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The New Zealand Wars: A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period: Volume II: The Hauhau Wars, (1864–72)


page 79


The Ngati-te-Rangi chief Hori Tupaea, to whose capture reference has already been made, was arrested by the Ngati-Pikiao in the bush on the south side of Rotoiti Lake while endeavouring to join Kereopa by a long inland detour. The capture was made in February, 1865, under directions from Colonel Greer, commanding at Tauranga. The following narrative of the capture and of a curious Pai-marire scene in the forest was given by Heni Pore (Te Kiri-karamu), the Arawa woman who behaved so valiantly at the Gate pa in 1864:—*

“In 1865, when the Hauhau religion began to spread to some of our Arawa people (the Ngati-Rangiwewehi), I went to live close to Kahuwera, a strong palisaded pa on a high point on the northern shore of Lake Rotoiti, near Otaramarae. I lived there with the family of my uncle Wiremu Matenga te Ruru, of Ngati-Uenukukopako. We camped on the beach below the pa. It became known that the Ngai-te-Rangi chief Hori Tupaea—the highest chief on the Bay of Plenty coast—was endeavouring to cross through the Arawa country on his way to join Kereopa or the other Hauhau rebels in the interior, and this move we determined to prevent. Every track was watched, and armed canoe-crews went out daily and nightly to scout the shores of the lake. I carried Matenga's rifle; he was not in good health, and he wished me to accompany him and use his gun whenever necessary, as I was accustomed to war and the use of firearms. We knew that Hori Tupaea intended to join Kereopa and his band, but no one knew exactly where the chief would creep through our district; therefore we kept diligent watch all along the shores of the lake, which lay across Hori's path into the interior.

“Matenga and his wife and several others of us went out daily in a small canoe. One morning as we were closely scanning the coast of the southern side of the lake we saw an empty canoe drifting about near the middle of the lake. The alarm was given, and soon a score of canoes were racing for it. The canoe had evidently been cast loose a very little while before. We concluded correctly that Hori and his party had crossed the lake in the early dawn and were somewhere near the shore in the bush south of us. We paddled ashore to the nearer part of the south coast, and there came on the trail. Matenga's keen eyes noticed a place where the soil had been disturbed a very little while before; it was on the cliff-side between Hauparu and Ruato Bays, and a tuft of grass with earth clinging to the page 80 roots had been dislodged from the higher parts of the steep wall.

We landed and climbed the cliff, and soon we came upon the foot-tracks of a party of people leading into the forest. We followed them up rapidly into the bush south of Ruato, and we soon came upon a number of Maoris with Hori Tupaea among them. An elderly man named Tiu Tamehana (“Jew Thompson”) was with them; he was their kai-karakia (religious leader) or poropiti (prophet). Our chief Matenga called on the party to stop, threatening to fire on them unless they stood fast. Hori and his companions thereupon came to a halt, but made no move to surrender. Instead, they gathered round their prophet and chanted their Pai-marire incantations and called upon their gods to strike us blind. We surrounded them and listened to their karakia. Besides Hori and Tiu, there were in the Hauhau party Hori's old wife, Akuhata and his wife and child, a half-caste named Hoani Makaraoti (John McLeod), of Tauranga, Te Hati, Timoti te Amopo, and a number of others, about twenty in all. Timoti was my old friend of the war-path the previous year, the tohunga who had saved my life at the Gate Pa. He had turned Hauhau, and was guiding the Tauranga people across the country. Having camped for a long time in the bush on the north side of Rotoiti, they had succeeded in crossing the lake unseen, and were making for the Urewera Country when we discovered them. Hori and his people were all unarmed; there was not even a stone patu among them. But old Timoti secretly carried a short-handled tomahawk under his shirt; this was discovered afterwards. The party had done their utmost to escape detection, but their tracks were readily found, and their device of dragging brushwood back and forward on the beach at the spot where they landed, to hide their footmarks, only served to put our scouts on their trail.

“The old chief and his prophet, as we approached, cried out to their two atuas or gods, Rura and Riki, to blind our eyes and prevent us seeing them. Then the prophet began his Pai-marire chant, as taught by Te Ua in Taranaki:—

Koterani, teihana!
Karaiti titi Kai.
Kopere, teihana!
Rire, rire, hau!

“As they chanted the Hauhaus raised their right hands above their heads, the universal Pai-marire gesture. Then they chanted their fanatic prayers, seeming to believe that their incantations would avert their capture. The prophet began page 81 this Maori version of the Benediction, in which all the people joined:—

Kororia me te Pata,
Ranei tu,
Ranei to,
Te wai te pikine,
Huoro Pata, hema ta pi,
Wai wi rau te,
Rire rire, hau!

(“Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning and ever shall be, world without end”—and, instead of “Amen,” “Rire, rire, hau!”)

