Turanga Manu Whiriwhiri:
Overview of Customary Interests Outside the
Gisborne Inquiry District - Rongowhakaata, Te
Aitanga a Mahaki, Ngariki Kaiputahi
A report commissioned by the Crown Forestry Rental Trust
The Author .............................................................................................................................1
Project Brief ...........................................................................................................................2
Additional Blocks ..................................................................................................................3
Rongowhakaata Customary Interests Outside the Gisborne Inquiry District............................5
Tahora 2C1 and 2F...............................................................................................................22
Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Ngariki Kaiputahi Customary Interests Outside the Gisborne
Te Aitanga a Mahaki........................................................................................................26
Waipaoa No. 1 .....................................................................................................................32
Waipaoa No. 2 and No. 3.....................................................................................................35
Waingaromia No. 1..............................................................................................................37
Waingaromia No. 2..............................................................................................................40
Waingaromia No. 3..............................................................................................................41
Waimata East .......................................................................................................................45
Waimata South (Pukeakura) ................................................................................................47
Waimata North (Whakaroa).................................................................................................48
Pakake o Whirikoka.............................................................................................................70
Hangaroa Matawai ...............................................................................................................76
Tahora 2C2 and 2C3 ............................................................................................................77
Books and Articles...............................................................................................................84
Research Reports .................................................................................................................84
Primary Sources ...................................................................................................................84
My name is Richard Towers. I hold a Master of Arts in history from Massey University.
Since 2004 I have worked as an historian and research assistant based in Wellington and
Auckland, specialising in issues related to Māori land and Treaty of Waitangi claims. I am
currently residing in Auckland and have been contracted by HistoryWorks Limited of
Wellington to complete this report for the Crown Forestry Rental Trust (CFRT) in relation to
the Turanga claims.
Prior to working independently as an historian and researcher I was employed by CFRT as
their Auckland-based research assistant. During my time with CFRT I contributed to a
number of reports in the CNI claims, focusing on the collection of socio-economic data from
the records of the Maori School service.
Since 2004 I have worked independently as a research assistant and historian. During this
time I have developed a strong association with HistoryWorks Ltd, and have been contracted
by them to work on a number of projects. The subjects of inquiry have included the
• Survey Issues: East Coast
• Rating Issues: East Coast
• Maori Schools research: Northland and the East Coast
• Local government and rating issues: Northland
• Old land claims, scrip claims, and surplus land: Northland
• Valuation of Maori land: Te Urewera
The Project Brief for this report specifies the following work:
• The nature of customary or traditional interests in each block
• How tribal interests in each area were established and maintained
• The nature of historical relationships with neighbouring hapu/iwi
The project is constructed in two separate parts, covering the following:
1. Rongowhakaata Customary Interests outside the Turanga Inquiry District
The Contractor will examine the nature and extent of Rongowhakaata’s customary
interests (including land, resources and sites of significance) north and west of the
Turanga inquiry district, including the Kaiti, Pouawa, and Hangaroa Matawai blocks.
2. Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki & Ngariki Kaiputahi Customary Interests outside the
Turanga Inquiry District
The Contractor will examine Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki & Ngariki Kaiputahi customary
interests in blocks not heard in the Turanga Inquiry District. The relevant land blocks
are: Tauwhareparae; Waipaoa (Whatatutu); Tutamoe; Waingaromia No. 1, No. 2, and
No. 3; Waimata North, South, West, East; Kaiti; Whataupoko; Ngakaroa; Waihirere;
Kopuatuaki; Ngakaroa; Ahirau; Papakorokoro; Mangoae; Rangatira; Waihora;
Rakaiketeroa; Tangutuhanui; Hauomatuku; Pakake o Whirikoka; Mangataikapua;
Waitangi; Mangaorongo. In addition, the Tahora area which includes: Hangaroa
Matawai; Tahora No. 2C2, No. 2C3, and; Motu.
A small number of the blocks covered in this report were actually part of the Gisborne
inquiry district (while Tahora has also been included in the Urewera inquiry). However,
information on the traditional interests of these block is still included in this report. Following
claimant hui it was decided that the report should also include some brief notes on land
alienations that followed the awarding of land titles by the Native Land Court. An effort has
been made to collect this information for those blocks which are outside of the Gisborne
Following the initial claimant hui on 17 July additional blocks were added to the list of
blocks for investigation in relation to the interests of Rongowhakaata. These blocks are:
As a result of research into the Tahora No. 2 block in relation to Te Aitanga a Mahaki
interests, it was apparent that Rongowhakaata also have interests in parts of Tahora No. 2,
namely Tahora 2C1 and Tahora 2F; the latter being awarded to Ngati Hingaanga, with an
ownership list that included numerous Rongowhakaata and Turanga individuals, not the least
of which was Te Kooti.
Due to the time frame for this report and the nature of the information required for the land
blocks involved, the research has been necessarily confined to sources that relate directly to
the blocks and the customary interests in them. It was also considered that the time available
for the report necessitated a block-by-block approach, in order to confine the research to
those blocks stipulated in the project brief (and those extra blocks subsequently highlighted
by claimants). The initial meeting with claimants also indicated that a block by block
approach was desired as it allowed for the information covering each block to be set out
clearly and concisely.
The most significant resource utilised for this report was the Native Land Court minute
books. One result of this has been a variance in the amount and quality of information
gathered for the different blocks. In cases where a block was claimed by more than one iwi or
hapu, or by more than one group from the same hapu, the minute books contain a significant
amount of information on the traditional ownership and use of that block, as well as
information covering the relationship between hapu/iwi claiming interests. In cases where a
block was not subject to a counter-claim, the block was awarded to the claimants with
minimal evidence covering the traditional ownership and utilisation of the block. In the
absence of other useful sources, this report is not able to dwell at length on blocks where the
minute books contain little information.
The other key resources utilised in conjunction with the minute books include the traditional
history reports for Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, and Ngariki Kaiputahi, and other
reports covering the history of particular blocks. These include reports on the Tahora block
prepared for the Gisborne and Urewera inquiries, and Kathryn Rose’s report for the Gisborne
inquiry on the land interests of Te Aitanga a Mahaki. Rongowhakaata Halbert’s Horouta: The
History of the Horouta Canoe, Gisborne and East Coast, is the most valuable secondary
source. It provides significant information on the traditional ownership of many of the blocks
covered by the report. It has also been central to the identification of ancestors linked to
particular blocks, and to the history of the relationships between hapu interested in the blocks.
This report was prepared under the direction, and with the assistance, of Bruce Stirling of
Rongowhakaata Customary Interests Outside the Gisborne
This section traces the connections of Rongowhakaata and its constituent hapu to the Kaiti,
Pouawa, Hangaroa-Matawai, Whakaongaonga, Tuahu, Tauwharetoi, and Tahora blocks. A
range of sources has been used to determine the connections to each block but the minute
books of the Māori Land Court have been the primary source. An effort has been made to
identify the nature of the claim to each block, the relationships with other hapu who may also
have had a claim, and the particular locations and sites on each block with which
Rongowhakaata hapu have connections.
By way of context and background, the origins of Rongowhakaata need to be briefly
explained. Rongowhakaata, the man, was descended from the three sons of Paikea:
Rongomaituahu, Marupapanui, and Pouheni, and also from Ruakapanga of Parinuitera. He
was the son of Tamauirere and Hinerakikiwa, was raised at Uawa, and came to Turanganui a
Kiwa from Puatai, between Tolaga and Pakarae. He married Turahiri, the second daughter of
Moeahu of Mahia. Moeahu moved to the Mantukue area, and later built Te Huia pa near
Ngatapa (where the Whakaahu and Waikakariki streams join). Their only child was
Rongomairatahi who became the main ancestor of the Rongowhakaata tribe. 1
The traditional history report of the Rongowhakaata Trust notes that Ruapani is an important
ancestor for all of the iwi and hapu of Tauranganui a Kiwa, including Rongowhakaata. All
iwi and hapu, including Rongowhakaata, trace their ancestral links to or through Ruapani. 2
Ruapani was the paramount chief of the Turanganui tribes. This was due to the lines of
Rongowhakaata Halbert, Horouta: The History of the Horouta Canoe, Gisborne and East Coast, Reed,
Auckland, 1999, p.77.
Rongowhakaata Trust, ‘Rongowhakaata: Te Tipuna, te whenua me te iwi – A history of a people’, A report
commissioned by the Rongowhakaata Trust for the Waitangi Tribunal, 2001, pp.12-13.
aristocratic descent from Paoa, Kiwa, and the other migrants of the Horouta canoe that
converged in him. Ruapani lived at Popoia pa but also moved with members of his second
family when they chose to leave their ancestral home. Ruapani was the father of Ruaroa,
another prominent ancestor.3 Kahungunu is a further ancestor of importance for
Rongowhakaata; he married two daughters of Ruapani and his descendants intermarried with
the descendants of Rongowhakaata. 4
Rongomairatahi lived with his wife Uekanihi on the slopes of Puketapu. They lived with
Uekanihi’s father Tapuiparaheka of the Karimoi branch of Ngai Tahu of Uawa.
Rongomairatahi and Uekanihi had two daughters, Hinetuwaiwai and Ruawhetuki, and a son
named Turourou. The Rongowhakaata iwi comprises those who trace descent from
Rongomairatahi through these three children. These descendants make up the three primary
hapu of Rongowhakaata:
• Ngai Maru
• Ngai Tawhiri
• Ngati Kaipoho 5
Ngati Maru are the descendants of Tapuhere who married Tahatuoterangi. Tapuhere was the
daughter of Nihotunga, the great-grandson of Rongomairatahi. Tahatuoterangi was her
cousin, the son of Uenuku who was the brother of Nihotunga. Uenuku lived in the Poho o
Maru house at Te Papa o Maruwhakatipua. When the descendants of Tapuhere, known as
Te Ngare o Tapuhere, had increased to a point where they included their own hapu groupings
they adopted the name Ngati Maru after Maruwhakatipua. 6
Ngai Tawhiri are descended from Rongomairatahi through the three children of his
granddaughter, Rongomaimihiao. Rongomaimihiao had two sons, Tawhirimatea and
Tutekiki, and a daughter Materoa. 7
Ngati Kaipoho descend from Kaipoho, the son of Whare and great-grandson of
Rongomairatahi. Kaipoho built Tapui pa on the west bank of Te Arai River. Kaipoho also
Rongowhakaata Trust, pp.12-13
Rongowhakaata Trust, p.53.
Ibid, p.55, Halbert, p.80.
had a fishing settlement at Te Kowhai, near what is now Brown’s Beach. Kaipoho was killed
in battle and later avenged by his son Te Aweawe who took over the Tapui Pa. Ngati
Kaipoho at one time fought against Ngati Maru and caused Ngati Maru’s exodus from
Waiapu, where they had lived for a time. 8
Besides the three major hapu of Rongowhakaata there are a number of smaller hapu. The
Rongowhakaata Trust identifies the following hapu:
• Ngai Te Kete
• Ngai Te Aweawe
• Ngati Rua
• Ngati Ruawairau
• Te Whanau a Iwi
• Ngai Turehe, Ngai Te Aringaiwaho, Ngati Pakirehe
• Ngati Rongokauwai
Ngai Te Kete are a section of Ngai Tawhiri that lived on the Rakaukaka and Papatu lands.
The name Ngai Te Kete commemorates the collecting of the bones of those who died in a
battle at Manutuke. The bones were washed and placed in kete before being taken away.
Those involved in the removal of the bones became known as Ngai Te Kete.
Ngai Te Aweawe, Ngati Rua, Ngai Turehe, Ngai Te Aringaiwaho, and Ngati Pakirehe hapu
are sections of Ngati Kaipoho. The following is a brief outline of their establishment:
• Ngai Te Aweawe descend from two ancestors bearing the name Te Aweawe.
Te Aweawe I was the son of Kaipoho who avenged Kaipoho’s death and took over
Tapui pa. 9
• Ngati Rua descend from Ruarapua who lived at Turi o Ruarapua on Tahora (the part
later known as Tahora 2C1). 10 Halbert notes that Ngati Rua are a relatively small
section of Rongowhakaata who also descend from Mahaki through the ancestor
Taupara. Taupara’s grand-daughter Ruawhetuki married Ruatapunui, a son of
Halbert, p.83, Rongowhakaata Trust, p.55
Rongowhakaata Trust, p.56-57.
• Ngai Turehe, Ngai Te Aringaiwaho, and Ngati Pakirehe trace their descent to
Kaipoho’s great-grandchildren Turehe, Aringaiwaho, and Pakirehe.
Ngati Ruawairau descend from Ruawairau, the grand-child of Rongokauwai. Rongokauwai
was the daughter of Rongowhakaata and Moetai. Moetai was Rongowhakaata’s third wife,
who he married after slaying her husband Tuaiti. 12
Ngati Rongokauwai is a hapu identified by Rongowhakaata. Rongokauwai married
Tamateakota, the second son of Kahungunu and Rongomaiwahine (she being an important
ancestor for the Mahia and Wairoa district). Rongokauwai had a son named Tutaunga, who
had a son named Tutengaehe. The descendants of Tutengaehe became known as Ngati
Rongokauwai, after his grandmother. 13
Rongowhakaata see Whanau a Iwi as a hapu with strong links to both Te Aitanga a Mahaki
and Rongowhakaata. Kahutia of Rongowhakaata was a leading chief of Whanau a Iwi, who
are said to have shared interests in the coastal region of Turanganui a Kiwa with Ngati Maru,
Ngati Kaipoho, and Ngai Tawhiri. On the other hand, when Whanau a Iwi witnesses
appeared in the Native Land Court they stressed their affiliation to Te Aitanga a Mahaki. 14
Moreover, Halbert does not recognise Whanau a Iwi being primarily a hapu of
The interests of Rongowhakaata are today confined largely to the remnants of those areas
awarded by the Poverty Bay Commission (and, to a lesser extent, lands subsequently awarded
by the Native Land Court). Traditionally, the interests of Rongowhakaata were far more
extensive, extending inland to the west and north along the coast. Their interests ran around
the coast to Te Toka a Huru and, through historical association, whakapapa, and
intermarriage, stretched further into Uawa – the birth place of Rongowhakaata.
Rongowhakaata recognise the rights of other iwi and hapu who have overlapping interests in
the areas around Rongowhakaata’s primary area of interest, in and around Turanganui-a-
Kiwa. These iwi and hapu have a shared history of co-operation and conflict with
Halbert, p.79, Rongowhakaata Trust, pp.57-58.
Rongowhakaata Trust, p.59, Halbert p.53.
Rongowhakaata Trust, p.58.
Rongowhakaata. Rongowhakaata occupied a central position between Te Aitanga a Mahaki,
Te Aitanga a Hauiti, and Ngai Tamanuhiri. 15
An important point to note in relation to Rongowhakaata is the effect that the land wars had
on the ability of Rongowhakaata hapu to pursue their claims to land. Any connection to the
“rebel” or “Hau Hau” movement was frowned upon by the government, as illustrated by a
claim put to the Pakake o Whirikoka. The claim came before the Poverty Bay Commission in
1869. The claimant was Noko of Rongowhakaata. She stated that her father, Iharaira, “was a
Hau Hau,” and the Commission deemed that this admission was fatal in regards to her
claim. 16 As a result of the threat posed by their links to rebels (and, in particular, Te Kooti,
who was of Rongowhakaata), the Rongowhakaata claimants at the Commission appear to
have been reluctant to openly pursue their claims independently. They preferred to be
included in claims put forward by other iwi like Te Aitanga a Mahaki. As a result, it has been
difficult to establish the nature of Rongowhakaata’s connection to some blocks. In such cases
the connection of Rongowhakaata is best illustrated by the number of Rongowhakaata
claimants in the ownership lists of those blocks.
The section below outlines the connection of Rongowhakaata to blocks of land outside of the
Gisborne Inquiry District. The blocks covered are Kaiti, Pouawa, Hangaroa Matawai,
Whakaongaonga, Tuahu, Tauwharetoi, and Tahora.
Traditionally, the land rights of Rongowhakaata included the Kaiti block (4,350 acres). Kaiti
contains Titirangi, a hill of historical significance for Rongowhakaata. 17 The Kaiti area was
richly resourced, as noted by Anne Salmond. Amongst the resources utilised by Maori of the
area (including Rongowhakaata) were the fishing grounds, which included crayfish caught
off Titirangi. Paua were also plentiful off Onepoto, now Kaiti. 18 The plentiful supplies of
Rongowhakaata Trust, pp.21-22.
Poverty Bay Commission Minute Book. MICRO-R 3663 ROLL 22, 1315, University of Auckland Library,
Rongowhakaata Trust, p.22.
Anne Salmond, Two Worlds – First Meetings between Māori and Europeans 1642-1772, Auckland, Viking
Press, 1991, pp.119-121, cited in Rongowhakaata Trust, p.24.
kina and crayfish off Kaiti beach have only recently been depleted, although mussels are still
The Kaiti block was home to Hirini Te Kani, a prominent Rongowhakaata leader during the
nineteenth century (although he also had strong ties to Te Aitanga a Hauiti). Te Kani was the
son of Rawiri Te Eke who signed Te Tiriti at Turanganui-a-Kiwa. Following the Crown’s
conflict with Pai Marire, Te Kani focused on maintaining Māori ownership of land. He died
at his home on Kaiti in 1896. 20
During the 1873 title investigation of the Kaiti block no case was directly presented on behalf
of Rongowhakaata, although claims were made for Whanau a Iwi. A claim was also put
forward by Rutene Te Eke through Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Te Aitanga a Hauiti. Another
claim was put forward by Riperata Kahutia of “Te Whanau a Iwi hapu of Aitanga a
Mahaki.” 21 The Court found that both parties had a claim to the land as both had lived and
cultivated on the land.
In Court, Riperata Kahutia advised that a descendant of Te Nonoi, Kuriwahanui, laid out a
boundary within Kaiti that saw the descendants of Te Nonoi maintain rights to the east side of
the river whilst Kahunoke’s descendants maintained kaitiakitanga on the west. 22
Significantly, Te Eke identified both Rakaiataane and Te Nonoi as the ancestors through
which the land descended to him and his fellow claimants. 23 Rakaiataane and Te Nonoi are
ancestors that connect Rongowhakaata to the block. Rakaiataane was the grandson of Tawiri
and the descendant of Ruapani through Ruaroa, Kahunoke, Tamateakuku and
Rongomaiwaiata. 24 Halbert lists the Kaiti block as part of the land over which descendants of
Rakaiatane, Ngati Rakai, exercised manawhenua. Ngati Rakai later became known as Ngati
Oneone following an incident in which the chief, Taraao, was nearly blinded after having his
eyes covered in earth (oneone). 25
Rongowhakaata Trust, p.27.
Rongowhakaata Trust, pp.76-77.
Gisborne Minute Book 1, p.232
Gisborne Minute Book 1, pp.233-
Te Nonoi was also a descendant of Ruaroa, and Te Eke told the Court that her descendants
would come onto the Kaiti block to get fish and fern root, though they ceased to do so in the
time of Tuapaoa. This was due to a dispute that arose when it was found that they had used a
bone of Rakaiatane’s father as a fish hook. Following this incident the descendants of
Kahunoke and Te Nonoi were said to have become quite separate. 26 The connection of both
parties to the Kaiti block illustrates the connection of Rongowhakaata to the block, both
being traced back to Ruaroa and Ruapani as key ancestors. It would also seem to weaken the
claim of Hauiti as they do not trace descent through Te Nonoi or Kahunoke.
