The Land Court In Matakaoa

Chapter 3. THE MATAKAOA EXPERIENCE 1769-1875

I. The Treaty of Waitangi - Early Exchanges, The Signing on the East Coast, An Interpretation of the Treaty, Utilisation of Land and Sea at Matakaoa, Aftermath of the Treaty;

II. The Treaty of Kohimaarama - The Conference at Kohimaarama, The Land Wars, The 'Land-Taking' Court, Peaceful Mediation of Disputes a Necessity;

III. The Tribal Policy Meetings - 1874 Hui at Wharekahika, 1875 Hui at Horoera - Raahui proclaimed.

I. The Treaty of Waitangi

"The Chief function of the Court is to ascertain who were the owners of the land at the time of the advent of the British Government in 1840, and the persons to whom these rights have now descended, and for that purpose the state of the native tenure at that time must be taken as the basis of operation as it cannot be admitted that the establishment of European Government in the colony improved native titles ..." (Judge MacKay, A. Hauanu judgment, Waiapu M.B. 7B:215)

Early Exchanges

The first interchanges between the Matakaoa people and Europeans were probably indirect. In October 1769 Captain Cook, after anchoring at Turanganui (now known as Gisborne) and Anaura Bay (near Tolaga Bay), sailed past and named East Cape. Although no fortified paa were sighted 'the country appeared to be well inhabited and full of plantations and look'd well, low near the shore and hilly inland' (Cook, J. Journal edited by Beaglehole, J. 1955:539). When Cook passed Whangaparaoa canoes set off, but then retreated, so Cook named the promontory Cape Runaway.

In 1806 the brig Venus kidnapped some Northland Maori women, among them was a sister and a niece of the Ngaa Puhi Chief Te Morenga, and a [p33] relative of Hongi Hika (Locke, E. Te Maori Vol. 1 No.5:54-55). Rumours drifted northwards that these women had been put on shore on the East Coast, and local people had killed and eaten them (ibid). As soon as Ngaa Puhi had sufficient muskets they set out for the East Coast to seek revenge. The traditional weapons wielded by Ngaati Porou were no match against the Ngaa Puhi muskets:

"When the fire of the "white man's arms" was opened upon them they fell almost to a man. No compassion was shown by the cruel enemy either to old age, women or children. The whole settlement [of Te Kawakawa] [1] was swept away and the skulls of the unhappy sufferers are still lying on a heap at the foot of the mountain [Whetumatarau], covered with scrub ..." Kissling's Report for the Year 1844 Hicks Bay CN/M 15:329).

In all, three raids were made and some two thousand prisoners taken (Williams, W.L. n.d:4).[2]

Eleven Ngaati Porou, among them Rukuata [3] and Taumatakura, [4] were taken to the Bay of Islands by the Master of a whaler against their wills, and set ashore there, as ‘prey to their enemies the Ngapuhi’ (Williams, W. Journal typescript Volume 3:339). They were captured by the Ngaa Puhi people, but the missionaries intervened and tried to return them to the East Coast on board the schooner Active. A storm turned them back and the liberated Ngaati Porou were given instruction at Paihia mission station for eight months. In December 1833 they set off again on board the missionary schooner Fortitude, this time they were successful (ibid; Te Irimana Houturangi in Te Karere Maori 31st July 1860:29). When they arrived at Hicks Bay on the 8th January 1834, the Ngaati Porou on board pointed out recent battle sites between themselves and Ngaa Puhi to the missionaries:[5] 'That hill (they said) was inhabited by a tribe which was cut off by Hongi, and that, pointing to another, was the site of a pa, which was cut off by Pomare' (Williams, W. Journal ibid). Two canoes set off from the Bay [p34] and so that the people in the canoes would not be alarmed, Williams sent everyone below except the two Chiefs: ‘our chief from the East Coast recognised two of his own brothers [and soon joy] gave place to copious floods of tears which to the New Zealander is always the most sincere token of affection’ (ibid:354).

As the missionaries landed, three hundred people appeared from behind the bushes to welcome them: ‘They are the wildest set I have yet seen in the land, and gathered round us to see a sight which was entirely new to them ... they were exceedingly civil and did not attempt to press upon us’ (ibid:354). Although the local people were preparing to go to war with their enemies who lived to the West (Whanau-a-Apanui?), they said: 'Give us missionaries to instruct us and we will leave off our wars. We like what you tell us but when you are gone we shall have no-one to teach us' (ibid:354). As they travelled southward the missionaries met further parties on their way to join the fighting expedition. An old man in one canoe stood up and said: 'Here is Rukuata, here is so and so, here are the missionaries, turn back and hear what they have to say' (Williams, W. Journal:355). At the first paa at Waiapu they found a large well-fortified village, mustering - the local people claimed - some five hundred and sixty fighting men. They were told that many of the inhabitants were at cultivations but nevertheless Williams still preached to about five hundred men, women, and children. They found that the old men who practiced 'all the priestcraft that is exercised in the land' were particularly 'ready to listen to any new thing which may be told them' (ibid:366).

Neither Yates nor Williams refer in their journals to extensive crop cultivation, which would suggest trade, at Matakaoa in 1834. There is no direct evidence of trade (and therefore interchange between Maori and Pakeha) at Matakaoa before 1840, although accounts of flax-trading practices in more southern Ngaati Porou districts, such as at Uawa (Tolaga Bay), clearly [p35] show that this industry was well-established on the East Coast by 1835 (Barnett Burns pamphlet 1844; Polack, J. 1838 Vol 2). Certainly by 1840 wheat was grown and traded at Waiapu (Fedarb, J. Diary 1840), and in 1843 the missionary Kissling found 'a party preparing flax, having their Testaments and Prayer Books by their side' at Whangaparaoa (Letter to Bishop Selwyn 4th February 1843, Selwyn Papers - typescript MS 273 Vol 6: 90) .

In 1838 Williams, accompanied by Stack, Colenso, and Mathews, returned to Hicks Bay; they were given 'a hearty welcome' by about two hundred and forty people at a small village near the Awatere River - see map (Williams, W. Vol 4:483). A few months later William Williams and his brother Henry brought Maori catechists to become resident instructors. In 1839 William Williams made another visit to this district, this time accompanied by Richard Taylor. They spent one night at Hekawa (see map) and were given 'a basket of beautifully cooked potatoes' to eat (Taylor, R. Diary 1838-1844:84). They also found that many of the local people could both read and write (ibid:85-86) and a man from Cape Runaway - 'a place which has never yet been visited' - had a 'good knowledge of the leading truths of the gospel' (Williams, W. Vol 4:497). On their arrival at Rangitukia they found a chapel had been built, and that several more were being constructed further up the Waiapu Valley (ibid:497-9). The journals suggest that there were several coastal settlements from Onepoto (the Southern-side of Hicks Bay) to East Cape, with concentrations of people at Hekawa paa and Rangitukia (see map). In the Waiapu Valley however, there appeared to be an even higher population - six paa, two inland and four coastal, although Taylor noted that one of the paa was completely deserted (1838-1844:122). There were also very large tracts of land under cultivation - 'quite free of weeds' (Taylor, R.:89-91). The principal crop was maize, although taro, potato, kuumara, and gourds were also being grown. Near [p36] Whakawhitira (a paa inland from Rangitukia) ten acres of maize were being grown (ibid:87). As they travelled through the Waiapu Valley they passed a valley filled with flax: 'a handful of which was tied on the top of a pole to show that it was private property and was not to be cut' (ibid).

In 1840 William Williams shifted from the Bay of Islands to establish a mission station at Poverty Bay. Under the guidance of 'native teachers' experimentation with 'new ways', including Christianity, blossomed at Waiapu. On William Williams quarterly visits to Whakawhitira paa at Waiapu, he commonly preached to a congregation of over three thousand local people.

The Signing on the East Coast

Directly following the signing of the Treaty at Waitangi, Captain Rhodes arrived at Turanganui (Gisborne) with the intention of buying a large block of land there. At the meeting which followed his arrival, it was reported that Europeans in Cook Strait were buying the whole country from the 'natives' (Williams, W. Journal 8-10th February 1840). One or two Europeans present were 'much irritated' by the missionary William Williams' suggestion that the Turanga people should sell their land to him so that the Church Missionary Society could keep it 'in trust for [them] ..., and their children for ever' (ibid; Williams, J. Journal 10th February 1840). While there is no record of the Maori people's reaction to this proposal, the Chiefs at Turanga supported his view against selling land (Williams, W. Journal ibid).

In April 1840 a draft of the Treaty (see page 138) was sent by Hobson for the approval and signatures of the Chiefs between East Cape and Ahuriri, and William Williams traversed the Coast holding meetings, explaining the Treaty, and collecting signatures. In May 1840 he wrote: 'I am happy to inform you that the leading men in this Bay have signed the Treaty and I have no doubt but that all the rest will follow their example' (Letter to Shortland, W. cited in Porter, F. (ed) 1974:113). Two weeks later he went [p37] to the Waiapu-Rangitukia area (Williams, W. Diary 25th May 1840). In all ten Waiapu Chiefs signed (see page 38), but there were some significant omissions, namely Iharaira Te Houkamau, the Chief of Te Whanau-a-Tuwhakairiora, and his close relation Te Kani-a-Takirau, whom Ngaati Porou claimed held the mana for the East Coast (Kohere, R. 1949:9). Williams certainly discussed what he referred to as 'spiritual matters' with Iharaira Te Houkamau, and they may well have also been discussing the Treaty, although there is no further reference to it in Williams' journal.

While it has been suggested that Maori understanding of the Treaty was limited (Orange, C. 1980: 73-74), it appears more likely to me that Maori and Pakeha understanding of the Treaty was very different. The Maori version of the Treaty focuses on the protective qualities of the Queen. In the first article the Queen is given 'te Kawanatanga katoa o o ratou wenua' - all the Governorship of their (the Chiefs') lands. In article three 'Ka tiakina e te Kuini o Ingarani nga tangata maori katoa o Nu Tireni' - all the Maori people of New Zealand will be 'protected' by the Queen of England. Kaawanatanga [6] as a derived noun (Biggs, B. 1969:81) of the transliteration of Governor (Williams, H. 1975 Appendix) conveys the meaning of Governorship and hence Government. Tiakina is the passive form of tiaki which means (1) to guard or keep, and (2) to watch for, or wait for (ibid:414). Together these words convey the concept of guardianship.

According to Best, the Maori believed that when the world was set in order super-normal beings were appointed guardians of the different realms of the earth, heavens, and oceans: 'to watch over everything ... and prevent all quarrels, and interferences, injustice and wrongdoing of any nature' (1924, reprint 1976:106-7). Their task was not confined to man and involved keeping each thing within its own proper activities and to preserve peace and prosperity in all spheres (ibid:107).

Photo of Te Tiriti o Waitangi signed by Ngaa Rangatira o Te Tai Rawhiti

The discussion by the Chiefs both at Waitangi and at other signing [p39] ceremonies, including the East Coast, were not recorded. In 1860 at the Conference held at Kohimaarama the Treaty was however discussed in some detail. In the first of a series of publications about the Conference, the newspaper, Te Karere Maori, declared:

'We have given you a true and faithful account of the sayings of your Chiefs ... ; reported their speeches at full length in order to guard against misrepresentation ... [and] submitted our Reports day by day to the respective speakers ... '’ (1st September 1860:2).

The East Coast Chiefs' speeches at Kohimaarama emphasised the Queen's protective role. Wiremu Pahuru and Wikiriwhi Matehenoa (both of Wharekahika) addressed the Governor as 'to matou kaitiaki, to matou atawhai' - our protector, our benefactor (Letter to Governor Gore Brown 17th July 1860 in Te Karere Maori 30th November 1860:50), while Te Irimana Houturangi (of Wharekahika) greeted him as the person sent by the Queen:

'hei tiaki i enei iwi e rua e noho nei i tenei whenua o Nu Tireni

- to protect the two races [tribes] dwelling in this country of New Zealand' (16th July 1860 ibid:47)

In Wikiriwhi Matehenoa's speech of welcome to the Governor he noted that:

'Ko te tuatahi tenei, ko te Whakapono. Ka ngaki au i tena ka oti. Noho ana ahau i runga i te Ture, manaki ana au i runga i te Ture ...

The first thing is Belief (Christianity). I cultivated that absolutely. I am living under the Law, I am showing respect under the Law' (Te Karere Maori 14th July 1860:31)

Te Irimana Houturangi distinguished between the two sorts of protection provided by the Queen:

'Tae rawa mai koe kua huihui e te ringaringa kaha o te Atua enei iwi e rua kia kotahi ...

- When you arrived these two people had been gathered as one by the mighty hand of God' (Letter 16th July 1860 in Te Karere Maori 30th November 1860:48)


Then the Queen sent a Governor to provide for the physical (human) aspect of the Maori people:

'me tu ano koe i tetahi taha o enei iwi e rua, ko te Wairua Tapu o te Atua ki tetahi taha, tiaki ai, ko te hoa riri i tetahi taha. Ko Hatana te hoa riri i tau taha e tiaki nei, ko nga iwi ke . . .

- you [the Governor] stand as a guardian on the one side of these two races and the Holy Spirit of God on the other. The enemy also on one side is Satan, and the enemy which you have to guard us against is the foreigner ...' (ibid)

Fourteen years later Iharaira Te Houkamau opened the Wharekahika Hui (see page 89) with:

'Ko te tuarua tenei o nga putanga mai o te aroha o te Kuini ki nga iwi Maori; tuatahi o tona aroha, ko te Rongo Pai a te Atua. Tuarua, ko te Ture kua homai e ia hei oranga mo tatou ... Kaore hoki he take hei whakaheanga ma tatou i aua ture e rua

- The Queen's love is sent twice to the Maori people; her first love is the Word of God. The second is the Law which has been given by her to secure safety and well-being for us all ... There is no reason why we should not obey both these laws (human and divine)' Te Waka Maori 17th November 1874:281)

These statements suggest that for the East Coast Chiefs at least, the Queen, through the Treaty, took on a very special and sacred obligation to the Maori people.


Expressed diagrammatically the relationship hints that for the East Coast people, the Queen mediated between the spiritual and physical worlds. There is some evidence to suggest that certain people could act as mauri or mediums (Shortland, E. 1856:99). Mauri serve as abiding places for spirit gods under whose protection certain things such as trees, paa, communities of people, land, etc. were placed:

'Ko taua mauri hei reo ki nga atua, ko nga atua
hei whakapumau, ara nga atua maori o mua

- that mauri (medium) acts as a voice to the spirit
beings (atua) who control all things'
(Ngaati Porou informant in Best, E. 1949:8)

The Queen appears to work through the missionaries and the Governor (as mauri to 'protect' the spiritual and physical sides of interaction between the two peoples.