“I well remembered this karakia as I heard it then chanted by the Hauhaus with their right hands upraised, but it was not until long afterwards that I discovered what it meant. The Hauhaus believed that when they had learned all these incantations well their gods Rura and Riki would give them power to walk upon the waters and perform other supernatural deeds. Some of us asked, ‘Then why did not Hori Tupaea walk across the lake instead of taking a canoe?’ ‘Oh,’ said the Hauhaus, ‘he was not well enough versed in the karakia then.’

“When we had surrounded the Hauhau party Matenga te Ruru told me to go out to the edge of the bush and fire my gun to let the Arawa know of our discovery. I hurried out to the edge of the bush near the cliff and fired, and then all the canoecrews who were out scouting came paddling eagerly up to where I stood. The prisoners were brought out to the beach, and we embarked them in a large war-canoe with Matene te Huaki and some of his armed Arawa. We paddled up to Kahuwera, our crew in great excitement, chanting their war-songs in time to the paddle-strokes, and when we reached the beach below the pa there was a tremendous commotion. The people dashed out into the water to meet us, brandishing tomahawks over the prisoners and threatening to kill them. Matene te Huaki, who held the steering-paddle, swept the canoe out from the shore and waited until the excitement had subsided before landing the prisoners. Hori Tupaea remained impassive through all this demonstration. He offered to go ashore and brave the anger of the people, and then he betook himself again to his Pai-marire chants, with uplifted right hand, apparently firm in the faith that his Hauhau gods would preserve his life and strike his antagonists helpless. The Arawa loudly taunted him with his condition; helpless. The Arawa loudly taunted him with his condition; he was a prisoner now, and never again could he call himself a rangatira.

“The prisoners were brought ashore and were led up to a big tent which was pitched on the point of Kahuwera pa. There they were plentifully supplied with food—pork, kumara, wild honey, and so forth—but they were very sorrowful and could not eat much. From Kahuwera the people were sent on to page 82 Maketu and Tauranga. Hori Tupaea was kept a prisoner for some time. When my old friend Timoti was searched in Tauranga Gaol his short patiti (tomahawk) was found stuck in his flax girdle underneath his shirt. The prophet had ordered that no weapons should be carried on the secret expedition, and when he learned of Timoti's tomahawk he declared that this breach of his instructions was the aitua which had brought misfortune on the party.”

The arrest of Hori Tupaea led, in a rather curious way, to the prosecution of a man prominent in Maori affairs, Mr. C. O. Davis, of Auckland, on a charge of sedition. Tomika te Mutu and other chiefs of the Ngai-te-Rangi Tribe, of Tauranga, visited Auckland shortly after the capture of Hori Tupaea. Tomika and his friends were indignant at this action, and vented their opinion of the Arawa in a song of derision, which Mr. Davis copied and had printed at his press. The waiata was as follows:—

Ko wai te iwi e korerotia kinotia nei?
Ko te Arawa mangai-nui.
He aha tona kino?
He tohe nona ki te whakatutu ki te taha Maori.
He aha te take a kaha ai ki te whakatutu i te taha Maori?
He pati moni, he pati kai.
He aha tona he e kitea nei e nga iwi?
Ko tona pakanga ki te patu i nga iwi i te Awa-a-te-Atua.
Tena tetahi?
Ko te kohurutanga i a Te Aporotanga.
Tena tetahi?
Ko tona whakai ki te hopu huhuakore i te Ariki a Tauranga, i a Hori Tupaea.
Meatia e mutu ai enei he?
Me whakahoki pai-marire a Te Arawa ki tona tupunga mai ki Hawaiki.


Who are the people that speak words of evil?
The big-mouthed Arawa.
Wherein does their evil lie?
They urge insistently violence and mischief among the Maori people.
For what reason do they persist in this mischief?
They are bribed with money; they are bribed with food.
What was their sin in the eyes of the tribes?
They made war upon and slew the people of the Awa-a-te-Atua.
What was another of their evil deeds?
The murder of Te Aporotanga.
And another?
They surrounded and unjustly seized the high chief of Tauranga, Hori Tupaea.
What can be done to end these evils?
The Arawa should be returned peacefully to the father-land whence they came, to Hawaiki.

page 83

The Government secured the manuscript of the song, and instituted a prosecution on a charge of seditious libel, professing to see in it an invitation to the other tribes to attack the Arawa. The whole thing lay in the interpretation of the Maori words. Archdeacon Maunsell and others gave expert evidence which had the effect of inducing the jury unanimously to acquit Mr. Davis.

Te Aporotanga mentioned in this waiata was the Whakatohea chief captured in the Kaokaoroa battle near Matata and shot by Tohi te Ururangi's widow in revenge for the death of her husband.