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He Pukapuka Tataku i Nga Mahi a Te Rauparaha Nui / A Record of the Life of the Great Te Rauparaha

He Pukapuka Tataku i Nga Mahi a Te Rauparaha Nui / A Record of the Life of the Great Te Rauparaha

Автором Tamihana Te Rauparaha

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He Pukapuka Tataku i Nga Mahi a Te Rauparaha Nui / A Record of the Life of the Great Te Rauparaha

Автором Tamihana Te Rauparaha

609 pages
9 hours
Nov 12, 2020


Te Rauparaha is most well known today as the composer of the haka Ka mate', made famous the world over by the All Blacks. A major figure in nineteenth-century history, Te Rauparaha was responsible for rearranging the tribal landscape of a large part of the country after leading his tribe Ngati Toa to migrate to Kapiti Island. He is venerated by his own descendants but reviled with equal passion by the descendants of those tribes who were on the receiving end of his military campaigns in the musket-war era. He Pukapuka Tataku i nga Mahi a Te Rauparaha Nui is a 50,000-word account in te reo Maori of Te Rauparaha's life, written by his son Tamihana Te Rauparaha between 1866 and 1869. A pioneering work of Maori (and, indeed, indigenous) biography, Tamihana's narrative weaves together the oral accounts of his father and other kaumatua to produce an extraordinary record of Te Rauparaha and his rapidly changing world. Edited and translated by Ross Calman, a descendant of Te Rauparaha, He Pukapuka Tataku i nga Mahi a Te Rauparaha Nui makes available for the first time this major work of Maori literature in a parallel Maori/English edition.
Nov 12, 2020

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He Pukapuka Tataku i Nga Mahi a Te Rauparaha Nui / A Record of the Life of the Great Te Rauparaha - Tamihana Te Rauparaha



‘He Pukapuka Tataku i nga Mahi a Te Rauparaha Nui’⁷ is a 50,000-word account in te reo Māori of Te Rauparaha’s life written by his son, Tamihana Te Rauparaha. The original manuscript comprising 125 pages in Tamihana’s beautiful copperplate handwriting is in a large bound volume held in the Sir George Grey Special Collections at Auckland Libraries (GNZMMS 27). Substantially completed between 1866 and 1869, it focuses on the events of the 1820s and 1830s, an era characterised by the conflicts of the ‘musket wars’ and the resulting displacement and resettlement of tribal groups, as well as by the increasing interaction between the Māori and Pākehā worlds.

A rare – possibly unique – early example of a Māori-authored (and, indeed, indigenous) biography in te reo Māori,⁸ Tamihana’s narrative weaves together the oral accounts of his father and other elders, with his own recollections using, what was then for Māori, the new medium of writing. It is a compelling work full of interest, that is a rich source of history, tradition, culture and language for us today. Sadly, however, due to a succession of poor interpretations of Tamihana’s work, his achievement in authoring this manuscript has gone largely unappreciated in the 150 years since it was written.⁹ Up until very recent times, only George Graham has approached Tamihana’s manuscript with any degree of respect, although the resulting translation was deeply flawed and never published in full. Taken together, the poor quality of the various interpretations has had a profoundly negative impact on Tamihana’s reputation. I sincerely hope that this book will result in Tamihana’s achievement becoming more widely recognised and will prompt further work on this important text.

This current work publishes for the first time Tamihana’s complete manuscript in a parallel Māori/English edition. To assist readers, modern conventions of spelling and grammar have been applied to Tamihana’s Māori text, while the English translation is completely new. Reading the full text in its original classical nineteenth century Māori language or in my fresh translation will I hope be a revelatory experience for those who have some acquaintance with the poor versions previously available in published and manuscript form.

In the process I have been able to solve some long-standing mysteries. Using information gleaned from Tamihana’s manuscript and comparing this with early Australian newspapers, I have been able to work out to within a month or so the timing of when our famous tupuna Te Pēhi returned from his journey to England, as well as the likely timing for Te Rauparaha’s trip to Sydney. Having a more secure date for both these events has repercussions for other events, such as the timing of the arrivals of various groups of Ngāti Toa’s allies to the Kapiti region.

Tamihana’s manuscript also allows us to gain a greater understanding of the traditional Māori number system. Little understood, this throws new light on our interpretation of numbers not just in Tamihana’s manuscript, but in other early sources. Overall, I believe that Tamihana’s narrative enables us to have a more rounded view of the history that it traverses, particularly when we consider that this has typically come to us through a non-Māori lens. The Māori concept of utu, of reciprocity, is seen in action – Tamihana is always careful to give an explanation for the various events, in traditional Māori terms.

Before going further into what we know about the manuscript’s origins and creation, I will first provide brief outlines of the lives of Te Rauparaha and of his son Tamihana to provide some context.

Te Rauparaha

Kāore kau he kaumātua hei rite mō Te Rauparaha te mōhio ki te whawhai, me te toa hoki, me te tino tangata ki te atawhai tangata.

There has never been a man equal to Te Rauparaha in terms of knowledge of warfare and prowess in battle, and in being so dedicated to looking after people.¹⁰

Te Rauparaha is most well known today as the composer of the haka ‘Ka mate’, made famous the world over by New Zealand’s national rugby team, who have been performing it for over a century.¹¹ He is venerated by his own descendants among Ngāti Toa and Ngāti Raukawa and, it is fair to say, widely reviled by those tribes who were on the receiving end of his military campaigns during the ‘musket wars’ of the 1820s and 1830s, most notably Ngāi Tahu.

