Saturday, December 21, 2013


Ngai Tamanuhiri will always measure the land through whakapapa. It is the only valid measure in terms of mana whenua and is founded in the common sense approach of tracing ownership, and therefore mana whenua, through successive generations. Ngai Tamanuhiri history is punctuated by ownership & occupation and the landscape from Kopututea to Paritu simply validates that history, that ownership and that occupation. 

The names of many tipuna and/or their pa still linger today. Many mountains, ridges, valleys and beaches have inherited those names and thus the land is drenched with Ngai Tamanuhiri history and Ngai Tamanuhiri mana. Undisturbed is the measure set by external forces and undisturbed is the Ngai Tamanuhiri claim. Since Tutekawa, NO iwi, hapu or whanau has extinguished the long burning fires of Ngai Tamanuhiri .

Tracing ownership of the land through it’s history is fairly easy for those who actually participated in the history. After all, it is more likely, the participants of that history will be more inclined to record it and indeed pass it on. The story of successive ownership soon emerges from the intricate web of whanaungatanga. For example: Tamanuhiri and his family stayed around Maraetaha and had mana whenua from there to Kopututea, near the Waipaoa river mouth. His younger son Paeaterangi inherits much of that mana whenua as far inland as Paparitu. Paea had a pa called Taumaiterangi on the Tawerauru land block. He had another pa at Mangapoike.

Puraho-o-te-Rangi inherited Paea’s mana and also stayed at Taumaiterangi. He spent time at Rangihaua and Taumata-o-Puraho near Maraetaha. Puraho married a woman called Te Aomate who was of Rongowhakaata descent. When the young couple visit with whanau at the Tapui pa, it is attacked by Tukapuarangi and his war party. Puraho was killed in the subsequent battle but his wife Te Aomate escaped to Rangihaua. She was eight months pregnant at the time. Not long after the battle called Taitimuroa, a son was born to Te Aomate. His name was Tapunga-o-te-Rangi and he inherited the mana of Puraho. At this stage the original mana inherited by Paea was still intact and was much larger than current maps depict. That mana was now held by the young Ngai Tahu chief, Tapunga-o-te-Rangi. Tapunga also had several different pa in the area and stayed for a while at Taumaiterangi. He had a rahui line called Tawhiti Karangi which ran from Paparitu to Te Arai and prevented all but his own family from any hunting or gathering to the south of that line. Tapunga also stayed at Rangihaua and Rerepi but in later years his favourite pa was Te Koutu near Maraetaha. He and his Ngai Te Aomate hapu used it as a summer fishing base.

Unfortunately, Tapunga was attacked at Te Koutu and captured by his enemies. They then marched him back to Turanga where he was executed. These enemies however, did not take the land and surely, there’s no such thing as mana-in-absence. Thus… the mana of Tapunga was passed down to his children including Te Rangitauwhiwhia. He was the eldest son and inherited much of Tapunga’s mana whenua including the Pakowhai Land Block. Te Rangitauwhiwhia had several pa including Rerepi, Pakowhai, Tarapa Kahawai as well as a fishing pa at Te Kowhai. The mana of Te Rangitauwhiwhia then passed to his son Putangimaru who also stayed at Rerepi. His mana passes to his son Matuku who helps his cousin Kahutia in several battles around Te Arai. Matuku’s eldest daughter Te Uhu then marries the high ranking Ngati Kaipoho chief, Te Hukaipu. As a wedding gift they are given mana whenua over Pakowhai (Land Block). Mana whenua then passed to their son, Te Kaingakiore who lived at Pakowhai. In 1840 Te Kaingakiore signed the Treaty of Waitangi at the Turanga signing. As his iwi he listed Ngati Kaipoho/Ngai Tahupo thereby acknowledging both sides of his whakapapa and indeed any mana he inherited through it. Mana whenua then passed to his son Mataiata who stayed at Pakowhai and he in turn passes it to his son Himiona Riki. In the 1880’s Himiona Riki and his whanau were acknowledged as owners/occupiers and as such held mana whenua.

If indeed undisturbed occupation is the measure of mana and if Tamanuhiri is the target tipuna, then in terms of Pakowhai the succession of ownership is traced as above. In the 1880’s, when Himiona Riki presented his case to the Maori Land Courts on behalf of Ngati Te Rangitauwhiwhia he had to prove his mana whenua. By tracing back through the owners from whom he had inherited mana i.e. Mataiata, Kaingakiore, Te Uhu, Matuku, Putangimaru, Te Rangitauwhiwhia, Tapunga, Puraho, Paea back to Tamanuhiri he was able to establish his family right. However impressive your whakapapa from any other quarter, on this particular land block, this is the whakapapa that matters. Such whakapapa is an important source of whanaungatanga, but the whakapapa of successive ownership is the true source of whakapapa ki te whenua.

Central to this mana whenua is Rerepi, which was an important pa site as well as the cornerstone of four land blocks. When Te Rangitauwhiwhia stood at Rerepi and faced the north he would have describe the Pakowhai Land Block in the following fashion… “From here at Rerepi travel northwest to Pukemia, follow the ridge northeast to Mata-Ariki, continue along the ridge to Tarapa Kahawai on Taranaki hill, continue down to the shore at Te Kowhai, then follow the coast south as far as Ro Pa, from there head inland straight to Pukehaua pa, follow that ridge to Takarangi, continue up that ridge as far as Pohatu Whakairo, then back to Rerepi and that is the land we know as Pakowhai” Of course Te Rangitauwhiwhia was never in a court case. To the Maori of his day it was all about feeding your family. Pakowhai was allocated to the Ngati Te Rangitauwhiwhia family as a bird hunting, berry collecting and resource gathering area. An automatic rahui would have existed and only members of the family would have been able to use that land for that purpose. They guarded their right jealously and any other iwi or hapu, who trespassed, would be met with total aggression.


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