There is some evidence to suggest that the rangatira (nobility) class was hierarchial - Te Kani-a-Takirau was claimed by Ngaati Porou to hold the mana for the East Coast, and in 1885 the Chief Wi Pewhairangi of Waiapu stated that 'There were two great chiefs of Ngatiporou - Te Hokamo, who is dead, and Tamanui Tera, who is the great surviving chief ... whenever he speaks he speaks the wish of the whole tribe' (AJHR 1885 G-1:74). The meaning assigned to the terms Ariki - first born of a notable family, Chief, Priest, Leader (Williams, H. 1975:15) - and rangatira - Chief, Master or Mistress, person of nobility (ibid:323), suggest that Ariki were supreme rangatira on a tribal level (Johansen, P. 1954:179), and that they could be concerned with both the spiritual and the physical. Rangatira, on the other hand were leaders on the hapuu (sub-tribal) level, but there is no indication whether their influence extended beyond the physical world. Mahuta, R. 1973:12) has suggested that there are tribal guardians (Kaitiaki) and it is tempting to suggest that the Ariki of the tribe filled this role, in much the same way as the Queen of England was the Kaitiaki over 'nga iwi e rua'; while rangatira, like the Governor (the rangatira of the Pakeha in New Zealand), were mainly concerned with 'protecting' (tiaki) their people from foreign 'nga iwi ke' attack. Tohunga, which means expert, wizard or priest (ibid:431), like the missionaries were concerned with the spiritual world.[7]

The evidence is suggestive that the Queen, the missionaries, and the Governor were fitted into a pre-existing scheme of interpretation, but it is difficult to assess the role missionaries played in this interpretation. Missionaries were responsible for the translation of the Treaty into Maori, as well as its explanation to the Maori people.

To sum up, the Treaty acknowledged the Queen as the Guardian (Kaitiaki) of the 'new world' where interactions were between Maori and Pakeha, and {p43] where new enemies both spiritual and physical had to be reckoned with. I suggest that the sovereignty given by the Chiefs to the Queen of England was their collective responsibility (tiaki) for the well-being (the preservation of order) of that 'new world'. In contrast to this the term sovereignty for nineteenth century European jurists implied the acquisition and exercise of territorial rights (Ngata, Sir A. in Sutherland, I. 1940:111-2; Orange, C. 1979:21).

Given these suggested differences between Maori and European ways of perceiving the Treaty of Waitangi it is not surprising that even today much controversy surrounds it - calls are made for its boycott, others for its ratification. As a document signed by five hundred high-ranking Chiefs it contains more mana (authority, power, prestige, influence) than any other document in New Zealand: ‘it will not be right to let it be kept in any place where food is cooked, or where there are pots or kettles, because there are so many chiefs’ names in it; it is a very sacred piece of paper’ (‘an old Ngapuhi Chief’ cited in Caselberg, J. 1975:60).

Utilisation of Land and Sea at Matakaoa

This discussion touches briefly on some apparent differences between Maori and European perceptions of land and sea. It suggests how these differences influenced concepts of ownership and has therefore by implication influence on the investigations of ownership by the Land Court.

At the time of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi the European concept of land centred upon conspicuous utilisation, that is the alteration of landscape by clearing, cultivation, etc. Visible use suggested occupancy and by implication right of occupancy and therefore ownership. Four years after the Treaty guaranteed the Maori people 'full, exclusive and undisputed possession of their lands and estates, forests, fisheries, and other properties ... so long as it was their wish' (cited in Colenso, W. 1890:39-40) there were moves in Britain by a Select Committee to take Maori [p44] land for the Crown (see Kissling, G.A. Report of Hicks Bay for the Half-year ending July 1st 1845, CN/M 15:497). In 1846 a despatch was sent to the Governor 'to proclaim all native land, from which benefit is not derived, in terms of actual occupation and improvement, the property of the Crown' (Earl Grey, the Secretary of State to Governor Grey 23rd December 1846).

At East Cape, when the missionary Stack tried to make a road from the mission station to the Church at Rangitukia - 'almost six minutes walk': 'a number of baptised Natives opposed [him] most angrily ... because it would take up some more of their land which at the time lay wild and uncultivated' (Report to C.M.S. 17th December 1844). He also wrote:

'The favour of our cattle running upon the Natives waste land in this neighbourhood is regarded by them as a great compliment though it has been plainly stated, that for the grass that they eat the principal of the increase are expected to be given to the Lords of the soil [that is, the owners]' (ibid).

These quotations suggest a difference in Maori and European ways of perceiving land. Although the Church and settlers frustrated this attempt at land seizure by making submissions to the Governor and powerful lobbyists in the British Parliament, [8] bush-covered land continued to be viewed as 'waste land'. While Stack paid for Kahika trees with casks of powder and blankets (Paora Haenga, Te Angaanga Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:321), Charles Baker (another missionary) told his Maori congregation at Rangitukia that he (Baker):

'should not pay anything ... It had been our [the missionaries] habit to do so formerly but that now the Society expected at least co-operation ... it would be out of the question to pay for timber that cost the Natives nothing and would otherwise rot ... ' (MS 22 Notes for Journal 31st March 1855).

The owners of some suitable trees refused unless payment was given and did [p45] not relent until the Chief Mokena Kohere[9] refused to proceed with the building of St. John's Church, claiming that 'a Church without a minister was of no use' (ibid).

Accounts given by Maori claimants in the Land Court emphasise land use as a basis for rightful claims. Claimants for inland blocks often demonstrated their use of land and therefore ownership in a European context, by listing 'all the signs of occupation' (Wi Ropata, Ahirau Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:93): paa, dwelling sites,[10] sites of named houses; particular trees used for, or gifted for canoes, and in the Church building of the eighteen-fifties;[11] leases of land and the sale of trees to Pakeha for shipping spars, boat building, and fence posts; named cultivation sites of potatoes and kuumara, named sites where foodstuffs were collected from the bush - tawa, karaka, taawhara,[12] fern root, etc. and raahui erected to protect the 'crop' (cf. Taylor's account of the pole protecting the flax - see page 36); sites where food was prepared - flour ground, umu - earth ovens, and hinau berries and corn steeped in water;[13] as well as named eel, rat, and kaakaa-catching sites. By 1874 Waiapu people, namely Mokena Kohere, Mohi Turei, Henare Turangi, and Hori Karaka were advertising timber for sale (Paanui in Te Waka Maori 10th March). It was not until moves were made by the Matakaoa people to negotiate timber leases with the Government in the eighteen-nineties (at the same time the Hicks Bay people applied to have a township surveyed at Hicks Bay), probably to get money to develop the farming industry, that bush lands on the East Coast were fully appreciated by Europeans as productive units; even then only a small part of it was utilised. Nonetheless whenever pressure for land for European settlement was high the cry of waste land was renewed. In the preamble to the 1893 Native Land Purchase Bill several million acres of 'Native land' were described as 'lying idle' while, as Wiremu Komene pointed out to Seddon, ten million acres of Crown land remained unused (Proceedings [p46] of Meetings between Seddon and Natives 1894:31). The 1905 and 1909 Native Lands Acts both established a procedure whereby non-productive land, that is land not visibly utilised, came under the control of Land Boards (see page 168) with full powers to lease, mortgage, and even alienate land without the consent of Maori (judged by the Land Court) owners.

Raahui or reservations from use were placed by Chiefs over forested areas to preserve food resources. In 1874 Iharaira Te Houkamau set aside his own raahui when he ‘directed birds to be got from Potaka and Oweka to supply meeting held to celebrate the presentation of [the] Flag after the war [1874 Hui at Wharekahika]’ (Te Hati Houkamau, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:174).

Evidence of visible land use was more commonly given in later Court hearings. The investigations by the Court were to determine ownership of land and I think it is therefore probable that the evidence was tailored to fit notions of ownership which had succeeded in former cases. In the first Court hearing (1875 - Matakaoa Block) there was no reference to cultivation only the statement 'we are now in possession' (Te Hati Houkamau, Gisborne M.B. 2:125). The next sessions (1884-1886) involved detailed accounts of the crops grown and associated trade

'we cultivated ... and five boat loads of potatoes were taken from this place out to Awanui' (Paora Haenga, Pukeamaru Block, Waiapu M.B. 6:229)
'A cart and two barrelled guns were obtained for wheat grown at Karakatuwhero' (Neho Kapuka, Tututohora Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:360).

The later Court sittings (1894-1915) give even more detail. Lists of maara[14] and their owners are named:

Hotamariki ... belonged to my tipuna Matarangi down to me.

Whakawhiu ... belonged to Hohepa Karapaina under the same right as I have stated ...


Te Araroa ... belonged to Rongotukiwaho. He lived and worked on it'
(Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:1-2).

Trading practices were also recounted:

'The whole of the land this side of Orutua was sown with wheat, namely maara's Mokonui and Taumata ... the wheat was spent buying horses - were named after ancestors ... owners of horses (mare and stallion) [were] Hakopa te Ari, Te Warihi (my father), Te Kemara Rangituaroa, Ruamaro, Te Keepa Rongotukiwaho, and Hohepa te Tamakitekaha - mare "Te Ihiko", stallion "Kopuni" - foals called "Tuwhakairiora", "Hinemaru", "Hinewa", "Rerewa" ... The people of these parts were in the habit of purchasing schooners. Wheat was collected at Horoera to purchase a schooner. Mokena directed the purchase of the vessel. Everyone came to Horoera to plant wheat ... ship called "Mereana" after daughter of Te Mokena ... ship became property of Horoera people, the sailors were people of Horoera and the captain was son of Te Kemara Rangituroa' (ibid:8-9).

While maara such as Mokonui and Taumata fit readily into the European concept of cultivations, other maara, such as Te Hou, a principal fern root ground where tutu was also collected in ancient times (ibid:6), do not. It does suggest however, that bush-covered areas, coined waste land by Europeans, were viewed by Maori as producing food in much the same way as areas of more conspicuous use.

Reports of Matakaoa by European travellers, missionaries and Government officials dwell on visible land use. In 1769 Captain Cook noted that the East Cape area was 'full of plantations laid out in regular inclosures divided by fences, look'd like inclosures in England ... in general the country appeared with more fertility than we had seen before' (Cook, J. Journal 31st October in Beaglehole, E. (ed):539) thus linking fertility with conspicuous land use. Similarly in 1840 an early traveller to Wharekahika (Hicks Bay) praised the extensive hill cultivation of maize (cited in Best, E. 1925:118) and Fedarb, the trader who collected signatures for the Treaty from Opotiki to Cape Runaway, gave more details about sighting trade vessels and receiving ‘a quantity of maize from [p48] Mr Bristow’ at Waiapu (Diary MS 375:7), than the Treaty. As the cultivation of crops for trade increased, the conspicuous utilisation of land also expanded. From a European perspective the increased clearing for cultivation implied occupancy and therefore ownership. However, from a Maori perspective conspicuous occupation did not necessarily mean ownership:

'I [my ancestors] made cultivations at Whakawhitira during my stay there during the fighting, but I don't have a claim there' (Ropata Wahawaha, Aorangiwai Block Waiapu M.B.1:397)

'I can't claim land through simply living on it if I have no right to it' (Neho Kapuka, Ahomatariki Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:265).

Boundaries and traditions were given in Court to demonstrate familiarity and knowledge of the land. Boundaries were given in early Court sittings (1875) by producing a surveyor's map and naming the guide (someone of sufficient mana to be beyond reproach). Although the map of the Matakaoa Block (ML 33) stops at the sea coast it is difficult to assess whether this is by Maori directive or European convention; certainly Te Hati Houkamau suggested that Porter and Pitt (who leased Matakaoa from Iharaira Te Houkamau in 1874) arranged the boundaries:

'The real boundary goes along Wharekahika [River] ... In these days the boundaries were not definite or certain - it is only in these days that boundaries have been fixed' (Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:218-20).

fixed boundaries were new by implication fixed blocks of land, as investigated and awarded by the Land Court, were also new (see discussion in Chapters 4 and 5).


Boundaries in the 1884-1886 Court sessions continued to be delineated by maps, although several witnesses claimed they could not understand them. To demonstrate knowledge of boundaries they instead described their role in conducting the survey party.

The later Court sittings (1894-1915) for the most part involved coastal blocks. Boundaries were defined in Court by maps, but for the first time some claimants supplemented these, or defined smaller areas within the larger block being investigated, by reciting ancestral boundaries. These boundaries are always recorded as running along the sea coast:

'RUAWAIPU's boundary is from the Whangaparaoa, along the Raukumara which is inside the boundary, along Tangihanga portion which is excluded, thence along Whakaangiangi boundary, then along Maraehara Stream to mouth of Waiapu River, thence back along the coastline' (Waiheke Tureia, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 40:134).

Traditions recounted in Court named landmarks and related events (often encapsulated in the name) associated with them - when Tamakoro and others came to avenge their brother Pungawerewere's death:

'They went to Otawhao [South of the Awatere River] ... they killed a man there called Tuteuruao ... thinking he was of Ngaoho. It is said they cooked him. The place is called Te Umuotuteuruao' (Manahi Parapara, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 41-49).

As with land, and more especially bush-covered land, Maori and European perceptions of waterways - sea, lakes, rivers and streams, differ. European accounts generally ignored waterways unless right of use was disputed - in the early eighteen-forties a coastal whaling vessel put into Te Kawakawa (now known as Te Araroa) for a supply of water: ‘The Natives demanded payment for the water; when the Captain refused the people seized [his casks] ... and took them away' (Kissling, G.A. Report to C.M.S., Hicks Bay 1844). This incident clearly shows that for Europeans waterways are [p50] viewed as a resource open to all-comers; unlike bush-covered 'waste' land however, the sea cannot be owned below the high water mark (Northey, J. (ed) 1980:456). Under the same riparian rights the non-tidal part of rivers and streams are owned by the owner of the bank beside the river up to the middle of the stream (ibid:459).

In 1858 the whaling station near Te Araroa was abandoned as the local Maori people 'could not see what right the Pakehas had to kill whales swimming in their waters' [my emphasis] (Baker, W. cited in Oliver, W. and Thomson, J. 1971:74). Although there is little evidence given in the Land Court about waterways, since ownership of land and not sea was being investigated, the contention that Maori people 'owned' the sea is supported. As previously noted when boundaries of coastal blocks were recited in Court the coastline was given as the boundary. Nevertheless lists of maara included eel fishing grounds (Waiheke Tureia, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 40:105) and raahui were placed over land and sea alike:

'Iharaira set up a 'rahui' at mouth of stream to prevent people netting kahawai, and infringing
old Native customs' (Te Hati Houkamau, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:171

'No fishing canoes [were allowed] to places between Whakatiri and Potikirua ... without permission ... only when war canoes passed that the tapus were not recognised' (ibid:217)

There is some indication of a correspondence between harvesting land and sea resources - crops grown on inland blocks were supplied to local Maori whalers who in turn 'when whales were caught and sold ... gave some of the money ... to us' (Paora Haenga, Pukeamaru Block, Waiapu M.B. 6:230). When traditions which include fishing grounds were recounted, they were named and events associated with them related in the same way as landmarks:


'The principal fishing ground [at Matakaoa] was called Kaiaho - name also of a fish found there. According to tradition fish was a pet fish. The fish and fishing-ground belonged to Te Aitanga-a-Tuiti' (Manahi Parapara, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 41:44).