In wider society, there is an ambivalence: an acknowledgement of his leadership ability in creating a maritime empire that is reflected in the name the ‘Napoleon of the South’, but discomfort about some of the traditional practices that he employed, including cannibalism, with the Elizabeth affair that he instigated regularly used as an example of the lawlessness that existed in Aotearoa prior to British annexation (and indeed, was used at the time as an argument for British intervention).¹²

At the time of Te Rauparaha’s birth in the late eighteenth century, Ngāti Toarangatira (usually shortened to Ngāti Toa) – a branch of the Tainui people – had been living for centuries at Kāwhia on the west coast of the North Island.¹³ Kāwhia is famous in Tainui tradition as the final resting place of the Tainui canoe, which had brought our ancestors across the Pacific Ocean to Aotearoa around the year 1300. Our relatives and allies lived to the north (Ngāti Koata) and south (Ngāti Rārua). To the east lived our relatives and enemies, Waikato and Ngāti Maniapoto.¹⁴

Increased competition for the coastal resources controlled by Ngāti Toa had seen an escalating cycle of violence envelop the Tainui peoples. A pitched battle known as Hingakākā¹⁵ had been fought between two huge opposing armies around the year 1800. Iwi from around the North Island participated in the battle, with Ngāti Toa at the heart of one coalition of forces under the leadership of Pīkauterangi,¹⁶ while the other side comprised Waikato and Ngāti Maniapoto and their allies, under the leadership of Te Rauangaanga.¹⁷ Ngāti Toa were defeated and Pīkauterangi and thousands of others were killed; from that time onwards, Ngāti Toa’s position at Kāwhia became less secure.¹⁸

Te Rauparaha’s great challenge upon assuming leadership of Ngāti Toa in the early 1800s was to deal with the fallout from Hingakākā: to build alliances in order to consolidate Ngāti Toa’s position and to exact revenge where he could.¹⁹ Like many other traditional societies, Māori society placed great importance on the maintenance of mana – the honour and reputation of its leaders and therefore of the whole group.

The two sides engaged in a seemingly endless cycle of violence in the years after Hingakākā. Ngāti Toa were victorious in many engagements but ultimately the sheer numbers of their opponents began to tell. Te Rauparaha decided that the best long-term future for Ngāti Toa lay in relocating to a new land beyond Waikato’s reach. While on an expedition to the lower North Island with his friend Tāmati Wāka Nene and Ngāpuhi, he found that new land and so put into place the migration of his people – men, women and children – hundreds of kilometres to the south.

Ngāti Toa as an iwi was small in number and we needed allies. We found these among the Ngāti Awa people of northern Taranaki and, later, among Ngāti Raukawa – the tribe of Te Rauparaha’s mother. The migration was accomplished and Ngāti Toa established a home on Kapiti Island. Alliances were created with some of the resident iwi – notably Ngāti Apa, but others – Muaūpoko, Rangitāne and Ngāti Kahungunu – attempted to expel Ngāti Toa, assembling a huge invasion force and attacking Kapiti Island around 1825.

Against huge odds, Ngāti Toa prevailed in the Battle of Waiorua and so consolidated their position in their new location. This success also attracted Ngāti Toa’s allies, in particular Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Raukawa, to relocate to Kapiti and eventually settle much of the west coast of the lower North Island and the top of the South Island. Te Rauparaha fostered trading relationships with European ships and thereby built up the firepower which saw Ngāti Toa and our allies dominate the whole Cook Strait region and raiding Ngāi Tahu settlements as far south as Banks Peninsula on the east coast and Arahura on the west coast.

On one of these expeditions to the South Island around the summer of 1827–28, a visit was made to Kaiapoi pā to trade pounamu and a number of young Ngāti Toa chiefs were killed by Ngāi Tahu, including Te Pēhi, the hereditary leader of Ngāti Toa, and Te Aratangata, Te Rauparaha’s half-brother. This incident led to Te Rauparaha concentrating his attentions on Ngāi Tahu for much of the following decade.²⁰

The military campaign that ensued was carried out within a traditional framework, with the maintenance of mana at the heart of Te Rauparaha’s actions, including the ‘chartering’ of the brig Elizabeth in 1830 to undertake a raid on Akaroa Harbour that resulted in the deaths of many of the inhabitants and the capture – and ultimately deaths – of the Ngāi Tahu leader Tamaiharanui and his family.

Te Rauparaha’s allies did not always see eye-to-eye, and for a period of some months the alliance broke down completely as Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Raukawa engaged in the bloody Haowhenua war of 1833–34. Ngāti Toa’s loyalties were divided and the tribe split into two factions, with Te Rauparaha joining with Ngāti Raukawa. However, after peace was restored the allies co-existed peacefully once more and continued to trade with the European ships that visited the Cook Strait region through the second half of the 1830s.

