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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 6 (September 1, 1936)

From a Family of Rulers

From a Family of Rulers.

The old chiefs have gone, but a new leader and champion has emerged, and that is Te Puea Herangi. She came just at the hour when an organiser and a director was needed to guide and hold her tribe-folk in the ways of life. There is a strain of English blood in the first lady of Waikato. She may be described as three-quarter caste Maori. Her father, Tahuna Herangi (Searancke) is a half-caste, the son of a Mr. Searancke, who was a Government magistrate in the Waikato, and a chieftainess named Harata. Her mother was Tiahuia (“Adorn with Plumes of the Huia”), a daughter of King Tawhiao and a sister of the late Mahuta, the third King of Waikato, whom the Government appointed a member of the Legislative Council, as representing the native race.

King Koroki, the fifth of the royal house, is her near relative; he plays a quiet, dignified part as titular head of his people.

On her Maori side Te Puea can recite her genealogical descent from Hoturoa, the Polynesian sailor chief, who commanded the canoe Tainui on the voyage from Tahiti to New Zealand six centuries ago. She can recite, too, the collateral lines that link her ancestors with the Arawa and other great tribes of the island. Her great ancestress Mahina-a-Rangi, after whom her beautiful carved meeting-house at Ngaruawahia is named, is the chieftainess whose name brings many tribes to Waikato. From her the Arawa, East Coast, and King Country all trace partial descent.

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