Mussel rocks in the sea were also named and owned -

'Otuarapoki [at] J the mussel rock in the sea belongs to you'

(Karaitiana Pakura, Pohautea Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:349), however Neho Kopuka makes the point that 'shell-fish rocks were apportioned but there was no division of the fishing grounds' (Tututohora Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:363). What appears to be emerging from this discussion is that family groups (smaller than hapuu) 'owned' shell fish rocks in much the same way as kuumara cultivations, while fishing grounds were 'owned' by larger groups - Te Aitanga-a-Tuiti in our example which included several hapuu. In contrast the European concept of ownership through use revolved around the individual, and land.

The Maori traditions echo a view of 'ownership' of both land and sea. Although boundaries are given as the coastline and fishing places are referred to, in one case, as outside the block (Karaitiana Pakura, Pohautea Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:354), this may have been a deliberate attempt to keep the sea outside the jurisdiction of the Land Court. It is more probable however, that this was an adaptation of the Maori view to accommodate European notions of land use in order to prove ownership of land in Court.

Aftermath of the Treaty

The Treaty of Waitangi gave the Crown exclusive right of land purchase in New Zealand. For this reason all land which passed from Maori control, even gifts, became the property of the Crown; it was then over to the Crown to sell the land or transfer its rights to the recipient of the land gift. All land acquired prior to the signing of the Treaty was subject to investigation by Land Claims Commissioners, who gave public notification of [p52] hearings in the New Zealand Gazette. Under Governor Fitzroy a newspaper in the Maori language had been established by the Government. Te Karere o Niu Tireni was principally used for proclamations by the Governor to the Maori people, although some letters to the Governor from Maori Chiefs, residents of Northland and Auckland, were also published. The Land Claims Commissions were advertised only in the English newspaper which suggests that these investigations were primarily for Europeans with little consideration of Maori opposition, in fact, theoretically at least since news of the hearing could be transmitted orally, land could be brought before the Commissioners without the knowledge of Maori owners. The Commissioners were solely responsible for the protection of Maori interests, but as employees of a European Government (which had no Maori representation) in which many of the land claimants were politically powerful, their protection had obvious limitations.

In 1842 Land Commissioner Godfrey advised that two claims to land near the East Cape would be investigated at Tauranga. Neither of the claims were investigated and while there is no indication in the Old Land Claims File (held at National Archives) why this was so, it is likely that the Commissioners (Godfrey and Richmond - see page 18) were kept so busy with Northland claims that they never arrived at Tauranga. Two years later a further advertisement was given, this time they were investigated.

The first claim considered was Captain William Stewart's five hundred acres at East Cape, known as 'Warika Hika'. Although the boundaries were not given the block was alleged to have been bought by the claimant in 1825 from the Chiefs 'Takaioki, To Toerangi and Purahaki'. A quantity of merchandise of unstated value was given to the Chiefs, who in turn gave a 'native' ornament as proof of the sale (New Zealand Gazette 27th January 1844:33).

The second claim was more substantial - Frederick Whitaker claimed two thousand acres at East Cape; bounded on the north-east by the sea and on all [p53] other sides by land owned by 'natives'. Thomas Bateman was alleged to have purchased the block for merchandise worth £100 sterling from the Chiefs 'Katakekapu and Katekititiriki' in 1839 (ibid:32). In an explanatory letter to the Commissioner, Whitaker stated that:

'neither the precise date of the conveyance nor the particular articles given as the consideration can be stated in consequence of the writing recording the original having been lost when the schooner, Trent, the property of Captn Thos Bateman was driven on shore in Coromandel Harbour' (29th August 1844 in O.L.C. 510).

Both claims were dismissed as claimants failed to produce further evidence, or to appear before the Commission (O.L.C. 963 and O.L.C. 510).

The earliest effective land transaction between Maori and European took place in 1843 at Hicks Bay (Te Araroa):

'the Chief Hou ka mou offered to give [the Church Missionary Society] a piece of his land,[15] which closely adjoined the Pa of Kawakawa about five minutes walk from the Chapel. On the following day, a paper was drawn up in which that land is formally transferred to Her Majesty, and after its having been repeatedly read in the audience of the people, the Chief Hou ka mou signed the Document, and the principal men of the Pa witnessed his signature ... ' (Kissling, Rev. G.A. letter to Bishop Selwyn, 4th February 1843, MS 273 Vol 6:91).

The transaction illustrates that although a Chief could initiate and negotiate land proceedings for the welfare of his people, the final consent rested with public sanction. The Commissions of Inquiry held in 1856, 1871, and 1891 (see Chapter 2 pages 20, 27 and Chapter 4 pages 145, 146) have all focused upon the Chief's power to veto sale or gift of land, but this transaction suggests that negotiations were often initiated by Chiefs, however on the East Coast at least, the ultimate decision rested with the people - a reciprocal balance of power.

The deed of transfer for this block (pages 54 and 55) suggests that the missionary Kissling or a trader under his direction wrote it.

The Deed of Transfer of Te Aroaro

E te KAWANA o NU TIRANI e noho ana kei Aukarana kia rongo

mai i taku pukapuka e tuhituhi atu nei ahau ki a koe.

Tenei taku wahi wenua ki Warekahika ka tuku atu ahau
aianei ki a koe e te KAWANA ma KUINI WIKITORIA kia whakahokia
Pihopa no Niu Tireni me nga Pihopa i muri tonu
mai e koe kia te Kihiringi i tuhia pakehatia tona ingoa
mai o te Hahi o Ingarani ake tonu atu.
The Revd. George Adam Kissling, manama te Komiti o te
Hahi Mihingere hui huinga i Ingarangi ma te hoa minita hoki
o te Hahi o Ingarangi e noho ai ki te Kawakawa i muri i a te
a mua tonu atu Kihiringi

Tenei te ritenga o taku wahi wenua ko te Aroaro tana
ingoa - naku pu ake ano na te Hou-ka-mau ko toku ingoa,
kei te tini o te pakeha ko te Kiwi, e rangatira ahau no te
wanau o Tuwakairiora. Ko te ritenga o te Aroaro. Kei te
tahu Marangai e wa rau pea o nga putu. Ko te roa o te taha
kei te Tonga e iwa rau pea o nga putu - Ko te roa kei te
taha o te Tuawenua e rua rau e wa te kau o nga putu - Ko
te roa o te taha kei te Hauauru e waru rau a nga putu. -
Ko te rohe o te taha Tuawenua ko Pukemanuka - Ko te rohe o
te taha Tonga ko Kohukohupaua. Ko te rohe kei te taha
Hauauru ko te Upoko - Ko te rohe kei te taha o Marangai
ko te moana nui i huaina nei e te pakeha Ikihipei (Hick's


E te KAWANA o NU TIRANI ka tuku a utu korerotia atu te
Aroaro e ahau kia korua ko KUINI WIKITORIA kia wakahokia mai

e keo ki a te Kihiringi mana, ma te Komiti e te Huihuinga o
te Hahi o Ingarangi ma te Minita o te Hahi o Ingarangi e noho
ai ki te Kawakawa i muri i a te Kihiringi me nga Minita i muri
tonu mai o te Hahi o Ingarangi ake tonu atu. Ekore e ahei
te wakahokia mai ki ahau, ki aku tamariki, ki aku wanaunga
amua tonu atu.

Ko te tohu tenei o taku tukunga utu koretanga wenua
kia korua ko KUINI WIKITORIA koia tenei ko taku ingoa ka
tuhituhi atu nei ahau ki tenei pukapuka i te Aroaro o etahu
o aku hoa rangatira ke te Kawakawa i tenei ra ko tahi te kau
ma witu o te marama Hanuere, i te tau kotahi mano, e waru
rau, e iwa te kau ma toru o nga tau o to tatou Ariki.


Na matou i kite i te tuhituhinga o te
Hou-ka-mau - ki tenei pukapuka.

Te ra ao E Rangatira no te wanau te Uru wahi Kamira Paratene
E Rangatira no te wanau o Rerekohu. Mani Pani. E Rangatira
no te wanau o Ineawe. Hone Timo. E Rangatira no Ngapuhi.

Selwyn Papers MS273 'corrected' typescript Vol 6:93-4). [16]


The deed emphasises that the land was gifted - 'te utu kore' (no payment) and should be transferred by the Crown - 'te Kawana o Nu Tireni Korua ko Kuini Wikitoria' to the Bishop of the Church of England. The area is measured in feet - 'Kei te Marangai e wa rau pea o nga putu' (about four hundred feet East), while the boundaries are given as single compass sightings from surrounding land. From the alterations on the document there appears to have been some difficulty in defining precise boundaries, which again hints (cf. page 48) that fixed boundaries were a new, introduced concept. The name Te Aroaro which means face or front (Williams, H. 1975:16) probably indicates its location on the sea coast (near the present day township of
Te Araroa), but it may also symbolise a face or turning towards the 'new world' or Christianity. The effects of the Ngaa Puhi musket raids on local attitudes to the Church, and the first contact between William Williams and the East Coast people in 1834, when he returned Rukuata (see page 34), must not be underestimated. The gift of land to the Church ensured the presence of a mission station which brought peace. In 1844 an adultery dispute between two groups resident at Te Kawakawa escalated into a declaration of war. Details of the dispute include that in recompense for 'breaking the 7th Commandment' the offender's pigs were killed and part of his tribe's plantations were also destroyed. According to recipients of this action the recompense extracted was excessive, so they responded by firing ‘a volley of guns towards the house of the Chief’ and ‘very active preparations were made by both parties for hostile attack and defence’ (Kissling, Report for the Year 1845, Hicks Bay, CN/M 15:329). Kissling invited the principal fighting men of each side to meet to discuss their grievances in front of his own house:

'to describe the fierceness with which they eyed each other is next to impossible, suffice it to say my faith almost forsook me, my heart trembled for the consequences of having brought these hostile parties into so close a contact' (ibid:501).


He gave an address on the evil effects of war, and then both parties addressed one another 'dwelling at some length on the points they considered themselves aggrieved' (ibid:501). Kissling, believing this course was likely to inflame the situation, interfered saying:

'"What is the good of your long talk, arise and make peace! As moved by the touch of a secret spring, they all jumped upon their legs, gave each other the hand, rubbed noses together and exclaimed, "it is finished!" ' (ibid)

although the Chief and ‘leading warrior’ of the other side kept apart. Kissling took the latter to the Chief; they rubbed noses and though Kissling observed a few unfriendly feelings, the dispute was effectively settled.

Although the warfare between Hoani Heke and Governor Fitzroy at Kororareka did not directly involve the Waiapu people there was 'painful suspense and anxiety' at Te Kawakawa (ibid:496). Some of the residents there, were closely related to the people of the Bay of Islands (ibid). Rumour from the North suggested to the Te Kawakawa residents at least, that the British Government intended to take the land of 'innocent and guilty alike' for the Crown (cf. Earl Grey's 1846 despatch advising Governor Grey to proclaim all ‘waste land’ the property of the Crown). For this reason the Te Kawakawa people sent messengers in search of further information and consultations with neighbouring tribes were held to decide the line of policy to be adopted (ibid). The missionaries' attempts to conduct a census of the Maori population in 1845 were treated with suspicion (ibid:500) and Kissling's trip to Auckland early in 1846 for medication, was rumoured to be a ruse to fetch soldiers to take Maori land (Stack, J. Report, 25th July 1846, CN/M 16:456), although the Te Kawakawa people claimed that 'no-one shall come in Mr Kissling's place if he is not sent back' (Stack, J. to the C.M.S. letter 14th July 1846, CN/M 16:457).[17]

In 1851 McLean (or Te Makarini as he was known to the Maori people), the Government's Chief Land Purchase Commissioner, went to Poverty Bay (McKay, J. 1949:177) determined to procure land for settlement before it became too expensive (Memo, 15th June 1854 in Official Correspondence 1883:50). Four years later he called a meeting of 'natives' to discuss land purchase on the East Coast. Some one hundred Maori people arrived on horseback, dressed in European attire (Te Karere Maori 1st February 1855). Unfortunately little else was recorded but the Government newspaper's report was probably being used to illustrate the East Coast people's acceptance and rapid assimilation to a European way of life. From a Maori viewpoint the horses and European attire were also a statement, probably concerning their competence to operate in the Pakeha world, and their equivalent status with Europeans. McLean's subsequent report to the Governor noted that:

'several extensive tracts could possibly be purchased in the Eastern District if there was
an officer to negotiate with the Natives, and others to carry out surveys ... '
(21st April 1856 in Official Correspondence 1883:54).

In 1859 Commissioner Dillon Bell travelled to Turanga (Gisborne) to investigate claims under the 1856 Land Claims Settlement Act. Governor Fitzroy had refused to waive the Crown's pre-emptive right of purchase in this area therefore all land in Turanga was under 'native' title except for a small piece sold to the Resident Magistrate and the site of Bishop Williams' Industrial School. Several meetings were held by the local Maori people where it was discussed whether to appear before Bell 'lest by doing so they should compromise the position they had assumed towards the settlers' (Memo Bell, F.D. 24th February 1860, AJHR 1862 E-1:5). A principal seller confessed to having wrongfully sold land and it was resolved by the meeting to repossess all such land (ibid). On Bell's arrival in Turanga the Maori people applied to have all land that had been bought without the sanction of [p59] the Government 'investigated', but Bell stated that he did not possess the required authority (ibid). The Maori people then declared their intention to repossess the land and when Bell objected in lieu of the improvements made by settlers, he was asked to assess their value. For fear their own witnesses would repudiate the sales, the settlers refused to bring forward their land claims. As a result claims were partially investigated or postponed (Turton 1883:640; 643-5) and Bell concluded that there was 'no prospect of making a settlement' (Memo, Bell, F.D. ibid:6).

Bell's account suggests a difference between Maori and European perceptions of land sales. For Maori people the concept of tika which means 'natural' or within the proper order of things (Johansen, P. 1954:172) is at stake. It will be recalled that my discussion of the Treaty of Waitangi touched on the concept of Kaitiaki, who preserve the natural order of things and keep them within their proper sphere. This implies that everything, of whatever kind, has its own nature. When it manifests that nature, patterns itself upon its own nature, and follows its proper course then it is tika, it is 'correct' (Johansen, P. 1954:172-6). Should the 'natural' or 'correct' (tika) order of things be disrupted the Kaitiaki ensured that balance was restored. Combined with this the missionaries had taught that repentance and confession of wrongdoing brought about complete absolution. The application to ‘ínvestigate’ land sales, which took place contrary to Government law (by the Treaty of Waitangi the Crown had pre-emptive right of land purchase), must be considered within this frame of reference. In a sense the repudiation of wrongfully conducted land sales was an affirmation of the Law which united the two peoples (Maori and Pakeha) in the physical realm (see page 41). This sphere was watched over, cared for (tiaki) by the Governor. Bell as the representative of the Governor was asked to 'correct', restore the natural order between the two peoples.

From a European perspective the repudiation of land sales implied an [p60] attempt at fraud. Bell, as an employee of a Government interested in extending European settlement, was expected to confirm settler claims and issue grants to land.