By the time that the first agents of colonisation arrived in the Cook Strait region in 1839–40, Te Rauparaha was still the dominant figure in the region.²¹ Since the arrival of the whalers in the late 1820s, Te Rauparaha had demonstrated a willingness to work with and co-exist alongside Europeans in a win-win situation. However, the existence of such a formidable chief with significant resources at his disposal was a threat to the New Zealand Company’s colonisation plans for the Cook Strait region, with Te Rauparaha’s consent being required for any purchases of land in the region.²²

The Company tried to acquire land using various means that would undermine his authority, including trying to validate a spurious claim to thousands of hectares at Wairau. Te Rauparaha acted to maintain his rangatiratanga (chiefly authority) by travelling to the Wairau and disrupting the survey that was underway there. An armed party was sent from Nelson to arrest Te Rauparaha. There was an armed confrontation at Wairau in June 1843 that led to deaths on both sides.²³

In terms of the mainstream of colonial opinion, this confirmed what most settlers had suspected, that Te Rauparaha had been a false friend to the Pākehā but had shown his true colours at Wairau. Although he was exonerated by Governor FitzRoy, FitzRoy’s successor, George Grey, saw Te Rauparaha as a major threat to the colonial agenda in the Cook Strait region. When fighting broke out between Māori and British troops in the Hutt Valley and Porirua in 1846, many Pākehā believed that Te Rauparaha was responsible. Despite there being very little evidence to support this belief, Grey nevertheless used this as a pretext to have Te Rauparaha illegally abducted in July 1846 and held without trial for a period of eighteen months. He was held for much of this time on a ship docked in Wellington Harbour and was later taken to Auckland.²⁴

Following his release in January 1848, Te Rauparaha focused his attentions on the building of the Rangiātea Church and the town at Ōtaki. He died at Ōtaki in November 1849 aged around eighty. Although he was buried at Ōtaki, it is said that his body was subsequently disinterred and taken to Kapiti Island.²⁵

Apart from Tamihana (who never had children), he was survived by his daughter, Karoraina Tūtari, whose mother was Te Rauparaha’s first wife Marore. It is from Karoraina Tūtari’s marriage to Te Rauparaha’s nephew Te Kanae that all of Te Rauparaha’s descendants today trace their ancestry.

Tamihana Te Rauparaha

Having a father who ranked among the greatest Māori tribal leaders of the nineteenth century was always going to be a hard act for Tamihana to follow. He was, nevertheless, a remarkable individual who lived through a time of rapid change and almost incessant conflict – from the intertribal warfare of his early years, through to the conflicts between Māori and Pākehā of the 1840s and 1860s – and who left a rich, written legacy, documenting many of the challenges that Māori faced at this time, as well as traditional and historical narratives. While it was noted in his obituary that he followed a different path to his father, in many ways he was very much his father’s son; as Frances Porter noted: ‘Te Rauparaha used Pakeha guns to maintain an ascendancy; Tamihana, with less success, tried to adopt Pakeha manners and customs for the same purpose’.²⁶

By his own account, Tamihana Te Rauparaha was born at Pukearuhe in northern Taranaki around the time of the Battle of Motunui, a few months after the Ngāti Toa heke (migrating party) had left Kāwhia.²⁷ His mother was Te Ākau of Tūhourangi, taken as a wife by Te Rauparaha after the death of her first husband – and Te Rauparaha’s uncle – Hape-ki-tūārangi.²⁸ Tamihana was originally named in honour of Te Rauparaha’s oldest brother Te Rangikatukua, who was killed in battle at Te Kākara shortly before Ngāti Toa’s departure from Kāwhia. He was known by a short form of this name – ‘Katu’ – in the early part of his life.²⁹

Katu seems to have been a particular favourite of his father’s, accompanying him on many of his taua (war parties), even as a young child. Around the time of the Haowhenua war (1833–34), when he can have been no more than twelve or thirteen, Katu married (in the traditional sense) Te Kapu (later known as Ruta), daughter of the Ngāti Whakatere chief Tāwhiri.³⁰

Like many Māori of his generation, Katu enthusiastically embraced Christianity.³¹ In terms of acquiring the associated skills of literacy, he was largely self-taught. He and his cousin Te Whiwhi-o-te-rangi (later known as Mātene Te Whiwhi) taught themselves to read a partial version of the New Testament that Matahau brought to Kapiti around 1838 after being released from captivity by Ngāpuhi. The following year, the two cousins travelled to the Bay of Islands and brought back with them the missionary Octavius Hadfield, who arrived in the Kapiti region in November 1839.³² Tamihana became friends with Hadfield, the first in a succession of influential Pākehā he established close relationships with.

Along with his father, Katu signed the Treaty of Waitangi at Tahoramaurea Island off Kapiti on 14 May 1840.³³ In 1841 Katu was baptised with the name Tamihana (Thompson)³⁴ and in the following year, he and Te Whiwhi visited Ngāi Tahu communities throughout Te Waipounamu, spreading the gospel among Ngāti Toa’s former enemies. Tamihana spent over a year in the South Island, staying on after Te Whiwhi returned to Kapiti, and was there at the time of the Wairau incident in June 1843, after which he returned to Ōtaki.³⁵

In January and February 1844, Tamihana made another trip to Te Waipounamu, accompanying George Selwyn, New Zealand’s first Anglican bishop.³⁶ As tensions grew around the sale of the Hutt Valley towards the end of 1844, Tamihana and Te Whiwhi were sent by Te Rauparaha to mediate, although with limited success. Shortly afterwards, in January 1845, he had more success as a mediator, persuading a taua under Te Heuheu to turn back at Whanganui instead of carrying on to attack Ngāti Ruanui, after Bishop Selwyn had inflamed the situation through his ignorance of tikanga.³⁷

