Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

History and traditions of the Maoris of the West Coast, North Island of New Zealand, prior to 1840

Port Nicholson

Port Nicholson.

Watene says that near Puke-rua and its neighbourhood—probably including Porirua harbour—the taua found so many fine canoes that they decided to continue their journey by water. So they put to sea on the stormy waters of Cook's Straits, and when they arrived at Te Rimu-rapa (Sinclair's Head) some of the canoes proceeded by the outside route, beyond the reefs, where the fierce currents of Cook's Straits raises a heavy sea. These canoes capsized and over a hundred men were drowned. The rest of the party took the inside passage and thus reached Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Port Nicholson) in safety, landing at a place Watene calls Pa-ranga-hau, which I do not recognise.

On arrival of the taua at Pa-ranga-hau, they found some of the local tribe, the Ngati-Ira, there, and immediately attacked them, killing a great number of the unfortunate people by aid of their muskets, which, of course, were quite new to the Ngati-Ira—no ships having visited Port Nicholson at that time, so far as can be ascertained. "But," says Watene, "Nga-Puhi did not escape seatheless; Ngati-Ira charged them in the face of the flames from the muskets, and with their native weapons killed many Nga-Puhi. One night, not long after the Nga-Puhi had been camped at Te Aro (in the present city of Wellington), Ngati-Ira attacked Nga-Puhi in force during the night and succeeded in killing two hundred (?) of the latter tribe, including a high chief, Te Karu "(who belonged, I believe, to the Roroa hapu of Ngati-Whatua).

For the rest of the Nga-Puhi doings at Port Nicholson, readers must be referred to "Wars of the Northern against the Southern Tribes," where they will be found in considerable detail as told by one of the actors, and most of which is corroborated by Watene.