A certificate of title was made in favour of nine people under the Native Lands Act 1867
(s.17). Three of these people were to be selected by Riperata Kahutia and six by Rutene
Te Eke. Both parties that were awarded the block descended from Kahunoke and Te Nonoi
(Te Nonoi being sister to Kahunoke 27 ). They are the key ancestors for the area around the
Turanganui River (for example, at Waikanae, Waiohiharore, and Awapuni, in which
Rongowhakaata hapu claimed rights through these ancestors). The six/three split in the
ownership led to an assumption that the Court had awarded Riperata’s group one-third of the
block and Rutene’s group the other two-thirds, but the Court subsequently rejected this
interpretation. 28 In fact, s.17 of the 1867 Act required other interests to be acknowledged on
the back of the certificate of title, and in this case a further 106 individuals were included in
the title. This more representative group of owners included key Rongowhakaata leaders of
the time such as Paora Kate and Rapata Whakapuhia, as well as important Rongowhakaata
figures such as Keita Waere (Kate Wyllie, later Kate Gannon, or Keita Kenana). 29
Hirini Te Kani was a claimant initially, and although he did not proceed with his own claim
he was named as one of the nine to whom the land was awarded (being one of those included
in the six named by Rutene Te Eke, who led the claim for Hirini). However, this was not the
final word on the ownership of Kaiti.
The relative interests in Kaiti (but not the underlying basis of title) were inquired into by the
Native Land Court in 1885 due to dissatisfaction amongst Te Aitanga a Hauiti regarding what
they saw as an overly generous award to Kahutia’s party. The ancestry of each group (from
Gisborne Minute Book 1, p.234.
Gisborne Minute Book 10, p.93.
Gisborne Minute Book 1, pp.232-251.
Kahunoke and Te Nonoi) was not at issue; rather, the focus of the brief evidence was on the
relative rights of each party and where those rights were located, in terms of occupation. Both
sides claimed Titirangi. Neither party referred to iwi or hapu rights, only to the ancestors
from which each party claimed their rights.
Edward Harris (or Eruera Harete) presented the claim for the party previously represented by
Rutene Te Eke and Hirini Te Kani. In addition to descent from Kahunoke and Te Nonoi, he
referred to the victory of their ancestor, Tuapaoa, over the descendants of Kahunoke and
Te Nonoi, claiming they had been driven from the land. 30 Thus, as in 1873, no claim was
presented on behalf of the Rongowhakaata interests, even though those interests were
recognised in the 1873 title. However, Riperata emphasised that “the whole of the
descendants of the two ancestors [Kahunoke and Te Nonoi] lived on this land and had a right
to it.” 31 Those descendants included many Rongowhakaata.
Although the Court denied that the 1873 title had awarded one-third of the block to
Riperata’s party and two-thirds to Rutene’s party, it proceeded to order exactly that division
of interests, provided the block was divided up two-thirds/one-third by value (rather than by
area; the flat land nearest Turanganui and the Gisborne township being far more valuable
than the hilly and coastal land within Kaiti). It was only upon the land being divided amongst
smaller groups of individual grantees that the interests of Rongowhakaata were apparent in
the hundreds of subdivisions that resulted. The complex division of interests amongst those
on the 1873 title saw Heni Kotikoti (Te Heuheu) and her group (including several
Rongowhakaata individuals) allotted 315 acres. Wiremu Paraone and his party of
Rongowhakaata individuals received 244 acres. Individuals of the Whakaatere and Puakanga
whanau of Rongowhakaata were awarded about 205 acres from the area allocated for
Riperata’s party. Other Rongowhakaata names that feature in the lists are Paore Kate, Rapata
Whakapuhia, Eruera Kaipuke, Mikaere and Henare Turangi, and Maata Rewanga. 32
The Kaiti block was eventually divided into 347 sections and allotted to various individual
owners, both in their own right and as trustees for and successors to others. These sections
ranged from just a few perches (Kaiti township sections) to hundreds of acres of rougher less
Gisborne Minute Book 10, pp.91-112.
Ibid, pp.186-206. See also Rose, p.468.
valuable land. Many of those who appear in the lists of owners are of Rongowhakaata.
Prominent amongst these is Kate Wyllie, the daughter of Kaikiri of the Ngati Kaipoho hapu
of Rongowhakaata, and Thomas Halbert. Wyllie (also known as Keita Wyllie and Keita
Waere, remarried after her husband’s death and was known as Keita Kenana or Kate Gannon)
was seen by some as an authority on Rongowhakaata lore. This knowledge was used to the
benefit of her and her people in the Court. 33 Keita Waere appears as the owner of at least 17
Kaiti divisions. 34 Rose estimates that the land awarded to Wyllie totalled approximately 165
Wi Pere and Hirini Te Kani were awarded a number of blocks, both individually and as part
of a group of owners, or as trustees for others. Wi Pere was the son of Riria Mauaranui of
Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga a Mahaki descent. 36 Hirini Te Kani, as mentioned, was of
Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga a Hauiti descent. Te Kani appears as an owner in 27
divisions. Wi Pere appears as an owner in at least 21 Kaiti divisions. 37 Although his primary
links are to Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Rongowhakaata, Pere appears in the list of owners for
Te Aitanga a Hauiti, reflecting the strong links between these iwi at Kaiti.
Very little of the Kaiti block remains in Māori ownership today. It was caught up in the large
alienations arising from the dealings of the Rees-Pere Trusts and the New Zealand Native
Land Settlement Company that succeeded the Trusts. Since then, most of the remaining
sections have passed into Pakeha ownership. Berghan states that less than 2 acres of the
original Kaiti block is still Māori land. 38
Rongowhakaata Trust, p.84.
Gisborne Minute Book 11, pp.129-145.
Kathryn Rose, ‘Te Aitanga a Mahaki Land and Autonomy 1873-1890’, A report prepared for Te Aitanga a
Mahaki Claims Committee, 1999, p.470.
Rongowhakaata Trust, p.79.
Gisborne Minute Book 11, pp.129-145.
Berghan, ‘East Coast Block Research Narratives 1865-2000’, Crown Forestry Rental Trust, August 2008,
No information has been located that illustrates Rongowhakaata interests in the Pouawa
block. The minutes of the Native Land Court title investigation indicated that the land was
claimed by and awarded to claimants of Te Aitanga a Hauiti.
The 19,200 acre Pouawa block came before the Court on 1 December 1870. Hirini Te Kani
appeared as the primary claimant but advised the Court that he wished Hare Wahia to
conduct the case. Hare Wahia claimed the block on behalf of Ngati Matekoraha of
Te Aitanga a Hauiti. Another claim was brought forward by Hoani Matiaha of Ngati Konohi,
described by him as a hapu of Te Aitanga a Hauiti. Wahia’s claim was made through the
ancestor Hine te Ao. The Court found in favour of both parties and instructed each to submit
five owners to be appointed under the Native Lands Act 1867 (s.17). A certificate of title was
ordered in favour of Hirini Te Kani and nine others. 39 More than 60 other names were added
to the back of the certificate of title under s.17 of the 1867 Act, but none of the names can be
firmly identified as Rongowhakaata.
As there was no counter-claim to that of Te Aitanga a Hauiti, the documentary evidence does
not record any connection between Rongowhakaata and the Pouawa block. Nor do other
sources such as Rongowhakaata Halbert’s history of the Horouta waka. It has already been
stated that Hirini Te Kani had strong affiliations to Rongowhakaata, but in reference to the
Pouawa block he clearly claimed the land for Te Aitanga a Hauiti. The Rongowhakaata
Trust’s report notes that the interests of Rongowhakaata stretch across the Kaiti region, but
the Pouawa block is not identified. It might be that the oral history of Rongowhakaata
contains information on the Pouawa block, but this was beyond the scope of this report.
Following the awarding of title the Pouawa block was progressively subdivided. In 1881
three subdivisions were made, with further subdivisions made in 1882 following the sale of
interests by some owners. By the time the block passed through the consolidation process in
the 1930s, less than 300 acres remained as Māori land. Today, a little over 33 acres remains
as Māori land, the rest having been sold or the titles Europeanised. 40
Gisborne Minute Book 1, pp.127-130.
Berghan, 2008, p.857
Rongowhakaata claims to Hangaroa-Matawai (12,749 acres) were made through the
ancestors Rerewa of Ngati Maru and Te Pokingaiwaho of Ngati Pokingaiwaho. 41 Te
Pokingaiwaho and his younger brother were said to have occupied the western part of the
block. Mohaka was the principal man amongst Ngati Maru who held a claim to the land.
Ngati Pokingaiwaho had fought against Ngai Tane, a hapu associated with south-eastern Te
Urewera and inland Wairoa, for the block. With the assistance of Whanau a Kai of Te
Aitanga a Mahaki, they had defeated Ngai Tane at Papokika. 42 Claims were also made by
Ngati Kohatu (from the ancestors Ngaherehere and Tutaki), Te Whanau a Kai, and Ngai
Tane, with Ngai Tane and Ngati Kohatu claiming the eastern portion (east from Papokika
A number of sites and landmarks were identified during the title investigation. Parahinahina
is a stream in the centre of the western portion of the block. Kainaonao was a place on the
boundary of the block where the birds and other foods obtained on the block were eaten.
Tangawhinau was another such place, just outside the block where there was a pa containing
a whare called Raparapamira which was owned by Ngati Maru. Ngati Maru also cultivated
flax and caught eels at Pahekeheke on the block. 44
The evidence of Wiremu Waiharakeke of Ngati Kohatu supports the rights and presence of
Ngati Maru and Ngati Rua on the Hangaroa Matawai block. According to him the
Ngaherehere hapu lived at Hamokorau on the western portion of the block, this being the
place at which birds taken on the block were eaten. Ngati Maru and Ngati Rua of
Rongowhakaata were said to be the people who collected the birds on the block. 45
Ngati Maru’s claim to the land was also endorsed by Himiona Mānu, who said he, rather than
Wi Pere, spoke for Ngati Maru. He stated that his hapu, Ngatapuae (or Ngai Tapuae), were
the principal tribe on the land and that the other tribes on the land supplied them with food.
Gisborne Minute Book 3, p.304.
Ibid, pp.279-283 and pp.289-303.
Gisborne Minute Book 3, pp.306-307 and p.326.
The pa named Kainaonao was said to belong to Ngatapuae and Ngati Maru. Together they
had fought against Ngati Kohatu on the block. 46 Rapata Whakapuhia of Rongowhakaata
endorsed the Ngati Maru claim, recalling that Ngaherehere had defeated Ngai Tane in a battle
at Wharekopae, after which “the land and the people” were made over to Ngaherehere. 47
The Court found that the western portion of the block belonged to Wi Pere and his fellow
claimants, and awarded the eastern portion to Ngati Kohatu, Ngai Tane, and others. 48 Thus,
the Court accepted the rights of Ngati Maru to the land; Pere having claimed through both
Ngati Maru and Ngati Pokingaiwaho (as well as for Te Whanau a Kai). Moreover, despite the
award of the eastern portion to Ngati Kohatu and Ngai Tane, individuals associated with
Rongowhakaata were included in the ownership to that portion as well as the western part.
The numerous list of owners in the eastern portion included Rongowhakaata individuals such
as Rapata Whakapuhia, Himinoa Manu, Hape Kiniha, and Mere Whakaatere. 49 The
ownership of the western portion included Rongowhakaata leaders such as Tamihana
Ruatapu and Anaru Matete. 50
A site of importance identified by Rongowhakaata on the block is the Mokonuiarangi marae.
The marae is at Waerenga o Kuri on the Hangaroa-Matawai B4A block, 51 this being the last
12 hectares of Maori land remaining from the original Hangaroa-Matawai block (which
originally comprised 12,749 acres). No further detail on the Mokonuiarangi marae site is
given, but it was a food-gathering site. 52
The Crown began purchase negotiations for Hangaroa Matawai in 1895. Some initial attempt
was made to purchase the land at 1s. per acre, despite a valuation of 5s. per acre. Most
owners would not sell for 1s. and the Crown raised its offer to 2s. per acre. By 1897 the
Crown had acquired 4,273 acres. 53
Rongowhakaata Trust, p.66.
Gisborne Minute Book 3, p.326.
Gisborne Minute Book 26, p.12
The Waitangi Tribunal report, Turanga Tangata Turanga Whenua, notes that Rongowhakaata
claim rights to the hill country blocks west of the lower Waipaoa, including the
Whakaongaonga block. 54
When the 18,500 acre block came before the Court for investigation five parties put forward
claims. Rapata Whakapuhia of Rongowhakaata claimed the land for his party through the
ancestors Hinekorako and Tane, of Te Reinga. This appears to have been primarily a Ngai
Tane and Ngati Kohatu claim but it involved Rongowhakaata people, not only Rapata himself
but also Te Waaka Perohuka who was “the last person who occupied this land,” living at
Kaikoura and at Tapui. Petera Honotapu of Rongowhakaata (he usually appeared for Ngai Te
Kete) endorsed Rapata’s evidence. 55 As noted in the examination of the Hangaroa Matawai
block, Rongowhakaata interests were acknolwedged in the portion of that block awarded to
Ngai Tane and Ngati Kohatu.
Tuatini appeared for the hapu Ngai Te Aweawe and Ngai Tane. Tuatini testified that the
ancestor Te Kehu had given the land to Te Iriwhare and Tamaihaeoterangi, who lived at
Kaiwahine, Pakereru, and Mangarangiora. The land was given after some bird snares set by
Te Iriwhare’s son had been destroyed. However, Rapata Whakapuhia said Tuatini’s claim
was through marriage alone, so only his children had a claim through their mother. Tuatini
acknowledged that one limb of his claim was that the land had been given to his wife and he
by Te Waaka Perohuka, “who had authority over it all.” 56 This emphasises the strength of the
Rongowhakaata claim emodied by Te Waaka Perohuka.
Nikora Kiripaura subsequently testified that since Te Waaka’s death, “Rapata [Whakapuhia]
has taken his place in the matter of authority over these lands, and I look to him to give effect
to Tuatini’s list.” Those on Tuatini’s list were said to be Ngai Te Aweawe and “Ngai
Tamaionarangi[?],” who “were formerly as one, no disputes ever divided them until the
hauhau troubles, since which they have been separated during Te Waka’s lifetime, neither
had any idea about turning the other off the land, they lived in a friendly manner together.”
Waitangi Tribunal, Turanga Tangata Turanga Whenua: The report on the Turanga a Kiwa claims, Wai 814,
Waitangi Tribunal, Wellington, 2004, Volume One, p.33.
Gisborne Minute Book 3, pp.242-245.
Those on Tuatini’s list were all said to be descendants of Te Aweawe, like those on Rapata’s
Another Rongowhakaata ancestor with links to the Whakaongaonga block is Pakirehe.
Halbert identifies Pakirehe as an ancestor of the Ngati Kaipoho hapu of Rongowhakaata. 58
Pakirehe is a descendant of Rongowhakaata, being the great grandson of Kaipoho. 59 The area
over which Pakirehe had authority ran from Parikanapa to Paparatu, taking in a triangular
piece within Whakaongaonga. Pimia Aata of Rongowhakaata provided evidence of
Pakirehe’s link to this portion of the block, stating that Pakirehe had always owned it.
Pakirehe’s descendants did not live on the land but used it as an area to kill birds and hunt
pigs. The land was not cultivated, having been maintained as a wilderness area. Tawa berries
were also collected on the land. Pimia Aata advised that there were no named trees on the
block but there was a place called “Taumata Kowhiti nga tawa o Pakirehe.” 60
Anaru Ratapu’s evidence for the descendants of Pakirehe was that the boundary described by
Pimia Aata had always been recognised as a fixed boundary which could not be altered by
Ngati Kohatu or any other hapu. Anaru Ratapu also claimed the block through Pakirehe,
giving his hapu as Ngati Pakirehe. 61 He confirmed that no one lived or cultivated on the land,
saying it was too cold to live on but that it was used as a place to catch kiore and manu.
Ratapu had himself been on the land with his father to catch kiore and kiwi, and had also
hunted pigs. 62
The Court found that Tuatini and his party had not given sufficient evidence in support of
their claim and they were excluded from the award. The claim of Pimia Aata and Anaru
Ratapu was also unsuccessful as they had “failed to show their boundary” when the Court
went to view the boundary disputed by them. The land was instead awarded to those on the
list of claimants submitted by Rapata Whakapuhia, Ngati Kohatu, and Ngai Tane. 63 Their
final ownership list reflected the interests of Pakirehe and Rongowhakaata in
Gisborne Minute Book 3, p.274.
Gisborne Minute Book 3, p.284.
Gisborne Minute Book 3, pp.345-346.
Whakaongaonga, as it included Anarau Ratapu as well as other Rongowhakaata individuals
such as Rapata Whakapuhia, Paora Riki, and members of the Honotapu whanau. 64
Following the title investigation Whakaongaonga came under purchase pressure from a
number of Pakeha and the Crown. The Crown began purchasing land in the block and by
1880 had purchased 12,418 acres. 65 Purchasing activity involving the remaining area of the
block continued thereafter.
The Tuahu block (10,820 acres) was claimed by Ngati Maru and Ngati Rua of
Rongowhakaata. They, along with Ngatihakai, had cultivations on the block at “Waitakarua,
at Tuaiwa, Tuangahuru, Te Waro, Tahu.” They also collected birds on the block. Ngati Maru
were occupying the block at the time it was surveyed, just prior to the Native Land Court title
Ruarapua is the ancestor from whom Ngati Rua derived their rights to Tuahu. 67 As noted
earlier, Ruarapua was a founding ancestor of Ngati Rua and a son of Ruapani. Their principal
place of residence on the block was at “Tuaiwa,” and their whare runanga was called
“Raparapatewira.” A grove of kowhai trees on the block called “Te Ahikouka” was a place
where birds were gathered. Other pa in which Ngati Rua lived were Tuangahuru, Tahu,
Te Waro, and Te Whakaumu. 68
Makara Tuatara was a witness who appeared in support of the claim of Ngati Rua and Ngati
Maru, who inherited the land from their ancestors. Tuatara advised that there were no longer
any kainga on the land but she had visited “Tahuna Kai Karoro” and other places in the
past. 69 In contrast, Ihakara Tuhi of Ngati Rua said he had lived on the land from 1849, at
Tahunakaikaroro, “just on the boundary,” and a few others were then cultivating there by the
river. 70 Tahunakaikaroro was across the river from Tuahu, not actually on the block.71
Gisborne Minute Book 4, pp.84-87.
Berghan, ‘Block Research Narratives of the Wairoa, 1865-1930’, CFRT, 2000, p.509.
Gisborne Minute Book 3, p.158.
Gisborne Minute Book 3, p.160.
The other hapu who claimed in the Tuahu block was Ngai Tapuae. Halbert does not say
anything about this hapu, but they trace descent from Hingaanga of the Wairoa area. 72 It was
the young wife of Hingaanga, Hinetapuarau, who Mahaki eloped with and from whom Te
Aitanga a Mahaki would gain rights to the Turanga district. 73 There does not appear to have
been any history of conflict between Ngati Rua and Ngai Tapuae over the Tuahu block.
However, Himiona Manu, giving evidence for Ngai Tapuae, testified that their claim derived
from Hingaanga, but that there had been a dispute between them and Ngati Hineika (or
Hinehika) over the land, and there was currently a dispute between Ngati Hineika and Ngati
Rua over the division of the purchase money for Tuahu.74 The earlier dispute with Ngai
Tapuae was over the boundary between Tauwharetoi and Tuahu at “Te Kakahu oti umurau”
and the Ruakituri River: “It was decided by an arrangement by which both hapu occupied the
One descendant of Hingaanga, Hapimana Tunupaura, stated that Mere Karaka “was placed
over the Ngati Rua, which hapu claims in this block.” Her claim was, he said, from Ngati Rua
and Ngati Maru: “She is the head of several other hapu but these are the only two who claim
in this land.” 76
The Court found for the Ngai Tapuae claim, but also decided that sufficient evidence had
been produced in support of the claims of Ngati Rua to confirm their rights. In particular, the
other claimants had not refuted the evidence that Ngati Rua had cultivations on the land.
