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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]

Te Werowero, Or Potatau

Te Werowero, Or Potatau.

The racial troubles which arose in connection with the progress of settlement in New Zealand had the effect of promoting intertribal organisation amongst the Maoris. Under the guidance of the missionaries some of them had become fairly close students of the Old Testament, and it was natural that they should think of a kingship as a means of attaining the ends they had in view for themselves in relation with or in opposition to the colonists. Accordingly a kingship was set up, and Te Werowero or Potatau was chosen for the office. Te Werowero was of the very noblest blood of the Maori race. No chief in New Zealand could compare with him in genealogy, and in his many relationships with the highest in rank in many tribes. No Maori chief is great unless he can trace his descent to some leader who came in the first canoes from Hawaiki. Te Werowero's ancestor was Hotonui, who came in the canoe Tainui, which made land at Kawhia. One of the most famous men in the line of descent was Tapaue, who had a number of sons who founded tribes. These sons were: Te Rorokitua, who was the ancestor of the Ngatipaoa; Te Putu, Tahau, Te Apa, Huiarangi, Ratua, Hikaurua. The son of Te Putu was Tawhia, whose son was Tuata, whose son was Te Rauanganga, whose son was Te Werowero, the first Maori king. Te Werowero's wife was Whakaawi, a woman of high birth, of the Ngatimahuta tribe.