years younger than himself, was a strongly built gaunt woman, with a remarkably bold expression of countenance, and I could well imagine that during the troubled times of the war she must have proved a daring and willing helpmate to her desperate lord.” (Portrait 2).


Probably the best known picture (portrait 3) purporting to be a likeness of Te Kooti Rikirangi, is a painting by Thomas Ryan which appeared in New Zealand, The Dear Old Maori Land, by Frances B. Lysnar, page 199, published in 1915. This picture has been reproduced in Pioneering in Poverty Bay N.Z., by Philip T. Kenway, published in 1928. It has also been reproduced in many newspapers from time to time, is apparently the one accepted in the Poverty bay district whenever the publication of such a picture is called - 4 for, and has found its way on to cigarette cards, and other historical pictorial series.

The subject is portrayed as having white hair and a flowing white beard, making in all a somewhat striking patriarchal and benevolent character. Possibly the artist was a little generous in his treatment of Te Kooti's hair and beard, but Ringatu leaders have no hesitation in rejecting the portrait as spurious.

A copy of this portrait of Te Kooti is in the Treasure House of the Borough of Rotorua. It was left by the late Mr. F. O. Peat who died in 1940 and is endorsed “Te Kooti—the only portrait ever taken of the author of the Poverty Bay Massacre.”

Strangely enough, this identical picture also appears in A Sketch of the New Zealand War, by Morgan S. Grace C.M.G., London, 1899. Instead of being published over the caption “'Te Kooti,” it is described as “Kereopa, who swallowed Volckner's eyes.” This is not surprizing however, as Grace makes this amazing claim:—

“This sketch of the Maori War is not intended to have any merit except spontaneity. I have consulted no authorities, read no despatches . . . I have a photographic plate in my brain of everything I saw, from which I can strike off pictures at will. And I can act as a phonograph of everything I heard. I can describe and narrate by word of mouth without difficulty . . .”

The usually accepted picture of Kereopa is here produced from Gudgeon. It is apparent that Grace is astray in his selection. (Portrait 4.)

In The Poverty Bay Massacre: Expedition Against Te Kooti, by G. Mair, N.Z.C., and G. A. Preece, the following descriptive article is of interest:—

“Te Kooti was sent into exile, charged with holding communication with the enemy. He at the time was supposed to be a loyal native, but was charged with being a bad character and dangerous to the peace of the district, and on these counts he was found guilty by a not over-friendly European tribunal, and transported with the rest. For several years Te Kooti owned and sailed a schooner called the Henry, trading between Poverty Bay and Auckland, where at that time he was well known. He afterwards sold the schooner to Capt. Read, and then became mixed up in the affairs that eventually led to his deportation.
“An Auckland phrenologist, who is said to have examined Te Kooti's head, said that he had acquisitiveness, strong cautious- - 5 ness, mechanical and inventive talent, and great secretiveness, making him guarded and shrewd. Altogether the phrenologist did not think him such a bad sort of fellow. Te Kooti is generally regarded as having been a wild, untutored savage, but altogether possessed of strong animal passions, like the majority of his race. From his intercourse with the Pakeha he was more civilized than perhaps the majority of the people. Te Kooti belonged to the Rongowhakaata tribe, living in the Poverty Bay district. He was not tattooed, as was generally believed, nor was he a chief. His iron force of character pushed him forward as a leader over the people he was connected with, despite the fact that among them were chiefs of high rank. All alike succumbed to the magnetism with which Te Kooti seemed to be endowed.”

At the conclusion of the same work, a free translation is given of the inscription written in Maori on Te Kooti's monument at Ohiwa:—


Who died on the 17th day of April in the year 1893, aged 79 years.

He was a chief and a hero. He displayed great gallantry in great battles fought in Ao-tea-roa (the North Island of New Zealand). The Government made peace with him and gave him and his people some land and also confirmed his religion (known as “Ringatu”). These matters were settled and fully confirmed in the presence of the Native Minister in the year 1883.

Poverty Bay natives say that Te Kooti definitely did not have a flowing white beard, and one suggested to the present writer that this could not be expected after years of arduous bush and mountain warfare.


