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Legends of the Maori

Rauparaha’s Expeditions

page 73

Rauparaha’s Expeditions.

WITH the assistance of Takaratai, Rauparaha and Te Atiawa originally came to Kapiti. This expedition of Ngapuhi reached the Ngatimaru tribe, which was overcome. They proceeded till they came to Whanganui, and there they took the village of Purua. After this conflict they continued their journey along the coast till they reached Waikanae. It was then that Rauparaha first saw Kapiti Island. They went on to Pukerua, where they had a battle with the Ngati-Kahuhunu. When they got to Rimurapa Tuwhare lost some of his canoes, but those which kept near the shore reached Parangarehu (Pencarrow Head) in safety, where the army decided to meet. From there they went on to Wairarapa and engaged the natives of that place in a severe conflict in which the Ngapuhi suffered defeat. The chief Te Karu, with fifty fighting-men, was lost.

After this defeat peace was declared, but the Ngapuhi were not satisfied till they had another battle with the Ngati-Kahuhunu, where they were outnumbered to such an extent that they (Ngapuhi) had to give up all hopes of conquering them and thus they returned to their home, leaving Te Atiawa at Taranaki and the Ngati-Toa at Kawhia.

Waikato made a raid on the Ngati-Toa at Kawhia shortly after, but were repulsed, and then the great expedition which was called the Amiowhenua took place, Tukorehu, Kukutai, Totara-i-ahua and Te Kawau being the chiefs. They came by way of Port Ahuriri and fought along the coast through Wairarapa, Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington), Waikanae, Otaki, Manawatu, Rangitikei, Wanganui and Ngati-Ruanui. The Ngati-Ruanui engaged and repulsed them after a terrible conflict, hence the song of lament, “Tenei ka noho kapakapa tu ana te tau o taku manawa ki aku tamariki.” After the Waikato were repulsed they proceeded to Waitara and there remained.

Rauparaha with the Ngati-Toa came to Te Kaweka, where they heard that the Waikato, under Pehi Korehu and the Ngati-Whatua, were waiting for them at Waitara. Te Atiawa and Ngati-Toa then besieged Waikato and Waikato were driven out at Ngapuketurua. The great chief Te Mahia was killed in this engagement. During the night Waikato escaped to Pukerangiora by a very clever ruse. They left a few men in front of the hill at night to engage in singing war-songs while the main army escaped at the back. The song they sang was: “E to ana tona waka ia te kumukumu” etc. Next day Te Atiawa followed the Waikato and at Te Raihe-poaka they page 74 engaged the enemy and utterly routed the Waikato hosts, who left their great chiefs Taiki, Titiri and Te Koraha as dead on the field of battle. One chief on our side, Hina by name, belonging to the Otaraua section, was killed. It was here that our forces first heard of the great relief party Te Wherowhero, Te Kanawa, Mama, Hiakai and Aupokia were bringing. When they reached Mimi our advance guard engaged them in conflict and our men, to the number of twenty, were killed, but the day following the whole army was engaged. Then Te Pokaitara killed the first man, whose name was Kahukahu. After that there was a general rout of the Waikato. Our men followed them up and kept harassing them as they were fighting a rearguard action. By the time they reached the chief Te Wherowhero and his reserves 100 men or more were killed on their side. The great chief Mama was killed by Koihua and Te Matoha killed Hiakai and Hori.

The battle raged round Te Wherowhero, and when he saw his men perishing round him he called out to Te Rauparaha: “E Raha, he aha to koha kia au?” (“O Rauparaha, what is your gift for me?”)

Rauparaha answered in the words which have now become a proverb: “Do not go by the under side for there the lower jaw stands, nor yet go by the upper side, for there the upper jaw is ready to spring and come down upon the lower jaw,” meaning that if he went either by the shore or up into the mountains he would run into an ambush, because a party of Te Atiawa was already there waiting and harassing Pehi Korehu. Thus ended these conflicts for a season.*

When Rauparaha knew that all his defeats had been avenged and wiped out and his fame had gone forth as a great warrior, he then went back and tried to persuade his own people, the Ngati-Raukawa at Mangatautari, and the Arawa to migrate to Kapiti with him. They refused to have anything to do with him and his mad ideas, so he came back to his other tribe, the Atiawa, and asked them to come with him and bring the Ngati-Toa to Kapiti. The burden of his thoughts were expressed in a song.

Then the great chiefs of the Atiawa tribe met together and finally decided that they would come with him. These were the names of the chiefs who went with him on his first visit to Kapiti:

Ngatimutunga hapu: Pomare Ngatata, Te Waka Tiwai, Pakaiahi (Manukonga), Te Matoha, Patukawenga, Ketu, Wharepoaka.

Ngatihinetuhi hapu: Rangikatata, Ngarewa, Pito, Te Hara, Ru, Henare Ngahoti, Koro.

Otaraua hapu: Rautahi.

page 75

Kaitangata hapu: Tuhata Patuhiki, Te Karu, Tumokemoke, Te Ika a kape, Ranginohokau.

Manukorihi hapu: Reretawhangawhanga, Wiremu Kingi, Tatairau, Pakaiahi, Manuparenga.

Ngatituaho hapu: Tamaranga, Hamiora Hotu, Taikarekare, Wharerau, Piti, Poki (wahine), Pohe Waiehuehu.

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