When the Maori people realised that Bell intended to uphold the land sales they withdrew their co-operation - refused to allow surveys (without which Bell could not issue grants to land) and the Commissioner became ineffectual. The survey pegs may have been interpreted by the Turanga people as raahui posts, which warn people against trespassing in the case of tapu (sacred restriction), or for temporary protection of fruit, birds, fish, etc. (Williams, H. 1975:321). A raahui is a statement that land or resources under its influence are controlled by the individual who erected it, which is similar in many respects to the European concepts associated with survey pegs, titles to land, and ownership. The difference lies in that, according to Best, for Maori people raahui gained their efficacy from the gods and anyone setting them aside ran the risk of spiritual repercussions (1954:25-26), whereas for Europeans, repercussions of trespass operated on the physical level only.

In the introductory chapter I suggested that a common ground of interpretation is necessary for peaceable, intelligible interaction between cultures. In this situation the disjunction between the two cultures' interpretations of one another's actions was so marked that no exchange could properly take place. As was previously suggested, Old Land Claims Commissions were held principally for Europeans with little consideration of Maori opposition. In their proceedings the Commissioners alone were responsible for the protection of Maori interests. Bell may have been expected to act as 'cultural arbiter' but his lack of understanding of the Maori view of the situation, probably exacerbated by his inability to speak Maori, clearly made this impossible.

II The Treaty of Kohimaarama

'our old people used to point to the hills as being our land, these cultivations were used at the time of the meeting at Kohimarama'
(Paora Haenga, Pukeamaru Block, Waiapu M.B. 6:229)

The Conference at Kohimaarama

The three East Coast Chiefs who attended the Kohimaarama Conference were Te Irimana Houturangi, Wi Pahuru, and Wikiriwhi Matehenoa, all of Wharekahika. Te Irimana Houturangi opened his address to the Governor with a proverb - 'he korero tipua' which referred to the isolation of his district:

'"Ko tahi kainga toku whenua, ko Waimahuru te ingoa". E kore nga tangata o taua whenua e
rongo i te korero: no tenei tau i te korerotia nga korero ki nga kainga katoa, kia wha, kia rima
tau, ka tahi ano nga tangata o taua kainga ka rongo; no te mea ko te huarahi kei te taha ki utu, ko tetahi kei te moana, hoea ai na te waka
- "There is a place in my district called Waimahuru". The natives of that place never hear any news. News which is heard in all the settlements this year will not reach that place for the next four or five years. The reason is this: the high road passes the village a long way inland; the other way is by sea in canoes ... '
(in Te Karere Maori 31st July 1860:29).

After obliquely emphasising his own (and his district's) inexperience in the Pakeha world:

'Ko te Pakeha kua tae noa mai kei nga whenua katoa ... kahore e rongona ki taua whenua ...
Long after the Pakeha arrived at most native districts ... my district was still uninformed' (ibid:29)

he complimented the Governor for his invitation:

'Na tana karangatanga i nga rangatira kia haere mai ki te whakarongo i ana korero, ka tahi ano matou ka haere mai: ka kite i a te Kawana, ka rongo hoki i ana korero
- It is his invitation to the Chiefs to come and listen [p62] to his words which has brought us here, and now we have seen him and heard him speak' (ibid:29). [18]

Later in the Conference, following a fiery speech by another Chief concerning the Taranaki dispute, Te Irimana Houturangi emphasised the peace and prosperity brought to his area by the Governor and the missionaries (ibid 3rd August 1860:6). He spoke against warfare and pointed out that well-being, life, perhaps even the continuance of the Maori people - 'oranga mo o koutou tinana' was more readily gained by producing food from the land:

'He tini nga rakau e karohia ana; kotahi ano rakau e kore e taea te karo - werohia ki te
whenua kotahi mano kete i te tau; ka werohia ano, e rua mano kete i te tau kotahi

- There are many weapons that may be warded off, but there is one that cannot. Pierce the soil
with it, and it produces one thousand kits (of food) in one year. Pierce the land again, and it
produces two thousand kits (of food)' (ibid:6).

This was in fact, exactly what Ngaati Porou of Wharekahika were doing in this period:

By 1847 one fourteen ton schooner, the Diana, was registered under the names of Kiwi and Tame,[19] two Ngaati Porou of Wharekahika (New Zealand Gazette, 26th August 1847). In 1849 a Hicks Bay trader told William Williams that 'no less than £l,200 worth of property passed into the hands of the natives from him alone in the purchase of wheat and maize' (Journal 27th July 1849). It is therefore clear that traditional Maori expertise in cultivation and navigation were being turned to advantage. The people of Matakaoa were quick to realise that trade goods were just as readily obtained for produce as by the sale of land. By 1852 the monthly shipping returns show that trade was flourishing. Produce from both the land and sea (whale products) were exported from the East Coast to Auckland:


A Return of all Vessels entered INWARDS at the Port of Auckland

Date of Entry Vessel No. of Tons Master No. of Men Whence
February 1852Antelope 35 Sturleyi 4 East Coast 52 casks sperm oil 20 tons N.Z. caught
 Mendlesham35Read 3East Cape600 bushels maize N.Z.
 Mary Anne20Davis 5East Coast6 tons onions, N.Z.
 Antelope 35 Sturleyi 4 East Coast75 casks, 25 tons sperm oil, 3 cwt.Ambergris
 Ira16Waddy2Poverty Bay100 bushels wheat,2 tons onions N.Z.
 Mary Anne 20 Mo-Kena5East Cape6 tons onions N.Z.
March 1852Louisa25Hautanga20East Cape200 baskets onions,20 baskets wheat
 Julia36Bristow4East Coast100 bushels wheat,400 bushels maize, N.Z.and sundries
 Mendlesham20Atkins4East Coast500 bushels wheat,100 bushels maize,N.Z.and sundries
 Antelope35Sturley4East Coast18 tons sperm oil, 200 bushels wheat, 7 cases apples,N.Z. etc.
 William20 Godden2East Cape500 bushels wheat, 2 tons onions, 3 casks pork
 Ben Lomond 35 Campbell 3 East Cape 600 bushels wheat, 40 bushels corn, 2½ tons potatoes, ½ ton onions, 2½ tons fish
 Rose Ann 24 Ryan 3 East Coast 5 casks pork, 600 bushels wheat, 400 bushels maize, 1 keg lard, N.Z.
 Mary Anne[20] 20 Mo-Kena 5 Russell 2 horses, 10 hives of bees, N.Z
April 1852 Sarah Jane 17 Paora 2 East Cape 500 bushels wheat
 East Cape 18 Rihana 3 East Cape 500 bushels wheat
 Ira 16 Waddy 2 Poverty Bay 300 bushels wheat, 50 bushels maize, 1½ tons pork, N.Z.
May 1852 Louisa 23 Hautonga 6 East Cape 400 bushels wheat N.Z.
 Water Witch 10 Jones 2 East Coast 150 bushels maize N.Z.
 Mendlesham 35 Atkins 3 East Coast 600 bushels wheat,100 bushels maize N.Z
 Antelope 35 Sturley 4 East Coast 900 bushels wheat, 4 tons sperm oil, N.Z
 Ophelia 25 Simpkins 3 East Coast 750 bushels wheat, 1 box curiosities N.Z.
(New Ulster Government Gazette 1852:60, 84 and 98).


The Maori masters on this Shipping Return were Chiefs - Mokena Kohere, Hautonga Porourangi, Paora (of Turanganui? Williams, W. Journal 25th April 1854) and Rihana (Te Rei Huna?). Their control of the entire operation allowed maximum benefit for the Waiapu people in economic profit as well as mana for their respective hapuu. Most of the other masters were resident traders - Atkins, Bristow, and Waddy. The control of East Coast trade by 'locals' probably indicates dissatisfaction with earlier (1840's) trading practices on the East Coast. In 1845 the missionary, Kissling, condemned the high prices charged by 'Coast vessels' - blankets costing 5/6 in England cost 16/- on the East Coast and flour selling for £10 per ton in Auckland cost £22 per ton on the East Coast (Letter to C.M.S. 3rd March). Communications between European settlement and Hicks Bay were 'so rare that six months may elapse before an opportunity occurs' (ibid); so the Chief, Iharaira Te Houkamau[21] settled at Wharekahika 'on account of the frequency of vessels going to that place under adverse winds' (Kissling, G.A. Report to C.M.S. for Year 1844).

Relations between proprietors of coasting vessels and the East Cape people deteriorated. In 1855 an attempt was made by the people of Rangitukia to seize some of Atkins [22] trade-goods in payment for a promissory note issued several years earlier by a passing trader for wheat (Baker, C. Notes for Journal MS 22).

At the end of the month-long Conference at Kohimaarama a number of resolutions were passed concerning Taranaki, but as confusion arose during the voting, Chiefs were asked to give their consent by signature (compare the Treaty of Waitangi). None of the East Cape Chiefs appear to have signed this document, however their views were expressed in the letters required by the Governor at the opening of the Conference.

After spelling out the Maori view of the relationship between the Maori people and the Queen of England (see pages 37-43) and reminding the[p65] Governor of the impossibility of returning to the old ways (Te Irimana Houturangi to Governor Gore Brown, 16th July 1860 in Te Karere Maori 30th November 1860:48), Te Irimana Houturangi chided the Governor for his actions at Taranaki

'Kahore ano nga iwi ke i tae noa mai ki te whakamate i enei iwi e rua, ko raua ano e ngangau nei kia raua ano i te aroaro o nga kaitiaki; rite toru ki toku ahua o mua kahore nei oku kaitiaki ...
Kihai nei i riro ma nga iwi ke e whakamate, riro tonu mau e whakamate. He aha te painga o au korero ka kitea nei hoki tou tututanga ki te tangata, ki te whenua?

- No foreigner has come to destroy these two races, but they are found quarrelling between themselves, even in the presence of their protectors. It is precisely the same as in the days of old, when I had no guardian ...

It was not left for the foreigner to destroy them, but you took upon yourself to do it. What is the good of your talking while it is seen that you are quarrelling both about the people and the land?' (ibid:48).

He suggested that the difficulty between the two peoples was the direct result of the wrong purchasing of land - 'he hoko he i te whenua' (ibid), and called on the Governor to 'properly' (tika) conduct his care-taking (tiaki) of the two peoples - 'kia tika to tiaki i nga iwi e rua me tau whakahaere tikanga ki nga tangata' (ibid), and his purchase of land (ibid). After lamenting the inevitability of war, given that the Taranaki land dispute involved (Ariki) Chiefs - Te Rangitake and the Governor - and not lesser Chiefs, and there was therefore little hope of mediation without bloodshed, the East Coast Chiefs shifted to matters of more immediate concern to themselves: The Chiefs Wi Pahuru and Wikiriwhi te Matehenoa stated that:

'nga Pakeha o to matou kainga kia kipitia te moni mo a matou kai
- the European traders of our district keep back the money for our produce ... '(Letter to Governor Gore Brown 17th July 1860 in Te Karere Maori 30th November 1860:51)


and Te Irimana Houturangi requested the Governor to make regulations for trade between Maori and Pakeha on the East Coast as:

'Ko te moni e tukua mai ana e aua Pakeha nei utu mo a matou kai, ko te hanga kakahu pirau e rukea ake nei i te taone nei, na ratou pea i hamu i ketuketu i roto i nga akahanga waewae o te hanga tini kaumatua Pakeha e noho nei i te taone ...
- The only money which those Pakehas give us for our produce is the rotten clothes which are rejected in town; apparently what they have picked up out of the rubbish trodden on by the feet of all the Pakeha merchants in town ... '(Letter to Governor Gore Brown, 16th July 1860 ibid:49).

Throughout the texts and anecdotes cited from this conference, including those used in the discussion of the Treaty of Waitangi, the 'protective' (tiaki) role of the Governor - the representative or mauri of the Queen for the physical well-being of the two peoples, was emphasised. My discussion of tika (see page 59) suggested that when the 'natural' (tika) order of things was disrupted, then the kaitiaki responsible for the welfare of that realm, would restore the balance. The East Coast Chiefs in their statements at Kohimaarama were calling on the Governor to do just that. However the Governor, who was supposed to be 'protecting' the two races from foreigners - 'nga iwi ke' (see page 41) was himself involved in the land dispute. The growing seriousness of the difficulties, Te Irimana Houturangi suggested, resulted from this involvement (16th July 1860 letter:49). There appears to be an ethical premise that trouble follows 'incorrect' behaviour, and although the correlation (that is, the occurrence of the words within the same sentence) between the words kino (or hara) and mate is low, they suggest that mate - misfortune, death follows from kino/hara - wrongdoing, sin. The texts also suggest that the converse ora -well-being, life follows from tika - correct, proper, or natural behaviour.

For the Chiefs, the Treaty of Kohimaarama (like the Treaty of Waitangi), confirmed their mana - in 1879 Ngaati Porou claimed their right to run their [p67] own affairs was confirmed by it (Gudgeon, W. AJHR G-l:6). For the Governor, and therefore the Government, the conference probably confirmed British rule. The differences in interpretation must have been obvious to McLean, who was accustomed to operating in both worlds, and as Orange, C. (1980:76-77) has suggested, his careful manipulation of the language would have encouraged the Chiefs to continue in their belief in a 'protective' (tiaki) and benevolent Monarch.

The Land Wars

It will be recalled that despite the Kohimaarama Conference the confrontation at Taranaki grew and spread to the East Coast. As in 1845 (after the 'sacking' of Kororareka), rumour was rife that the Government intended to seize the land of tribes who had remained peaceful to offset the war in Taranaki (Te Manuhiri Tuarangi 1st March 1861:5). For this reason, when the East Coast people were asked by Wiremu Kingi te Rangitake for assistance at Taranaki, they replied that 'it was necessary for them to remain at home and take care of their own land' (Wardell, H.S. Report 20th September 1861 in AJHR 1862 E-7:31). As a result of the conflict Gore Brown was recalled to Britain and Sir George Grey was reappointed.

Soon after Grey's arrival, he defined ruunanga districts by proclamation throughout the North Island. Among other local issues, each ruunanga was to register all land in its district, and settle all land disputes (Te Karere Maori 16th December 1861:8). In 1862 the Waiapu Ruunanga district, stretching from Te Kaha to Hikurangi was proclaimed, and William Baker was sent to become its first Resident Magistrate (ibid 12th January 1862:19). Mokena Kohere [23] was appointed the principal Assessor for this district, and smaller groups - 'Hundreds' each with its own Assessor and Warden were also established. In all, there were three ruunanga 'hundreds' in the Matakaoa district - at Wharekahika with Iharaira Te Houkamau as the Assessor, at Te Kawakawa with Wikiriwhi Mateha (Matehenoa)[p68] as the Assessor, and at Rangitukia with Mokena Kohere as the Assessor (AJHR 1863 E-4:40-41). Given that every one of these Assessors were leading Chiefs of the Matakaoa district, 'Grey's ruunanga system' merely reinforced an existent scheme of Maori self-government.