In 1879 Lieutenant Thomas W. Gudgeon published Reminiscences of the War in New Zealand, and included a likeness of Te Kooti showing him with curly hair and tattoo. The picture (portrait 5) is shown over the caption “Ti Kooti”, although in the narrative the correct spelling “Te Kooti” appears. This portrait has been copied into several other publications, and is commonly presented to the public - 6 in several newspapers from time to time at jubilees and other special occasions.

It is also reproduced in With the Lost Legion in New Zealand, by Col. G. Hamilton-Browne together with an alleged portrait of Titokowaru. Under the list of illustrations in the copy at the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, appears a lead-pencil note, “These portraits do not represent the persons named. Capt. Gilbert Mair has pencilled the correct names of the Maoris represented on the two plates marked x (29 Oct. 1911).” Under the alleged portrait of Te Kooti is written over the initials “G.M.”, “Te Kanapu Haerehuka, a loyal Arawa Chief”; under Titokowaru, “Haaora Tipa of Marutuahu.”

The late James Cowan published his books The New Zealand Wars and the Pioneering Period, in 1923, and although the two volumes are very fully illustrated, Cowan wisely omits any picture of Te Kooti Rikirangi.

He gives, however, the following descriptive article on the warrior:—

“Te Kooti's name as a child was Rikirangi; the name Te Kooti, which he assumed in after years, is simply a transliteration of the English name Coates. At the time of his transportation to the Chatham Islands, Te Kooti was about thirty-five years of age. He was a man of about 5 feet 9 inches in height, spare of body, but his apparently slight frame disguised a wiry strength which carried him through countless privations and fatiguing marches. When I met him long after the war (1889), he was not an impressive figure: a bowed, rather undersized man, prematurely aged, with a straggly white beard; he was very much reduced in health by his terrible arduous campaigning life and also by his intemperate habits. His features were well cut, his nose acquiline, dominating, his eyes very keen and searching. He was not of high birth, and therefore owed nothing of his extraordinary ascendancy over the people to any whakapapa rangitira, or aristocratic pedigree.”

Leaders of the Ringatu Church are quite definite that their founder was never tattooed, and from this point of view the picture must be discarded, and Capt. Mair's note accepted. In doing so, however, another portrait must be disposed of at the same time. In Pictorial New Zealand, p. 144, published by Cassell & Co. Ltd., London, 1895, appears an obvious copy of the picture from Gudgeon. It has been altered slightly to make it look like a fresh sketch, and is published here together with that from Gudgeon to show the similarity (Portrait 6).

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The following article is taken from The Illustrated Examiner (Summary for England), vol. 1, No. 4, Nelson, New Zealand, September, 1869.

