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page 65


Little is known or recorded of the history of this great ancestor of the Maori people beyond the fact that he was the chief of the Tainui canoe, which left the western shore of Tahiti with the Main Fleet of 1350, and first landed at Maketu, East Coast. The Tainui came in company with the Te Arawa canoe, as has been recorded in this book. It appears that the Te Arawa. canoe landed in the afternoon, and the crews had gone to sleep ashore. During the night the Tainui canoe arrived and anchored alongside of Te Arawa. When morning came, a dispute arose between the two parties as to which had landed first. On inspection of the anchors it was found that the cable of Tainui was underneath that of Te Arawa. The people of Te Arawa, believing that they had been cheated by the people of the Tainui canoe by running their cable under theirs, would not give way. The dispute nearly resulted in bloodshed. Whether this was done for a joke or not is not known, but the people of the Tainui canoe gave in and departed to seek a landing place elsewhere. It has been related that this canoe sailed north, and landed at Kawhia. Two stones mark the length of the canoe where she crumbled away to dust. The King Country and Waikato tribes, with those of Hauraki, claim descent from Tainui. Even the Ngati-Kahungunu, of Wairoa, have a direct line of descent from Hoturoa. It is for this reason that Hoturoa was selected as one of the figures on the Takitimu Carved House.