On his arrival, Baker emphasised the two sets of duty of mankind - ‘that towards God and that towards man’ (Journal MS 22 3rd December 1861). As the son of the former Rangitukia missionary (1854-57), Charles Baker, his appointment was a restatement of the two sorts of protection - spiritual and physical - provided by the Queen (see pages 38-41), and not
surprisingly he was greeted with great eagerness by the Maori people 'to live under the shadow of the Queen' (Baker, W. Report 3rd January 1862 in AJHR 1862 E-9:4). They treated anything which appeared to affect their land however, with extreme suspicion, and frequently stated that 'they would rather die than part with any of their territory' (ibid:5). It follows that Baker's negotiations to buy land for the Magistrate's residence at Rangitukia, although initiated by the people, were conducted with the greatest caution (ibid). In spite of this, one party, who declared themselves supporters of the King Movement, asserted that the payment made to Assessors was 'bait' intended to ensure the sale or surrender of land (Baker, W. Report 17th February 1862 ibid:7). Feelings ran so high that Bishop Williams, a man highly respected by Ngaati Porou, had to intervene. In the same month, Te Mokena rebuked Matutaera's[24] assertion that all Maori people wanted him for their King (letters to Waikato enclosed in Baker's Report 25th March 1862 in AJHR 1863 E-4:44), and a small party of Ngaati Porou marched to a 'Native hakari' (feast) under a King flag. Many vehement speeches, expressing indignation at Matutaera's presumption ('whakahihi') in assuming greater powers and rank than the grandchildren of Hinematioro and Te Rangitemoana,[25] were made, and it was seriously considered whether to set up Henare Potae (a direct descendant of Hinematioro) as a [p69] rival King (Baker, W. Report 3rd June 1862 ibid:49).

By November 1862 tension between 'Kingites' and 'Kuupapa' on the Coast was mounting. In most historical accounts it has been assumed that kuupapa referred to Government supporters or 'friendlies'. The term kuupapa means (1) lying flat, (2) stooping, (3) going stealthily, (4)
remaining quiet or being passive, (5) being neutral (Williams, H. 1975:157). Williams noted that the people of Waiapu 'call[ed] themselves always "kupapa" as being partisans of neither side' (W.L. 2nd February 1864 in AJHR 1864 E-3:22) and to begin with some Matakaoa groups were literally neutral rather than pro-Government. It was Baker's reports which first suggested a Government side in opposition to the King Movement. Anxious to find support for his position (like the Land Commissioners, cf. Bell at Turanga in 1859, Resident Magistrates probably had little chance of carrying out their duties without the assistance of local Chiefs), he probably interpreted the zeal given by one party to 'baiting' King Movement supporters,[26] combined with their lack of protest (or silence) against the Government, as confirmation and therefore support of Government policies. In a Maori context silence more often means disagreement. A more likely interpretation is that factions developed, probably between previous antagonists, and in the delicate situation that developed, the Chiefs were anxious not to compromise their position with the Government (Williams, W.L. ibid), and Baker was not criticised.

Significantly the cultivation of introduced crops was abandoned, and great quantities of storable foodstuffs, such as taro and kuumara were planted (Baker, W. to McLean, D. 10th November 1862, McLean Papers MS 32, folder 149), probably in preparation for war. Aware of the mounting dissension in Ngaati Porou, and concerned by the possibility of the Government seeking recompense by land confiscation, as in Taranaki, for the 'Kohuru' - murder of Pakeha, Te Mokena asked the Governor to remove [p70] all Pakeha (his tribe) from the East Coast (letter 9th June 1863 in Te Karere Maori 28th September 1863:6-7). In August 1863, a party of Ngaati Porou returned from the Waikato with 'exaggerated accounts' of Pakeha losses and an invitation to join Waikato in driving away the Pakeha (Mohi Turei to Bishop Williams, 1st February 1864 in AJHR 1864 E-3:20). Although rumours concerning the Queen's intention to confiscate all 'native' land grew (ibid), and the King Movement gained support on the East Coast, at East Cape the ruunanga restated their loyalty to the Queen: 'belief in God for the inside and the laws of the Queen for the outside' (letter 12th October 1863 ibid:8). The Maori version is not available but the words roto (inside) and waho (outside) were probably used. Again we see the differentiation between the two 'sides' of people - spiritual (inside) and physical (outside) which were important in the interpretation suggested earlier of the Queen as the Kaitiaki of the two tribes (Maori and Pakeha).

On the surface these declarations of loyalty to the Queen suggest that Ngaati Porou Chiefs supported all Government policy, but consideration of the Chiefs' comments at Kohimaarama clearly shows that dealings with Europeans over local trade and over land (at Taranaki) were not acceptable. Given the confiscations of land carried out in other districts under the 1863 New Zealand Settlements Act, these declarations may well have been tactics adopted to safeguard Ngaati Porou territory from confiscation. Neutrality posed no threat to either side - Government or King Movement, and at the same time it kept open their possible role as mediators. In March 1864 an attempt was made to do just that: a party of Ngaati Porou Chiefs went to Auckland to try to persuade the Governor to make peace ('hohou rongo') (Clark, E. to Smith, T. Smith Papers MS 283, folder 11), but by November their territory was proclaimed 'a district which had supplied combatants on the rebel side' (Heaphy, C. Map AJHR 1864 E-9) and [p71] therefore subject to confiscation.

Three months later Patara [27] and Kereopa, exponents of the 'new religion', Paimarire, travelled through the Eastern districts of the North Island to rally support for the King. When they arrived at Opotiki, the missionary, Volkner, was proclaimed 'a spy' and put to death. In a sense this accusation was true, as Government officials and missionaries, including Volkner, wrote regular reports to the Native Department about the activities (especially of King adherents) in their districts (correspondence in Smith, T.H. Papers MS 283). As soon as the news of Volkner's death reached Wharekahika, the Ruunanga wrote to the people of Turanga (including Bishop Williams), disclaiming all involvement in the killing:

'ka nui to matou rihariha ki tenei mahi ... taka marie ki konei, ki te wa o te maramatanga, katahi ka pokanoa tenei mahi ...

- great is our disgust at this deed ... there is peace and understanding here, then suddenly this appears ... '

(Iharaira Te Houkamau, Te Irimana Tirohia 16th March 1865, Te Waka Maori o Ahuriri 1st April 1865:5-6).

In June 1865 McLean and Bishop Williams went to Tuparoa to acquire first-hand knowledge of the situation. After waiting there for 'some hours', Henare Potae, Mohi Turei, and Raniera Kawhia arrived from an inland paa where they had been holding a meeting (McLean, D. Diary 1865 Octavo Sequence Box V McLean Papers MS 32). They told McLean that 'a portion of their tribes [had] ... gone to apprehend Patara', then Henare Potae referred to his being on the 'Government side', and Mohi Turei suggested that 'white and black should unite to put down the evils of this part of the island' (ibid). After the meeting, the Bishop and McLean left by steamer for Napier (ibid).

Meanwhile, Patara's party (the Hauhau) had successfully forced the [p72] 'Government side' into retreat.[28] Impressed, the majority of the Waiapu people joined the King Movement, while the others sought shelter in Iharaira Te Houkamau's paa (Makeronia) at Matakaoa, and Mokena Kohere's paa (Te Hatepe) at Rangitukia.

The conflict divided families and communities. At Rangitukia, a father assisted the Hauhau, while his daughter and grandchildren sheltered in Te Hatepe (McConnell, R. 1980:98-99). At Horoera, preparations were made to resist the Government, and the Chief, Hakopa te Ari, said that 'if Te Mokena himself came, he would spill blood there' (Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:10). Nevertheless some of his people sided with Te Mokena (ibid). The same claimant stated that 'later in the war [his] "papa" ... left the Government side and went to Waikato with the "opes" from N'porou to see the Maori King' (ibid). In another family, the Chief Arapeta Haenga supported the Queen, while his son Paora fought for the King (Kohere, R. 1949:51).

At Hicks Bay a Hauhau attack on Makeronia paa was successfully repulsed, but at Waiapu there were several Hauhau victories (ibid:53-57).[29] Mohi Turei and Mokena Kohere wrote to the Government requesting arms and reinforcements, and McLean assured them of his support (Letter 41 to Mokena 1st July 1865; Letter 42 to Mohi Turei 1st July 1865 in qMS McLean, D. Letter Book, Official Papers MS 32). Two weeks later McLean arrived at Waiapu with rifles and ammunition (Diary, July 1865 Octavo Sequence Box V McLean Papers MS 32). After consultation with Te Mokena and Mohi Turei on board his 'man-of-war', the Eclipse, he went to Hicks Bay to deliver arms to Te Houkamau, who 'spoke very well against the Hauhau' (ibid). While he was there the St. Kilda, a Government supply vessel which had been used to ship soldiers from Taranaki to the Bay of Plenty, arrived from Opotiki with reinforcements. They set off immediately for Waiapu, amid cheering by the Hicks Bay people (ibid). At Waiapu McLean assisted from the Eclipse [p73] by firing rounds of shell at enemy paa. When the 'Government side' heard that Patara had gone for Hauhau reinforcements, McLean set off in the St. Kilda to intercept him, but he was too late (ibid). The following week, McLean left for Napier on the St. Kilda (ibid).

For McLean this was the beginning of a close relationship (politic for both groups) with the Waiapu Chiefs - Mokena Kohere, Ropata Wahawaha, Henare Potae, Mohi Turei, and Iharaira Te Houkamau (Correspondence in qMS McLean, D. Letter Book, Official Papers MS 32), which lasted even beyond his own lifetime.[30] After every major victory Te Makarini (McLean) wrote each of the Chiefs letters of encouragement and congratulations. When food was scarce he sent gifts of food - '2 tana paraoa (flour), 1 tana pihikete (biscuits), and ½ tana huka (sugar)' (to Te Houkamau 8th September 1865, Letter 58 ibid). In December 1865, on the first of his annual visits to Waiapu, he presented each of the Chiefs with a Queen's flag (McLean, Diary 1865). McLean was proficient in the Maori language and experienced in land matters. For this reason, he was often called on by the Chiefs, during his visits, to settle disputes (ibid; Te Waka Maori 8th January 1872:3; AJHR 1874 G-l:4). On his visits to other parts of the country and even Australia, he was accompanied by Ropata Wahawaha or Mokena Kohere (Te Waka Maori). Throughout his lifetime, whenever large hui (meetings) were held at Waiapu, as at Mataahu in 1872 (see page 89), he was present, or sent contributions of food (ibid). It appears that he upheld the Waiapu Chiefs restriction against land confiscation in the face of Government policy (see page 77 for Te Mokena's direction to the Crown Agent of Poverty Bay, Captain Biggs). In 1872 (if not earlier) Te Makarini was given cloaks and a greenstone mere - 'te tahaa kohatu' by the Waiapu people (Mohi Turei Report 29th October 1872 in Te Waka Maori 30th October 1872:144) to symbolise that their relationship to one another would endure forever.

Johansen (1954:177-84) suggests that the characteristics associated [p74] with rangatira (Chief; of noble birth) were kindness, magnanimity in gifts and providing food, ability to settle disputes, visit other tribes and receive guests, honour external obligations including promises and agreements, fine carriage, and reserved speech. While it is difficult to assess whether McLean possessed the last two characteristics, the brief sketch of the relationship between Te Makarini and the Waiapu Chiefs clearly shows that Te Makarini behaved, and was therefore probably received, as a rangatira of the Pakeha people.

On the second of August 1865 the combined forces of Maori and Pakeha successfully stormed Pakairomiromi (see map) - the Hauhau stronghold, and those that escaped fled to Pukemaire (see map). This battle was described by eye-witness informants of Reweti Kohere (grandson of Te Mokena) as ‘one of the bloodiest ... fought in the whole of the Maori war’ (1949:55).[31] In October 1865 Pukemaire was attacked. Under cover of darkness the paa was evacuated, and the Hauhau made their way, in family groups, to Hungahunga-toroa (see map), a stronghold near Te Araroa (ibid:56). While entrenched there, the Hauhau's 'Government side' relations smuggled food and ammunition to them at night (personal communication McConnell, R.)

Following the fight, the local Hauhau survivors were taken to Te Hatepe. After swearing an oath of allegiance to the Queen, Te Mokena allowed them all to return to their homes, that is, all except the Horoera people whose land he intended to take as restitution for Hakopa te Ari's threat 'to spill blood there [even] if Te Mokena himself came' (Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:10). When Te Houkamau and Te Wikiriwhi objected, Mokena decided to refer the matter to Te Makarini (Sir Donald McLean) (Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:10-11). McLean arrived at Awanui by steamer, in December 1865, and after listening to Te Wikiriwhi and Mokena's views, he wrote to Te Houkamau for his opinion (Letter 71 Letter Book, ibid). It was decided to give the Horoera people permission to return [p75] home, but Te Mokena shifted with them, and stayed there for several years (Te Harawira Huriwai ibid:12). At Wharekahika, Te Houkamau collected all the Hauhau arms and allowed the people to return to their homes (Letter 71 ibid). 'After Hauhau trouble, the scarcity of food was very great, and people went everywhere searching for food' (Manahi Parapara, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 41:120).

As has been described, the King supporters and the 'Government side' were closely related, suggesting that a most complicated political situation had developed. It is possible that Waiapu people 'hedged their bets' to ensure they were successful, whichever side won. On the surface such a tactic belittles the cost in bloodshed, but when it is also considered that land was at stake, it is not improbable. Only people can produce new generations but for them to grow to produce the next generation, and the next, the land must be there to nourish their growth. In this way Papatuanuku (the Earth mother) is the elder or parent of mankind - 'Ko te Papatuanuku te matua o te tangata'.

As well as this, some of the lines drawn in the conflict, which I believe were re-drawn in the investigations of title by the Land Court, hints at old enmities, perhaps tracing back to the migrations, conquests, and subsequent intermarriages of the PAIKEA[32] people of Whangara, and the RUAWAIPU[33] people of the Northern Waiapu. I am suggesting here that there were two main types of descent in the Northern Waiapu - one in which the people held mana over land, and the other in which they had mana over people:

'The wives of Tuterangiwhiu [the son of the famed Ngaati Porou warrior, Tuwhakairiora] would have mana from his rank, but the mana over the land came from the wives' (Piriniha te Rito, Ahomatariki Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:250-1).

While marriages were arranged to ensure both rights, the shifting politics of the area through generations, meant that in some families there were [p76] concentrations of mana over people, and in others, mana over land. Many of the 'Government side' Chiefs were closely related (Kohere, R. 1949:9), and it is likely that the Hauhau Chiefs were also. The Hauhau and 'Government' Chiefs were related to one another through the practice of Chiefs marrying a woman from each main type of descent - mana tangata, mana whenua ('papatipu'). Brothers of these matches often married women on their mother's side, although at the naming ceremony of one ancestor he was referred to as 'Hui kai, hui tangata, hui whenua' - literally gathering food, people, and land to show that the mana of these types of descent converged on him. What I am suggesting is that the King Movement may have been viewed by the 'papatipu' or mana whenua groups as an opportunity to overthrow the mana tangata groups; while the mana tangata people, who had signed the Treaty of Waitangi, may have supported the Government to maintain their own position.

