Maori Wars of the Nineteenth Century:
Not satisfied with the success thus obtained, the allies now advanced inland in the direction of the present site of Gisborne, and attacked a pa called Waihau, situated near the place now known as Tini-roto.* This pa was taken also after some fighting. At this time the Ure-wera were possessed of a single fire-arm in the shape of a kōpē, or horse pistol, which was used to great effect by Rehua, the father of Rakuraku Rehua of Waimana,† the well-known Ure-wera chief who had this renowned pistol in his possession up to the year 1897 when it was buried in the fall of a house at Waimana. A great slaughter took place at Waihau. Rakuraku told me that he had seen great heaps of men’s bones and skulls there in his younger days. It is said by some that Tu-akiaki was killed here, and not at Pohatu-roa.
* I have heard one or two amusing guesses at the origin of this name, Tini-roto, now applied to a Government township about half way between Gisborne and the Wairoa. When Chief Surveyor of the Auckland Province, this part was in my district, and I gave the place the name for want of an original Maori one. For euphony the adjective—Tini—was placed before the noun—Roto—contrary to the rules of the Maori language.
† Rakuraku died at Waimana, February, 1901, and with him much valuable knowledge, for he was educated as a tohunga.
This war with Ngati-Kahu-ngunu is said to have been the last of any consequence—indeed, some say the last of all—between that tribe and page 367 the Ure-wera up to the time of the introduction of Christianity, for peace was shortly afterwards made between Te Ahuru of the Ure-wera, and Hipara, of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu.
This peace is one of those called by the Urewera a tatau-pounamu, or “green-jade-door,” which means an enduring peace, its durability being likened to the jade as imperishable—the door was shut against war, like the door of the Temple of Janus amongst the Romans. Apparently it was Hipara and his brother Puhirua, of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, who originated the peace, which was consented to by all the tribe. Hipara’s daughter, named Hine-ki-runga, was given in marriage to one of the Ure-wera, and the peace was also more firmly bound by the strange custom of marrying two mountains, the names of which are Kuha-tarewa (the female) and Tuhi-o-kahu (the male), the first being given by Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, the other by the Ure-wera.*
* I have referred, all through these events, to the series of tribes within the “Ure-wera reserve” as the Ure-wera tribe. As a matter of fact, the tribe that properly bears that name are the descendants of Mura-kareke, who got burnt in a fire some sixteen generations ago, and hence the name. Tuhoe, the father of Mura-kareke, has also given his name to the tribe.
Pae-rere-i-waho = Awa-morehurehu (visited Hawaiki)
Toroa, captain of “Mata-atua” circa 1350,
Frequent reference has been made in the part of this narrative relating to the Ure-wera tribe to Tamarau, to whom I am indebted for a great deal of the information given, as well as to Mr. Elsdon Best. He was at that time about 71 years old, and in the possession of all his faculties. Before the “Ure-wera Commission,” in 1900, he gave an exhibition of his powers of memory, which exceeded anything of the kind page 369 I ever heard of. He recited the genealogy of the whole of his tribe—the Ngati-Koura—starting from Te Hapu-oneone, who flourished 33 generations ago. From this remote ancestor he gave every line down to living persons, stating whether they were male or female, and where necessary supplied the names of the husband or wife of outside hapus. He took three days to do this, and the number of names given amounted to within a few of 700. Truly a most astonishing effort of memory, and one that probably none but a Polynesian—the most accomplished genealogists in the world—could have succeeded in.