They were thus included in the ownership. 77 Ngati Maru is not mentioned in the Court’s
decision, but the evidence regarding the cultivations of Ngati Rua had clearly included the
rights of Ngati Maru, and both groups are part of Rongowhakaata.
The Crowb’s purchase of the Tuahu block actually began before 1874, prior to the title
having been decided. Purchase negotiations between the owners and the Crown continued on
after the title investigation. On 24 August 1880 the Crown secured 9,252 acres of the Tuahu
Gisborne Minute Book 3, pp.155-156.
block when the Native Land Court partitioned out the Crown’s interests. 78 Today, a little over
500 acres of Tuahu remain in Maori ownership, in numerous small fragmented titles.
Little information has been found on the history of the Tauwharetoi block (60,680 acres). It
does not appear that any witnesses appeared on behalf of Rongowhakaata hapu, but
Rongowhakaata individuals were involved in the claim. For instance, after Tamihana
Ruatapu stepped aside, Petera Honotapu presented the claim, naming the interested hapu as
Ngaherehere, Tutaki, and Ngai Tane. There were no counter-claims. Petera Honotapu
explained that his ancestor Ngaherehere had conquered the land to avenge the death of
With no other evidence taken, three lists of owners were produced for separate portions of the
block. The block was said to consist of three subdivisions, each relating to a claim from the
hapu claiming the land: Ngaherehere, Tutaki, and Tane. Tauwharetoi No. 1 was the
Ngaherehere block, and the owners included Petera Te Honotapu and Nikora Kuriapaura
(who had testified for Rongowhakaata hapu in the Whakaongaonga case; see above).
Tauwharetoi No. 3 was Ngai Tane’s block and the owners included Rongowhakaata figures
such as Rapata Whakapuhia and Wi Kingi Paia. 80
Wi Pere did appear as an objector in the Native Land Court case. However, he advised that
although he once had a claim, he had given it up. The nature of Wi Pere’s claim was not
made clear with no details of the ancestors or hapu through which his claim would have been
made. Lists of other objectors were produced, namely Eruera Harete (Harris), Henare Harete
(Harris), Rutene Te Eke, Mihi Pahura, and Riripeti Piwaka, who sought to be included in
Tauwharetoi No.’s 1 and 3 (the Ngaherehere and Ngai Tane portions). The case was
adjourned to allow the claimants to resolve the dispute themselves. A driving factor behind
this decision seems to have been the fact that Locke informed the Court that the land was
under negotiation for purchase by the Crown. 81 It appears that all those objecting had a claim
through the three hapu claiming the land. The Court ordered that the land be awarded to those
Berghan, 2000, p.419
Gisborne Minute Book 3, pp.153-154.
Gisborne Minute Book 3, pp.185-187.
appearing in the three lists (although all minors were subsequently struck out, to facilitate the
sale of the land). 82
The lack of any distinct claim by Rongowhakaata hapu may have been due to them being
satisfied with representation on the title through related hapu to whom they clearly had
connections on these inland blocks, as is apparent in other inland blocks. The lack of a
distinct Rongowhakaata claim may also have been the result of the costs associated with
attending the Court hearings. During the course of this project Rongowhakaata
representatives stated that Rongowhakaata claimants from inland areas became heavily
indebted whilst waiting for the Native Land Court to hear the claim for Tauwharetoi. As their
debt increased to the point where it outstripped their interest in the land they chose to leave
rather than take on any further debt. The census data for 1874 and 1878 indicates that a
number of people from inland hapu such as Ngati Kohatu were living at Oweta and
Manutuke during this period. 83
Crown purchase activity followed the awarding of title. On 26 August 1880 the Native land
Court partitioned the block, awarding the Crown 50,389 acres of the block in recognition of
the interests purchased from owners. 84
Tahora 2C1 and 2F
Rongowhakaata’s interests in Tahora blocks are not discussed by Halbert. The information in
this section comes only from the Native Land Court minutes covering the Tahora title
hearing. Ngati Maru and Ngati Rua are the hapu most strongly identified with the Tahora
block, and with Tahora 2C1 in particular.
Tahora 2C1 is part of the very large Tahora 2 block of 213,350 acres. This very large block
extended from the Bay of Plenty confiscation line to the Ruakituri River near Lake
Waikaremoana, stretching along the eastern flank of Te Urewera. Its size and location meant
that a number of iwi and hapu had claims to the block, including Rongowhakaata. 85
AJHR, 1874, G-7, p.10, and, AJHR, 1878, G-2, p.22
Berghan, 2000, p.357
Peter Boston and Steven Oliver, ‘Tahora’, Waitangi Tribunal, Wellington, June 2002, p.8.
In their report on the Tahora block Peter Boston and Steven Oliver note that the title hearing
covering the Tahora block were characterised by a high degree of co-operation between the
iwi and hapu involved. Much discussion took place outside of the Court to avoid conflict
amongst claimants. 86 This may explain why Ngati Maru and Ngati Rua are incorrectly
described in the minutes as two hapu of “Ngaitangaamahaki” (Te Aitanga a Mahaki). The
evidence for the claim of Ngati Maru and Ngati Rua was given by Pimia Aata, who also
identified Whanau a Kai and Ngati Hine of Te Aitanga a Mahaki as the other claimants. 87
The two ancestors identified most strongly with the block are Haaki and Whareana. They
were said to have travelled from Turanga to Tahora and established themselves there, being
the first settlers on the land. They also established a boundary between their lands and those
of Tuhoe at Kahunui. 88 Halbert advises that Haaki and Whareana were the sisters of
Kaihaere, an ancestor of both Ngati Maru and Ngati Hine. Whanau a Kai (closely connected
to Te Aitanga a Mahaki) gained their rights to Tahora blocks through the marriage of their
ancestor Kai to both Haaki and Whareana. 89
The Court was told no one had ever come to disturb the occupation of the land by Haaki and
Whareana. It was only during the pursuit of Te Kooti that the people left the land and went to
Turanga. Prior to that, the land was occupied, used for hunting game, and as a site for
cultivation down to the time of the “Hauhau disturbances.” Though the block was not
occupied thereafter, it was still utilised for the cultivation of potatoes up to the time of the
title hearing. 90
During the title hearing Pimia Aata noted that she and Wi Pere and others of Whanau a Kai
were the owners of the adjoining Hangaroa Matawai block, along with members of Ngati
Rua, Ngati Hine, and Ngati Maru. 91
The Court awarded the Tahora 2C portion (96,424 acres) to Pimia Aata, Wi Pere and all those
who claimed the land with them. 92 On application by Wi Pere the block was subdivided into
Peter Boston and Steven Oliver, ‘Tahora’, Waitangi Tribunal, 2002, p.51.
Opotiki Minute Book 4, p.307
Opotiki Minute Book 5, p.99
Opotiki Minute Book 4, pp.347-349.
Tahora 2C1, 2C2, and 2C3. The portion for Ngati Rua and Ngati Maru was Tahora 2C1
(49,578 acres). 93 Thus, Rongowhakaata was awarded more than half of the Tahora 2C block.
Rongowhakaata claimants also appear in the ownership lists of the Tahora 2F block (22,556
acres). This portion was claimed by both Tuhoe and various hapu described (somewhat too
generically) as Ngati Kahungunu. Whilst Tuhoe claimed by right of conquest it was the Ngati
Kahungunu hapu, led by Wi Pere, who were successful in claiming the land and who were
living on the block at the time. The claim was made through the ancestor Hingaanga. 94 It was
Ngati Hingaanga who lived on the land, a hapu identified by Pere as being related to Ngati
Kahungunu. Ngati Hingaanga had, he said, resisted invasion by Whakatohea with the help of
both Ngati Rua, and Ngati Maru. 95
Pere expanded on the history of co-operation between Ngati Maru, Ngati Rua, and Ngati
Hingaanga at Tahora in a further hearing. Appeals against the original 1889 title judgement
were made but the 1890 Appellate Court did not alter the lower Court’s findings as to title.
Wi Pere gave evidence during the rehearing of Tahora 2C and 2F portions. He advised the
Court that Ngati Rua, Ngati Maru, and Ngati Hine were the owners of the land. Ngati
Hingaanga were gifted control of the 2F block for the military assistance given to help defend
the land against an incursion by Ranginuiaihu of Te Aitanga a Mahaki. 96
The presence of Ngati Rua on the block was also confirmed by the evidence of Tapine Ruina
of Ngati Hingaanga during the original title hearing. He stated that Ngati Rua were living on
the block at Te Papuni with Ngati Hingaanga at a time when he himself had been invited to
live there. 97 Reihana Horotiu of Ngati Kahungunu also confirmed that Ngati Rua lived on the
block. He advised that Ngati Rua and Ngati Hingaanga were like one people, but that an
ancient boundary between the two did exist. Ngati Rua lived on the block at Kowhitiwhiti,
Tataramoa, Tauwharetoroa, and Opaoa. 98
A witness from Ngati Rua gave evidence in support of the claim of Ngati Hingaanga.
Hukanui’s evidence pointed argued that the only Tuhoe with a valid claim to the block were
Opotiki Minute Book 4, p.336-337
Gisborne Minute Book 18, pp.17-22
Opotiki Minute Book 5, p.102
those who could trace descent from Hingaanga. When he appeared before the block Hukanui
advised that he was of the Ngati Rua hapu of Ngati Kahungunu, 99 although Ngati Rua are of
course a hapu more closely associated with Rongowhakaata. This goes to illustrates the
nature of the connections between the hapu of the inland area lying between Turanga,
Wairoa, and Te Urewera.
The Native Land Court awarded the Tahora 2F block to the descendants of Hingaanga. 100
This would appear to include Ngati Rua, as they had been described as being one people with
Ngati Hingaanga. Numerous individuals with strong Rongowhakaata connections were
included in the ownership list for Tahora 2F, notably Te Kooti (Tahora being the only block
in which he was ever awarded title by the Native Land Court). The Crown began purchasing
interests in the Tahora 2C1 and 2F blocks soon after the finalisation of titles. During February
and March 1895 the Crown made extensive purchases in the Tahora 2C and 2F blocks, and
continued to purchase interests until early 1896, when it had the Native Land Court partition
out its interests. By this stage the Crown had acquired about 22,000 acres of Tahora 2C1, and
about 8,000 acres of Tahora 2F. 101
Opotiki Minute Book 5, p.127
Peter Boston and Steven Oliver, p.132
Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Ngariki Kaiputahi Customary Interests
Outside the Gisborne Inquiry District
This section traces the connections of Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Ngariki Kaiputahi to the
blocks indicated in the project brief. A range of sources has been used to determine the
connections to each block but the minute books of the Māori Land Court have been the
primary source. Where the sources allow, efforts have been made to identify the nature of the
claim to each block, the relationships with other hapu who may also have had a claim, and
the particular locations and sites on each block that the hapu have connection to. By way of
providing context, a brief introductory history of Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Ngariki Kaiputahi
Te Aitanga a Mahaki
Te Aitanga a Mahaki descend from the ancestor Mahaki through his three sons Ranginuiaihu,
Hikarongo, and Whakarau. Mahaki was the grandson of Kahungunu, Mahaki’s mother being
Tauheikuri, the youngest daughter of Kahungunu and his wife Rongomaiwahine. Halbert
advises that Mahaki spent his boyhood at Maraetaha, probably in Whakorekoretekai Pa. After
a disagreement with his brother Tawhiwhi, Mahaki moved to Toiotekainga at Manutuke. It
was here that he met his wife Hinetapuarau. 102
Mahaki and his wife Hinetapuarau had five daughters and three sons at Pakarae. It was
through the exploits of his sons that Mahaki became a prominent figure in the history of
Turanganui, being the ancestor who linked the descendants of all three. Mahaki spent his
early life in the Mahia region and held land rights in this area, rather than in Turanganui. His
wife Hinetapuarau did hold interests in Turanganui through her maternal great-great-
grandfather, Tahungaehenui, the father of Ruapani. 103
Ruapani was the paramount chief of the Turanganui tribes. This was due to the lines of
aristocratic descent from Paoa, Kiwa, and the other migrants of the Horouta canoe that
converged in him. Ruapani lived at Popoia pa but also moved with members of his second
family when they chose to leave their ancestral home. Ruapani was also the father of Ruaroa
another prominent ancestor.104 Merata Kawharu notes that when Mahaki married
Hinetapuarau he married into the principal family of Turanganui, who had authority over the
land and people. 105
Through his three sons Mahaki became the ancestor of all Te Aitanga a Mahaki. Halbert lists
the following hapu as the constituent hapu of Te Aitanga a Mahaki:
• Whanau a Taupara
• Whanau a Kai
• Ngati Whakauaki
• Ngati Wahia
• Ngai Tama
• Whanau a Iwi
• Ngati Hika
• Ngai Tamatea
• Ngai Tuketenui
• Ngati Ruawairau 106
Whanau a Taupara are the descendants of Taupara, grandson of Mahaki through his son
Ranginuiaihu, or Ihu for short, and his wife Te Nonoiikura. Taupara lived for a time with his
brother Ranginaonaoriki in the Te Uku Pa at Puketeake. His first pa, Kaikomore, was on the
Merata Kawharu, ‘Te Mana Whenua o Te Aitanga a Mahaki’, A report prepared for the Te Aitanga a Mahaki
Claims Committee, 2000, p.73.
Ngati Ruawairau are, as noted earlier, also described as a Rongowhakaata hapu.
upper reaches of the Urukokomuka Stream on the Mangatu block. He also lived at Te Koutu
on Waihora, and frequented the Waiohiharore portion of Oneroa, or modern day Waikanae
Beach. Taupara married Puhaiterangi and had one daughter, Kuraiteapata, and three sons,
Whakauika, Tumurau, and Te Kete. 107 Ngati Hika are a hapu of Whanau a Taupara who
descend from Hikairirangi, the grandson of Taupara and son of Whakauika. Hikairirangi
married Rangitetea of Whanau a Iwi and occupied Waipura Pa.108
Whanau a Kai are the descendants of Kaikore, another son of Ranginuiaihu. Unlike his
brothers he did not inherit any land from his father. His descendants inherited land through
his marriage to Te Haaki and Whareana, sisters of Kaihaere of the Ngati Maru and Ngati
Hine hapu of the original Ngariki settlers. 109 These hapu were not a part of Ngariki but
developed an association subsequently. They derived rights of occupation from fourteenth
century pioneers at Te Wera, Wharekopae, Tangihanga and other blocks. 110
Ngati Whakauaki descend from Whakauaki, the fourth son of Ranginuiaihu. He married
Rangiwhatia, the daughter of Tamarere II, and lived at Pa o Tamarere. Whakauaki dies with
his parents at Houpapa, leaving a son named Te Kuruoterangi (Te Kuru), who was raised by
his uncles Ranginaonaoriki and Taupara. Te Kuru later lived with his wife Tawhao in Pa o
Tamarere and had two sons, Huruoterangi and Mutuoterangi. 111
Ngati Wahia descend from Wahia, the son of Ranginaonaoariki, the oldest son of
Ranginuiaihu. Ranginaonaoariki became the high chief over the descendants of Mahaki after
his father’s death. This role passed to Wahia after the death of Ranginaonaoariki. He
occupied Te Kautu Pa, east of Te Karaka township. 112
Ngapotiki descend from Whakarau, the youngest son of Mahaki. Whakarau had three wives
and was father to six children. His eldest sons were Tahitorangi and Kuhakura. They
occupied Te Uku pa. Tahitorangi’s descendants maintained occupation Te Uku Pa and
intermarried with the descendants of Taupara. Another son of Whakarau was Takorokahu
who lived in the Ruangarehu Pa at Puhatikotiko. 113
Ngai Tama descend from Hirangi, whose son was Tamarere II. The daughter of Tamarere II,
Rangiwhatia, married Whakauaki, the fourth son of Ranginuiaihu. Rangiwhatia’s brother
Marotiriopawa became the founding ancestor of Ngai Tama. His sons were
Maahukaiporoporo (Maahu) and Marere who would assist Whanau a Iwi in battle against
Ngati Ira. 114
Whanau a Iwi descend from Tauwheoro, the only daughter of Ranginuiaihu and Te Nonoi.
Tauwheoro married Iwipuru, grandson of Tamaterongo and Mateora of Titirangi Hill.
Iwipuru was killed by Tauwheoro’s brothers Ranginaonaoariki, Tauopara, and Mokaituatini.
Ranginaonaoariki and Taupara cared for Iwipuru’s sons, Rangikuatipu and Kurawahanui. 115
Other important ancestors of Te Aitanga a Mahaki are Tamateaiti and Tamateakuku.
Kawharu notes that Tamateaiti and Tamateakuku were whanaunga (relatives) of Mahaki.
There is a long history of political alliance between the descendants of Mahaki and
Tamateaiti. 116 Tamateaiti and Tamateakuku are descendants of Ruapani. Their father was
Kahunoke, the son of Ruaroa, and grandson of Ruapani. 117
Ngai Tamatea descend from Tutepuaki through his son Mutunga, the hapu being named after
Tutepuaki’s father, Tamateaiti. Tamateaiti had married Hinetera, a granddaughter of
Rongowhakaata and Moetai, who had been married to Tamateaiti’s brother, Tamateakuku.
Tutepuaki assisted Takorokahu of Ngapotiki in fights against Ngati Ira. 118 Ngai Tuketenui are
the descendants of Tuketenui, the son of Tutekohi, whose father was Tamateakuku. 119 Ngati
Rauwairau descend from Ruawairau, the son of Tamateakuku and his first wife Ruakopito. 120
Ngapuhi is another hapu identified as a part of Te Aitanga a Mahaki. Halbert states that
Ngapuhi are the descendants of Tutenekenga, the second son of Tamateaiti. These
descendants intermarried with Ngai Tuketenui and the descendants of Kahutukia, the younger
brother of Kahunoke, and second son of Ruaroa and his wife Rahirimomore. 121
Ngariki trace their descent from Hineturaha and her husband Taurangakiwaho. 122 Ngariki
were the original kaitiaki of the Mangatu blocks. More than one section of Ngariki developed
and Ngariki Kaiputahi is one such section. In battles against Ngati Ira, Ngariki Kaiputahi
secured land to the east of the Mangatu stream. This may have included the
Manukawhitikitiki block on the south of the Mangatu Stream. Ruatakitini and Marukakoa
were the Ngariki Kaiputahi ancestors who secured this land. 123 Ruatakitini and his
descendants remained on the lands for over two centuries. Marukakoa became a wanderer
who explored the interior of northern Mangatu. 124
Kawharu states that Ngariki developed close links with Ngati Wahia through intermarriage.
Marriages with other sections of Te Aitanga a Mahaki cemented the close connections
between the two groups. Tamarere and Tamarere II were both chiefs of Ngariki. As noted
earlier, Tamarere II’s daughter Rangiwhatia married Whakauaki. Tamarere II himself married
Rakaimaro, the eldest daughter of Mahaki and Hinetapuarau. 125
These are, in brief, the hapu of Te Aitanga a Mahaki and the ancestors from whom they
derive. The sections that follow trace the connections of these hapu to the lands listed in the
Parts of the Tauwhareparae block (57,950 acres) have been sites of occupation, cultivation,
food gathering, and conquest for Ngai Tamatea. As mentioned, Ngai Tamatea are the
descendants of Tutepuaki, adopting the name to commemorate his father Tamateaiti.
Tutepuaki and his son Mutunga undertook the conquest of Ngati Ira, coming into violent
conflict with the Ngati Ira from Tauwhareparae. Tutepuaki and Mutunga were responding to a
call for assistance from Takorokahu of Ngapotiki.