“The Northern Island of New Zealand, as every one knows, has been kept for nearly a year in a state of hostility with a party of natives banded together under a leader named Te Kooti. The first intelligence regarding this insurgent chief calculated to draw particular attention to him was his escape from the Chatham Islands, where he and other prisoners taken in the old Waikato campaign had been confined. The prisoners, numbering one hundred and eighty, effected their escape by overpowering their guard and tying up everybody except two women. Then, taking possession of all the stores and guns, they somehow got possession of a schooner which happened to be in the neighborhood, and compelled the chief officer to convey them to Poverty Bay.
“When the news of their escape and arrival first reached Napier, it seemed so incredible that it was not believed. Three days after the report, Major Biggs, accompanied by forty settlers and eighty friendly natives, marched from Napier to near the place where the escaped prisoners were encamped, and demanded of them to surrender. They laughed at the idea, saying that their God had released them from bondage in the Chathams, and sent them back to occupy their own lands. Major Biggs, with his limited force, did not feel justified in taking the responsibility of attacking them, and while he remained waiting for reinforcements, the band of ex-prisoners proceeded inland and encamped in the dense bush.
“The next that was heard of them was in connection with a sudden and unexpected attack upon the settlers one morning before daybreak, the burning of ten homesteads, and the murdering in cold blood of thirty European men, women and children, besides twenty of the friendly natives. Among the ill-fated Europeans were Major Biggs, his wife, child and servant.
“Since that terrible massacre in November last, Te Kooti with his marauding band has kept up a chronic state of insurrection throughout the sparcely settled districts, attacking here and there, striking terror everywhere, and, whenever he is pursued, retreating into fastnesses in the regions of inaccessible bush. Relying on the prestige of his successes, the latest development of daring manifested by him was to enter into the Waikato territory, with the view of getting Tawhiao, the Maori King to join him, or of deposing him, should he decline. The interview does not seem to have succeeded according to his intentions - 8 either way. The Waikato is quiet as yet; and Te Kooti has retired accompanied, it is said, by Rewi, a Waikato chief who has hitherto counselled the Maori King to maintain a peaceful policy.
“More than once rumours have been abroad that Te Kooti was killed some time ago, and just as often have the rumours been contradicted. It need be no matter of surprise, therefore, that the identity of the present Te Kooti is a subject of discussion. An Auckland paper says:—'By “Te Kooti” we mean the Chatham Island prisoner, whose appearance was well known to many East Coast settlers, among whom he lived quietly prior to the outbreak of hostilities, and before his transportation. Those who knew him well, amongst whom we may mention Archdeacon Leonard Williams, describe him as a short wiry looking man, of sinewy frame, his features remarkable for the height of his cheek-bones, and the general expression of mingled cunning and strong passion. He had no whiskers, but wore a short tuft of hair on his chin, and his face was not tattooed. At the engagement with our troops at Te Reinga, he received a severe wound in the ankle, the ball entering at the front and passing out behind below the calf of the leg. This disabled him for some time, and even after his recovery an ugly scar remained.
“The Mohaka natives still adhere to the opinion that the real Te Kooti was killed in the attack on the pa there, though they did not see his body, which it is alleged was washed ashore. The man who now passes as Te Kooti they say is Karanama (Cranmer), who assumed his present name and mana immediately after the original Te Kooti's death. If the description of the two men is to be relied on, no two individuals could be more un-like in appearance. ‘Te Kooti the Second’, as we may style him, the better to distinguish him from the other, is said to be a tall, burly savage, with large whiskers, and a closely tattooed face. Moreover, it is said, he bears no scar on his ankle, and when asked by some of the Taupo natives how he had contrived to remove the well-known trace of the wound received at Te Reinga, Te Karanama is said to have returned an evasive answer.
“The portrait given in our present issue is that of the real Te Kooti, the Chatham Island prisoner. It is engraved from a sketch made by Captain Spiller. Presuming that Te Kooti is still alive, it appears to us that his power is very circumscribed. He is a parvenu, with abilities which cannot find full scope while he is distrusted. The disturbed districts are of course at a standstill, so far as regards material prosperity; but there do not appear to be grounds for apprehending anything in the shape of a catastrophe. The truth is perhaps that the danger can never rise above a certain degree, limited by the inability of the natives to act long in co-operation and the impossibility of their making any considerable arrangements for the transport of food and ammunition. The war may be prolonged so as to try the patience and temper of the colonists to
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Portrait 1. TE KOOTI., Portrait 2. TE KOOTI'S WIFE., Portrait 4. KEREOPA., Portrait 5. TI KOOTI (TE KOOTI).
From The King Country, by J. H. Kerry-Nicholls., From The King Country, by J. H. Kerry-Nicholls., From Reminiscences of the War in New Zealand, by T. W. Gudgeon., From Reminiscences of the War in New Zealand, by T. W. Gudgeon.
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Portrait 3. TE KOOTI.
From New Zealand, The Dear Old Maori Land, by Frances B. Lysnar.
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Portrait 6. TE KOOTI., Portrait 8. HAUPTLING TE KUTI.
From Pictorial New Zealand, by Cassell & Co., From Sterbende Welt, by Reischek.
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Portrait 7. TE KOOTI.
From The Illustrated Examiner, Nelson, 1869.
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Portrait 9. TEKOOTI.
From La Nouvelle Zélande, by Comte de Courte.
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Portrait 10. MOHI TAKAWAI.
From Portraits of Tattooed Warrior Chiefs of New Zealand, by Millard.
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Portrait 11. TE KOOTI.
William Hislop's Portrait, No. 1.
- viii
Portrait 12 TE KOOTI.
William Hislop's Portrait, No. 2.
- ix
Fig. 13.
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Portrait 14. TE KOOTI.
Sketch by T. H. Hill.
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Portrait 15.

