The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 9 (December 2, 1935)
Famous New Zealanders — No. 33 — Three Great Maori Leaders: Hongi Hika, Hone Heke, and Tamati Waka Nene
Famous New Zealanders
Three Great Maori Leaders: Hongi Hika, Hone Heke, and Tamati Waka Nene.
The most commanding figures in North New Zealand during the first half of the nineteenth century, and the men who had the greatest share in the shaping of history there, were the Ngapuhi chiefs, Hongi Hika, his nephew Hone Heke, and their kinsman, Tamati Waka Nene. Their history and doings have often been related. In this character sketch the careers of the chiefs are not entered into at length, but they are revealed in a somewhat different light from that in which New Zealand writers have been accustomed to view them. I have often discussed the actions and motives of the leaders with elders of the Northern tribes, including several of the veterans who fought in Heke's war of 1845-46. Several of Hongi's warriors survived to a great age; and on the Little Barrier Island, in 1895, one of the last of them gave me a stirring narrative of his war-canoe expeditions under the famous conqueror in his youth.
There were three native New Zealanders who, in my view, stand in history as the strongest types of Maori character, in their several ways. One is Hongi Hika, the others are the great patriot Wiremu Tamehana te Waharoa, the King-maker, and Te Whiti, the peace-loving preacher, who was the temporal and spiritual head of the Taranaki tribes after the wars. (I am tempted to add Te Kooti to the list, but his acts and methods place him in a somewhat different category, to be considered later perhaps.)