Mutunga continued the conquest of Ngati Ira after his father gave up fighting following the
death of his son Ihuparapara. Among other battles Mutunga defeated Ngati Ira at Hereumu
and Kopuarangi on Tauwhareparae No. 3, and ejected the Ngai Te Awhia people of Ngati Ira
from Parariki on the Tauwhareparae boundary. Tauwhareparae is noted by Halbert as a block
to which Ngai Tamatea have interests, with Te Toto identified as a site on the block connected
to Ngai Tamatea. 126
In evidence given before the Native Land Court, Hone Kewa of Ngai Tamatea stated that he
had a claim to part of the land through his ancestor Tanekatohia and another claim through
Awhia. 127 Tanekatohia’s descendant was Kopuapounamu who married Te Awhia.
Kopuapounamu and Te Awhia begat Tamaure, who married Kopata, a direct descendant of
Tutepuaki and Mutunga. 128 Importantly, Kewa did not claim the whole of the block, stating
that he did not know anything about the greater part of the block. 129
The connection to Tutepuaki is also confirmed by the evidence of Paora Haupa, of Ngai
Tamatea, who claimed the block through Tutepuaki. Tutepuaki conquered a portion of the
block from “Tara[?cut off] to Whakerekero to Kererungaia and on to Waipawa.” 130 This
refers to the conquest noted by Halbert. Haupa states that Tutepuaki’s descendants conquered
as far as “Mangaowatira.” 131 It would appear that the “Waipawa” recorded by the Court is the
Waipaoa block, which borders the Tauwhareparae block to the west.
Matanui and Kohimarama were the names of two houses on the block. The block was also
used for collecting food and for cultivation. A snaring bush called Tarahinui was located on
the block, it being also a site of cultivations that were kept down to his father’s time. 132
Waiapu Minute Book 4, p.187.
Waiapu Minute Book 4, p.188
Ngati Ira are identified as the hapu which provided food for Tutepuaki, who conquered
them. 133 After having been conquered on Tauwhareparae, Ngati Ira were restored to the land
by Ngai Tamatea. 134 Tanekatohia and Te Awhia are also ancestors identified by those who
claimed through Ngati Ira, and as the Ngai Te Awhia people of Ngati Ira. The Native Land
Court’s title investigation was dominated by the evidence of those claiming from Ngati Ira.
Ngai Tamatea claimants claimed only a portion of the block, reflecting Halbert’s history of
Ngai Tamatea defeating Ngati Ira on what was defined as Tauwhareparae No. 3.
The Native Land Court found that Ngai Tamatea had a claim to the northwest portion of the
block. The Court also stated that the greater part of the land was held by the descendants of
Uenukupaia of Ngati Ira. 135 The block was subdivided by the Court on 3 June 1881. Ngai
Tamatea claimants secured 3,200 acres of the block (Tauwhareparae No. 3). Berghan
indicates that the boundaries of that area awarded to Te Aitanga a Mahaki were pointed out by
Paora Haupa. 136 It appears that the land awarded bordered the Waipaoa No.1 block, a block
awarded to Ngai Tamatea of Te Aitanga a Mahaki (see below). The award is a relatively small
area in such a large block, particularly in light of the extent of Te Aitanga a Mahaki interests
in the adjacent Waipaoa and Tutamoe blocks (see below).
By the time the land was awarded the Crown had been involved in purchase negotiations with
the interested parties for many years. The land awarded to Te Aitanga a Mahaki was part of
that already sold to the Crown. 137
Waipaoa No. 1
Ngariki Kaiputahi have an ancient ancestral connection to the middle and upper regions of the
Waipaoa River. 138 Ngariki Kaiputahi is identified by the Tribunal as one of the hapu who hold
rights to the adjacent Whatatutu block. These rights overlap with those of hapu of Te Aitanga
a Mahaki. 139 John Robson states that Pera Te Uatuku of Ngariki Kaiputahi was one of those
involved in the leasing of the Waipaoa block to the Crown. The bulk of the lease monies were
Waiapu Minute Book 4, pp.256-257.
Berghan, 2008, p.1111
John Robson, ‘Ngariki Kaiputahi: Mana Whenua Report’, A report commissioned for the Crown Forestry
Rental Trust, 2000, p.3.
Waitangi Tribunal, Turanga Tangata Turanga Whenua, p.31.
in fact paid to Pera Te Uatuku. However, Ngariki Kaiputahi were restricted in their ability to
assert rights to land in the Native Land Court as Pera Te Uatuku was absent from Poverty Bay
from 1865 to 1875. 140
The Native Land Court instead only heard evidence from Ngai Tamatea hapu of Te Aitanga a
Mahaki. Ngai Tamatea certainly have strong connections to Waipaoa, the block being one of
the places where they fought with Ngati Ira. According to Halbert, Mutunga of Ngai Tamatea
defeated Ngati Ira at Ngapuketurua, Hauturu, and Waengarepo on the Waipaoa block. He
concludes that the manawhenua of Waipaoa lay with Ngai Tamatea. 141
The conquest of Ngati Ira on the Waipaoa block was confirmed by Paora Haupa. As part of
the evidence in the title investigation for Waipaoa No. 1 (7,440 acres) Haupa stated:
I claim the top piece shown on the plan called No. 1. I conducted the survey and
[pointed] out the boundaries. I claim partly through conquest and partly through
ancestral right. Ngatituapuaki was the conqueror. 142
It is likely that the “Ngatituapuaki” recorded by the Court is actually Tutepuaki. Haupa gave
his genealogy in Court which shows himself to be a descendant of Mutunga. Mutunga’s
father, Tutepuaki, is shown in the genealogy as “Ngatituapuaki.” 143
Haupa’s evidence also confirms the connection of Ngariki Kaiputahi to the block. They were
one of the hapu who came into conflict with Ngai Tamatea. As to the conquest of the land,
The land was taken from Ngatira [sic] and Ngariki, it partially belonged to them,
they have never occupied with us. I don’t approve of all the descendants of these
ancestors, some have lived away and in some recent quarrels have been driven
Gisborne Minute Book 7, p.107.
Evidence presented by Peti Taihuka for Ngai Tamatea confirms the conquest of the block by
Tutepuaki. Taihuka stated that the land had been conquered by Tutepuaki with his friend
Takorokahu of Ngapotiki. 145
Halbert also relates this story as part of the history of Ngai Tamatea. Tutepuaki and
Takorokahu successfully fought against Ngati Ira at Tapuihikitia. This episode is remembered
for the fact that Tutepuaki’s aunt, Rongotipare, and other relatives were part of the party that
they were to attack. A haka was performed prior to the attack, warning the relatives to leave.
It was successful and two pa were taken without a fight. Some of the Ngati Ira who had
retreated were caught and killed. At Te Whakahara on the Waingaromia stream, Tutepuaki
killed Mataiahuruhuru. 146
Tutepuaki and his son Mutunga continued on in the conquest of Ngati Ira. Following a battle
against Ngati Ira, Mutunga brought back trophies to show his older brother Ihuparapara,
provoking him into attempting the same. However, Ihuparapara was killed in battle at
Otukakara. The death of Ihuparapara caused Tutepuaki so much grief that he gave up fighting.
Ngati Ira killed Tutepuaki soon after. 147
Peti Taihuka and Halbert note that Mutunga continued on with the conquest of Ngati Ira.
Tutepuaki’s body was recovered from Ngati Ira on the Whaitoreke stream. Mutunga then
defeated them in battle at Ngapuketurua, Hauturu, and Waengarepo on the Waipaoa block. 148
The block continued to be a site of conflict between Ngai Tamatea and other hapu.
Whakatohea, of Opotiki, attempted to take the land but failed. Peti Taihuka’s father and
grandfather both took part in the battle and drove Whakatohea away. 149
Conflict also occurred between sections of Ngai Tamatea on the Waipaoa block. In evidence
before the Native Land Court, Hira Kiriahura of Ngai Tamatea stated, “I belong to that tribe
who quarrelled among themselves when they lived on the land, one portion [of whom] were
driven away.” Kakatoi, Hereumu, Ngaiwairangia, were all places on the block connected to
Gisborne Minute Book 7, p.116.
Kiriahura’s claim. 150 Kiriahura’s reference to infighting amongst Ngai Tamatea is confirmed
by Paora Haupa. He advises that the Ngai Tamatea descendants of Uhunga fought with the
descendants of Mutunga and a division of the land took place. Following the division of the
land some Ngai Tamatea had left for other land whilst others had remained in continuous
The Native Land Court gave its judgement on 23 March 1881, stating:
we are of the opinion that the Claimant [Paora Haupa], & also certain of the
Counter claimants, have established the fact of the conquest of this Block by
Te Mutunga & that his descendants have never lost their mana in it and therefore
as the claim has established descent from him and such occupation as the
claimant deems satisfactory his claim must be allowed. 152
The Court awarded land to those descendants of the ancestors of Ngai Tamatea who were
found not to have forfeited their rights to the land; that is, the descendants of Mutunga. 153
Waipaoa No. 2 and No. 3
Ngai Tamatea are connected to the Waipaoa No. 2 and No. 3 blocks (37,000 acres in total)
through ancestry, occupation, and cultivation. Paora Haupa testified that Ngai Tamatea had
never been driven from the land by anyone. 154 As with the Waipaoa No. 1 block, only some
among Ngai Tamatea had a claim to the land as their ancestors had lived on the land, when
others moved away. 155
Details of the occupation by Ngai Tamatea are only briefly touched on by the minutes of the
Native Land Court’s short and uncontested title investigation. Ngai Tamatea had many pa on
the land with “Hauturu,” “Ngapuketunua,” “Waengarepo,” and “Otuawaiki” all identified by
Haupa during his evidence. Some fighting had occurred on the land when Urewera and Ngati
Maru came onto the land, but Ngai Tamatea maintained their control. 156
Gisborne Minute Book 7, p.121.
Other hapu made unsuccessful claims to the blocks; a claim was made by Rutene of
Te Aitanga a Hauiti, but this was based on a Rutene’s assertion that the boundary line was
incorrect. The Court held that the line was correct and must stand, thus nullifying Rutene’s
claim. The lack of any other counter-claim meant that Paora Haupa’s claim was found to be
valid without need for further evidence.
On 21 April 1881, Paora Haupa advised the Court that a list of names would be presented but
that the claimants first had to resolve an issue related to the sale of the block. The majority of
the block was to be sold but 2,000 acres were to be reserved as a permanent settlement and
made inalienable. The Court adjourned the case so as to allow the issue to be resolved. 157
On 25 April 1881, Paora Haupa submitted a list of names for inclusion in Waipaoa No. 2,
being 35,000 acres. The Court accepted the list produced and added a further four names
following a request from Perehi, who was supported by Wi Pere. A second list was also
handed in for inclusion in Waipaoa No. 3, being the 2,000 acres that were not to be sold. 158
Halbert includes Tutamoe with the blocks over which Ngati Tamatea (of Te Aitanga a
Mahaki) exercised manawhenua. The placenames he associates with the block are
Whakerokero and Tangihanga, though he does not detail what these places are. 159 Kawharu
notes that Tutepauki, his son Mutunga, and later Tamauia, secured Ngai Tamatea’s
manawhenua over a large area containing the Tauwhareparae and Waingaromia and
neighbouring blocks after a long campaign against Ngati Ira. 160 This would appear to include
the Tutamoe block as Kawharu concludes that Tutamoe comes within the manawhenua of
Ngai Tamatea. 161
In the minutes of evidence covering the title investigation of the Tutamoe block (2,870 acres),
Hone Kewa gave evidence of Ngai Tamatea’s claim. Kewa identifies the ancestors Runanga,
Kaiahi, and Aorora as the principal owners, and stated:
Gisborne Minute Book 7, p.231.
The descendants of these ancestors have lived on the land. There are pas on
the land. Hauturu was a settlement belonging to Te Aitahamaki (Ngaitamatea)
They lived together on this land they were drawn on to this land by
descendants of Runanga. Raparapa is a pa situated on the block.
Maronuiwhainga is a bird snaring place. No other person ever disturbed our
occupation we and Aitamahaki [Te Aitanga a Mahaki]. I don’t admit of any
[Te Aitanga a Mahaki] who have not descended from these 3 Tipuna. 162
No other information has been found on Runanga, Kaiahi, or Aorora. Tutepuaki and Mutunga
were identified by Mere Peka as ancestors connected to the block. 163 Again, there is no
further information as to their claim, but Mere Peka was admitted by Kewa.
There being no opposition to Ngai Tamatea’s claim the Court directed that the claimants
should decide who to include in the title, settling on a list of 129 owners. 164
The block became the subject of purchase negotiations from 1895. In 1897 the Crown applied
to have its interests in the block defined. At this time the Crown claimed to have purchased
2,213 acres. The Crown was awarded that area as Tutamoe No.1, with the remaining 657
acres awarded to non-sellers as Tutamoe No.2. Berghan notes that Tutamoe No.2 is no longer
in Māori ownership. 165
Waingaromia No. 1
Waingaromia No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 are blocks over which Ngai Tamatea hold interests,
stemming primarily from the conquest of Ngati Ira. Halbert also highlights the battle at
Te Whakahara on the Waingaromia stream when Mataiahuruhuru died at the hands of
Tutepauki. 166 Kawharu notes that Ngati Ira were living a precarious existence on
Waingaromia and its surrounds following their eviction from Pakaurangi pa at Uawa, which
saw them migrate to Te Ana a Raparapa pa on Waingaromia. The establishment of Ngati Ira
in this area was seen as an encroachment upon the manawhenua of Te Aitanga a Mahaki.
Gisborne Minute Book 7, p.218.
Gisborne Minute Book 7, p.218
Berghan, 2008, pp.1278-1279
Takorokahu, the son of Whakarau and ancestor for the Ngapotiki hapu, and other leaders were
determined that Ngati Ira’s encroachment should not stand. War ensued and the battles
included that at Whakahara Pa on Waingaromia, at which Te Uhunga of Ngai Tamatea caught
Parakaiti of Ngati Ira and proclaimed that Waipaoa and Waingaromia were his. A similar
statement was made by Tutepuaki after Mataiahuruhuru of Ngati Ira was seized and killed. 167
The Native Land Court claim of Ngai Tamatea to Waingaromia No. 1 (originally 7,435 acres)
was presented by Pita Te Huhu. He was living at Taihamuti on the Waingaromia No. 1 block
at the time of the hearing. 168 The claim was made through the ancestors who conquered the
land and then occupied it. Te Huhu states:
Our claim is an ancestral one. Te Uhunga was one of my ancestors. Hinehau
was another. Te Uhunga sprang from Ruapane who has already been named
in Court. In consequence of the fights he came on to this land. He occupied
this land permanently. 169
He added that:
Te Uhunga came and settled upon the land at Waingaromia within the block.
The descendants of this ancestor down to my own time have lived upon this
block. Our occupation has not been disturbed nor that of my ancestors. 170
Tutepuaki is another ancestor linked to the Waingaromia blocks. Hone Kewa advised the
Native Land Court that he had a claim to the land through Tu, stating:
Tu belonged to Ngai Tamatea. Tu Te Puaki was contemporary with Uhunga
who went upon this land the same as Uhunga in consequence of the wars. Tu
Te Puaki lived on the adjoining block where the oil springs now are. Tu Te
Puaki had many children. Huriwhakamauria was a child of his. Mutunga was
also another. 171
The ancestor Tu is a descendant of Tutepuaki through Huriwhakamauria. 172 After giving the
genealogy from Tutepuaki, Kewa states:
Gisborne Minute Book 2, p.236.
We occupied this land and cultivated and our ancestors also. We have done so
down to the present day. I am not aware there are any owners of this land
absent or living at Uawa. There are owners of the adjoining block at Uawa,
the claim to which has not yet been gazetted. I am not aware that any person
disputed our claim. 173
The claim of Ngai Tamatea, therefore, was like those for Tauwhareparae and Tutamoe:
possession of the land followed on from wars of conquest and was supported thereafter by
occupation and cultivation.
The Ngapuhi and Ngai Tama hapu of Te Aitanga a Mahaki are also connected to the
Waingaromia block. Paora Parau, claiming as Ngapuhi with connections to Ngai Tama, stated
that these hapu were connected to a portion of the block called Te Toto. Te Auru and Te
Whakahere were the ancestors of Ngapuhi and Ngai Tama through which he a claim for
himself and 29 others. Claimants included by Parau Atareta Ruru and Pirihi Tutekohi who
have links to Ngapuhi. Wi Pere, Noko, and others with links to Rongowhakaata were also
Te Auru is a grandson of Te Hauoterangi, who is the son the Kaikoreaunei, the founding
ancestor of Whanau a Kai. Te Whakahere was Te Auru’s son. Parau states that their claim
came from his hapu assisting Ngai Tamatea in “obtaining satisfaction for a quarrel.” Parau
The hapus engaged in seeking satisfaction with me were Ngaitama and
Whanau-a-Kai. The cause of this was through a woman being killed for
which [Tamai iruhia?] was killed in atonement therefore. The land in
consequence of this was given to me. Neither myself nor Pita have cultivated
this land. It is forest land. This land was given to my forefathers three
generations ago. 175
Wi Mahuika testified that a section of the block was connected to the ancestors Tamateaiti
and Tamauia. 176 As already mentioned, Tamateaiti is the ancestor for whom Ngai Tamatea
are named. Tamauia has already been discussed as important Ngai Tamatea ancestor.
Mahuika and his family cultivated on the block at a place called Rangirewa; a “kainga
tuturu.” A second kainga on the block was Whakahara.177 Mahuika’s claim was to a particular
part of the block, to which he admitted only ten people. It was not a counter claim.
The Court found Ngai Tamatea to be the principal owners of the block. Paora Parau’s claim to
Te Toto was recognised and 100 acres or more was awarded for his group and ordered to be
surveyed out, initially as Wangaromia No. 1. Rangirewa was initially identified as
Wangaromia No. 2 and estimated at 200 acres. The remaining 7,035 acres of the block was
awarded to Pita Te Huhu and his fellow claimants, but it was subsequently reduced to 5,660
acres (apparently as the result of Robert Cooper’s purchase of some interests). 178 Te Toto
would eventually become Wangaromia No.5 whilst Rangirewa became Waingaromia No.4.
Waingaromia No. 2
Waingaromia No.2 (28,750 acres) is another block over which Ngai Tamatea claimed
manawhenua. Hapu of Te Aitanga a Hauiti had lived upon the land but they had been chased
from it by Takorokahu of Ngapotiki with the assistance of Tutepuaki of Ngai Tamatea. 179 The
expulsion of Ngati Ira from the Waingaromia block by Takorokahu and Tutepuaki was
covered in the previous section.
The occupation of the block by Ngai Tamatea is supported by evidence given by Pita Te
Huhu before the Native Land Court. There existed a number of pa on the block including
“Para Para Tuaea,” “Pukeraru,” “Raumati,” and “Haeata.” Besides the historical fights,
Te Huhu also stated that he had driven off four hapu belonging to Te Aitanga a Hauiti. 180
Ngati Ira had also been living on the block until they were discovered by Pita Te Huhu and
Hone Kewa. Regarding this occupation, Kewa states:
Some time ago Aitanga Hauita [sic] went and lived at Tangihanga – the cause of
them going there was through Te Paki and Hira. I came from Turanga with the
people and demanded payment – and took away all the property about here –
some of the chiefs of our party wished to seize the people, this was not
agreed to. 181
Gisborne Minute Book 2, pp.262-267.
Waiapu Minute Book 1, pp.33-35.
Ngati Ira were allowed to remain on the land but payment was taken for their occupation.
Further conflict occurred over the block between Ngai Tamatea and Te Aitanga a Hauiti. Prior
to the block coming before the Native land Court, members of Te Aitanga a Mahaki met with
Te Aitanga a Hauiti and agreed the boundaries of the block between themselves. At that
meeting Pita Te Huhu had succeeded in establishing his boundary, whereas Te Aitanga a
Hauiti were unable to substantiate their claim. This was referred to by Wi Pere when he gave
The block was adjudicated upon by the Native Land Court in 1876 and was awarded to those
who had claimed with Pita Te Huhu of Ngai Tamatea. Pita Te Huhu had passed away by the
time the Court made its final title order in 1877 (after the land had been surveyed). 183
Waingaromia No. 3
Waingaromia No.3 (5,762 acres) is connected to Ngai Tamatea and Ngapuhi hapu of
Te Aitanga a Mahaki. Ngai Tamatea had assisted Ngapuhi in fighting Te Aitanga a Hauiti on
the land, and said that the land was given to them by Ngapuhi in return for this assistance.