- xii Page is blank

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the utmost, but on the whole there appears to be ‘more fear than danger’.

“The natives must be the greatest sufferers by the prolongation of the war. In strength, wealth and numbers, they must be deteriorating almost daily, for there is true peace nowhere within their territorial haunts. The natives can fight with but little money; but their privations on that very account must be very great.”

The late Mr. Robert Biddle (Ropata Peene), general secretary of the Ringatu Church stated that he showed Capt. Spiller's picture (Portrait 7) of Te Kooti to Taihakoa Poniwahio, an aged survivor who came with Te Kooti from Waikato in 1893. Without hesitation Taihakoa said:

  • 1. Te Kooti was more thick set than the person in the picture, and not so tall.
  • 2. He never carried a tomahawk or any of the things in this picture—he always carried a walking stick.
  • 3. The picture itself is not like Te Kooti.

The only comment that one can offer is that Te Kooti would probably carry warlike instruments in 1869, and a walking stick in 1893.


Portrait 8, purporting to be of Te Kooti is to be found facing page 81 of the German version of Andreas Reischek's Sterbende Welt. It is published over the caption “Hauptling Te Kuti.” (Chieftain Te Kuti).

The face is shown as heavily tattooed, which was not true of Te Kooti, and can therefore be ruled out as not authentic. The portrait is omitted from the English version published in 1900 and the re-issue of 1933.


In most New Zealand libraries will be found a book written in the French language entitled La Nouvelle Zélande, published in Paris in 1904 and written by the Comte de Courte. A portrait of a tattooed Maori warrior appears over the following caption:

Tekooti, célèbre chef Maori, en costume d'apparat: manteau de phormium, lance ou tai-aha, plumes de huia dans les cheveux, - 10 signe de noblesse et de commandement—Photographie de J. Martin, a Auckland.

The writer was misled in the selection of the portrait, which is evidently one of Mohi Takawai of Ngati-mahutu, who in his early years participated in some of the tribal warfare between Waikato and Taranaki. He and his sister are said to have become attached to Sir William Martin's family and lived with them at Judge's Bay, Parnell. After Sir William's death, Mohi and his sister lived with Mr. Swainson for some years and later lived with Sir George Grey's family at Kawau and at Parnell. For many years, Mohi (whose sister predeceased him) was a popular personality about Auckland and delighted to tell of Maori legends and demonstrate Maori crafts.

Sir George Grey attended him in his dying hours and was also present at his interment in St. Stephen's Cemetery, Parnell, where his modest tombstone may be seen today.

He was a well-tattooed man—not only facially, but was also elaborately tattooed on his body with the scroll-work typical of ancient Maori times.

The above facts regarding Mohi are taken from Portraits of Tattooed Warrior Chiefs of New Zealand, by Millard, and the portrait of Mohi is reproduced here (Portrait 10). The portrait shows him bearing the taiaha, esteemed as a weapon and as a token of craftsmanship of high rank. Little more than a glance at this portrait and that purporting to be Te Kooti in Comte de Courte's book will convince the reader that they are of one and the same person.


The two photographs presented under this heading are from an album presented to the late Mr. Thomas Henry Hill, B.A., F.G.S., by William Hislop, a veteran of the Maori wars. Permission to copy these portraits, and also the sketch made by Mr. Hill, was given by the late Mr. Hill's daughter Miss Daisy Hill of Taupo.

Mr. Hislop states that Te Kooti's name was Hiroki, and that he was sometimes known as Hiroki Turuki. This has not been confirmed, and in Poverty bay he is known only as Te Kooti Rikirangi, and Te Turuki Rikirangi and possibly - 11 Rikirangi Turuki. The letter published herewith shows Te Kooti signing himself as Te Kooti te Turuki. He is stated to have had a follower amongst the Ngati-porou known as Hiroki. Te Turuki was the name of a high chief of the Rongowhakaata, and it was a common practice in Te Kooti's day to assume the names of prominent chiefs. The possibility of Te Kooti being also known as Hiroki cannot be ruled out definitely.

