Maori Wars of the Nineteenth Century:
Death of Ti-waewae, 1819
Death of Ti-waewae, 1819.
Apparently, however, Ngati-Kahu-ngunu did not consider themselves in danger, for they forthwith proceeded to embroil themselves with another powerful tribe. It appears that a principal chief of the Wairoa, Hawke’s Bay, at this time was Te Kapua-matatoru (the Dense-cloud), and his tribe was in the habit of snaring birds, preserving them in their own fat (huahua), and then taking them to their chief. Amongst the people who engaged in this work was a man of note named Ti-waewae, page 286 who, unfortunately for Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, had married a high chieftainess of the Ngati-Raukawa tribe of Maunga-tautari, near the present town of Cambridge. On one occasion, a tribute of six tahā, or calabashes, of preserved birds was presented to Te Kapua-matotoru by Ti-waewae, who, together with the exiled tribe Ngati-Manawa, had obtained them at Maunga-haruru, near Tutira, inland of Moeangiangi, on the shores of Hawke Bay. Te Kahu-o-te-rangi (who had recently killed the Ure-wera man) felt hurt that this present was not given to him, as he claimed them of right. He consequently relieved his injured feelings by killing Ti-waewae, the husband of Te-Whata-nui’s sister, and thus gave offence to the head chief of the Ngati-Raukawa tribe, which position Te Whata-nui* held at that time. In thus doing, says my informant, Ngati-Kahungunu had incurred a third take, or cause for revenge. Such is the account I got from the Ure-wera. But Mr. Guthrie Smith of Tutira Lake, Hawke’s Bay, obtained another, which differs, as follows:—That an island pa in Tutira lake was being besieged, but the besiegers making use of an old custom, called Ti-waewae to come forth when his life would be spared. He crossed the lake to the shore, and was there treacherously murdered. Then, after peace was made, comes in the incident of the preserved birds tribute, which eventually page 287 was delivered to Tu-akiaki, whom we shall meet very soon.
This event lead to some fighting, in which, I believe, the Ure-wera took part, and Ngati-Kahu-ngunu suffered in two skirmishes—at Te Paruru and Ru-maka—about which we have no particulars.
* Te Whata-nui’s other name was Tohe-a-Pare.