Ngai Tamatea were led by Te Whiu in these battles and he was awarded the land as reward
for his help. 184 Tute Awhenga was an ancestor of Ngai Tamatea who lived in the middle of
the block. Pita Te Huhu, who presented the evidence for Ngai Tamatea in the Native Land
Court, had lived on the block and cultivated potatoes there. 185
Paora Parau gave evidence in the Native Land Court (in 1876) that outlined the claim of
Ngapuhi to the block. Parau claimed a large section of the block (about four-fifths) which he
had been included in his survey of the larger adjacent Waihora block. The Waihora block had
been surveyed after the Waingaromia No. 3 block. However, Parau stated that he had met
with Pita prior to the survey of both blocks and advised that he was claiming the section
included by Pita in the survey of Waingaromia No. 3. 186 Pita Te Huhu declined to admit Parau
to the block.
Ibid, pp.39-43, 45-47.
Gisborne Minute Book 3, pp.444-445.
Nepia Tokitahi gave evidence in support of Paora Parau:
This land was Pahi [or Puhi?] Kaiariki’s, he was the original proprietor. This is
not a part of Waingaromia, it belongs to Waihora as shown by the river, it is
separated by a mountain. The source of the Kanakanaia is on this land, it runs on
to Waihora. There is another branch of the Kanakanaia running down to
Mokaikai not shown on the tracing, it is called [Okikamako?]. That portion
divided by the [Okikamako?] is the piece given to fighting party referred to be
Pita Te Huhu in his statement....
I have seen the cultivations of my forefathers and have eaten the produce grown
at Umataoroa, I never saw Ngai Tamatea cultivating there, nor have I ever seen
Pita cultivating there. I know the place and could find it on the ground now. 187
A gift of land to Ngai Tamatea was admitted by Tokitahi, but he insisted it comprised only a
few hundred acres by the Kanakanaia Stream.
Arapeta Taniwha’s evidence also supported Ngapuhi’s claim, and sought to limit the area that
had been gifted to Ngai Tamatea:
There was a fight – it occurred near Kanakanaia at Pakaraia. It did not extend to
Waihora stream. I was present when the boundary between Ngapuhi and Pita
was fixed, at Kanakanaia. The portion given for the fight was not so much or
from here to Waerenga a Hika. Pita has taken more than he has a right through
hianga [dishonesty]. It is a custom with us to give over a small portion of land
for the payment for murders, in this case it was only a small bit. 188
Hone Kewa stated that the block was part of that land given by Ngapuhi to Ngai Tamatea:
“given to us for fighting.” However, he added that a portion of the land given had been
returned by his ancestors. 189
The decisive evidence seemed to be that of Hakopa of Ngai Tamatea. He was born and had
lived on the land, near the mouth of the Kanakanaia Stream, up until 1865, and remembered
the gifting of the land by Meka Meka (or Meha Meha). 190
Gisborne Minute Book 3, p.129.
The Native Land Court decided in favour of Pita Te Huhu and awarded the land to the “Ngai
Tamatea hapu of Aitanga a Mahaki.” The Court was convinced by the evidence that the land
had been ceded to Ngai Tamatea by Ngapuhi for their assistance in fighting Te Aitanga a
Hauiti. The Court also recognised the claim of Nepia Tokitahi, agreeing that a portion of the
land had been returned to the original owners. The Court admitted Tokitahi and nine others to
the ownership of the land. 191
The Crown commenced purchasing interests in the block soon after the title hearing. A
settler, Cooper, had also been purchasing the land. The Crown sought to have its interests
subdivided out in 1884 and was awarded 536 acres. It attempts to purchase the land had run
into problems as many owners had already sold shares to Cooper. The award of the 536 acres
to the Crown conflicted with an earlier award giving Cooper the entire block. 192
Kawharu identifies Whanau a Taupara and Ngai Tuketenui as the hapu which held
manawhenua interests over Waimata, though no details of these links are given. 193
Additionally, Halbert identifies Ngai Tuketenui as holding manawhenua interests over part of
Waimata West. Ngai Tama are also said to hold interests over Waimata West, but Whanau a
Taupara are not identified by Halbert. 194 However, the block was instead claimed by and
awarded to a hapu of Ngapuhi (a hapu of Te Aitanga a Mahaki) in 1879.
Halbert advises that Ngai Tama hold connections to Waimata from their ancestor Hirangi
whose son was Tamarere II. From Tamarere’s son Marotiri (Marotiriopawa) were descended
Maahukaiporoporo (Maahu) and Marere. Following a battle at Waerengaahika the surviving
chief of Whanau a Iwi, Tamanuhiri, enlisted the assistance of Maahu and Marere. A crushing
defeat was inflicted upon Ngati Ira at Tauwhareparae and Maahu was gifted the Waimata
West and Kopaatuaki blocks. 195
Berghan, 2008, pp.1383-1384.
Little else has been located in relation to the Waimata West block. The evidence of Paora
Parau in the minutes of the Native Land Court’s title investigation is brief, there being no
other claim to the land. Parau advises that he is a member of the “Ngai Tehaumawake hapu of
Ngapuhi.” He then gives his descent from Haumawake and states:
I know this land and have a claim upon it through my ancestor Haumawake...
Upon this genealogy I made my survey and sold this land to the Government. No
person interfered with me. From the time of my ancestor I have mentioned down
to myself we have never been disturbed in the possession of it with the persons I
will call today, Ngaitama [sic], Ngati Haumawake & Ngati Rangitawhio, down
to my father’s time it was cultivated but I have only caught eels and birds on
Haumawake was a grandson of Tutekohi through his second son Urutakiao. 197 He is also
recognised by Halbert as an ancestor linking the Ngapuhi hapu to the Hauomatuku No. 3
block 198 (adjacent to the Rangatira and Mangaoae blocks, well west of Waimata). As
mentioned in the introduction to this section, Tutekohi was also the father of Tuketenui, the
founding ancestor of Ngai Tuketenui.
No objectors challenged the claim by Parau and no further evidence was taken in support of
his claim. In 1879, the Native Land Court awarded the Waimata West block to Parau and the
“Haumawake hapu” (of Ngapuhi) of Te Aitanga a Mahaki. 199 It is not known why Ngai Tama
and Ngai Tuketenui did not put forward claims to the land in the Native Land Court.
The Crown began purchasing interests in the Waimata West block immediately upon its title
being decided. An initial proposal saw the Crown attempting to purchase 9,000 acres of the
block, leaving a reserve of 1,569 acres. A further proposal was put forward by Parau for the
Crown to purchase a further 569 acres, leaving a reserve of 1,000 acres. Neither plan came to
fruition, but by August 1880 the Crown had purchased 8,520 acres of the Waimata West
which was then awarded to it by the Native Land Court. A further 480 acres was awarded to a
Pakeha purchaser. 200
Gisborne Minute Book 4, p.254.
Halbert, p.53 and p.247.
Gisborne Minute Book 4, p.271.
Berghan, 2008, p.1362
Waimata East (10,320 acres) was held by the ancestor Wahoterangi. Wahoterangi is included
by Halbert as a part of the Ngai Tutekohi hapu. He was a grandson of Tutekohi through his
son Urukatiao. Ngai Tutekohi appears to have been on the early hapu of Te Aitanga a Mahaki
which referred to some descendants of Tutekohi. The hapu would be superseded by hapu
emanating from Tutekohi’s descendants, such as Ngai Tuketenui. Wahoterangi lived at
Whangara (which lies to the east of Waimata East) and has been described as a benevolent
chief whose home became an asylum for refugees such as Ngapuhi and Ngai Tama. 201
Wahoterangi had a son named Hauoterangi.
When the title of the block was investigated by the Native Land Court, a claim was made by
Te Pirihi Tutekohi and others, who identified themselves as the “Ngati Hauoterangi hapu” of
Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Te Aitanga a Hauiti. 202 Tutekohi’s evidence confirmed the rights of
Wahoterangi to the land:
I know this land and have a claim to it through my ancestor Te Wahoterangi...
The whole of Whangara including this block belonged to Hauoterangi, they
[worked?] upon this land down to the birth of my father. My Grandfather was
the last who worked there. My ancestors lived continuously upon this land they
were never divided amongst themselves. Purahaotuketeonui[?] was a mark of
my ancestors. 203
Wahoterangi’s benevolence was used as a further basis for the claim of Te Pirihi Tutekohi. He
confirmed the fact that Wahoterangi saved people who were to be killed, though he does not
identify who these people were. 204
Te Rauoteake is another ancestor who had a proven ability to save the lives of people who
faced death from vengeful foes. Te Rauoteake’s son had been killed and those living on
Waimata East were held responsible by Te Aitanga a Hauiti. However, the war party were
told by Te Rauoteake that the people living on the block had not been involved in the
incident. 205 It is also said that after saving those who were to be killed, he fell upon those of
Gisborne Minute Book 4, p.263.
Aitanga a Hauiti living on Turihaua, south of Whangara. He was killed sometime later by
Te Aitanga a Hauiti at Uawa. 206
In terms of the use of the Waimata East block, Mere Peka Kaimoko’s evidence from the
Court’s title investigation hearing suggests that the block was not used for cultivation.
This land has not been cultivated since his [Rauoteake’s] death and was never
divided. This block was formerly a portion of Pukeakura [Waimata South] it was
the surveyor who divided it. I have plantations at Waiomo on this block, I have
been to Whangara and there are no people living on this land. 207
The block went before the Native Land Court on 28 August 1879. It was claimed by Kiriona
Piwaka of Te Aitanga a Hauiti. Piwaka identified Wahoterangi as the ancestor from whom she
descended. A counter claim was made by Rutene Te Eke who advised that he was of “Ngai
Wahoterangi” of Te Aitanga a Hauiti. His genealogy shows descent from Wahoterangi
through his son Unuoterangi. 208 Clearly, Wahoterangi had become an important ancestor for
sections of Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Te Aitanga a Hauiti.
The Native Land Court awarded the block to both the claimants and counter-claimants. A list
of owners was requested by the Court for the title. 209 Of the names presented to the Court
eight were of “Ngaiwaho-o-terangi hapu Te Aitanga a Mahaki tribe.” These included Pirihi
Tutekohi and Mere Peka Kaimoko. Most of the others in the numerous group of owners
included in the title are also identified as being of the “Ngaiwahoterangi” hapu, 210 even if they
preferred to identify this hapu with Te Aitanga a Hauiti rather than with Te Aitanga a Mahaki.
Following the Court’s decision on the title of Waimata East the Crown initiated purchase
activities with owners. It was agreed that the Crown would purchase 5,000 acres of the block,
leaving 5,320 acres as an ‘inalienable’ reserve for Māori. The Native Minister approved the
Gisborne Minute Book 4, p. 265-266
proposal in July 1879. 211 Alienation of land to private purchasers took place from this point
on. Berghan notes that no land in Waimata East remains in Māori ownership. 212
Waimata South (Pukeakura)
Halbert suggests that Wahoterangi’s mana spread across the Waimata South block, which
would indicate a similar mix of Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Te Aitanga a Hauiti connections to
the land as was evident in Waimata East. Members of the Ngapuhi hapu were forced to flee
from Kohakitu of Ngai Tuketenui (of Te Aitanga a Mahaki). At this time Ngapuhi were food
gatherers for Ngai Tuketenui, as a result of Tuketenui having killed the Ngapuhi leader
Tutenekenga. In later generations some Ngapuhi became rebellious as their numbers
increased. In an act of defiance, they presented the Ngai Tuketenui leader Kohakitu with live
birds wrapped in leaves, as opposed to preserved birds in calabashes. Though Kohakitu did
not order that those involved be killed, they fled to Whangara.
A similar situation arose for Kohakitu’s son, Whakapakihau, and the persons responsible
were driven from the land by Umurau with the help of Tamauia of Whanau a Taupara, and
Ngapotiki. According to Halbert, Wahoterangi placed them on the Waimata South block
where they built the house Te Haparapara. When Wahoterangi was dying he told those
Ngapuhi on Waimata South to return to their former home as his protection would die with
him. 213 No further information has been found on the connections of Te Aitanga a Mahaki to
Despite Te Aitanga a Mahaki’s apparent connections with Waimata South, they did not
feature in the title, possibly because of the influence on the process of the Crown’s pre-title
dealings with Te Aitanga a Hauiti for the land. The title investigation for Waimata South
block (14,465 acres) began on 17 March 1879. Rutene Karona of Te Aitanga a Hauiti was the
first to give evidence. He claimed the block through ancestry. There were no challenges to his
claim and he advised the Court that he would hand in a list of names for inclusion. When the
list of names was read out by the Court there were no objectors. 214
Berghan, 2008, p.1358
Waiapu Minute Book 3, p.461.
The Government Native Land Purchase Officer, Captain Porter, advised the Court on 19
March 1879 that the block had been leased by the Crown for 40 years, with the exception of
two reserves of 50 acres each. That same day the Court ordered title in favour of those in
Karona’s list. 215 No one from Te Aitanga a Mahaki appears to have made any claim on the
block, nor was Wahoterangi’s hapu – with its links to Te Aitanga a Hauiti and Te Aitanga a
Mahaki – referred to (as it had been in Waimata East).
Waimata North (Whakaroa)
No evidence has been found of any Te Aitanga a Mahaki interests in Waimata North. The
title investigation for Waimata North (15,870 acres) began on 2 June 1879. Katirina Maua
[Mana?] of Te Aitanga a Hauiti claimed the land. Katirina had conducted the survey of the
block. Himiona Te Kani, Putene Karona, and Hirini Tupara, also claimed as part of
Te Aitanga a Hauiti. 216
It does not appear that anyone from Te Aitanga a Mahaki presented a claim to the land. On
11 June 1879, the Court issued title in favour of 32 owners, all of whom were identified as
belonging to “Ngai Terangihokaia hapu Itangaahauiti tribe [sic].” 217
Kawharu writes that Te Nonoi was an important Te Aitanga a Mahaki tipuna who exercised
kaitiakitanga over Kaiti. It was a favourable area for obtaining a wide range of resources (not
least the kaimoana found along and off its shoreline) and ideal for planting both kumara and
taro. Te Toka a Taiau, the rock at the mouth of the Turanganui River was a common place to
collect kuku. Fern root was dug at Maungaroa and Parahaki during the time of Kuriwahanui,
Te Nonoi’s grandson. It continued to be collected to the mid-nineteenth century. Karaka
berries were also an important food source collected on Kaiti. 218
Ihu and Te Nonoi were two of the most significant ancestors of Te Aitanga a Mahaki. Both
had unquestionable lineage and both made contributions to expanding and consolidating
Gisborne Minute Book 4, pp.282-297.
manawhenua within Turanganui. Authority over land was enhanced during their own time and
by their descendants through conquest and occupation. Though they were murdered, the
repercussions for the perpetrators ensured that the manawhenua of Ihu and Te Nonoi’s
descendants was not threatened. 219
Kahunoke was also a leader within Turanganui and has a central place in the history of
Te Aitanga a Mahaki’s development as a tribal entity. Kahunoke and Te Nonoi were both the
children of Ruaroa. Like Te Nonoi, Kahunoke is identified by Kawharu as having interests in
Kaiti. In the Native Land Court, Riperata Kahutia advised that a descendant of Te Nonoi,
Kuriwahanui, laid out a boundary within Kaiti that saw the descendants of Te Nonoi maintain
rights to the east side of the river whilst Kahunoke’s descendants maintained kaitiakitanga on
the west. 220 (Kahunoke was also an important tipuna for Rongowhakaata and other claimants
in the Awapuni and Waikanae claims, west of Turanganui River.)
This division of Kaiti did not prevent tension between the descendants of Te Nonoi and
Kahunoke. Kawharu reports that Te Aringa’s people of the Whanau a Iwi hapu, on
Te Nonoi’s side, caused hostility by committing offences, including interfering with the bones
of Hinewhakaangi. This caused Tuapaoa (Tuapawa in Halbert), on Kahunoke’s side, to be
outraged and Te Aringa was slain as a consequence. 221 Halbert reports that Te Aringa was
slain by Hinewhakaangi’s husband, Rakaiataane, and that the Tuapawa and his son-in-law
Te Rakato, inflicted further losses on Whanau a Iwi for the disturbance of his mother’s bones.
The beach below the fishing place Herekuri is called Otipi as a reminder of Taupawa’s
Following the incident at Herekuri the victors held mana which was reflected in their building
of pa. However, Kuriwahanui, who had lost a son at Herekuri, denied the allegations of
Taupawa and set out to punish the enemy. 223 Kuriwahanui obtained satisfaction for the deaths
of Te Aringa and the murders at Herekuri and the manawhenua of Whanau a Iwi over Kaiti
was upheld. Boundaries were laid out in proof of this and the descendants of the defeated had
Halbert, p.75, Kawharu, p.127.
no rights there until after the time of Kuriwahanui’s grandchildren when they returned.
Kawharu suggests that this may have been the mid-eighteenth century.
Rose notes that the Kaiti block was leased to Pakeha at an early date. The 4,350 acre block
was leased to George Read and to Harris in 1856, with Read holding the lease alone by
1870. 224 The title hearing for the Kaiti block took place in November 1873 after applications
from Riperata Kahutia of Te Aitanga a Mahaki, and also Hirini Te Kani and Rutene Te Eke
(for hapu associated with Te Aitanga a Hauiti). Kahutia was awarded interests in the block,
and instructed to name three owners to go on the title, while Rutene Te Eke was instructed to
name six. 225 This was taken by many at the time to imply that Te Aitanga a Mahaki were
awarded a one-third share in the block. Although the Court later rejected this interpretation, it
did ultimately award a one-third share to the owners represented by Riperata Kahutia. More
than 100 other owners were named on the back of the title, under the Native Lands Act 1867
(s.17). This wider group of owners represented a broader range of interests than simply
Te Aitanga a Hauiti or Te Aitanga a Mahaki.
The block came before the Court again in 1883 for subdivision. As it had been awarded under
the Native Lands Act 1867 (s.17) the land could not be alienated other than by lease for 21
years. This meant that no sale could be effected until the land had been subdivided. On the
strength of having one-third of the title, Mahaki and others represented by Kahutia could
arguably have expected to get one-third of the block, or 1,450 acres. A proposal was put
forward that her group of owners be awarded 1,200 acres in the southwest of the block.
Another 200 acres would be set aside for several people from both Mahaki and Hauiti who
had opposed the sale of the land. However, this proposal was rejected and it was left to the
Court to divide the land. The Court eventually awarded 1,450 acres to the group represented
by Kahutia (predominantly Te Aitanga a Mahaki), this being in the south of the block and
named Kaiti No. 1. 226
The subdivision was subsequently appealed and was reheard in 1886, when the block was
fragmented into 347 individual portions and small blocks awarded to groups of owners.
Gisborne Minute Book 1, pp.232-255, cited in Rose, pp.76-77.
Gisborne Minute Book 6, pp.136-137, cited in Rose, pp.303-304.
However, underlying this fragmentation was the maintenance of the earlier award of one-third
of the block (by value as much as by area) to the owners represented by Kahutia.
Very little of the Kaiti block remains in Māori ownership today. Most of the sections have
passed into Pakeha ownership. Berghan states that less than 2 acres of the original Kaiti block
is still Māori land. 227
This block is actually within the Gisborne inquiry district and evidence relating to it was
heard as part of that inquiry.