Of the two photos, the one in the reclining position (No. 12) is a well known one, and has been described as “one of Te Kooti's followers”. From descriptions given in the many articles published on the likeness of Te Kooti, most of which are included in the present publication, the photo is not convincing, as the subject is not sinewy, wiry, or stern. The other portrait is described as Te Kooti with a question mark after the wording. It is a studio-portrait, taken at the same time as many other natives whose photos are to be found in the same album. There is no other evidence of identity.


The sample of Te Kooti's handwriting reproduced here is among the late Sir Donald McLean's papers at the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. It is in an envelope, and reads as follows:

Ngatapa Ki Pokimi,

He reta whakataki ia Karanama. E hoa tenara koe. Tenei te kupu kia rongo koe. Ki te mea kua manaaki tia koe e te tangata ara kua whai hoa koe me haere mai koe kia wawe matou te noho mohio ara ki tenui te tangata ki te mea ko Anaru ko Tiopira ko te Wirihana ranei ko e tahi ranei o nga rangatira o te Urewera. Me tono mai he kai whakaatu. Otira kei te Atua ia e mohio ana.

Heoi ano.

He korero ke tenei he whakaatu i toku taenga ki Turanga. Kua hinga te Kawana. I whawhai ki Mangawainuki i te 13 o ngara o Tihema, ka hinga ko tahi pakeha to korua awhe kaihe ko tahi Maori. No te Parekura tokorua ko Hamuera Tipuna ko Matiaha. No Nukutaurua tenei ka hoki mai ahau. I taua re ka tutaki ia matou te ko kiri a te pakeha ki Pukepu ke naku i whai i muri. Kakokiri ano te pakeha katahi a whawhai matou. Katahi kaputa te aroha o te Atua ki tona iwi. Ka mea ia hei o Rare ho mai ai - 12 e ia ki o matou ringa nga hoa tau tohe. Kei reira kahinga te pakeha toko 3 kawhati hoki te pakeha. Kahore rawa heutu ki hai kotahi. Heoi ano. Kei te tatari ahau kia koe i tenei takiwa, kia Pera Tutoko hoki kei Waioweka. Kotahi whiu ki Turanga e toe nei. Nau i roa ai kia tere mai.

Heoi ano te kupu whakaatu. Na Te Kooti te Turuki Kei Ngatapa.
(On Envelope) Kia Karanama te Whare Ki Pokimi Tihema 25, 1868.

Ngatapa 25th December, 1868 (Written on envelope)



A letter in search of Karanama

O friend greetings. Here is the word for you to hear for you are respected by the people, that is, you now have friends. Come so that we might know early the number of persons whether they be Anaru, Tiopira or Wirihana or whether they be some of the chiefs of Te Urewera. Arrange for someone to let us know However God understands.


This is another matter. It is to inform you of my visit to Turanga. The Governor was defeated at the battle at Mangawainuku on the 13th December. One European, two half-castes fell here. At Parekura two persons fell, Hamuera Tipuna and Matiaha. From Nukutaurua I returned. On that day we met an attacking force of the Europeans at Pekepu. I attacked this force in the rear. The Europeans attacked. We fought. Then God's love was revealed for that people. He caused our opponents to be delivered into our hands at Orare. Three Europeans fell there and in consequence the enemy broke off the engagement. We did not suffer a single causalty. Enough. I am waiting for you in this district and also for Pera Tutoko who is at Waioeka. One punishment at Turanga remains. It is on your account that the delay is due. Come quickly. Enough are the words of information.

(Sgd.) Te Kooti Te Turuki at Ngatapa.

This sketch (Portrait 14) is taken from a note book kept by the late Thomas Henry Hill, B.A., F.G.S., chief - 13 inspector of schools for Hawkes Bay. It was drawn by Mr. Hill on Tuesday, 29 March, 1892 at Te Teko, where he met Te Kooti, and shows quite clearly where the two fingers were missing from the left hand, the fact that he was not tattooed, and a resemblance to the earlier sketch made by Kerry-Nicholls.