Whatever the reasons, the loyalist position established during these wars was carried advantageously into the arena of land negotiations. In 1866 Ropata Wahawaha and Te Mokena told McLean that 'the land boundary of the "friendly natives", as separated from the Hauhaus, commences at Tawiti on Te Tuparoa,[34] (McLean, D. Notes 1866 Octavo Sequence Box V, McLean Papers MS 32). This area remained outside Government jurisdiction (although several attempts were made to confiscate it) until the 1874 Wharekahika Hui (see page 89) decided to invite the Land Court to investigate Waiapu land. When the Court opened it did so under Ropata Wahawaha's control (see page 111). In some investigations of title, Judges were required to assess land ownership from evidence given by claimants who had fought beside them in the war.

The 'Land-Taking' Court

The 'Government side' Chiefs allowed most of the Hauhau Ngaati Porou to return to their homes,[35] although:[p77]

'the chiefs and leaders were sent as prisoners to Napier. Those from here were Hakopa Tureia,
Hemi Marumarupo, Aperapama te Kuri, Wi Wanoa, Hakopa Hunahuna - and those from Waiapu were my own father and Warihi Nepuka, Hira Kauhau and many others - perhaps 40 or 50 ... At Napier a further selection was made and Te Kooti, Hone Pohe, and others were sent to Chatham's and remainder were returned' (Hirai te Ngahue, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:116).

Sir George Grey and Sir Donald McLean promised the East Coast people that their land would be 'preserved' for their use for their assistance 'in crushing the rebellion' (Petitions from East Coast Natives, AJHR 1868 A-16:11; McLean, D. Diary 1866 Octavo Sequence Box V ibid). Ngaati Porou therefore leased land and applied to have their titles investigated by the Lands Court, set up under the 1865 Native Lands Act. When the Government realised their unwillingness to sell land, it endeavoured to find some reason by which it could be taken (Petition 1868 ibid). Biggs, the Crown Agent for Poverty Bay, demanded that a portion of Ngaati Porou territory be confiscated. A piece of land was offered by the Chiefs:

'it was a very large piece leaving a piece for ourselves much small as compared with the other,
the greater portion of which piece belonged to ourselves, the Government Natives. But we gave our consent only because we were wearied at his [Biggs] constantly teasing us, and because of the many intimidating words the Government used towards us'
(Petition to the General Assembly of New Zealand from the people of Poverty Bay, AJHR 1867, F-l:10)

but it was rejected by Biggs as too small (ibid). Boundaries for a larger portion, which included all the area from the Southern end of Hicks Bay to Reporua, were in fact defined by Biggs in 1866, but when he arrived to arrange the survey, Te Mokena instructed him to leave the district (Kohere, R. 1949:59). He then offered Te Mokena money 'but Te Mokena would not take the Government money - that saved the land of the whole district' (Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:84).

Biggs, convinced that the Native Land Court would 'never work as it is [p78] at present' (to McLean 3rd May 1866, McLean Papers MS 32, folder 162), attempted to circumvent it by giving Crown grants to the Maori people (ibid), and his agents continued to press East Coast people for their land:

'we should have been unaware of the existence of a Government in this country had it not been for the fact of their (officers) making monthly visits to this place for the purpose of teasing us into >making our land over to them without any recompense'
(Petition to the Governor from East Coast Natives, AJHR 1868, A-16:5)

When the East Coast people told Biggs that 'it must be left for the Land Court to give us relief; ... he replied he would bring the land-taking Court' (Petition to the General Assembly from the people of Poverty Bay 1867, ibid).

To settle the land so that leases could be negotiated with Pakeha, Ngaati Porou applied to have their land investigated by the Native Lands Court in 1866, but found that the land had to be surveyed first. Then unexpectedly, they received notification of a Court hearing for September, but the Court did not sit - 'nor did any notice at that time reach us to the effect that the land was gone' (ibid). Another Court hearing was notified for the next month, but again it did not sit. 'This time however, they heard that the land had been taken'[36] (ibid). Hoping to get relief through the law (Te Ture which united the Maori and Pakeha tribes on the physical plane - see page 41), they applied again for a Native Lands Court hearing (ibid).

In 1867 six hundred Maori people (from all parts of the Coast between East Cape and Wairoa) gathered at Turanganui to attend a Court hearing under the 1865 Native Lands Act, and the 1866 East Coast Titles Investigation Act.[37] This Act, passed apparently with McLean's approval (to Stafford 17th January 1866, Letter Book Official Papers MS 32; Notes 1866 Octavo Sequence Box V, McLean Papers MS 32), allowed land to be investigated without the consent of owners, with the purpose of granting title to loyal [p79] Maori, and declaring lands belonging to persons who had engaged in rebellion, to be the property of the Crown. When Captain Biggs, the Crown Agent, arrived he applied for an adjournment based on a clerical error that existed in the 1866 Act, and asked for more time 'to collate information against the rebels' (Judge Munro to Judge Fenton, 25th July 1867 in AJHR 1867 A-10D:4). Biggs was probably stalling to ascertain Government policy on East Coast land; only five months earlier he had written to McLean:

'I wish you would be good enough to let me know what you promised to either Europeans or Maoris in reference to land remunerations for fighting on our side as the government instruct me to see carried out anything which you have promised ... '
(18th February 1867, McLean Papers MS 32, folder 162).

As this was the third adjournment made the people were:

'very much disappointed, as they were exceedingly anxious to have their titles investigated, and the question of land to be taken on account of the rebellion definitely settled' (Judge Munro to Judge Fenton 25th July 1867, ibid).

Judge Munro told the press, the Southern Cross, that:

'the action taken by the Government in regard to the sitting of the Court on the East Coast would tend very much to destroy the confidence of the Natives in the Court'
('extract' in AJHR A-10D:6)

and awarded costs to the Maori people present. He also told them that this was not the Land-taking Compensation Court; it was the Court set up under the Native Lands Act to determine land ownership, and to preserve those who had not engaged in 'rebellion', from the loss of land (ibid:7). This criticism of Government conduct almost resulted in Munro's dismissal. Richmond, the Native Minister, ordered Munro to pay the awarded costs himself, and also accused him of 'highly objectionable', 'highly indecent', and 'disloyal' behaviour in a gentleman of his position (Richmond, J.C. to [p80] Munro, H. 24th August 1867, ibid:7). While Judges, theoretically at least were supposed to represent independent arbiters, this incident clearly demonstrates that as employees of the Government they were not expected to act against its interests.

Munro was told by the Maori people that they 'exonerated the Court from all blame' and looked 'forward to having their claims investigate', although they hoped that 'there would be no unnecessary delay, as a number of Europeans were prepared to negotiate with them for the lease of their surplus lands as soon as their titles are complete' (Judge Munro to Judge Fenton 25th July 1867, ibid:5).

It appears that the Northern Waiapu Chiefs (Te Mokena Kohere) were determined that no land, including Hauhau land should be taken (AJHR 1867 A-10D,5:4). This is understandable when the closeness of some of the kin ties between 'rebels' and 'loyalists' is recognised (see page 72). The impossibility of separating ‘rebel’ from 'loyalist' land would have been appreciated by the Chiefs, who were probably not prepared (or in a position) to divulge their close relationship with rebels to the Government. The Maori people's 'cultural mediators' (Chiefs) were more likely to stress the differences between themselves and the Hauhau, to strengthen their position for negotiating on equal terms with the European Government, and thereby to safeguard their land. With the completion of the fighting, and the swearing of allegiance to the Queen, the Hauhau Ngaati Porou once again came under the jurisdiction of 'loyalist' Chiefs, who had an obligation to care for (tiaki) their interests. In former times, when inter-tribal warfare occurred, internal differences were held in abeyance until the external threat was disposed of. In a similar way Ngaati Porou presented a united front to deal with the Pakeha tribe's (that is, the Government) attempts to seize land.

When the Court adjourned a meeting of all the East Coast people was [p81] held, and it was decided to petition the Government for relief. Their petition, which outlined the promises made by Governor Grey and Sir Donald McLean in 1865, to 'preserve' their land for their own use, and the attempts made by the Crown Agent, Biggs, to confiscate it, was taken to Wellington by Te Mokena (Judge Munro to Judge Fenton 25th July 1867, ibid).

In March 1868 another Court was held at Turanganui under Judge Manning. Captain Biggs applied for the hearing of all land from Lottin Point to Lake Waikaremoana, under the 1867 East Coast Titles Investigation Amendment Act. The Judge ruled against this, firstly because it had not been advertised (Gisborne M.B. 1:1 cf. 1867 Native Lands Amendment Act page 25) and secondly because the Court had no authority to investigate land without the owners' consent unless the cases were referred to it by the Governor (ibid). This ruling suggests that the Governor above all others was expected by the Government to act in the best interests of the Maori people. What is problematic is that while the Treaty of Waitangi guaranteed to the Maori people 'the full, exclusive and undisputed possession of their land ... so long as it was their wish ... ' (Colenso, W. 1890:39), Judge Manning's ruling implied that the Governor exercised control over this land. From the Wharekahika Chiefs' speeches made in 1860, they expected the Governor to make the two people equivalent or united through the Law, not to usurp the Chiefs' mana over their own land.

Frustrated by the Court in his attempt to secure East Coast land for settlement (Government policy), Captain Biggs pressed the Government to have the district investigated under the 1863 New Zealand Settlements Act (see page 24) as 'the natives are quite determined not to give up any land and say if the Court takes it they will not agree ... ' (Biggs to McLean 14th March 1868, McLean Papers MS 32, folder 162).

Meanwhile in Court, most of the claims called for investigation were dismissed by the non-appearance of claimants, caused according to Preece - [p82] the Maori people's agent, by their lack of confidence in the Court investigating titles under the provisions of the East Coast Titles
Investigation Act and Amendment Act (Gisborne M.B. 1:102). A small cluster of blocks near Tolaga Bay were put through the Court by the loyalist Chief Karauria Pahuru (who succeeded Te Kani-a-Takirau), but the only Northern Waiapu block called was Horoera. As no survey had been made, and the principal witness did not appear 'Horowera' was dismissed (ibid:31).

During the winter months of 1868 further ruunanga were held to discuss land policy (Letter from the Waiapu Ruunanga in Te Waka Maori o Ahuriri 13th August 1868:40), and another three petitions, representing 'the unanimous opinion of everyone on the Coast'[38] (Preece, J. to the Governor 25th April 1868 in AJHR 1868 A-16:l), were sent to the Governor. While Government land confiscations hung in the balance, Te Kooti was reported to be having 'an unsettling effect on the people' (Biggs to McLean, D. 13th October 1868, McLean Papers MS 32). The Crown Agent suggested that 'the safest and cheapest plan to keep these people quiet would be to give some land to Ngatiporo in Poverty Bay' (ibid). As a result, he stated, most of the Ngaati Porou grievances would be removed, their occupation of Poverty Bay encouraged, and their assistance secured should further trouble break out (ibid). One month later several families, among them Captain Biggs, and 'Government side' Maori, were killed by Te Kooti's party. Although concerned for the welfare of their own women and children (letters from the Chiefs Hotene Porourangi and Henare Potae in AJHR 1869 A-10:25-26), Ngaati Porou sent reinforcements to the Government troops at Turanga and Wairoa (McLean, D. to Richmond, J. 18th November in AJHR 1869 A-10:26). The Government interpreted this as 'unswerving loyalty' to the Queen, yet three months later it threatened Ngaati Porou that 'if they did not [fight at Taranaki] ... their guns would be taken from them' (Karaitiana Takamoana, [p83]Eastern Maori Representative in the General Assembly, to the Government, 23rd March 1869 in AJHR 1869). Faced with the prospect of an armed Te Kooti, who had sworn vengeance on the 'loyalist' Ngaati Porou, there was no choice. This time the elder sons of the Chiefs, namely Te Hatiwira Houkamau and Paratene Ngata (adopted by Ropata Wahawaha) led the contingent. From this time on the Government ceased its attempts at Hauhau land confiscation in the Ngaati Porou territory (AJHR 1873 C-4B:6). Perhaps, the settlers whose lives were saved by Ngaati Porou would have publicly deplored Government-pressed sales of Ngaati Porou land.

In June 1869 the Poverty Bay Land Commission, under the Judges Rogan and Munro, began to investigate outstanding land claims (to complete Bell's 1859 Land Commission, see page 58) and Maori people's title to land (Captain Porter, Diary 29th June 1869). As all land had to be surveyed before investigation and as only the land near Gisborne had been surveyed, these were the cases heard by the Court (Munro, H. Notes of Native Land Court Proceedings June 1869 MS 366, folder 7); nevertheless Waiapu people were probably present in Court. The number of military officials present to confirm the claimants loyalty to the Crown, probably gave the Court the appearance of an 'armed camp'. The proceedings were quite literally dominated by European officials - when lists of owners were read, the Resident Magistrate was consulted, and any name objected to by him was deleted (ibid). It is likely that the Judges' chances (there were no Native Assessors) of acting as 'protectors' (kaitiaki) of the (human) interaction between Maori and Pakeha, or even as 'independent arbiters', were remote. Where Maori claimants titles to land were investigated, they were not disputed, however when sales between Maori and Europeans were involved, the claims were challenged and several witnesses from each side gave evidence. Land sales between Europeans and Maori were in every case confirmed in favour of the Europeans, although Maori claimants admitted [p83]that they had no right to sell the land: 'I was jealous of having been left out in arrangement of the Bishop's and sold land [to Captain Rhodes] which was not mine' (Matenga Tamaioria, Karaua Block, ibid:55).

Up to this time the East Coast people had managed to keep their land from the Court by refusing to co-operate, except on their own terms (1859 and 1868). As in 1859 (see page 58 ff), the Judges, as representatives of the Governor, were expected by the Maori people to restore the 'natural' (tika) order between the two peoples - Maori and Pakeha, and it is likely that the two Judges, both experienced land transactors and fluent Maori speakers, were aware of these expectations.[39] However, given the context - this was the first Court after Te Kooti's 'massacre', a role favouring Maori interests was impossible for Government employees (cf. Munro's reprimand in 1867, page 79). From the Maori side, the appearance in Court may well have been a declaration of loyalty to the Queen (or a reaffirmation of her role as the kaitiaki for transactions between Maori and Pakeha) principally designed to prevent land confiscation.