Halbert identifies Whanau a Iwi as having extensive links to Whataupoko. The hapu are the
descendants of Iwipuru who was one of the many grandchildren of Tamaterongo and Materoa
of Titirangi. The sons of Iwipuru and Tauwheoro, Rangikuatipu and Kuriwahanui, established
homes for themselves on the Whataupoko block. Their nephew, Hikairirangi, came to live in
the Waipura Pa on what would become Whataupoko 8 block. Kuriwahanui settled on
Taumata (Reservoir Hill) on what is now Whataupoko 5 block. His brother, Rangikuatipu,
lived in the Waiteata Pa on Whataupoko 6 block on the bank of the Waimata River. 228
Another ancestor was Hakahaka, who settled at Makaraka. His son, Tamanuhiri, is
remembered as the person who employed Maahu and Marere of Ngai Tama to avenge a defeat
at Waerenga a Hika. In gratitude Tamanuhiri presented Maahu with Whataupoko 8 block,
adjoining Waihirere and Kopaatuaki. 229 Marere was gifted Whataupoko 9 and 10. 230
Rose illustrates the strong and lasting connection of Whanau a Iwi and Te Aitanga a Mahaki
to Whataupoko. The ability of Whanau a Iwi and Te Aitanga a Mahaki to maintain control of
Whataupoko and other lands was tested from the late 1860s onwards, following the conflict
between Te Kooti and the Crown. The Poverty Bay Commission adjudicated over the return
of lands to Māori after the Crown had declared the extinguishment of native title in the
Turanga district on 13 February 1869. Rose notes that the Whataupoko block was supposedly
Berghan, 2008, p.308
awarded by the Commission to Rongowhakaata, but many of the individuals awarded title
were actually of Te Aitanga a Mahaki. 231 The block had been leased by Te Aitanga a Mahaki
and other owners in 1864 to W. and H. Parker. 232
The Whataupoko block (19,200 acres) came before the Poverty Bay Commission on 4 August
1869. No details were recorded in regards to the history of the land or the ancestors associated
with it. Hirini Te Kani was one of those included in the list of owners and had advised the
Commission that the list had been agreed to prior to the case starting. There had previously
been a dispute over the land but this had been resolved before the hearing. Riperata Kahutia of
Whanau a Iwi also advised the Commission that past disputes had been settled and there was
no objection to the list of names. It was noted that there were two groups of owners “but that
each admitted the other.” The land was awarded to the 45 people in the list, who included
numerous individuals identified with Te Aitanga a Mahaki. 233
This block is actually within the Gisborne inquiry district and evidence relating to it was
heard as part of that inquiry.
Little information was found on the history of the Ngakaroa block. It was not subject to a
Native Land Court title investigation, being one of the blocks adjudicated upon by the Poverty
Halbert lists the Ngapuhi, Ngai Tuketenui, and Ngai Tama hapu as holding interests in the
Ngakaroa block. No details pertaining to the nature of these interests was found. 234 Rose says
little about the Ngakaroa block, other than that it was one of the blocks leased by Te Aitanga a
Mahaki in 1867. The block was leased to J. B. Poynter and C. Evans. 235
Atareta Ruru gave evidence for Te Aitanga a Mahaki when the Ngakaroa block (12,360 acres)
came before the Poverty Bay Commission on 15 July 1869:
Poverty Bay Commission Minute Book, pp.300-302.
I found my claims on my descent from our ancestors. There are five separate
claims comprised in this one block. The ancestor through whom I claim one part
is Tiko. We have exercised the usual rights of possession, occupation and
cultivation, without dispute. 236
The ancestors for the other parts were not named. Henare Ruru stated that he agreed with the
evidence given by Atareta and that he knew of no other claimants to the land. 237 It is not clear
from the evidence given who Tiko is. It is possible that “Tiko” refers to Tikopohatu who was
a descendant of Tutekohi through Tuketenui. 238 The Commission awarded the Ngakaroa
block to Atareta Ruru and the 31 other claimants from Te Aitanga a Mahaki. 239
This block is actually within the Gisborne inquiry district and evidence relating to it was
heard as part of that inquiry.
Ngai Tama held significant interests in the Waihirere block by occupying the block and
building pa. After Maahu and Marere assisted Whanau a Iwi in inflicting defeat upon Ngati
Ira at Tauwhareparae, Marere built a new pa on the Waihirere side of the Kaiwhakareirei
Stream. 240 Ngai Tama’s founding ancestor was the son of Tamarere II, grandson of Tamarere
I of Ngariki Ratoawe. Ngai Tama lived in an area comprising the Waihirere, Kopaatuaki, and
Waimata West blocks, as well as part of the Whataupoko block. 241
According to Rose, Waihirere block was a centre of Pakeha settlement on the East Coast from
the 1860s onwards. 242 The Waihirere No. 1 block became the subject of Crown purchase
negotiations and was purchased by District Officer Locke. The block was purchased because
it contained a lime stone quarry. Little has been found on the early history of the Waihirere
block. When its title was investigated by the Native Land Court, Wi Pere and Wi Haronga
appeared on behalf of Te Aitanga a Mahaki. They simply stated that they had received the
Poverty Bay Commission Minute Book, p.126.
Poverty Bay Commission Minute Book, p.128.
purchase money and were satisfied. 243 Wi Pere had been responsible for having the land
The connection of Ngai Tama to the Waihirere block seems to be indicated by the evidence
given by Mereana Paraone during the Native Land Court’s title investigation. Paraone
claimed the block through ancestry and occupation as a member of the Ngai Tama hapu. 245
Tamarere was the ancestor through whom Paraone claimed. Paraone states:
Ngai Tama had the two blocks outside and a part [of] this block. They have
always occupied down to the present time and had plantations at Kahika.
Hakopa is now alive and he has planted on the land. I have been on the land but
never planted. 246
However, the part of the block claimed by Paraone was called Kopuatuaki, which was in fact
a separate block (beside Waimata West; see below). Her individual claim to Waihirere was
dismissed by the Court, apparently because her evidence (and that of her witness, Hakopa
Tora of Ngai Tama) related to Kopuatuaki, not to Waihirere. 247
Atareta Ruru stated that Ngai Tuketenui are also connected to the block through an ancestor
named Paokaiterangi. 248 Paokaiterangi descends from Mahaki through Ranginuiaihu,
Taupara, Whakauika, Hikairirangi, and Taukapoiwaho. 249 Ruru advises that the block was
utilised in food gathering, with pigs being hunted on the land. 250
Wi Pere claimed the land for the hapu of Rangituamaro and Tutearitonga, as well as “tribal
name [of] Ngati Kohuru.” 251 Rangituamaro was the great grandson of Wahia, for whom the
Ngati Wahia hapu of Te Aitanga a Mahaki is named. Wahia was succeeded by his eldest son
Ngaitahu, whose eldest son was Tuarauoterangi. Tuarauoterangi was father of Rangituamaro
and Tutearitonga. 252 Pere did not claim the land for Ngati Wahia, but for “Ngatirangituamaro”
and “Ngatutearitonga.” No details are given of their claim by Pere, although another claimant,
Gisborne Minute Book 8, p.111.
Gisborne Minute Book 8, p.113.
Gisborne Minute Book 8, p.109.
Matenga, advises that Rangituamaro and Tutearitonga both lived and cultivated on the
The Court divided the block amongst the claimants. All were of Te Aitanga a Mahaki.
Waihirere No. 2 (244 acres) was awarded to Matenga Taihuka and others. Waihirere No. 3
(37a.2r.18p) was awarded to six owners from the same group. Waihirere No. 4 (a small
portion, but no area given) was awarded to Atareta Ruru and others, with the bulk of the block
awarded to Matenga Taihuka and a large group of fellow claimants. 254
This block is actually within the Gisborne inquiry district and evidence relating to it was
heard as part of that inquiry.
Kopuatuaki (or Kopaatuaki) (2,520 acres) is another block in which Ngai Tama are identified
as holding significant interests. The Kopuatuaki block was one of the blocks gifted to Maahu
by Tamanuhiri of Whanau a Iwi as thanks for his assistance in inflicting a defeat upon Ngati
Ira. 255 Maahu and Marere are identified as having lived on the Kopaatuaki block at a place
called Herumanahi. 256
The conquest of Maahu was also outlined during the title investigation for the block. Mika
Rore, claiming for “Ngatikohuru – Aitangamahaki tribe,” stated:
When Taumanawhiri [sic] was beaten at Wairengahika [sic] he came to Mahu
[sic] to avenge his defeat; there was a fight at Waiapu, it was at Hick’s Bay. This
land belonged to Nonohe – he gave this land as payment to Mahu; he divided off
part of the land to two women who were with him and it is in the Whataupoko
block; he retained the whole of this piece for himself including part of Waimata
West. He occupied this land until his death, he had a pa just outside,
Parimarihi[?] was the name. 257
Gisborne Minute Book 8, pp.112-113.
Gisborne Minute Book 7, pp.91-92.
Maahu lived and died on the block and his descendants were still living on the land. Tunaiti,
Matuohi, and Uarerehamiti were given as the names of cultivations on the block.
Matuokowhai was the name of a whare near the north-western boundary. 258
Paora Parau’s evidence was that the land was also claimed by the descendants of Haumawake.
As mentioned earlier, Haumawake was a grandson of Tutekohi and an ancestor for the
Ngapuhi hapu. However, there is little detail on the nature of this claim and Wi Pere’s
evidence suggests that there was no claim to be made through Haumawake. Parau himself
seems to have been unsure of the claim through Haumawake and stated that he could have
claimed through Maahu. 259
On 24 March 1881, the Native Land Court awarded the land to those members of Te Aitanga
a Mahaki contained in a list of names supplied by Mika Rore, these being the descendants of
Maahu and Marere. 260
Little information was found on the history of the Ahirau block. Halbert advises that the
Ngapuhi and Ngai Tama sections of Te Aitanga a Mahaki held rights in the Ahirau block
(1,972 acres), though there is no detail explaining their claim. 261 Kawharu indicates that
Ngapotiki held rights to the block, but no detail is given covering of the nature of these
The evidence presented in the Native Land Court’s title investigation for Ahirau is sparse. Wi
Mahuika handed in a list of names and claimed the land through the ancestor Tahoka.263
Tahoka is identified in the title investigations of other blocks as being of the Ngapuhi hapu
(see Papakorokoro block below), so it is likely that those claiming the land with Wi Mahuika
were also Ngapuhi. Halbert identifies Tahokahoka as a descendant of Kaipoho, who
descended from Whare and Hinerangi. Atareta Ruru also put in a list of names, which were
not disputed by Mahuika. He later added Wi Pere and several others to the list of owners
Halbert, pp.55-56 and pp.126-127.
Gisborne Minute Book 2, pp.298-302.
before title was ordered. 264 The Court ordered title in favour of those named in the lists
Berghan notes that all but one acre of the original Ahirau block was alienated to private
purchasers between 1901 and 1966. The single acre still in Māori ownership is part of Ahirau
No. 3. 266
Halbert writes that Ngapuhi and Ngai Tama hold interests in the Papakorokoro block. The
Hirangi section of Ngapuhi are identified as having interests to a part of Papakorokoro. The
exact part was not identified. Ngai Tama are listed as holding interests in Papakorokoro
No. 3. 267
The claim of Ngapuhi to the Papakorokoro block (5,300 acres) appears to be similar to that
for Ahirau. Tahoka is the ancestor through whom Ngapuhi claimed the Papakorokoro block in
the Native Land court. Wi Mahuika stated:
I claim the block called Papakorokoro and it is also called Mangaruehe. I claim
through ancestry and cultivation. Tahoka my ancestor he occupied this land. His
descendants have been in possession to the present day. They had whares and
cultivations. I have lived on this land with my father. Nobody lives there now. It
is not leased or occupied by Europeans. This land has not been sold. I claim on
behalf of myself and hapu. 268
No other evidence was presented in relation to this block, there being no other claim to the
land. The Court awarded the block to 76 owners of the Ngapuhi hapu. There was no evidence
presented in support of Ngai Tama’s interests in the block.
Though a Crown purchase of the block was proposed in 1895, restrictions on the alienation of
the block were in place. The Crown required that the owners apply to have these restrictions
removed and for their interests to be defined before the purchase take place, but this did not
Gisborne Minute Book 2, p.302.
Berghan, 2008, p.57
Gisborne Minute Book 8, p.433.
occur. Berghan advises that alienations did occur from 1900, with 1,476 acres of
Papakorokoro remaining as Māori land today. 269
A number of hapu of Te Aitanga a Mahaki have a historical connection to the Mangaoae
block. The history of the land is tied to the Kapahinu incident already referred to in passing in
this report. Briefly, the Kapahinu incident refers the time when the descendants of Tuketenui
gained ascendancy over those of Tutenekenga. Tutenekenga’s people became food gatherers
for Tuketenui and his descendants. The descendants of Tutenekenga, Ngapuhi, increased in
number over time and some were in a rebellious mood in regards to their obligation to provide
food. When they presented uncooked birds wrapped in leaves instead of birds preserved in
calabashes, it was suggested that the men responsible be slain. Kohakitu did not agree with
this but the culprits fled, only one returning. A similar situation arose for Kohakitu’s son,
Whakapakihau, and the persons responsible were driven from the land by Umurau with the
help of Tamauia Whanau a Taupara and Ngapotiki. 270
The Mangaoae block (4,800 acres) is thus connected to both Ngai Tuketenui and Ngapuhi.
The evidence of Nepia Tokitahi confirms the link between those involved in the Kapahinu
incident and the Mangaoae block. Umurau is identified by Tokitahi as the ancestor connected
to the block. He states that the descendants of Umurau became divided and lived upon
different parts of the land. Tokitahi identifies Oariki as a cultivation belonging to Ngapuhi on
the block. Another cultivation, Te Raungaroro, belonged to the ancestor Te Kotau and was
used by his ancestors. Tokitahi had cultivated at Oariki, Umutawa, and Te Kopura. 271
Peti Moreti’s evidence also highlights the use of the block for cultivation. Moreti (or Morete)
We have cultivated on the block at the side of the Haraunga hill. It was a potato
cultivation. Tamati my uncle cultivated there during his life. He’s now dead. We
children have been on the ground and cultivate there for the purpose of having
food for those who caught birds at Waihora. 272
Berghan, 2008, pp.762-767.
Gisborne Minute Book 2, pp.296-298.
Cultivation of the block was also cited by Atareta Ruru; she claimed through the ancestor
Hinepunoa, who Ruru said was of Ngapuhi and Ngai Tu hapu. 273 Ngai Tu is the name given
to the descendants of Ihuparapara, the older brother of Mutunga whose descendants are Ngai
Tamatea. 274 In relation to the use of the land, Ruru states:
Haraunga was the place where we cultivated. It was also the place claimed by
Himiona. He is an uncle of mine, when he went to interrupt the survey. Hoariki
was the name of the cultivation referred to. With me at this cultivation were my
father Eru and Himiona and Tamata Ka Nga. The last is a grandfather of mine. It
is an old cultivation and it is sometime now since it was used. We cease the
occupation of that place since the death of my father in the Waihora stream
when we removed to the coast. A clearing was made here when I was a child. It
was used generations back by my ancestors, i.e., parts in the vicinity. I don’t
know of any other cultivation. 275
Paora Haupa claimed part of the land through the same ancestors, asserting that “a section of
the Ngapuhi were driven off, included in which were the ancestors of Peti Moreti.” He named
Te Rui [or Riu?] Ngaroro and Te Kohanga Koreke as cultivations on his people’s part of the
block, being cultivated after Ngapuhi were driven off. His parents had, he told Peti Moreti,
lived on the land. 276
The Court awarded title to the claimants (those named by Peti Moreti) and dismissed the
counter-claimants, with the exception of Atareta Ruru who was admitted to the block. Nepia
Tokitahi and Wi Mahuika were amongst those who claimed with Moreti. 277 It does not
appear that the Mangaoae block was subject to any Crown purchase activity. Alienations of
the block did occur between 1911 and 1955. Today, 1,552 acres of the block remain as Māori
Gisborne Minute Book 2, pp.288-289.
Gisborne Minute Book 2, pp.293-294.
Ibid, pp.285-286 and p.308.
Berghan, 2008, p.429-432
Kawharu indicates that both Ngapotiki and Whanau a Taupara hold manawhenua over parts
of the Rangatira block. 279 Halbert’s view is more detailed; observing that Whanau a Taupara
hold manawhenua over Rangatira No. 1 and No. 3 blocks, whilst Ngapotiki hold
manawhenua over Rangatira No. 2. 280 Ngapotiki are the descendants of Whakarau, youngest
son of Mahaki. Kuhakura is identified as an ancestor through which Ngapotiki gained
manawhenua over Rangatira No. 2. 281
In relation to the rights of Whanau a Taupara, Halbert advises that Taupara’s sons Whakauika
and Tumurau forced Ngati Ruawairau from Oamoa Pa, with Tumurau occupying Rangatira
No. 3. The rights of Whanau a Taupara to Rangatira No. 1 and No. 3 derive from the ancestor
Little information is given Native Land Court’s minutes in relation to the history of the land.
The land was claimed by and awarded to Te Aitanga a Mahaki. Wi Pere advised the Court
that, “there are many hapus claiming but the chief one is Aitanga a Mahaki.” Neither Pere nor
anyone with him provided any history or genealogy relating to the ownership of the block. A
long list of owners was presented to the Court. 283
Herua was a part of the Rangatira block that belonged to the descendants of “Te Heuenga.”
Panapa Waihopi claimed Herua and stated:
Auruki is the dry bed of the river, this was a division between Te Heuenga and
her sister. The southern portion was Heuenga’s... The land was allotted by their
father and was not disputed after the allotment. There was no arrangement that
the descendants of their father should have common rights over both sides of the
land… The small portion I claim as the property of Ngai Teheuenga descendants
of Heuenga. 284
Gisborne Minute Book 2, p.11.
Halbert advises that Te Heuenga was a child of Ranginaonaoariki, the son of Ihuparapara and
grandson of Mahaki. It is not clear that this is the Te Heuenga referred to by Waihopi, as
Halbert gives no detail about the life of Te Heuenga. 285
When the Court heard the title claim for Rangatira it agreed with the claim presented by
Waihopi. The 367 acres of Herua became known as Rangatira No. 1. The remaining 5,385
acres was to be divided equally between the parties of Hone Kewa and Wi Pere. The result
was the creation of Rangatira No. 2 (2,650 acres), and Rangatira No. 3 (2,735 acres) which
were divided along a boundary pointed out by Wi Pere. 286 As a result of a number of
alienations to private individuals only 397 acres of the Rangatira block remains as Māori land
Berghan, 2008, p.932
Ngai Tamatea are the hapu associated with the Waitangi block. Ngai Tamatea occupied the
Waitangi block from the time of their ancestor, Runanga. 288 No further information was
found on this ancestor though he is also referred to in relation to the Tutamoe block. Hone
Kewa claimed the block for Ngai Tamatea before the Native Land Court. Kewa states:
Our occupation has been continuous from the days of Runanga up to my time,
no other persons belonging to other hapus lived on the land together with us. Nor
has our occupation been disputed during past generations or during the time of
the survey of the property. 289
It appears that Ngariki Kaiputahi also held some interest in this block as Te Hira Te Uatuku
was added to the list of owners presented during the case. He was the son of Pera Te Uatuku
of Ngariki Kaiputahi. 290
No further evidence was given in the case. Kewa’s claim to the 2,846 acres of Waitangi was
recognised by the Court, and the land was awarded to him and 20 others. 291 In 1887 the
Native Land Court awarded 2,081 acres to the trustees of George Read’s estate, in
recognition of a sale made to Robert Cooper. 292
Both Halbert and Kawharu note that Whanau a Taupara gained rights over parts of the
Waihora block. Halbert advises that Taupara’s son Whakauika acquired these rights. 293 No
detail of the nature of these rights was given. Kawharu notes that Taupara spent time living at
Te Koutu pa on Waihora. 294
When the Waihora block (2,026 acres) came before the Native Land Court, it was Ngai
Tamatea who appeared as the primary claimants. Te Urumaiwaho and Te Akau are the
Gisborne Minute Book 2, p.20.