The sketch is accompanied by this description:—

He wore a plaid suit grey with black stripes. Hat, soft felt. Height 5ft. 8ins. Beard grey—very straggling. Two fingers on left hand missing—portions gone but unusable. Kindly face—very intelligent. Suffers from asthma. He appears to be about 60 years of age. No adornment except (not decipherable, but apparently refers to the ear-drops). Thick knitted socks. Beard wavy and thick, hair closely cut and showing dull grey. Dated Tues. Mar. 29, 1892. 1

The late Mr. Hill, who knew Te Kooti personally, and always held him in high regard, had intended to write a book on him, but this was never completed. An interesting paragraph is given regarding Te Kooti's kaka; “Mr. Ormond told me (Mr. Hill) in reply to a question from me, what became of Te Kooti's kaka and chain, that the kaka got away, and the chain was lost in a fire that took place at the station at Wallingford. The kaka was the constant companion of Te Kooti for several years, and was captured finally between Waikaremoana and Ruatahuna by Capt. Preece who presented it to Mr. Ormond.”

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Another entry in Mr. Hill's book dated Sunday, 6 March, 1892 reads:—

“Visited Mr. King at Makauri (Gisborne) and he said that Te Kooti should never have been sent away from the district, but Reed, Briggs, and Wilson were constantly suffering from his raids—he being a great thief, they sent him along with the others. Te Kooti's whare was formerly on the spot near the Big Bridge opposite the blacksmith's shop, on the right bank, and there he resided for years. Mr. King made the coffins for the murdered ones, and it was he who went with young Wilson and found his mother in the outhouse. He was at the battle of Makeretu—a bloody battle—and Ngatapa.”

There is another very interesting entry, though a little vague in parts:—

“By the way, he (Te Kooti) called at Galatea, Te Teko and Whakatane. During his stay at the Pahou pa (Ngatipukepu) he was told Hakihaha died about Xmas. Shortly (?) after it was affirmed that he had died owing to makutu and blaming Hikitene for having “makutued” him. A Tohunga from Torere (?) came to enquire into the matter and found that the man had died from makutu. This being settled it was certain that Hikitene had done the deed, and as Te Kooti had the power of seeing and knowing men's thoughts—he being a chief tohunga—holding such power—the matter was left in his hands to decide.
“At the meeting Hikitene was sent for, but when Te Kooti commenced speaking and blaming him for having caused the death, not only of Hakihaha but two others, the man became frightened and hid himself. Then Te Kooti told the natives that during the time he himself had slept Hikitene had endeavoured to makutu him but without result. He then said that Hikitene must be sent away within a week, and failing to do so, a great chief of the Ngatipukika would die. Also that should Hikitene refuse to go he should be shot as being the only means of safeguarding themselves. To write to Governor what they were told to do and ask for approval of Te Kooti's sentence.”


A perusal of the whakapapa reveals that Te Kooti and his wife Irihapeti had a son named Wetini Rikirangi. From enquiries made it seems generally accepted that Wetini was like his father in appearance. Poverty bay adepts declare that Wetini was like his father in every way and that a photo of him would serve as a guide whether an alleged portrait of Te Kooti was genuine or not.

A photo of Wetini presented by him to the late Mr. H. Hill is reproduced herewith (Portrait 11). The sitter is appropriately wearing a spray of kotukutuku (Maori fuchsia) flowers, usually red in colour, hence in the photo they come out white.

1   Regarding the loss of fingers, the following is of interest:—In Maori String-figures (1927), pages 61, 62, are portraits of Makurata and Paitini, who are shown constructing whai-figures. As stated there Paitini was the last of the defenders of the Orakau pa. He and his wife were ardent adherents of Te Kooti, but both later became firm friends of the Pakeha, and have supplied a large amount of ethnological material, including over four-hundred songs, collected from them by the late Elsdon Best whilst they looked after his road-construction camp in the Urewera country. Paitini died in 1927. They were with Te Kooti in one of his hurried retreats, and Makurata, who was carrying a pack on her shoulders, got caught up in a supple-jack-thicket. She had a very shrill voice, as I learned at Rotorua where she was at an ethnological camp where they were singing waiata: I could hear her voice clearly at a distance of half a mile. Her shrill calling-out when caught in the supplejack brought Te Kooti to her rescue, and while helping her a random bullet from the pursuing party took off one of his little fingers: this must have been his right little finger, as H. Hill's sketch shows two other fingers missing from the left hand.—J.C.A., ED.