In 1870 a Land Court was held at Turanga under Judge Rogan. This time several blocks of land from the Uawa (Tolaga Bay) area were investigated and made inalienable by lease or sale from the Maori people. While inalienability clauses held the land in trust for the Maori people, owners had no authority to determine who would inherit their rights to the land when they died. The contrast between the 1869 Commission and this Court is striking, although the same Judge was presiding. While the Judge continued to hear 'outstanding land claims', his major concern was with the investigation of Maori title to land. No longer was he expected to adjudicate on the 'loyalty' of the claimants, and his adoption of a mediatory role was consistent with the set of Maori expectations I have proposed. When the Waiapu block 'Kaitua' was called, Mohi Turei told the Court that the Waiapu Chiefs did not want their land investigated [p85] at the present, as they were raruraru (troubled, busy) (Gisborne M.B. 1:107). While this probably referred to food shortages (AJHR 1872 F-3:12) it may also have referred to land disputes. It was then discussed in Court whether the Land Court should be allowed to investigate land near East Cape, and Judge Rogan intimated that he was prepared to wait on their decision (ibid). In another case, when a dispute between the Chief and his people arose over whether to make land inalienable, Rogan tactfully reminded the Chief:

'that many pieces of land has passed through former Courts without having been made inalienable and the consequence was that most of them had gone into the hands of the Pakeha, and told him that they [the people in Court] had paid a great deal of attention to what he had said about having no restriction placed on the Grant ... Rogan thought it best, although he was the "kaumatua" to listen to the majority in this manner, and the lands would be made inalienable' (Gisborne M.B. 1:115-6)

Peaceful Mediation of Disputes a Necessity

Potential warfare existed on the East Coast for nearly a decade - although no actual fighting took place after 1869 (Williams, W.L. n.d.:72). People lived in fortified paa for safety and food was very scarce (Campbell, Resident Magistrate's Report, AJHR 1872 F-3:12; AJHR 1873 G-l:13). As soon as peace seemed imminent Government agents began negotiations for East Coast land (Russell, AJHR 1872 F-3A:13). The number of disputes between Waiapu people over land ownership rose dramatically (Campbell, AJHR 1872, 1873 and 1874), and in some cases were so intense they threatened to destroy the newly-won peace. By 1874 land disputes and alcohol were viewed as the major causes of grievance at Waiapu:

'tetahi haurangi hei whakamate i a tatou ... Ka haurangi ano te tangata i tena rama, a te rama whenua
- this intoxication will destroy us ... people become intoxicated by these land questions as well as by rum' (Hutana Taru 5th May 1874 in Te Waka Maori 16th June 1874:154);


'He mate kei te waipiro, he mate hoki kei te whenua; ko te tino mea kaha rawa o raua e tino mate rawa ai te tangata, he whenua
- There is grief and trouble in alcohol, and there is also grief and trouble in land; but that which is most fraught with danger and death to man is the land'

(Paratene Ngata 8th August 1874 in Te Waka Maori 8th September:229).

One dispute, over the Aruhemokopuna Block, began when land reserved for a school was fenced in and planted with potatoes (Hakaraia Mauheni,[40] Aruhemokopuna Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:68). One of the boundaries was disputed and the land was ploughed up - 'in fact to take possession of it' (ibid). The next year Wiremu Keiha's sheep were eaten by Paora Haenga's pigs on this land, so Keiha's people killed the pigs. Then Paora Haenga occupied 'our kumara pits and killed our stock running on this land and took possession of the land ... through ploughing' (ibid:69), so Wiremu Keiha's people 'killed [shot] someone ... on this land' (ibid), and both parties occupied fortified paa near the disputed land[41] (ibid; see also Te Waka Maori 8th January 1872:2).

In an attempt to restore peace and prosperity, like that achieved in the 1840-1860 period when all Ngaati Porou land was golden with wheat - 'Ura tonu te whenua katoa i te witi' (Paratene Ngata cited in Kohere, R. 1949:27-28), the Chiefs intervened: ‘but for [them] ... both sides (in land disputes) would have proceeded to open warfare, and ... slaughtered each another’ (ibid in Te Waka Maori 8th September 1874:229). Iharaira Te Houkamau had already used his personal influence to settle land disputes 'as far South as Waiapu and as far North as the Whanau-a-Apanui/Ngaitai boundary, near Torere' (AJHR 1874 G-l:5). On the Aruhemokopuna Block, he settled the dispute by placing the land under restriction (Waiapu M.B. 11:69), and Ropata Wahawaha sent Wiremu Keiha to the coast 'to avoid the dispute being carried to extremes' (Hakaraia Mauheni ibid). On McLean's arrival at [p87] Waiapu (during his annual visits), he was also asked to arbitrate disputes. In the Aruhemokopuna dispute Te Makarini (McLean) expressed great sorrow that such a situation could occur when he was trying to raise Ngaati Porou as an example to other tribes (Te Waka Maori 8th January 1873:3). In fact he was suggesting to the disputants that their behaviour was weakening the mana of the whole of the Ngaati Porou tribe. Not surprisingly, after airing their grievances, both parties agreed to finish the matter. A discussion was held by all the people and it was decided that all the people who had rights to the land could live on it (ibid:3).

Six months later Campbell reported that the role of the Government as arbiter 'is daily becoming stronger' (AJHR 1873 G-l:13), and in his opinion opposition to the Land Court only came from those whose rights of ownership 'amounted to little or nothing' (AJHR 1874 G-2C:2).

Between 1840 when the Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi and gave (so I have suggested) to the Queen of England part of their collective responsibility for keeping (tiaki) the world in balance - that part between Maori and Pakeha - and the end of the war in 1872, there appear to have been few disputes over land between local Matakaoa people. From this time on, pressure for Waiapu land for European settlement steadily increased. The evidence given in the Land Court (Waiapu Minute Books) suggests former Maori land 'ownership' was fluid within tribal boundaries, with some people leading a nomadic lifestyle ('iwi haere'), and others more settled, but occupying different areas for a short time every one or two years to utilise food resources - fishing, fern root, etc. It appears that different groups utilised these same areas either at different times or the same time provided ties of relationship (probably through intermarriage) were sufficiently close to ensure peaceful co-existence. Given that ownership of land was awarded by the Native Land Court (which local people must have realised would inevitably investigate their land) on proof of occupation [p88] (which the war had disrupted for almost a decade), and that judgment implied fixed tenure (European concepts of land ownership), Maori people attempted to occupy all the land (and there is nothing to suggest that these were clearly defined blocks, as investigated by the Land Court) in which they had interests (formerly utilised). The decision made by the Chiefs in 1872 (see page 87) that all the people who had rights to the land could live ('noho' - stay) on it’ supports this contention. As Maori people attempted to move their fluid system (to protect their rights to land) to coincide and operate within the confines of a fixed one (promoted by the dominant culture), clashes between 'legitimate' occupiers occurred.

In 1873 a new Land Act was passed which McLean guaranteed would 'remedy all', and stop land of 'a questionable nature' being brought before the Court (AJHR 1874 G-l:4). The East Coast response to the new law was favourable: 'The new laws which you have given us are just what the Maori's of this country require' (Wiremu Kingi Te Waka Maori 27th January 1874:24-25); 'the Native Land Act of 1873 gives great satisfaction' (Thomas Fox, East Coast ibid 24th March 1874:70), and 'removes most of the objections' of local (Maori) people to the Land Court (Campbell, AJHR 1874 G-2C:2). With the 'checks put upon promiscuous dealing with Native lands' by the 1873 Act, the East Coast District Officer suggested that the prohibition on passing Waiapu land through the Land Court be lifted (AJHR 1874 G-2:19). This reservation was placed over the land in 1866 by Mokena Kohere and Ropata Wahawaha in consultation with McLean (see page 76). However it remained for the 1874 meeting at Wharekahika to decide Ngaati Porou land policy.


III. Tribal Policy Meetings

'[At the Wharekahika Hui] Te Mokena said to Wi [Wanoa] and Wiki Matauru, his tamarikis "Keep the land as a playground for yourselves and your tamarikis" meaning Marangairoa No.1'

(Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:15).

1874 Hui at Wharekahika

In October 1874 Te Houkamau's meeting at Makeronia, Wharekahika opened with a prayer, a volley of guns fired by 'thirty hand-picked men', and the raising of the Queen's flag. Its purpose was to honour the Queen's flag (ibid), and as Iharaira Te Houkamau put it 'hei marena i a tatou i nga iwi katoa - to be a marriage ceremony [a means of unification] for all the tribes' under the Queen (Te Waka Maori 17th November 1874:285). For this Hui large quantities of food were prepared for well over a year beforehand. Extra crops were cultivated at Hicks Bay, birds were caught and preserved at Waiapu, and fish was conveyed from Te Kaha (Campbell, AJHR 1874 G-2C:3). Two large houses and a fifty foot flagstaff were erected especially for the occasion (Te Waka Maori 8th September 1874:1).

In 1872 a meeting of a similar size had been held at Mataahu, Waiapu under the authority of Ropata Wahawaha. These meetings were held to restore the unity of the Ngaati Porou tribe which had been so severely divided by the 1860 warfare (Mohi Turei, Te Waka Maori 17th November 1874:284).

At this meeting Ngaati Porou discussed land policy: Tamati Kakano suggested that 'he rongoa te Kooti mo te whenua - the Court is the medicine for the land' (Te Waka Maori 1st December 1874:295), Pera te Kuri said 'Me haere mai te Kooti hei whakapai i nga wahi e takoto raruraru ana - Let the Court come to settle the blocks which are in dispute' (ibid), and Mohi Turei pointed out that:

'Kaore i te taenga mai o te Kooti te mate ai, engari
i naianei ano i te mea e ngaro atu ana te Kooti. [p90] Kaore i penei nga take riri o mua a nga tupuna i mau ai koutou ki te pu, a me aha e pai ai ki te kore e Kootitia? ... Ko nga tangata e kore ana e whakaae ki te Kooti, kaore ona take ki te whenua ... otira me Kooti ano, kei ora ana te toenga o nga kaumatua, kia riro ma tetahi tangata i waenganui i a taua e whiriwhiri o taua take ki runga i o taua piihi.
- It is not when we get the Court that we shall suffer, but now, in the absence of a Court. The grounds of aggravation in the time of our fathers, which induced you (i.e. Ngatiporou) to take up arms, were not so great as those which exist now; and how can these difficulties be satisfactorily arranged if not by the investigation of the Court? ... The men who object to the Court are men who have no claim to the land ... it is necessary that there should be an investigation of title whilst the residue of old men yet remains so that a third party from amongst ourselves may be able to show forth both your claims and mine to our land.' (Te Waka Maori 1st December 1874:296).

After a good deal of discussion it was resolved to open the Land Court at Waiapu to investigate claims to the oil springs (at Te Puia) and land in the district.

The Hui also appointed Captain Porter to the post of Land Commissioner - to make purchases and arrangements with those willing to lease land. Although the Government had appointed Wilson to this position, Ngaati Porou unanimously favoured Porter as he had 'grown up amongst them' (Herewini Tamahori, ibid:228), and his 'worth was known to all the people' (Tamati Kakano, ibid:286). Other matters resolved by the meeting included the representation of Ngaati Porou in Parliament by Henare Potae[42] , the erection of a Magistrate's Court and gaol, the sale of diseased sheep at Waiapu ('scabby sheep' were prevalent an the East Coast at this time AJHR 30th May 1874 G-2:19), and most importantly for the unity of Ngaati Porou, the rejection of interference by other tribes in Ngaati Porou affairs (Te Waka Maori 1st December 1874:297).

It is interesting to note the difference in the Maori and European perceptions of the function of the Land Court. The Court was clearly viewed [p91] by both as the place to settle disputes, however for the European, as expressed by Campbell the Resident Magistrate of Waiapu (AJHR 1872, 1873, 1874, 1875), the role of the Judge was to listen to evidence, decide ownership, and thereby to settle the dispute. For the Maori, from Mohi Turei's statement, the Court provided a forum in which a third party made up of Ngaati Porou kaumaatua (elders), probably in conjunction with the Judge (cf. McLean and the Chiefs' settlement of disputes, see page 87), mediated between the disputants, and through their knowledge, encouraged discussion leading to conciliation. Another speaker Tamati Tautuhi felt the need for an outsider, someone not involved or related to the disputants, to assist in the settlement:

'Kaore ra he tangata matou o ratou hei whiriwhiri,
ko nga tangata anake nana i whakapuaki enei tikanga.
- There are none among the people, possessing the requisite knowledge, besides those who opened up this question (i.e. interested parties).'
(Te Waka Maori 1st December 1874:297).

This is closer to the European view of the Land Court Judge than Mohi Turei's interpretation, Tamati Tautuhi does not appear to realise however, that the Land Court Judge will have absolute power in awarding ownership. Given that Ngaati Porou experience of land dispute settlement where Europeans were involved was for the most part limited to Te Makarini and Judge Rogan (see pages 85 and 87), who were both fluent speakers of Maori, well-versed in land matters, and of kaumaatua status because of their age, it is not surprising that at this time the 'protective' (tiaki) aspects of the Land Court were emphasised, and the Court was viewed as a path to peace and prosperity.

1875 Hui at Horoera - Raahui proclaimed

As soon as Te Houkamau's meeting was finished, negotiations were made by Iharaira Te Houkamau with Captain Porter for the lease of the Matakaoa [p92] Block. When surveyed the boundaries were laid out to accommodate Porter and Pitt's wishes (Te Hatiwira Houkamau, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:218). Negotiations were also made for other blocks, namely Pukeamaru, Raukumara, and Tututohora. To ensure the maximum co-operation of local Maori people, Porter discontinued the payment of 'earnest money', that is, advances on land prior to the Court investigations (cf. 1873 Native Lands Act), and instead deducted the survey cost from the overall payment for the land (Porter, AJHR 1876 G-5:9-10).

Iharaira Te Houkamau died in January 1875 (Te Waka Maori 23rd February 1875:48). One month after his tangi (funeral) Te Mokena Kohere held a meeting at Te Pakihi, where it was resolved to reserve the land from the Awatere River to the Maraehara Stream from sale (Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:15). Nonetheless the resolution of the 1874 Hui was put into effect by Ropata Wahawaha who went to Turanga to apply for a Court sitting at Waiapu (Gisborne M.B. 1:277). Two weeks later Wikiriwhi Te Matauru[43] and Mokena Kohere held another meeting at Horoera to discuss the new rules[44] ('nga ritenga hou') made in the Waiapu district (Te Wananga 26th April 1875 Vol 1-2:77). The meeting opened with an address by Wikiriwhi te Matauru:

'Kua nui haere nei nga Reti ki roto o Waiapu, kua nui haere nga piihi e ruritia ana, kua ruritia nei te moni ki te papa tonu o te awa o Waiapu, kua whatoro nei te ringa o Ngati Porou ki te tango i te moni o Mangawaru. Ko Hikurangi Huka anake e tirohia atu ra, e ma mai ra, ko te moni ia kua pau te kai kua horomia rawatia, po: te puku nui rawa. Koia maua ko taku matua i mahara ai ka mate tatou a Ngati Porou.
- the leasing at Waiapu and the blocks that are surveyed are increasing, and the money is poured on the bed of river of Waiapu, and the hands of Ngati Porou has stretched out, and received the money for Mangawaru, it is only Hikurangi snow that can be seen, white, the money is consumed, and swallowed in their bellys. It is so, I and my uncle [elder?] thinks that we Ngatiporou will be mate.' (Te Wananga ibid). [p93]

Next Wikiriwhi confirmed the Pakihi decision for permanent land:

'Kaua te Hoko e uru ki roto, me te Reti. Engari hei whenua tuturu tenei mo tatou.
- No buying or leasing should enter on it. But [this land] will be a permanent land for ourselves.'