Gisborne Minute Book 2, p.20.
Ibid, p.17, cited in, Robson, p.14.
Berghan, 2008, p.1462.
ancestors identified by the Ngai Tamatea claimants. 295 Urumaiwaho and Te Akau were the
sons of Kahukurataua, and the grandsons of Tuketenui. Halbert lists them as ancestors of the
Ngapuhi hapu, 296 rather than Ngai Tamatea.
Tiopira Tawhiao was the claimant in the Native Land Court case and his evidence advises
that the Waihora block was utilised by Urumaiwaho, Te Akau and their descendants for
cultivation. Tawhiao was himself a descendant of Te Akau. Tawhiao states:
This land has been in the possession of our ancestors during their life time and
down to this time. The land we have cultivated and used in many other ways.
My house and cultivations are at Rakaiketeroa adjoining. I have cultivated also
on the top portion. 297
As in other blocks there appears to have been division amongst claimants of the same hapu on
the basis that some had remained on the land while others had left. Tawhiao testified that the
grandchildren of Urumaiwaho and Te Akau had remained on the land whilst the descendants
of others had left. Though those others had returned later, it was the descendants of Te Akau
and Urumaiwaho that had occupied continuously. Pirihi Tutekohi stated that Make, a
grandchild of Urumaiwaho, was buried on the block. 298 A cultivation called Te Papa is named
by Wi Mahuika, who added that there was an eel weir close by.
Two other ancestors who are identified in connection with the block are Te Kotau and Konia.
These ancestors are identified in the evidence presented by Betty Morris and her uncle, Nepia
Tokitahi. No information was found on these ancestors other than the evidence presented in
the Court. Of Te Kotau, Morris said:
Te Kotau lived on the land. He cultivated at a place called Otanehaurangi, also at
Wahieano when people of this generation cultivated, also at Te Kahika. I have
with my own hands cultivated at Wahieano. When I went to cultivate no one
interfered with me. I put cattle on it, they were there for six months. We have not
a village on the land. I frequent the land constantly and no one interfered with
me. Tiopira’s cultivations are at Rakaiketeroa. 299
Gisborne Minute Book 2, p.61.
Gisborne Minute Book 2, p.62.
Nepia Tokitahi states that there had been a kumara pit on the block belonging to Koia. He
also stated that he had cultivated on the land and had never been interfered with. 300 As it is
not stated in the minutes, it is assumed that Morris and Tokitahi claimed as part of the
Ngapuhi hapu. Tokitahi appeared as a witness for Ngapuhi in a number of other cases.
The Waihora block title investigation was held from 17 to 19 March 1875. The Court made
the following judgement:
The claim of Betty Morris and family [^ in Waihora] together with her Uncle
Also all those named by Tiopira Tawhiao and Pirihi Tutekohi...
Separate order – for 567 acres. 301
The Waihora block was thus partitioned into two parts; the first being Waihora No. 1 (567
acres), the second Waihora (1,459 acres). Betty Morris and Nepia Tokitahi and their fellow
claimants were included in the award of Waihora No. 1. The main Waihora block was
awarded to those who claimed with Tiopira Tawhiao. 302 Thus the land was divided between
the Ngapuhi and Ngai Tamatea hapu of Te Aitanga a Mahaki. Over a number of years the
Waihora block was partitioned and parts alienated. Five subdivisions remain as Māori land
today, these equating to about 430 acres. 303
Halbert points to Urumaiwaho and Akau as the key ancestors connected to the Rakaiketeroa
block. As mentioned, Urumaiwaho and Te Akau were the sons of Kahukurataua, and the
grandsons of Tuketenui. Kahukurataua succeeded Tuketenui on the Ruangarehu and
Rakaiketeroa blocks. Urumaiwaho and Te Akau were living on the Rakaiketeroa block when
they were attacked by Ngati Ira, and were forced to flee to Repongaere where they took
Gisborne Minute Book 2, p.72
Berghan, 2008, p.1331-1333
refuge with Moeke of Whanau a Kai. On their return they lived on Te Umu o Waikota, and
ceded part of Rakaiketeroa to Moeke. That part was known as Nga Pokai Aotea. 304
The evidence given in the Native Land Court is brief but refers directly to the events covered
by Halbert. As with the Waihora block Tiopira Tawhiao was the first to give evidence.
We pointed out the boundaries to the surveyor, the ancestors from whom we
inherit this land are Te Akau and Urumaiwaho. These ancestors inherited the
land from their ancestors. There is another hapu that has a claim to this land, but
it is a different one, they claim from Moeke.305
This clearly refers to the assistance that Te Akau and Urumaiwaho received from Moeke of
Whanau a Kai. The occupation and cultivation of the block is referred to by Tiopira Korehe
who states that he “planted, reaped the harvest and ate the food grown on this land.” 306
The connection of Moeke to the Rakaiketeroa block is reflected by the claim of Heni Te
Auraki. Auraki claims Moeke as his ancestor and states that he and his parents had occupied
and cultivated on the block. The right to occupy and cultivate was derived from their
The Native Land Court’s title investigation was held from 19 to 20 March 1875. The Court
gave its judgement on 23 March 1875. It stated that Heni Te Auraki and Tiopira Korohe had
proven their claim to the land. 308 The list of owners admitted to the title consisted of Heni Te
Auraki and Tiopira Korohe and those included by Tiopira Tawhiao. 309 Thus the land was
awarded to claimants of Ngapuhi and Whanau a Kai.
Halbert states Tangutuhanui was home to some descendants of Ruawairau. His daughter
Te Aokauirangi lived with her husband Tahitokura at Tauparapara. Their son Tueremoana
Gisborne Minute Book 2, p.69.
lived in the Kotore pa on the Tangutuhanui block near Oamoa pa. Descendants of
Tueremoana intermarried with Whanau a Taupara and Ngapuhi, excepting those of the
ancestor Kui. Descendants of Kui lived on Matawhero No. 6 and intermarried with other
descendants of Ruawairau who remained at Tangutuhanui. 310 Whakauika is identified as the
section of Whanau a Taupara connected to Tangutuhanui. 311
When the 185 acre block came before the Court to title investigation on 23 February 1881, it
was claimed by Panapa Waihopi and Hene Whakamana of Ngapotiki hapu through the tipuna
Oariki and Hikarongo. 312 Hikarongo was the second son of Mahaki. No information was
found on Oariki. Although the minutes of the title investigation record that genealogies were
taken, they do not appear in the minutes. Panapa also states that the land descended from
Hikarongo through Whariki. 313 No detail of Whariki’s descent from Hikarongo is given, but
Halbert records a Whariki as a descendant of Ihu, Hikarongo’s brother. 314
The evidence of Hahua Parekowai supports the continued use of the block by Hikarongo’s
descendants. Parekowai stated that the trees on the Tangutuhanui block were used for bird
spearing by the descendants of Hikarongo. Paruparu is identified as the place where the birds
were speared. The use of the block in this way continued down to Parekowai’s own time. 315
The connection of Whanau a Taupara to the block is confirmed by the evidence of Wikitoria.
Wikitoria identifies Tueremoana as the ancestor through whom the land was secured. She also
stated that she had cultivated on the lower part of the block until the time of the Hauhau, and
that she returned there after the fighting. 316
The Native Land Court held a title investigation hearing for the Tangutuhanui block from 23
to 24 February 1881. The Court found in favour of Panapa Waihopi and those claiming with
Wikitoria. 317 The land was awarded to 47 owners of Ngapotiki and Whanau a Taupara
including Panapa Waihopi, Wikitoria Te Amo, and Wi Mahuika. 318 Partitions and alienations
Gisborne Minute Book No. 7, pp.10-11.
Gisborne Minute Book No.7, p.12.
of the block followed on from the title investigation. Only the subdivision Tangutuhanui
1B2B (25a. 0r. 6p) remains Māori land today. 319
Halbert advises that the majority of the Hauomatuku blocks were held by Ngapuhi. Block
No.’s 1, 2, and 6, were identified as being connected with Te Akau; block No.s’ 3 and 7 with
Haumawake; block No.’s 4, 8, and 9 with Umurau and Urumaiwaho, and; Hauomatuku No. 5
is identified as Ngai Tamatea land and connected to Rakaihakeke. 320
Rakaihakeke is also the ancestor connecting Ngapotiki to Hauomatuku 5. Both Halbert and
Kawharu state that Ngapotiki hold an interest in Hauomatuku 5, centred on the Kopuapara pa.
Whakarau’s grandson Rakaihakeke married Kawahauariki, the granddaughter of Tutepuaki of
Ngai Tamatea. They lived in the Kopuapara pa. Rakaihakeke’s son Herehere also occupied
Kopuarangi on the Hauomatuku 5 block. 321
The title investigation of the Hauomatuku blocks (3,163 acres in total) began on 16 July 1877.
The claimants divided the block between themselves prior to the hearing and each block was
heard separately. As there was general agreement over who owned each part of the block the
hearings were short and the minutes contain little detail.
Hauomatuku No. 1 (351 acres) was claimed by Mahuika through the ancestor Te Akau of
Ngapuhi, described as a section of Ngai Tamatea. Mahuika’s evidence advises that the block
was a site for cultivation on though no names of cultivations are recorded. Mahuika witnessed
the occupation and cultivation of the block as a child and advised the court that he cultivations
on the land himself. 322 Hone Kewa’s evidence shows that the block was also used for the
collection of birds from the time of Te Akau. 323 Wi Mahuika and those he named were
awarded the block. 324
Berghan, 2008, p.1027
Gisborne Minute Book 4, pp.68-69.
Paora Haupa claimed Hauomatuku No. 2 (200 acres) through Te Whatu of Ngai Tamatea. The
block is also identified in the Court’s minutes as Te Whataoteao. Te Whatu is the ancestor
identified in the evidence of Paora Haupa. 325 Halbert advises that Te Whatu is descended
from Tutepuaki and Mutunga through Urumairangi and married Te Akau. 326 Wi Mahuika
claimed the land through Te Akau. The court awarded the land to Paora Haupa and his fellow
claimants but also admitted Wi Mahuika and three others. 327
Hauomatuku No. 3 (240 acres) is also known as Taumata Awatea. The block was claimed
before the Court by Atareta Ruru through Haumapa of Te Aitanga a Mahaki. No information
was found on Haumapa. As no other claim was made to this block, no further evidence was
taken. 328 The court awarded that block to Ruru and those she named. 329
Hauomatuku No. 4 (127 acres) is also known as Taniwha. When it came before the Court it
was claimed through the ancestor Tahoka of Ngapuhi. Mahuika advises that Tahoka lived on
the northern portion of the land. No one had lived upon the land in Wi Mahuika’s time but
birds had been collected on the land.
Mere Peka testified that a portion of land was ceded by Ngapuhi to Te Kapu. Patito of
Ngapuhi was said to have lived on the land when it was overrun by Te Umurau with a war
party. The claim of Pera was not to the whole of the block. Those who fled were said to have
maintained possession of part of the land. This was not disputed by Mahuika, although he
advised that it was his ancestor who chased Patito from the land. 330 The Court awarded the
block to Wi Mahuika and those he named. 331
Hauomatuku No. 5 (189 acres) is also called Ohopuapara. Paora Haupa’s evidence before the
Native Land Court reflects the history given by Halbert. Tutepuaki of Ngai Tamatea is the
ancestor connected to the block. Tutepuaki fought with his mothers relatives. The fighting led
Gisborne Minute Book 4, p.73.
Gisborne Minute Book 4, p.75.
to a resolution which saw lands given to Takorokahu who then divided the land and gave
some to Ngapotiki. Rakaihakeke was given the Ohopuapara block. 332
The block was cultivated at Maungamutu and the block was also used for catching birds.
Hone Kewa, who claimed a part of the block, also cultivated on the block. He claimed
through Tutepuaki, and advised that the piece he claimed had not been given to Takorokahu.
Otherwise, the block was said to belong to Ngapotiki. 333 The Court awarded the land to Paora
Haupa and those claiming with him. 334
Hauomatuku No. 6 (1,000 acres) is also known as Ngapuketauroa. Tiopira Tawhiao’s
evidence during the title hearing advises that the block was linked to Ngapuhi, Ngai Tamatea,
and Ngaitama. Tuporo was the identified by Tawhiao. Tuporo lived on the block at a place
called Ahikiore. 335
The three hapu mentioned by Tawhiao lived on the land at one time as they all feared attack
from Ngapuhi Northland. After the threat had subsided both Ngaitama and Ngai Tamatea left
the land and returned to other places, whilst Ngapuhi remained on the block. 336 Tawhiao and
those claiming with him were awarded the land. 337
Hauomatuku No. 7 (558 acres) (or Makotukutuku) was claimed by Atareta Ruru through the
ancestor Tomoherua for the Ngapuhi hapu. No further information was found on Tomoherua.
Atareta lived on the block at Kaipohatu and cultivated on the block at Te Oha. In support of
his own claim Nepia Tokitahi names Kaipohatu as a bird killing settlement on the block.
Tokitahi also claimed as Ngapuhi but through the ancestors Tamanohoa and Haumawake. His
claim was not recognised by the other claimants as it came from the Ngaitu lines of
Ngapuhi. 338 The Court awarded the block to Atareta Ruru and those who claimed with her. 339
Gisborne Minute Book 4, p.99.
Hauomatuku No. 8 (180 acres) is also called Naurioho. The ancestor associated with this
block is Urumaiwaho, who was said to have lived at Papatu on the block. Taratea was a
cultivation on the block that was utilised by his descendants. Mere Peka claimed the block in
the Native Land Court advised that no other people but those named by her had ever lived on
the land. Some came upon the land to kill birds but did not stay. 340 When the block came
before the Native Land Court it was awarded to Mere Peka and those of Ngapuhi who
claimed with her. 341
Hauomatuku No. 9 (318 acres) is also called Kakanui, and is associated with Ngai Tama
through the ancestor Tangatatapu. No information was found on this ancestor. Peti Moreti
gave evidence on the block when it came before the Native Land Court. Ngai Tama were
occupying the block and killing birds on it. No one ever disputed their right to the block. No
other claims were made to the land in the Court, 342 and the Court awarded the block to Moreti
and those who claimed with him. 343
A number of subdivisions occurred following the title investigation, and a number of
Hauomatuku blocks were the subject of leases and sales to private individuals. About 289
acres remain as Māori land in eight separate subdivisions. It appears that no land from
Hauomatuku 1, 5, 6, and 7 remains as Māori land. 344
Pakake o Whirikoka
Halbert identifies Ngai Tamatea as the hapu holding interests in Pakake o Whirikoka. The
ancestor Tutepuaki and his family came from Pakarae to Whatatutu and constructed the Pa
Umauma village, facing toward the Pakake o Whirikoka block. 345 After the arrival of Pakeha
on the East Coast the oil springs on the block attracted prospective buyers and Rose notes that
Robert Cooper organised a lease of the block on behalf of the Poverty Bay Petroleum and
Kerosene Co. Ltd. 346
Gisborne Minute Book 4, p.78.
Berghan, 2008, p.175
The Pakake o Whirikoka block (6,354 acres) was one of the East Coast blocks whose title
was determined by the Poverty Bay Commission. The title hearing for was held on 15 July
1869. Tutepuaki and Te Aitanga a Mahaki’s connections to the block are confirmed by the
evidence given by Pita Te Huhu. Te Huhu claimed as a descendant of Tutepuaki and on
behalf of Te Aitanga a Mahaki. The block was a site of occupation and cultivation, and it also
served as a place for food production in the early colonial period, there being an apple and
peach orchard on the block. Two pa, “Te Hawa te Atua” and “Whakauiwha,” were located on
the block. 347
Another claim to the land was presented by Noko of Rongowhakaata (the wife of George
Read) through the ancestor Whirikoka, although it appears to be an individual claim on her
own behalf rather than a hapu or iwi claim. She stated that her father, Iharaira, “was a Hau
Hau,” and the Commission deemed that this admission was fatal in regards to her claim (the
interests of rebels being confiscated by the Poverty Bay Commission under the East Coast
Act 1868). The block was awarded to Pita Te Huhu and 36 others of Te Aitanga a Mahaki. 348
Little was found on what happened to the block following the title investigation. Berghan
advises that none of the subdivisions of the block remain as Māori land. 349
Mangataikapua is identified by Robson as a significant site for Ngariki Kaiputahi.
Immediately east of Parapara, on the opposite side of the Waipaoa River, Ngariki Kaiputahi
had a canoe-building site. Other iwi would obtain permission from Ngariki Kaiputahi to
utilise the site to select an appropriate canoe tree and shape it on site before floating the canoe
down the Waipaoa. 350 The Mangataikapua block is recognised as one of the blocks
neighbouring the Mangatu block in which Ngariki Kaiputahi have rights. These rights extend
into the blocks which are located near the confluence of the Waipaoa and Mangatu Rivers. 351
Poverty Bay Commission Minute Book, pp.128-129.
Poverty Bay Commission Minute Book, p.130.
Berghan, 2008, p.736
Waitangi Tribunal, Turanga Tangata Turanga Whenua, p.31.
Ngai Tamatea is identified by Halbert as another hapu which held significant interests in the
Mangataikapua block. It was the scene of battles between Ngai Tamatea and Ngati Ira. The
battle grounds are identified as Totaramaitawhiti, Opihi, and Whakaniwha. Ngai Tamatea
also ejected the Ngai Te Awhia people of Ngati Ira from Parariki on the Tauwhareparae
border line. Some Ngai Te Awhia people went to Pororonga Pa on the Mangataikapua block
but were persuaded to leave. 352
The conquest of Ngati Ira was a key part of the evidence presented to the Native Land Court
during the title investigation for the Mangataikapua block (7,090 acres). Wiremu Haronga
advises that the land was Tutepuaki’s by right of conquest. Ngai Tamatea had maintained
ownership of the land through cultivation. 353
Another ancestor, identified by Paora Haupa, was Hikairirangi. Hikairirangi was the son of
Whakauika and grandson of Taupara, the founding ancestor of Whanau a Taupara. 354 No
detail are given by Haupa as to the nature of Hikairirangi’s claim beyond the fact that he was
an owner in the land. Haupa’s claim was made as a member of “Ngatihikairirangi.” 355
Hone Kewa states that Kawahauariki is also an ancestor who owned the land. No information
is given as to his genealogy and nothing was found in other sources. Kewa’s claim was not
disputed by either Haronga or Haupa. 356 There were no counter claimants to the land. The
Court ordered a Memorial of Ownership in favour of those presented in the lists handed in by
Paora Haupa and Hone Kewa. 357
The subdivision of the Mangataikapua block took place in July 1877. The Te Aitanga a
Mahaki owners of the block were split into the sellers and non-sellers, with Robert Cooper
being the purchaser of the sellers’ interests. Pita Te Huhu had been primarily responsible for
the negotiations with Cooper and appointed Te Wirihana to fix the boundary of Cooper’s
portion. Paora Haupa explained to the Court that it had been agreed to cut out 4,000 acres for
Cooper. Hone Kewa told the Court that the interests of those who had sold their interests
would be included in the area cut out for Cooper. The Court awarded the 4,000 acres to
Gisborne Minute Book 2, p.7.
Gisborne Minute Book 2, p.7.
Cooper and the non sellers were put into 3,090 acre Mangataikapua 1 block. 358 Berghan
advises that the Mangataikapua 1 block is no longer in Māori ownership. 359
Gisborne Minute Book 4, pp.2-6.
Berghan, 2008, p.495
Halbert identifies the Mangaorongo block (942 acres) as an area over which Ngai Tamatea
exercised control, including it in the list of significant places located within the Waipaoa
Peti Taihuka of Ngai Tamatea gave evidence during the title investigation, stating that
Mangaorongo was part of the land secured for Ngai Tamatea by Tutepuaki and Mutunga.