Later in 1845 Tamihana became the first adult Māori student at St John’s College which Selwyn had recently established in Auckland, although he did not complete the training and was never ordained as a minister.³⁸ He was at St John’s College in July 1846 when his father, along with several other Ngāti Toa chiefs, was illegally abducted and detained on Governor Grey’s instructions. Both Tamihana and Te Whiwhi were effectively placed under house arrest at the college until November of that year, when they were allowed to travel to Wellington to see Te Rauparaha on board HMS Calliope where he was being held.³⁹

In December, Tamihana and Te Whiwhi returned to Ōtaki, where they sought to broker peace with Te Rangihaeata, who was threatening an armed response to his uncle’s kidnapping. In early 1847 Grey cynically used Te Rauparaha as a bargaining chip to coerce younger Ngāti Toa chiefs, including Tamihana, to agree to the sale of the Wairau and Porirua blocks to the Crown.⁴⁰ After Te Rauparaha was eventually released in January 1848, Tamihana worked closely with his father in the building of Rangiātea Church at Ōtaki, through until his father’s death in November 1849.

It was also during this period that Tamihana instigated the gift by Ngāti Toa of land on the Whitireia Peninsula at Porirua to the Anglican Church for the purposes of establishing a southern equivalent of St John’s College. This offer came about largely due to the warmth of Tamihana’s relationship with Selwyn and Hadfield.⁴¹

In December 1850, Tamihana travelled to England⁴² and spent 15 months there, mostly staying at the Church Missionary Society’s training college in Islington. He was impressed by Britain’s prosperity at the height of the industrial revolution and took close notice of its class system. He was presented to Queen Victoria on 30 June 1852, shortly before he sailed back to New Zealand.⁴³

He returned to New Zealand in December 1852 imbued with fresh ideas. He advocated for the establishment of a Māori king to give Māori their own equivalent to the British queen, a cause that Te Whiwhi took up and promoted widely. Tamihana also urged Māori to retain their lands, attending the great hui held at Manawapou, southern Taranaki, in April 1854, where the Māori ‘land league’ was set up. However, in advocating for these things, Tamihana was not seeking to undermine the colonial government. Rather, he was in favour of the creation of a Māori landed class in New Zealand that would sit alongside the Pākehā gentry.⁴⁴

Tamihana also pushed for the establishment of the college on the land at Whitireia, with himself as its Principal. This caused him to fall out with Hadfield, who had been promised the post by Selwyn. However, the college never eventuated, straining his relationships with Selwyn and his own people. We know that he stopped attending church for a time and took up drinking, although he eventually mended his relationship with Hadfield.⁴⁵

In 1859, Tamihana and Ruta relocated to Ngāwhakangutu (near Te Horo), where Tamihana became a successful sheep farmer and built a substantial homestead.⁴⁶ This meant that he was insulated to some extent from the widespread hardship experienced by Māori through the 1860s. Even before the outbreak of war in Taranaki in March 1860, economic conditions had deteriorated and the effects of land sales were affecting many Māori communities.⁴⁷

As war continued to ravage the country through much of the 1860s, straining Māori–Pākehā relations to near breaking point, Tamihana remained firmly in the pro-government camp, often mediating between the central and provincial governments, and Māori, denouncing local Māori who sided with the Māori King. In July and August 1860, Tamihana attended the Kohimarama Conference along with other Loyalist chiefs, where he criticised the anti-government positions adopted by Wiremu Kīngi Te Rangitāke and King Tāwhiao.

In 1862, Tamihana accompanied newly appointed resident magistrate Walter Buller on a tour of the Manawatū–Whanganui region to consult on Governor George Grey’s proposals for limited Māori self-government at the local level.⁴⁸ Both were also heavily involved in the negotiations for the purchase of the Rangitīkei–Manawatū block by the Wellington Provincial Government from Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Apa, ‘one of the most controversial purchases of lands owned by Maori undertaken by the Crown during the nineteenth century’.⁴⁹ Tamihana was strongly in favour of the sale, putting him at odds with many of his Ngāti Raukawa relations, some of whom occupied land in the block.

Through 1866, Tamihana used his influence to ensure that the sale of the Rangitīkei– Manawatū block went ahead.⁵⁰ In July of that year he had made his first brief appearance in the Native Land Court at Ōtaki. Land court business would occupy a large part of his time for the remainder of his life. Although he had been appointed a Native Assessor in the land court in March 1866, this was a role that he was never able to fulfil in practice, so entangled was he with all the land cases that came before the Ōtaki court.⁵¹

Following an outcry from Ngāti Raukawa about the sale of the Rangitīkei–Manawatū block, the matter passed over to the Native Land Court. The first stage of hearings – known as the Hīmatangi hearing – was held at Ōtaki between 11 March and 27 April 1868. Many witnesses on both sides gave extensive evidence, which has become a valuable source of the pre-1840 history of the region. Mātene Te Whiwhi was the first witness called in support of Ngāti Raukawa’s case, which was supported by the missionaries Octavius Hadfield and Samuel Williams (son of Henry Williams). Ngāti Raukawa were in occupation of part of the block in question and argued they had rights to the whole block through conquest of Ngāti Apa.