Te Hatiwira Houkamau agreed and outlined the area from Potikirua to Te Koau 'kia rinitia hei whenua tuturu mo tatou' - to be permanent land for ourselves (ibid:78). Rutene Hoenoa followed suit with the area from the Awatere River to the Karakatuwhero River, and Hemi Tawhena also agreed to join the area from the Karakatuwhero River to Te Koau to the permanent land (ibid). Then Mokena said:

'E kore ranei tenei Whenua e pakaia i te Hoko;
i te Reti ranei? Ka ki te Hui Katoa, Kahore.
Ka ki ano ra, ka pumau tenei Whenua hei Whenua
mo koutou, me a koutou tamariki

- will this Land not be broken by sale or lease, the whole meeting said, No. He also said, this Land is fixed to be a permanent Land for you and your children.'(ibid:78).

He also suggested that one or two kaitiaki or Pouherenga (Trustees) be appointed. Any person wishing to lease or buy land will apply to the Trustees, who will notify the chiefs and the tribe, and a meeting will be held to discuss the application (ibid). The resolutions of this meeting were signed [45] and sent to the newspaper for publication 'so that the Government will hear, and ... the Pakeha who desires to lease or buy land, [as well as] ... the whole tribe of Ngatiporou ... and so that the tribes of the Ika-nui-a-Maui Tikitiki a Taranga [the North Island] will see.' (ibid:77).

A third meeting was held at Maruhou by Hamahona and the same persons (Hamahona Puha, Wikiriwhi te Matauru, Wi Wanoa, and Anaru te Kahaki) were again selected as guardians (Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:15).[p94]

Just as the Queen of England had her role as the Kaitiaki for the interchange between Maori and Pakeha confirmed by the Treaty of Waitangi, the role of these 'Pouherenga' (Trustees) was confirmed by the Horoera proclamation. Their role appears to be to safeguard the 'Whenua here' (ibid:79) - fixed land, to ensure that the 'correct' (tika) procedure (that is, the procedure agreed upon by all the people at the meeting) in land negotiations was followed. In practice this meant that land negotiations could no longer proceed 'by stealth', that is, without the consent of all the people, as in the negotiations for Pukeamaru, Raukumara, and Tututohora (Piriniha te Rito Waiapu M.B. 6:228; Hatiwira Houkamau Waiapu M.B. 11:197; Mita Hane Waiapu M.B. 42:14).

'The last meeting held in regard to the reservation of land was held at Waiapu, at Te Rahui ... perhaps 1883 or 1884 or thereabouts' (Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block Waiapu M.B. 39:16). The resolutions of this meeting were taken to Wellington by Te Kahaki and presented to Ropata, who was a member of the Upper House (ibid):

'The position he held ["for this district at that time"] was as that of a Governor. The people knew that if Ropata supported the petition effect would be given to it, because Ropata was a friend of the Government party.' (ibid)

Following the published proclamation (in Te Wananga) all negotiations for land in the Matakaoa (Northern Waiapu) area ceased, and Matakaoa land remained outside the jurisdiction of the Land Court for over a decade. The success of the Matakaoa people’s proclamation was in part due to their support of the Government during the wars, in part to their relationship with McLean, and the willingness of his men, namely Captain Porter and Mr Locke, the Poverty Bay District officer, to follow Ngaati Porou directives. In practical terms however, with all the Waiapu titles to investigate, the Native Land Court had more than enough work to do on the East Coast.


In this chapter I have briefly outlined the experience of Maori and European interchange that Ngaati Porou carried into the Land Court. This has been done firstly, because evidence given in the Land Court, in both form and content, is given in terms of this shared experience, and secondly, because the kaitiaki frame of reference, which was reiterated by Ngaati Porou throughout this period, was I believe, applied to the Land Court. This scheme through the Treaty of Waitangi, and the Treaty of Kohimaarama, confirmed the Queen’s role as the Kaitiaki responsible for both the spiritual and human well-being of interchanges between Maori and Europeans. First she sent the Word of God - 'te Rongo Pai a te Atua' with the missionaries to unite or make equal - 'kia kotahi' the two peoples - 'nga iwi e rua'. Then she sent the Governor with the Law - ‘Te Ture’ to unite, or make equivalent the human side of the two peoples (see page 41). The Governor (or the Government) appointed representatives - Commissioners, Resident Magistrates, Members of the Legislative Council, Land Court Judges, Crown Agents, etc. to guard (tiaki) that everything in the interaction between the two cultures was in its 'proper' (tika) order.

What undermines this scheme is the difference between the Governor and the Government. From 1840 until 1852 (New Zealand Constitution Act) the Governor was the Law, from this time policy was increasingly decided by settler-elected national and provincial governments. The Governor continues to be appointed by the Queen, therefore he retains the guardianship of the human side of the interaction between the two people (Maori and Pakeha). The Government on the other hand, which holds the power to effect policy aims principally to satisfy its settler (or today Pakeha-dominated) electorates.


Chapter 3

[1] Te Kawakawa is now known as Te Araroa - 'the long path', and according to some it was named after the narrow hedged path which led to the missionary's dwelling (personal communication).

[2] This figure would have also included captives from other districts - Thames, Bay of Plenty, and Hawke's Bay.

[3] Rukuata was the younger brother of Te Irimana Houturangi, a Chief who attended the Kohimaarama Conference in 1860.

[4] Taumatakura was claimed to have introduced Christianity to the East Coast. In a battle against Whanau-a-Apanui tribe he carried the Bible through a hail of bullets completely unscathed.

[5] Both William Williams and William Yates were fluent speakers of Maori.

[6] I have not found this term used in any of the East Coast Maori texts.

[7] There is some indication of partnership between rangatira and tohunga - during the 1865 warfare on the East Coast. Mokena Kohere and the ‘Native teacher’ (of religion), Mohi Turei were constantly together, as were Te Houkamau and the Reverend Rota Waitoa.

[8] ‘before the New Zealanders concede the right and title of their lands to the British Crown without an adequate remuneration, they will rather lose their liberty, if not their lives: and surely the British Government will not for a rich or paltry gain enslave or extirpate a high spirited race in New Zealand when only ten or twelve years ago ... they paid twenty million pounds sterling to emancipate the Negro slaves in the West Indies,'
(Kissling, G.A. Report for Half-Year ending lst July 1845, CN/M 15:497).

[9] The Chief of Ngaati Hokopu, a sub-tribe of Ngaati Porou, at Rangitukia. His brother Kakatarau signed the Treaty of Waitangi. Mokena Kohere was instrumental in creating the 'whenua tuturu' - permanent land of Matakaoa in 1875 (see page 92) which literally saved the land from sale.

[10] From the number of these sites it appears to me that they were occupied temporarily, although this is not directly stated in the Land Court evidence which was tailored to show permanent occupation.

[11] A large feast was held to commemorate the erection of the main post for St. John's Church at Rangitukia on the 27th December 1854:

Rawiri Rangikatia performed the ceremony of depositing a bottle containing coins and a paper and erecting the post. Many assisting him. I read over a copy of the paper contained in the bottle which read as follows "This main post of the Church of God was erected by Rawiri Rangikatea Chief of Waiapu, Rev. Charles Baker Minister, Pita Whakangaua Teacher, Nikorima Tamarerekau the Chief Builder. The name of the Church is St. John on the 27th day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty four."
(Baker, C. Notes for Journal 27th December 1854 MS22).

After the post was erected a hymn was sung, and psalm 122 was read by Rev. Rota Waitoa. The ceremony concluded with gun fire, then 500 to 600 people sat down to a feast (ibid). Similar ceremonies were held throughout the Matakaoa district, and by 1857 Churches were built at Te Kawakawa, Te Horo, and Tuparoa (Baker, C. Notes for Journal 1854 - 1857 MS22).

[12] Taawhara are the edible bracts surrounding the kiekie fruit (Crowe, A. 198:32).

[13] Some foodstuffs were steeped in water to encourage fermentation. Kaanga pirau - 'rotten corn' produced by this process is well-known for its pungent smell.

[14] A maara is a plot of ground under cultivation (Williams, H. 1975:180).

[15] 'an area of 8 acres' (Bishop Selwyn to the Colonial Secretary, 10th May 1843 MS273 Vol 6:95).

[16] Only the typescript is available.

[17] In 1846 Stack suffered from a mental breakdown and was sent back to England. Kissling only returned to Te Kawakawa to collect his household goods as his doctor advised him to reside near medical expertise (in 1843 Kissling was 67). Reay was sent to Rangitukia in 1847 but after only one year there, he died.

The mission effort at Matakaoa was therefore sustained by resident 'native teachers', supplemented by visits from William Williams and Charles Baker until Rota Waitoa, the first Maori to be ordained, became the resident missionary in 1853. In 1854 Charles Baker shifted to reside at Rangitukia.

[1] From this time Te Irimana Houturangi referred to himself as Te Irimana Tirohia (the one seen) in all correspondence to the Governor (compare Te Waka Maori o Ahuriri 1st April 1865:6).

[19] Kiwi is the name Europeans gave to Iharaira Te Houkamau, the Chief of Whanau-a-Tuwhakairiora [Deed of Transfer] of Te Aroaro to the [p98] C.M.S. in Selwyn, G.A. Papers MS273 Vol 6). Tame may refer to Tame Atkena an early trader on the East Coast, although the New Zealand Gazette stated that the registered owners were Ngaati Porou.

[20] Compare Te Harawira Huriwai’s evidence quoted on page 47. Wheat was grown at Horoera under the direction of Mokena, to purchase a ship which they called Mereana (Mary Anne). Two horses (a mare and a stallion) were also purchased.

[21] See Footnote 14.

[22] Tom Atkins (Tame Atkena see footnote 14) a resident trader at Te Awanui from 1843 (AJHR 1863 E-16:8-9).

[23] See footnote 9.

[24] Matutaera later became known as King Tawhiao.

[25] Ancestors in whom the best lines of Ngaati Porou converged.

[26] 'Them seem to take mischievous delight in teasing the opposition party, taunting them with the want of means to carry out their plans, and not least of all caricaturing the presumption of Matutaera in assuming to reign over "Nga mokopuna a Hinematioro."'

(Baker, W. to McLean, D. 10th November 1862, McLean Papers MS32, folder 149).

[27] Patara or Butler was the second-ranking Pai Marire leader (Oliver, W. and Thomson, J. 1971:91).

[28] The Chiefs Henare Nihoniho and Makoare were killed in this fight (Kohere, R. 1949:53).

[29] While wounded, a nephew of Mokena Kohere was captured by the Hauhau and ‘cruelly cut to pieces’ (Diary July 1865, Octavo Sequence Box V, McLean Papers MS32).

[30] When McLean died Ropata Wahawaha and Henare Potae went to his grave at Napier. This waiata was sung:

Makarini i konei -
Na wai koe i hoake
Hei whaka matatu
Te au moa iho te moe
Tutoko tonu au Ko Matariki te rite.
Na te aroha ra

Nana i ata toro ake -
He korou ka tu
Ki roto Nepia
Te mariri noa te
Rangi o te aroha, i'

(Henare Potae 21st February 1877 in Te Waka Maori 13th March 1877:68)

The Waiapu Chiefs also sent letters of condolence and advice to McLean’s son (Te Waka Maori ibid:67-68). When several Parliamentary attacks were made on McLean's character, after his death, the Ngaati Porou Chiefs rose to his defence through letters to Te Waka Maori.

[31] According to McLean (Notes 24th May 1866 Octavo Sequence Box V, McLean Papers MS32) 500 people were killed in the East Coast fighting, and 87 of them died in this battle (Kohere, R. 1949:55).

[32] PAIKEA was the great ancestor of the East Coast who migrated from Hawaiki on the back of a sea monster (Nepia Pohuhu, AJHR 1880 G-8:14).

[33] RUAWAIPU was an ancestress from TOI whose descendants occupied the Northern Waiapu before the arrival of the HOROUTA canoe (Ngata, Sir A. 1944 Lecture 2:3-4).

[34] This boundary, which appears to have been recognised by McLean, at least before 1873 (see page 76), excluded the whole of the Northern Waiapu from confiscation.

[35] According to Reweti Kohere the Hauhau Ngaati Porou were 'unconditionally pardoned' by Mokena Kohere (1949:59).

[36] There is no evidence to suggest how they were notified that their land was taken, but probably by published proclamation of the 1866 and 1867 East Coast Titles Investigation Act and Amendment Acts.

[37] In response to the Ngaati Porou effort on behalf of the Government against the Hauhau in 1865 Governor Grey suspended the power of the 1863 New Zealand Settlements Act from the East Coast. For this reason special legislation had to be passed to separate 'rebels' from their land. In 1866 the East Coast Titles Investigation Act was passed - like the 1863 Act it did not receive the Queen’s assent (Preece to the Governor 27th March 1868, AJHR 1868 A-16:2). A clerical error in the 1866 Act made the 1867 Amendment Act necessary, however it was never put into operation as the 1868 hostilities on the East Coast precluded the holding of Land Court investigations.

[38] 'with the exception of Henare Potae who refused to sign it ... as ... he had written to the Government for the loan of some money, and ... feared if they saw his name ... he would not get it' (Preece, J. to the Governor 25th April 1868, AJHR 1868 A-16:6).

[39] They were both 'McLean's men', and it will be recalled that McLean was sufficiently conversant with Maori interpretation of the Queen to foster the Chiefs' belief in a 'protective' (tiaki) and benevolent Monarch at the Kohimaarama Conference in 1860.

[40] Wiremu Keiha's (son?), certainly his close associate.

[41] When this land was investigated by the Land Court Wiremu Keiha and Paora Haenga were on the same side.

[42] In 1872 during a visit to Wellington an argument between Mokena Kohere and Karaitiana Takamoana (the East Coast Parliamentary [p100] representative) sprang up concerning McLean's motives -

E ki ana koe (a Karaitiana) na te mea he reo
Maori a Te Makarini i riro ai nga whenua a nga
Maori! Ata! Ko te whenua e korero na koe na te
Kawanatanga o Te Tapeta ano i tango i mua atu!'

- You (Karaitiana) say that because McLean speaks Maori the lands of the Maori people have been taken! Be careful! The land will speak before you and the Government of Russell (?) take possession of it.

(Mohi Turei Te Waka Maori 8th January 1873:4).

For this reason Ngaati Porou felt they needed their own representative in Parliament (ibid).

[43] Wikiriwhi te Matauru (Matehenoa) attended the conference at Kohimaarama in 1860.

[44] This refers to the lifting of the 1866 prohibition on land sales (cf. Locke page 88, and the Resolutions of the 1874 Hui at Wharekahika).

[45] The resolutions were signed by:

Wikiriwhi te Matauru  Henare Kaiwai
Mokena Kohere  Perahama Kuri
Wiremu Wanoa  Naera Tarawa
Irimana Houturangi  Paora Pokaia
Wi Pahuru  Epiniha te Awhikakatiu
Hatiwira Houkamau  Te Teira Rangiaia
Muera Rangipurua  Pehimana Horua
Rutene Hoenoa  Te Hatiwira te Kuhu
Hemi Tawhena  Hamapira Kakatarau
Hone Mokena  Hoani Matauru
Wiremu Keiha  Tiopira Rorirori
Hoani Ngatai  Hotene Tuanui
Anaru Kahaki  Hare Taua
Te Wananga 26th April 1875:78-79).

1983 Gail H. Dallimore

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