Important Judgments: Delivered in the Compensation Court and Native Land Court. 1866–1879.
Before leaving this epoch, I desire to notice two remarkable circumstances which appear to me to have an important bearing on the case generally, and especially as indicating to some degree the real value of Heteraka's claim, and the importance to be attached to his case as put forth in his own evidence. Many witnesses speak of these histories with slight variations, which, to my mind, give a greater aspect of truth to the teller of traditions. Some of these variations were noticed by counsel, and admitted as errors or explained in a remarkable manner, as for instance the two Kiwis; but in the general tenor of the tale there is evidently a clear and very consistent train of history. Many of these witnesses must have seen and talked with the actors in these events. Apihai very probably heard from his grandfather the tale of the night attack on Mangere. It was Paerimu's grandmother who was murdered at Mimihanui, and he doubtless heard his mother often talk of the death of her mother and the subsequent capture of her husband's father at the great destruction of her tribe at Mangere. Warena Hengia has himself seen the posts of Tupiriri's pa at One-tree Hill, and Te Waka Tuae lived in the pa at Onewa as a child. Yet only one witness mentions Mount Eden all through these operations, and, when questioned directly, without one exception they say they never heard of a pa having been there in or since the days of the conquest. Yet Heteraka told us that Rangikaketu lived there with his people, and that it was the "permanent pa" of his grandfather, Te Hehewa. Now, Te Rangikaketu was a party with Kiwi to the murders. It is not credible that after he decisive battle of Paruroa, in which Te Rangikaketu was engaged, and at which Kiwi was killed, and his tribe so disheartened that they abandoned all their pas on the north of Manukau, and concentrated themselves in Mangere for a final struggle, Rangikaketu with his Waiohua, as Heteraka alleges, can have been quietly left in occupation of Mount Eden; nor would his son have been allowed to make it his "permanent pa." But while some of the witnesses tell us of the pas taken and those abandoned, not one speaks of Mount Eden at all, and there is no doubt in my mind that it had been altogether abandoned before Kiwi's time, and that it has not been occupied as a pa since. I do not say that Te Hehewa never lived at Mount Eden. I think he probably did; that is, I see no reason 'for supposing the contrary. He married Huiatara, a woman of Ngatikahua, a hapu of the Waiohua, and Teke, another Waiohua woman; and, his father having apparently cast in his lot with the Waiohua, Hehewa may have been living there before the conquest; for if Apihai's grandfather had a hand, as an influential chief, in effecting it, it is not at all page 65improbable that Heteraka's grandfather, as a young man, may have been one of the sufferers and subsequent fugitives. But to believe that Te Hehewa, after the conquest, had a "permanent pa" there, is quite impossible. The evidence is also conclusive against Heteraka's statement that he died or was buried there. The evidence is preponderating that he died a natural death, near Manukau Heads, — that he was buried at Horohoro, near Wharenga, at the Heads,—that some chiefs of Te Kawerau, on account of their relationship to him, moved his bones to Piha, near Waitakere, and placed them in the wahi-tapu of Te Kawerau, called Pukemore, near that place, where they now repose. The other remarkable incident which occurs to my mind is the presence of Rangikalcetu with Kiwi's followers at this time, and his apparent connection with their fortunes, and theirs only; for it is admitted by all sides that he was a principal chief of Ngatitai and Ngatikahu, whose possessions extended from Takapuna northwards to Whangaparaoa. And Rangikaketu is engaged in these affairs, with a few followers, who are stated to be his own people—Ngatitai. Neither side has explained this satisfactorily. If these people were Ngatitai, what were they doing there? for we scarcely ever hear of Rangikaketu or Hehewa being "in their own country," as Mr. MacCormick would say, or "in their other country." as Mr. Gillies would say. Now, I think there is evidence to show that Ngatitai were a broken people before the time of Kiwi; and, if that is so, Te Rangikaketu and his few followers were then already refugees. Hapimana Taiawhio told us of the destruction of Ngatitai in old days by the Ngatipaoa, Ngatimaru, and other Thames tribes, and we have evidence that Ngatipaoa have exercised dominion over their lands; and we were told by another witness (Paora Tuhaere), "I have heard of the lament of Te Hehewa for his pa at Takapuna." Many matters difficult to explain, such as the residence of Purehurehu and of Heteraka amongst Ngatipaoa, can be easily understood on the above hypothesis; but I do not think that the evidence on this point is sufficiently clear or decided to allow the Court to make any important deductions from it. But one thing is certain, that Te Hehewa was, and Heteraka is, a chief without any followers.
From the period of this conquest for about half a century, there is no evidence of peace having been broken. Te Taou and the new mixture, under a revived name—Ngaoho (really Ngaoho No. 2)— and the returned refugees of Waiohua, under the name of Te Uringutu, lived together in different places in or near the isthmus, in undisturbed possession. They appear to have abandoned some of the pas that they captured from Te Waiohua, but maintained One-tree Hill as their principal pa, and had outlying pas at Onewa (Kauri Point), occupied by Tarahawaiki (Apihai's father), and Te Whakaakiaki, the commmander at Paruroa; Te Taou (Freeman's Bay), under Waitaheke; Mangonui (inside Kauri Point), under Reretuarau; and Tauhinu, further up the river. "These," Waka Tuaea says, "were all the pas that kept possession of this sea (Waitemata) page 66after the original people were destroyed." Besides these pas, they maintained others at Mangere and Ihumatao, under Te Horeta and Awarua, with whom and whose people the Waikato tribes had begun to mix by marriage, for the protection of that portion of the tribe. living on the Manukau side.