The Old Frontier : Te Awamutu, the story of the Waipa Valley : the missionary, the soldier, the pioneer farmer, early colonization, the war in Waikato, life on the Maori border and later-day settlement
The terms “King Country,” “Rohepotae,” and “Aukati” require a little explanation for those who are unacquainted with the origin of the phrases.
The King Country, embracing a vast area of territory south of the Puniu River and west of the Upper Waikato, with the Tasman Sea as the western boundary, was so called because the Maori King Tawhiao with his adherents took refuge there in 1864 after being dispossessed of Waikato. For some years Tawhiao's headquarters were at Tokangamutu, close to the site of the present town of Te Kuiti. The name Te Kuiti is an abbreviation of Te Kuititanga, meaning “the narrowing in,” a designation given by the Kingites in reference to the conquest of Waikato and the consequent hemming in of the Maoris in the country south of the Puniu.
“Rohe-potae” means a circular boundary line, literally a boundary resembling a head-covering. The term was applied to the King Country in the early Eighties by Wahanui and his fellow-chiefs, when defining the area within which no pakeha surveys or land-buying or leasing would be permitted.
“Aukati” means a line which may not be passed; a frontier or pale. It was particularly applied by the Kingites to the northern border of the King Country, the Government's confiscation boundary; pakeha trespass over this line was forbidden.