On 27 March 1868, Tamihana gave his evidence in support of Ngāti Apa’s right to sell to Wellington Province, arguing that Ngāti Toa had fostered a relationship with Ngāti Apa, and that Ngāti Apa had never lost their independence and rights in the block. The judgement, delivered on 27 April 1868, found that Ngāti Apa and Ngāti Raukawa each had equal rights in the block – this was welcomed by Ngāti Apa but greeted with dismay by Ngāti Raukawa.⁵²

Tamihana continued to lend his support to various government causes. In January 1869 he accompanied the governor, G. F. Bowen, on a visit to Canterbury with other prominent loyalist chiefs Wī Tako Ngātata of Te Āti Awa and Mete Kīngi Te Rangipaetahi of Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi. In May of that year he travelled to the Waikato with fellow Ngāti Toa chief Hōhepa Tamaihēngia to try to arrange a meeting between King Tāwhiao and Prince Alfred, the first British royal to visit New Zealand.⁵³

Not happy with the outcome of the Hīmatangi hearing, Ngāti Raukawa applied for the matter to be reheard, which it was in July and August 1869. For the rehearing, Ngāti Raukawa engaged the Wellington lawyer and politician W. T. L. Travers to act for them.⁵⁴ Once again Te Whiwhi opened the evidence for Ngāti Raukawa, his testimony running over six days.⁵⁵ Tāmihana again gave evidence in support of Wellington Province’s case, along with others of Ngāti Toa.⁵⁶ The outcome of the rehearing was similar to the initial hearing, a stalemate.⁵⁷

The 1870s brought more hardship for Māori from which Tamihana, although a major landowner, was not exempt.⁵⁸ The death of his wife Ruta in July 1871 was a major blow.⁵⁹ He and Ruta never had any children of their own.

In 1873, Tamihana had a narrow escape when the carriage he was in plunged into the Manawatū River as it was being ferried across.⁶⁰ Although he survived, this plunge into the cold river waters may have precipitated a decline in Tamihana’s health. He had a long absence from court later that same year due to illness. In October 1873, he had a will drawn up by W. T. L. Travers, naming as his primary heirs Wī Kerei Kūpapa, a two-year-old boy he probably adopted after Ruta’s death,⁶¹ and his nephew James Wallace (also known as Hēmi Wārahi), the son of his half-sister Pipikūtia and the Pākehā trader William Ellerslie Wallace.

Tamihana may have suffered a stroke around this time – during a brief appearance in the land court on 18 March 1874, he stated, ‘I am well – my thoughts are clear – my expression is not’.⁶² It was also around this time that he commissioned a stone memorial to Te Rauparaha from a Melbourne-based firm – it was reported as finished in April 1875.⁶³ However, Tamihana did not live to see the memorial to his father erected. He died on 22 or 23 October 1876 at Ōtaki, aged around fifty-four. He is buried at Ōtaki beside his wife in an unmarked grave.⁶⁴

About the manuscript

What is in the manuscript?

Tamihana’s narrative opens with information on Te Rauparaha’s lineage and birth, and then moves rapidly through battles with Waikato and Ngāti Maniapoto in the aftermath of Hingakākā, before moving on to a series of war parties to Taranaki. One of these expeditions involving Ngāpuhi carried on to Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington Harbour), which gave Te Rauparaha the idea of relocating his people there.

Next, Tamihana documents how Te Rauparaha visited various allies in order to gain support for his migration, without success. Tamihana then describes how Te Rauparaha and Ngāti Toa used a combination of guile and fighting ability in order to complete the first part of the migration to Taranaki, including inflicting a heavy defeat on Waikato and Ngāti Maniapoto at the Battle of Te Motunui.

At this point Te Rauparaha visits Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Ngāti Raukawa, two of his staunchest allies, in an attempt to enlist their support, but is rebuffed. Tamihana then describes Ngāti Toa’s onward migration from Taranaki and arrival in the Horowhenua region, where Te Rauparaha’s family members were murdered by Muaūpoko. After a series of battles with the local people, Ngāti Toa retired to the safety of Kapiti Island. Tamihana then describes Te Pēhi’s trip to England and the great battle that took place on Kapiti Island while he was away, the Battle of Waiorua, where Ngāti Toa saw off the massed army of the local peoples from both sides of Cook Strait.

Tamihana goes on to describe how allied groups from Taranaki began to arrive, as did Pākehā traders and whalers, from whom Te Rauparaha was able to obtain military hardware. Tamihana describes Ngāti Raukawa’s own attempted migrations to Heretaunga (Hawke’s Bay) and Whanganui, before ultimately joining Ngāti Toa and Ngāti Awa at Kapiti. After Waiorua, Tamihana devotes considerable space to describing Te Rauparaha’s military operations in the South Island, including the disastrous visit to Kaiapoi pā where Te Pēhi and other Ngāti Toa chiefs were killed by Ngāi Tahu, as well as the Elizabeth affair and the Siege of Kaiapoi.

Tamihana is at pains to point out that his father’s reputation was based not only on military prowess, but also on the bounteous hospitality that he dispensed, made possible through Te Rauparaha’s year-round mahinga kai (food gathering and cultivation) activities. Tamihana also documents how Ngāti Toa and its allies settled territory on both sides of Cook Strait, as well as the Haowhenua war of 1833–34, where Ngāti Toa found their loyalties split between Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Raukawa.

The arrival of Christianity and British colonisation in the Cook Strait region takes place towards the end of the narrative but is not described in great detail.

When did Tamihana write the manuscript?

The circumstances surrounding the creation of ‘He Pukapuka Tataku’ are shrouded in mystery. Although Tamihana left an extensive archival legacy, there is no mention of the manuscript in any of his letters or in the Native Land Court records connected with his numerous appearances, nor is it mentioned in any other contemporary source. Auckland Libraries, who hold the original manuscript, do not have any information about the manuscript’s creation, nor when it entered their collection, nor is there any mention of it in George Grey’s papers. In their record for the manuscript, they give 1845 as the time period, which is derived from a reference on the last page of the manuscript that I will discuss in due course. But first let us examine some contextual features to determine whether they can shed any light on when the manuscript was created.

