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Maori Wars of the Nineteenth Century:

Titore’s and Te Wera’s Southern Expedition, 1820–21

Titore’s and Te Wera’s Southern Expedition, 1820–21.

In April, 1821, the “Church Missionary Proceedings” note that Titore returned to the Bay after a 16 months’ campaign on the east coast, and on the 19th April the Rev. J. Butler says:—“ We were visited (at the Kerikeri, Bay of Islands) by a chief named Hauraki, or Te Wera, whose place is at Okura, seven miles down the river. He had been away a long time on an expedition towards the South Cape of New Zealand. The chief place of action seems to have been a district called ‘Enamatteeora,’ about 400 miles from the Bay.” The name given to this district is clearly a mistake; it is intended for Hine-mati-oro, the name of the great chieftainess of the Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, who lived near Tologa Bay. “He has brought back 40 prisoners, several of whom were in his canoe; they were men of noble stature, and appeared rather dejected. Several women that he had taken were also in the canoe, one of whom (who was a chief’s daughter), he had made his wife. (Probably this was Te Ao-kapurangi, of Maketu). Her father had been slain in battle, and his head was in the canoe with page 167 several others. When it was held up as a trophy, the poor creature lay down, covering herself with a mat.” On April 12th, Mr. Francis Hall writes:—“We were informed that a lot of the Rangihoua people with several chiefs from the neighbouring districts, who have been on an expedition to the south east for 16 months, have come back with several prisoners and many heads. They have made dreadful havoc, and destroyed whole villages. Titore was one of the party.” This statement in reference to Titore conflicts which Cruise’s account, for he says:—“June 11th, 1820-Titore (or, as he calls him, Tetoro) left for the Thames, evidently bent on mischief,” and on the 12th August, 1820, he notifies the fact of Titore’s return to the Bay from the Thames.* We do not know any particulars of this lengthy expedition from the Maori account, excepting as to the fall of Te Whetu-matarau pa near the East Cape and the subsequent raid on Poverty Bay.

* This discrepancy may arise through the similarity of names of two Nga-Puhi chiefs of that period—Titore and Te Toru. Possibly it was the latter Cruise refers to.