Taihuka testified that:
This land is a portion of that conquered by Tutepuaki. It formerly belonged to
N’Ira but they were driven from it by my ancestor Tutepuaki. In the time of Te
Mutunga N’Ira returned and endeavoured to retake possession but were
unsuccessful (and Te Mutunga) that is Ngaitamatea remained in possession until
the time of Tamauia when N’Ira made another attempt which was also
Pirihi Tutekohi’s evidence also states that the block was a part of that land which was
conquered by Tutepuaki. However, he asserted that it had then passed to his descendants Te
Auru, Te Whiwhi, Rerewha, and Te Whakahere. 362 Te Auru was the grandson of Moeke and
great-grandson of Te Hauoterangi of Whanau a Kai. 363 Te Whiwhi was the great-grandson of
Whakauika, who was the son of Taupara, the founding ancestor of Whanau a Taupara. 364
Rerewha is probably Rerewa, who was the great-grandson of Te Hauoterangi of Whanau a
Kai. 365 Te Whakahere, or Whakahere, was the son of Te Auru. 366
According to Tutekohe, Te Auru, Te Whiwhi, Rerewha, and Te Whakahere were given the
land by arrangement. It was Ihu who arranged this and the land was set apart for these
ancestors alone and belonged to their descendants alone. No other source was found which
relates this event. Tutekohe also suggests that the strength of his claim is proven by the fact
Gisborne Minute Book 6, p.298.
Gisborne Minute Book 6, p.305.
that the land had been sold to the Crown, by himself, Tiopira, and their relatives. No fault had
been found with the sale by others with a claim to the land. 367
The Native land Court’s title investigation was held from 1 to 2 September 1880. The Court
ordered in favour of those who claimed with Tiopira Tawhiao and Pirihi Tutekohi. Peti
Taihuka was found to have no claim to the land. 368 The following day Tutekohe advised the
Court that it had been arranged that only two names would appear on the title, namely Pirihi
Tutekohe and Tiopira Tawhiao, of Ngai Tamatea hapu, Te Aitanga a Mahaki. 369
The Mangaorongo block was one of many Te Aitanga a Mahaki blocks to attract Crown
purchase activity prior to going through the Native Land Court. Rose records that £120 had
been paid towards the purchase of a 2,000 acre block of that name in 1876. 370 The block was
still under negotiation for purchase by 1878, with no survey having been undertaken. An
application to survey the block had been made by John Alexander Wilson, the Crown official
in charge of land purchase negotiations with Te Aitanga a Mahaki. Mangaorongo was
included in the list of blocks that were identified as subject to Crown negotiation under the
Government Native Land Purchases Act 1877. 371 No further advances of purchase funds
occurred between 1876 and 1878. 372
The failure of the Crown to advance further purchase monies for Mangaorongo was the cause
of some dissatisfaction for the Te Aitanga a Mahaki owners. Requests for further payment
were made by Paora Parau in 1879. The Crown advised that no further payments would be
made until the land had been adjudicated upon by the Native Land Court. 373 A survey of the
block was completed by Edward O’Meara. It was delayed due to the absence of Tiopira
Tawhiao, who was recognised as the principle owner. 374 By the end of September 1880 the
Crown had succeeded in purchasing all 942 acres of the block. 375 The sale was confirmed
following the awarding of title. 376
Gisborne Minute Book 6, pp.300-301.
Gisborne Minute Book 6, p.302.
Berghan, 2008, p.439
Both Halbert and Kawharu identify Whanau a Kai as the people having interests in the
Hangaroa Matawai block (12,749 acres). 377 The Waitangi Tribunal’s Turanga Tangata
Turanga Whenua report also advises that the block is claimed as part of the rohe of Whanau a
The history of the block appears to have been one of conflict between Ngati Maru, Ngai te
Pokingaiwaho and Ngai Taane (or Ngai Tane). Whanau a Kai were called upon to aid Ngati
Maru in fights against Ngai Tane. Wi Pere states that the ancestor Te Pokingaiwaho called on
Whanau a Kai for help against Ngai Tane and defeated them at Papokika. Rerewa is the
ancestor that Pere identifies with the claim of Ngati Maru to the land.379 No further
information has been found on Te Pokingaiwaho.
Wi Pere’s evidence was that Ngai Tane were the people who controlled the eastern part of the
block. According to Pere no one had interfered with the occupation by Ngai Tane of that
portion. The western portion was claimed by Ngai Te Pokingaiwaho. He named the stream
Parahinahina in the centre of the western portion, and advised that Kainaonao and
Tangawhinau were places where the birds and other foods collected on the block were eaten.
Raparapamira was a pa on the land belonging to Ngati Maru. 380
Whanau a Kai’s claim to the block does not appear to have been pursued in the Native Land
Court. Hotoma testified as part of the title investigation, and although he was of Whanau a
Kai on his mother’s side, he claimed the land through Te Pokingaiwaho. His father was said
to be of “Ngati Hinehika” (a group linked with Rongowhakaata). Hotoma stated that his
ancestors lived on the block down to his father’s time. They lived at Teramanui and Pakurau,
and cultivated at Te Mataia. 381
Halbert, p.125, Kawharu, p.148.
Waitangi Tribunal, Turanga Tangata Turanga Whenua, p.30.
Gisborne Minute Book 3, pp.304-305.
The title investigation was held in February 1877. The Court found that Wi Pere and his
fellow claimants had established their claim to the western portion of the block. All Ngai
Tane had agreed that Wi Pere and his party owned this part of the land. 382 On 10 July 1877,
Wi Pere and others were awarded 8,300 acres in Hangaroa Matawai. 383 This block then
became one of the few reserves identified by the District Officer for Te Aitanga a Mahaki. 384
Hangaroa Matawai had attracted Crown purchase activity prior to its title being heard in the
Native Land Court. Rose notes that 4,000 acres of the block became subject to Crown
purchase negotiations from 1874. 385 The Crown did not initially deal with Whanau a Kai but
with Ngai Tane. Whanau a Kai objected to the negotiations going ahead without their interests
being considered. A three-day meeting resulted during which the interests of Ngai Tane and
Whanau a Kai were supposedly clearly established. A section of the block was identified over
which the claim of Ngai Tane was not disputed. Purchase negotiations were restricted to this
The Native Land Courts’ division of Hangaroa Matawai reflects the earlier agreement arising
out of the Crown’s purchase negotiations, with the eastern portion of 4,418 acres being
awarded to Ngai Tane for sale to the Crown, and the bulk of the block (8,300 acres) being
awarded to the Ngai Te Pokingaiwaho group, who would appear to include some individuals
connected with Te Whanau a Kai.
Tahora 2C2 and 2C3
Ngati Hine are identified by Halbert as the original owners of Tahora 2C2 and 2C3, known as
Te Tuhi and Te Wera (12,856 acres and 33,990 acres respectively). 387 Their rights of
occupation were derived from the fourteenth century pioneers Maia, Tokoururangi,
Taikarangaroa, Paeaki, and Ngaromia. 388
Gisborne Minute Book 4, p.44
Whanau a Kai are also strongly linked to Tahora 2C2 and 2C3. The descendants of Kai
inherited rights to large tracts of land through Kai’s marriages to Te Haaki and Whareana, the
sister of Kaihaere of Ngati Maru and Ngati Hine. Kai’s son Rangiaia married Kuraiteapata, a
daughter of Taupara. Their two daughters, Te Waotapu and Maroraurakau, married
Ikakaiwawe, and they all lived on Tahora 2C1 and 2C2. Kai’s grandson Torohina was
recognised as a great warrior and he allied himself with Ngati Hine of Te Wera on Tahora
2C3 against the Ngaimaihi section of the Urewera tribe. 389
Tahora 2C2 and 2C3 are part of a very large block called Tahora 2, containing 213,350 acres,
extending along the eastern flank of Te Urewera, from the Bay of Plenty confiscation line to
the Ruakituri River near lake Waikaremoana. Its size and location meant that a number of iwi
and hapu had claims to the block, including Te Aitanga a Mahaki. 390
Taohra 2C was the portion claimed by Te Aitanga a Mahaki. Te Whanau a Kai claimed
Tahora 2C alongside Ngati Maru, Ngati Hine, and Ngati Rua when the title of the block was
investigated by the Native Land Court at Opotiki in 1889. 391
Pimia Aata testified that the land was passed down from the ancestors Whareana and Haaki,
the ancestors identified by Halbert 392 Aata stated that the land had been occupied from the
time of the ancestors down to the time of Te Rangiaia and Paka. Occupation continued with
the descendants of Pokingaiwaho. Tohiteururangi[?] lived on the block at Te Wera.
According to Aata, no one had ever come to disturb their occupation of the land. It was only
during the pursuit of Te Kooti that the people left the land and went to Turanga. Aata also
noted that she and Wi Pere and others of Whanau a Kai were the owners of the adjoining
Hangaroa Matawai block, along with members of Ngati Rua, Ngati Hine, and Ngati Maru. 393
Te Pokingaiwaho was also referred to in connection with Hangaroa Matawai.
The Native Land Court awarded Tahora 2C to Whanau a Kai, Ngati Rua, Ngati Maru, and
Ngati Hine, the descendants of Te Haaki and Whareana. 394 On 11 April 1889 Wi Pere asked
the Court to divide the block into three portions. One portion would be for Ngati Rua and
Boston and Oliver, p.8.
Opotiki Minute Book 4, p.345.
Opotiki Minute Book 5, p.306.
Ngati Maru, another would be for Whanau a Kai alone, and the last would be for Ngati Hine
and Whanau a Kai. The portion for Ngati Rua and Ngati Maru was Tahora 2C1 (49,578
acres), that for Whanau a Kai alone was Tahora 2C2 (12,856 acres), and that for Whanau a
Kai and Ngati Hine was Tahora 2C3 (33,990 acres). 395
Lists of names were handed in for each subdivision and read out in Court. There were no
objectors and the Court ordered that the subdivisions be awarded to those appearing in the
lists. On application by Ngaiti the blocks were made inalienable. 396 The blocks were reheard
by the Native Land Court in 1890 after appeals from counter claimants. However, the original
orders of the court were upheld. 397 Thus, Te Whanau a Kai interests in Te Tuhi and Te Wera
(Tahora 2C2 and 2C3) were confirmed.
The Crown began purchasing interests in Tahora 2C2 and 2C3 soon after the finalisation of
titles. During February and March 1895 the Crown made extensive purchases in Tahora 2C,
and continued to purchase interests until early 1896 when it had the Native Land Court
partition out its interests. By this stage the Crown had acquired about 9,050 acres of Tahora
2C2, and about 21,000 acres of Tahora 2C3. 398
This block is actually within the Gisborne inquiry district and evidence relating to it was
heard as part of that inquiry.
Ngapotiki are the hapu identified by Halbert in connection with the Motu block. The block is
also identified as Kaitaura a Mapara. 399 Rose notes that the Motu block was one of the
Te Aitanga a Mahaki blocks that was located deep inland. 400 From March 1873 the Motu
block became subject to lease negotiations between Ngapotiki and the Crown. 401 A report
from a Crown official, Wilson, in July 1873 noted that the Motu block belonged to
Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Whakatohea, with Mahaki holding the greater interest. Meetings
Poverty Bay Herald, 24 July 1890, in, Gisborne Minute Book 18, p.369.
Peter Boston and Steven Oliver, p.132
were held between Mahaki and Wilson regarding the Crown purchasing the block. Mahaki
were opposed to any sale. 402
Te Manihera of Ngapotiki advises that the “Kaitaura Omapara Kei Motu” block was the
scene of conflict between Ngapotiki and Ngati Kahungunu. Te Manehera states:
I have three claims by ancestry and three by conquest. There are other owners
besides myself. Marukakaroa was my ancestor. He belonged to the Ngapotiki
tribe. He lived at Motu. My descent is traced thus. Kaitakaroa. Kaia. Te Hiakai.
Tapapitaki. Kiratapai.b Mataho. Te Manehira. I have come in possession by
conquest. The land belonged to me formerly. I and my people drove the Ngati
Kahungunu off this land. Kahungunu was the chief that was driven off the land.
We remained on the land. 403
There is little else on the history of the block in the minutes of Native Land Court’s title
investigation as the claim was not objected to. Following Manehera’s evidence an
interlocutory order was made in favour of the twelve principal claimants of Ngapotiki. Those
named included Atareta Ruru, Wi Mahuika, and Arapera Tautahi. The twelve were named
not as complete owners, but were to own the land in trust for those others contained in Te
Manehera’s second list. This list included Wiremu Pere, Noko, and Wi Paraone who have
connections throughout Te Aitanga a Mahaki. There were 68 additional owners in total. 404
It was through this process that Mahaki were found to have an interest in 100,000 acres in
and around Motu. 405 A lease agreement with the Crown followed soon after. It saw
Te Aitanga a Mahaki lease the block to the Crown for 50 years at a rental of £100 per annum
for the first five years, rising to £250 by the thirtieth year, and fixed at that amount for the
remaining 20 years. The cost of survey and a £300 advance was deducted from these
payments. The agreement also included a reserve for Mahaki of 500 acres on the banks of the
Motu River at Kaitaura. 406
Maketu Minute Book 2, pp.54-55.
The boundaries of the Turanga inquiry district neither define nor confine the interests of the
hapu and iwi of Turanganui a Kiwa. Traditionally, the hapu who comprise Rongowhakaata,
Te Aitanga a Mahaki, and Ngariki Kaiputahi have asserted interests which stretch to the
north, west, and south of that district, and those interests have been recognised by the Native
Land Court and by other iwi. These interests have descended to the hapu from the key
ancestors of the land and have been maintained by their descendants through conquest,
occupation, cultivation, and resource use. In some cases these interests led to conflict
between hapu, whilst in others they formed the basis of co-operative efforts to defend land
rights against incursions from a common foe. Though clear and separate identities were
established by these hapu and iwi, they are also linked by common ancestors and a history of
co-operation and intermarriage.
For Rongowhakaata the ancestors Rongowhakaata, Rongomairatahi, Hinetuwaiwai,
Ruawhetuki, Turourou, and Ruapani have been central in the establishment and maintenance
of rights to land in Turanganui a Kiwa (including the blocks covered by this report that have
been located in the Wairoa, East Coast, and Te Urewera inquiry districts). In most cases,
though not in all, these interests were recognised during the title investigations of the Native
Land Court. In cases where no claim was put to the Court on behalf of Rongowhakaata, their
ancestral claim is reflected in the number of Rongowhakaata individuals included in
ownership lists put forward by other hapu/iwi. In the Kaiti, Whakaongaonga, and
Tauwharetoi blocks no separate Rongowhakaata claim was recognised but Rongowhakaata
individuals secured significant ownership interests through their connection to the ancestors
identified with the lands. In the Hangaroa Matawai, Tuahu, and Tahora blocks the rights of
Rongowhakaata were clear and were recognised in the Native Land Court’s awards.
For Te Aitanga a Mahaki their rights beyond the boundaries of the Turanga inquiry district
are obvious and were recognised by the Native Land Court. Like Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga
a Mahaki trace descent from Ruapani, the paramount chief the Turanga tribes. Mahaki
married Hinetapuarau, the great-granddaughter of Ruapani. Their sons Ranginuiaihu,
Hikarongo, and Whakarau became the founding ancestors of the hapu of Te Aitanga a
Mahaki. Those hapu secured rights to lands well outside of the Turanga inquiry district
The traditional interests of Te Aitanga a Mahaki outside of the Turanga inquiry district
stretch from the coastal blocks like Kaiti to blocks far inland like Tahora, and north to
Tauwhareparae. These traditional interests were recognised by the Native land Court in a
majority of the blocks covered by this report. Ngai Tamatea are identified as the owners of
Waipaoa 1, 2, and 3, as well as the Tutamoe, Waingaromia 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 blocks, and
others. Other hapu including Ngapuhi, Whanau a Kai, Ngapotiki, and Whanau a Taupara
successfully secured rights to either a part of a block or an entire block. Their rights were
often secured through conquest, with Ngai Tamatea’s conquest of Ngati Ira being a factor in a
number of blocks. The traditional use of the blocks for occupation, cultivation, and food
gathering have been recounted by Halbert and his observations are confirmed by the
testimony of those who appeared before the Native Land Court.
Ngariki Kaiputahi has an ancient link to inland blocks around the Mangatu stream. Ngariki
Kaiputahi descend from Hineturaha and her husband Taurangakiwaho. In battles against
Ngati Ira, Ruatakitini, and Marukakoa of Ngariki Kaiputahi secured land to the east of the
Mangatu stream. Their descendants remained on the lands for over two centuries. Securing
their rights to the land was not always easy. Key leaders like Pera Te Uatuku were absent
from the Turanga district when many of their lands were heard in the Native Land Court.
Despite this they were able to exercise some control over blocks like Waipaoa, being
involved in the leasing of that block. Pera Te Uatuku’s son also appears as in the ownership
list of the Waitangi block.
The traditional interests of Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, and Ngariki Kaiputahi
outside of the Turanga inquiry cannot be disputed. Though the extent of these interests varies
from block to block their existence is perfectly clear. In some cases these traditional interests
could not be pursued through the official mechanism of the Native Land Court, but in the vast
majority of the blocks referred to in this report these interests were recognised and confirmed
by the Court. Hapu of Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga a Mahaki were judged to be the
primary owners or even the sole owners of blocks. The boundary lines of the Turanga inquiry
district in no way reflect the extent of traditional interests of the either Rongowhakaata, Te
Aitanga a Mahaki, or Ngariki Kaiputahi.
Books and Articles
Halbert, Rongowhakaata, Horouta: The History of the Horouta Canoe, Gisborne and East
Coast, Reed, Auckland, 1999.
Berghan, Paula, ‘East Coast Block Research Narratives 1865-2000’, completed for the Crown
Forestry Rental Trust, August 2008.
Berghan, Paula, ‘Block Research Narratives of the Wairoa (Rangahaua Whanui District 11C)
1865-1930’, A Resource Document for Wairoa District Treaty Issues, 2000.
Boston, Peter, and Oliver, Steven, ‘Tahora’, A report Commissioned by the Waitangi
Tribunal, Wellington, June 2002.
Kawharu, Mereta, ‘Te Mana Whenua o Te Aitanga a Mahaki’, A report prepared for the Te
Aitanga a Mahaki Claims Committee, 2000.
Robson, John, ‘Ngariki Kaiputahi: Mana Whenua Report’, A report commissioned for the
Crown Forestry Rental Trust, 2000.
Rongowhakaata Trust, ‘Rongowhakaata: Te Tipuna, te whenua me te iwi – A history of a
people’, A report commissioned by the Rongowhakaata Trust on behalf of the Waitangi
Rose, Kathryn, ‘Te Aitanga a Mahaki Land and Autonomy 1873-1890’, A report prepared for
Te Aitanga a Mahaki Claims Committee, 1999.
Waitangi Tribunal, Turanga Tangata Turanga Whenua: The report on the Turanganui a
Kiwa Claims, Wai814, Waitangi Tribunal, 2004.
Māori Land Court Minute Books
Gisborne Minute Book 1
Gisborne Minute Book 2
Gisborne Minute Book 3
Gisborne Minute Book 4
Gisborne Minute Book 5
Gisborne Minute Book 6
Gisborne Minute Book 7
Gisborne Minute Book 8
Gisborne Minute Book 10
Gisborne Minute Book 11
Gisborne Minute Book 14
Gisborne Minute Book 18
Waiapu Minute Book 1
Waiapu Minute Book 3
Maketu Minute Book 2
Opotiki Minute Book 4
Opotiki Minute Book 5
Recorder Booth Gisborne Minute Book 2
Commissioner Booth Gisborne Minute Book Volume 3
Poverty Bay Commission Minute Book
Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives
1874, G-7, Māori Census
1878, G-2, Maori Census