Contextual features

The manuscript is a large, bound volume of approximately foolscap size (216 × 343 mm), with a cloth cover and leather binding comprising approximately 100 leaves of paper. The text, neatly written in te reo Māori in Tamihana Te Rauparaha’s handwriting, covers 125 pages (63 leaves) and runs to approximately 50,000 words. A note written by George Grey is affixed to the front cover:

History of Te Rauparaha. Written by his son Tamehana Te Rauparaha at his father’s dictation. Mr Travers saw this and published in England a summary of it. Photo of son and wife. G Grey.

Grey’s claim that the manuscript was dictated by Te Rauparaha to Tamihana does not survive even a fairly cursory read-through of the manuscript. It is clearly written from Tamihana’s point of view, with Te Rauparaha described in the third person. Tamihana may have got a lot of the information from his father and may even have taken notes at his dictation; however, none of this survives intact in the final manuscript.⁶⁵ Why then did Grey make this claim? The probability is that Grey never actually read the manuscript, nor knew much about its production. He certainly did not make use of it in any of his published works – I discuss the reason for this below.

There is more substance to Grey’s next claim. ‘Mr Travers’ is the colonial lawyer, politician and amateur scientist W. T. L. Travers, who evidently did refer to the manuscript in preparing a series of lectures – later published in book form – ‘On the Life and Times of Te Rauparaha’.⁶⁶ However, as I discuss later, it is not strictly accurate to describe Travers’ work as a ‘summary’ of the manuscript. But knowing that Travers referred to the manuscript does give us an outside parameter for the creation of the manuscript: Travers delivered the first lecture in the series to the Wellington Philosophical Society on 21 August 1872, so the manuscript must have been completed and handed over to Travers prior to this date – probably some considerable time beforehand, so that he had time to prepare his lectures.

Two photographs have been pasted inside the cover. These are both copies that were made by the Wellington photographer W. H. Davis, who established a Wellington studio in Thorndon around May 1867, known to have been patronised by both George Grey and Tamihana.⁶⁷ Both pictures have captions in Tamihana’s distinctive handwriting. On the next page there is another note by Grey that refers to the photographs:

Two photographs are inserted in this. An excellent likeness of Te Rauparaha and a good photograph of his son who wrote this book, and of his son’s wife. G Grey.

I believe that I left the likeness of Te Rauparaha from which the photograph was taken at the Cape of Good Hope.

The picture on the left is a reproduction of a pencil sketch of Te Rauparaha made by Edward Abbott in 1845. Abbott appears to have made more than one version of this sketch, but this particular one matches a version that is now in the possession of the Hadfield family, and that did indeed once belong to George Grey.⁶⁸

It is interesting to note the subtle difference in the wording of Grey’s second note: ‘A good photograph of his son who wrote this book’ – no mention of it being dictated. Again, though, Grey’s note contains some disinformation: ‘I believe I left the likeness of Te Rauparaha from which the photograph was taken at the Cape of Good Hope’. This can’t possibly be true. Grey left South Africa in 1862, where he had been Governor of the Cape Colony. The photographic studio which copied the two pictures (W. H. Davis of Thorndon, Wellington) only opened for business in May 1867.⁶⁹

In fact, Grey must have forgotten that he had given the portrait to Hadfield. This suggests to me that Grey wrote this note, and the one on the cover, relatively late in his life, perhaps when he was freed from the demands of public office. The fact that Tamihana has added captions beneath the two photographs suggests that he was the one who had the copies made, borrowing the Abbott portrait from Hadfield.

Under the copy of the Abbott portrait Tamihana has written: ‘Te Rauparaha kua mate i Noema 27, 1849’ (Te Rauparaha, died November 27, 1849). One small thing about the way this is written is noteworthy. In writing the ‘4’ in ‘1849’, it looks like Tamihana initially wrote a ‘7’ and has changed it to a ‘4’. Although hardly conclusive, this suggests that he wrote this caption sometime in the early 1870s – he was in the process of writing the current year (it would have been either 1871 or 1872 as the evidence of the next caption will show), rather than the year that Te Rauparaha died – a common slip.

This possible slip over the date comes into focus when we consider the second photograph, a seated studio portrait of Tamihana and his wife Ruta, perhaps from the late 1850s or early 1860s. Underneath this photograph Tamihana has written the rather mysterious caption: ‘Tamihana Te Rauparaha raua ko Ruta Te Rauparaha kua mate i Te Horo Maketu’ (Tamihana Te Rauparaha and Ruta Te Rauparaha, died at Te Horo Maketu). The only explanation I can think of for ‘Te Horo Maketu’ (or ‘Te Horo-o-Maketu’) is that this is the long form of ‘Te Horo’, the name of the district where they lived and farmed, but this is a guess. However, what is clear enough is that Tamihana has written this caption after Ruta’s death – she died on 10 July 1871.⁷⁰ This means that Tamihana must have had the manuscript in his possession until after this date.

A single sheet of paper in Tamihana’s handwriting containing two waiata composed by Topeora’s daughter Rakapa Kahoki has also been inserted into the manuscript. We don’t know how this sheet of paper came to be inserted into Tamihana’s manuscript and therefore we must treat it as a separate document. These waiata are both laments for Topeora, therefore were composed after Topeora’s death, which occurred some time before 1867.⁷¹ While intriguing, unfortunately these waiata do not shed any light on the creation of the manuscript.⁷²

Textual references

Next we will consider whether there are any textual clues that might help us to work out when the manuscript was written. On the very last page (125.17), after nine pages of genealogies, Tamihana wrote: ‘Nā Te Whatarauihi Nohorua ēnei whakapapa i whakahaere. Nāku i tuhituhi i te 1845.’ (Te Whatarauihi Nohorua recited these genealogies. I wrote them down in 1845.) In their online record for GNZMMS 27, Auckland Libraries has picked up on this date and ascribed it to the manuscript as a whole. However, I agree with Arini Loader’s reading, that this date refers only to when Tamihana originally wrote down the whakapapa. The manuscript must have been completed after the whakapapa were recorded, as it describes Te Rauparaha’s illegal abduction by George Grey in July 1846 (114.2) and his death in November 1849 (116.2). The whakapapa must have been copied into pages 117–125 of the manuscript from an original that no longer survives.⁷³ What this does show though, when considered along with the fact that Tamihana also wrote an account of the wars between Ngāti Toa and Ngāi Tahu around this time,⁷⁴ is that he was interested in recording tribal history and whakapapa at this early stage in his life – he was about twenty-three at the time.

There are a couple of other less obvious clues within the text that mean we have to push out the composition date of the manuscript even further. At 58.1 there is a reference to the Ngāti Hāuaterangi chief Hēmi Tōpine Te Mamaku under the name Tōpine Te Karamū.

Of relevance here is that he acquired his baptismal names Hēmi Tōpine (James Stovin) on Christmas Day 1853.⁷⁵ At 51.4 Tamihana notes that during Ngāti Raukawa’s ill-fated expedition to Heretaunga (Hawke’s Bay), ‘ko ētahi rangatira [i] mate atu ki Ahuriri, i Nēpia’ (some chiefs had died at Ahuriri, at Napier). The town of Napier was not founded until 1855, and the name was not in use prior to this time.⁷⁶

The watermark

In early 2019, Auckland Libraries arranged for some photographs to be taken of me with the manuscript. While I was sitting there, holding a page in mid-air for the camera, the light percolating through the page lit up a watermark of a London paper merchant that neither.

I nor anyone else it seems had ever noticed. Upon examination it turned out that the paper that the manuscript is written on bears the watermarks of two London paper merchants – the first page bears the watermark: ‘T. H. Saunders 1857’, while through most of the manuscript is the watermark: ‘G. Wilmot 1857’. Here was clear evidence that the manuscript can not have been written any earlier than 1857. I had worked this out for myself by this time, but it was still very affirming to have such graphic confirmation of my hypothesis.

The distinctive spelling

It turns out that there is another characteristic of the manuscript that provides a way of working out when it was written – its distinctive spelling. This avenue presented itself after a chance remark from my friend Piripi Walker, who had been looking at a number of Tamihana’s letters for another project he was involved with. Piripi made an offhand remark that Tamihana had ‘tidied up his writing’, a reference to the distinctive spelling Tamihana used in the manuscript, but which is absent from many of his letters. In the manuscript Tamihana makes extensive use of the diphone ‘wh’, using it not only where we would expect a ‘wh’, but also where we would expect a ‘w’ – for example, he writes ‘Whaikato’ for ‘Waikato’ and ‘iwhi’ for ‘iwi’. A close analysis of the use of ‘w’ and ‘wh’ in the manuscript reveals that both ‘w’ and ‘wh’ are used through the first eight pages of the manuscript,⁷⁷ but then for the remainder of the text – the bulk of the manuscript – the ‘w’ drops right away and there is almost exclusive use of ‘wh’.

While my first thought was that this spelling might reflect Tamihana’s dialect, dialectal variation can be discounted as a reason for the unusual spelling. The Tainui dialect of te reo Māori favours the ‘wh’ sound over the ‘h’ sound (for example, ‘pēwhea’ rather than ‘pēhea’). If Tamihana was confused about how to spell such words – in the way that some early Ngāi Tahu writers got their ‘ng’s and ‘k’s mixed up⁷⁸ – then it would be around ‘wh’ versus ‘h’.⁷⁹ Rather, the reason that Tamihana had trouble working out whether to use ‘w’ or ‘wh’ was because the ‘wh’ was not part of written Māori when he learnt to read and write in the late 1830s and early 1840s, it was only introduced later. So, for example, it does not feature in the 1835 Declaration of Independence or the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi, nor does it feature in early Māori grammars or in early Māori-language editions of the Bible.⁸⁰

Tamihana was a prolific writer of letters, many of which have survived in various archives. These letters provide us with dated samples of his handwriting for most years between 1844 and 1876, the year of his death. I realised that it might be possible to date the manuscript if I could find letters from a certain period of his life with the same unusual use of the ‘wh’. In his letters from the 1840s and early 1850s, he uses ‘w’ for both ‘w’ and ‘wh’, which reflects the absence of the ‘wh’ from early written Māori as noted above. Over time, though, he obviously became aware of the ‘wh’ and made a couple of attempts to try to incorporate it into his writing. The first time we can see this is in his letters from around 1857–60, when there are signs that Tamihana began to experiment with using the ‘wh’ in his writing. From this period, we see some examples such as ‘Te Whiremu’ (for ‘Te Wiremu’) and ‘whahi’ (for ‘wahi’). However, his use of ‘wh’ at this time is not as extensive as it is in the manuscript.

Tamihana may have had some negative feedback about the way he was using ‘wh’, because he stopped using it. In his letters from the early part of the 1860s, he has reverted to more or less exclusive use of ‘w’, right up until and including a letter dated 16 July 1866 to Walter Mantell, a former Native Minister who had recently been appointed to the Legislative Council.⁸¹ However, there is another letter written later that month where Tamihana uses ‘wh’ in exactly the same way as it is used in the bulk of the manuscript. This letter, to the Superintendent of Wellington Province, Isaac Featherston, is dated only ‘Hurae 1866’ (July 1866), but the date the letter was translated (28 July) is recorded on the letter, indicating that it was probably written around the 25th.⁸² The same use of ‘wh’ is apparent in a letter to the Superintendent of Hawke’s Bay Province (and former Native Minister) Donald McLean on 3 October 1866⁸³ and in another letter to Featherston dated 27 December 1866 that is in Tamihana’s handwriting, although signed by Mātene Te Whiwhi.⁸⁴

Unfortunately, then there is a gap in the record. To date, I have not been able to find any letters or other samples of Tamihana’s handwriting from 1867 or 1868. The next letter I have been able to locate – to Donald McLean – is dated 1 February 1869.⁸⁵ In this letter, Tamihana has more or less reverted to his earlier practice of using ‘w’ for both ‘w’ and ‘wh’ – there is just one ‘wh’ in this letter. All his subsequent letters follow this pattern, right through until his death in October 1876. While the lack of handwriting samples from 1867 and 1868 is frustrating, the evidence we do have suggests that Tamihana wrote the bulk – if not all – of the manuscript between July 1866 and February 1869. There are, however, a couple of complicating factors.

The first is accounting for the mixed use of ‘w’ and ‘wh’ over the first eight pages mentioned above. One possibility is that he wrote the text that appears on the first eight pages prior to July 1866, which he then copied into the final manuscript. Because these were written at an earlier time, they used the ‘w’ rather than the ‘wh’, and so when he copied these pages the result was that he did not use ‘wh’ as systematically as he would do later on in the manuscript.⁸⁶ Another possibility is that the mixed use of ‘w’ and ‘wh’ at the beginning of the manuscript represents Tamihana’s indecision over which to use, before deciding to just use ‘wh’ throughout.⁸⁷

The second complicating factor is a noticeable change in vocabulary that is apparent from around page 66 onwards. Words and expressions that have not been used at all up to that point in the manuscript are suddenly used multiple times.⁸⁸ This suggests to me that there was an interval of considerable time between the composition of pages 1–65 and pages 66–125. There is no way of knowing just how long this interval was, but this vocabulary shift suggests the possibility that Tamihana completed pages 1–65 prior to July 1866 and then wrote out a good copy into the final manuscript after July 1866, using the ‘wh’ spelling that he developed at that time. Perhaps some further evidence will emerge to explain this change in vocabulary, until then it remains one of the many mysteries connected with the manuscript.

Tamihana’s involvement in the Native Land Court 1866–1868

Although, as I have already stated, there is no direct mention of the manuscript in the Native Land Court records connected with Tamihana’s numerous appearances, there are some aspects of Tamihana’s involvement in the Native Land Court between 1866 and 1868 which I think shed some light on the creation of the manuscript.

Tamihana was appointed as an assessor under the Native Lands Act 1865 on 3 March 1866,⁸⁹ and on 7 July 1866 made his first appearance in the Native Land Court at Ōtaki, which had briefly sat for the first time the previous day.⁹⁰ Little business was possible on 7 July, however, in large part because Tamihana had an interest in two of the three cases that were called. The judge had no choice but to adjourn the cases pending the appointment of a neutral assessor.⁹¹

There was no sitting for almost a year – a year during which, according to the evidence of his handwriting, Tamihana was hard at work on the manuscript. Then there were two weeks of hearings between 2 and 13 July 1867. The minutes show that Tamihana was present in court most days, although no longer in the capacity of an assessor. On 10 July, he gave evidence in support of his claim to the Paremata block at Ōtaki, referring to the split that occurred among Ngāti Toa during the Haowhenua conflict, saying that the Ngāti Toa chief Tūngia, father of the claimant, Ōriwia Hurumutu, was on the losing side of that engagement. Although his evidence is very condensed, this is the first time in the Native Land Court that he touches on the history covered by the manuscript.⁹²

Then there was a gap of seven months before the court next sat on 27 February 1868, with Tamihana’s next recorded appearance being on 19 March, relating to the Ōtaki Town Sections.⁹³ On 27 March he took to the stand to deliver his evidence relating to the Hīmatangi block. This reads very much like a summary of the relevant parts of the manuscript.⁹⁴ In his evidence, he mainly covers the first half of the manuscript – the latest incidents chronologically from the manuscript are the Elizabeth affair (53.7–57.7) and the Battle of Pūtiki-wharanui (72.7–76.2). Of course, given the focus on Rangitīkei–Manawatū, he does not go into the series of campaigns against Ngāi Tahu that feature heavily in the second half of the manuscript. Perhaps of more interest though, Tamihana also

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Что люди думают о He Pukapuka Tataku i Nga Mahi a Te Rauparaha Nui / A Record of the Life of the Great Te Rauparaha

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