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

Te Arawi

Te Arawi.

These various killings, no doubt, widened the breach between Waikato and Ngati-Toa, and it therefore causes no surprise when we learn that Ngati-Hikairo (of Waikato) and Ngati - Mania-poto raised a taua and proceeded to Kawhia to chastise Ngati-Toa. Moreover, news had been received that Te Rau-paraha and his tribe had again occupied their old settlements, one of which was the pa at Whenua-po already referred to. At this time Te Poa-kai* was chief of the latter pa together with Rae-herea and Rawaho, whilst at Te Arawi were Te Rau-paraha, Rangi-haeata, with Matu (of Ngati-Koata).

The Waikato taua first went to Whenua-po and began an attack on

* Mr. A. Wilson says the Whenua-po pa was built by a great chief named Nga-Tira.

page 335the pa, "But," says Te Wheoro, "Te Hiakai was desirous to prevent bloodshed and asked the chiefs of the pa to come forth, together with the hapu Ngati-Te-Ra. When they did so Te Hiakai escorted them so they should not be harmed by Waikato. Ngati-Te-Wehi (Waikato) pursued the party, and Te Moke, seeing a greenstone heitiki on Te Hiakai's neck, snatched it off, which heitiki I (Te Wheoro) now have. But these people, together with Ngati-Whanga, were led away by Te Hiakai and Muri-whenua."

What the attack on Whenua-po ended in is not related; but from there the taua went on to Te Arawi with the intention of attacking that place. On their arrival Te Whakaete and Taki-waru of Waikato succeeded in killing two men of Ngati-Toa, named Arawaka and Whakatau-poki; and directly after an attack was made on the pa. Whilst this was going on Hau-tutu saw a man of the pa come outside whom he pursued but did not capture. On his return he found himself blocked on all sides and had to spring over the cliff to escape Te-Rangi-haeata. He landed on a rock and seriously injured his thigh, his blood staining the stone. When Te Rangi-haeata saw this he licked up the blood from the rock. Parakete is the name of the place where Hau-tutu jumped over. The circumstance is referred to in the song, "Mokai 'Haeta whakarauora," etc.

During the night the pa was surrounded (on the land side) and after dark Riki and Maru of Ngati-Te-Kore let a man down from the pa by a rope who wished to communicate with Taiawa, of Ngati-Mahanga (Waikato). At the interview Tai-awa arranged that they should escape, for they wished to leave the pa without the knowledge of the rest of the garrison. Te Kanawa (Waikato) at the same time arranged for the escape of Ngati-Tuiri-rangi (related to Ngati-Toa, though often their enemies—see Chap. IX.) In the morning Ngati-Toa within the pa discovered that the garrison was decreasing by desertion.

"During the progress of the siege," says Hone Kaora, "Waikato caught Taunga-wai, a younger brother of Te Rau-paraha, whilst Te Aka and Rua-tahora, two women, were also caught, but their lives spared. Werawera* was also killed by Ngati-Hikairo, which tribe, with Ngati-Mania-poto, were surrounding the pa. Te Rangi-tua-taka (Waikato) took the two women back to the pa and delivered them to their relatives," an action which no doubt facilitated the negotiations that followed for the evacuation of the pa.

* Werawera was Te Rau-paraha's father, but it does not appear whether this was the same man. Te Aka is possibly Oriwia Te Aka, daughter of Tungia, and referred to in that stinging Kai-oraora to be found at p. 284 of Nga-Moteatea; where the incidents of this siege are described.

page 336

Amongst the Ngati-Mania-poto who were thus pressing Te Rauparaha and his people to extremity, was Te Rangi-tua-tea of that tribe, but who was also related to Te Rau-paraha, and hence he did not wish to see matters carried to the bitter end by his own people. He therefore watched his opportunity when the watch kept on the pa was slacker than usual, and approached the fortifications in the night, and softly called to the sentries that he wanted to see Te Rau-paraha, giving his name. On learning of this Te Rau-paraha descended to the beach where his friend was awaiting him, and there a consultation was held, ending in Te Rangi-tua-tea saying, "Maunu! Haere! withdraw, and be off at once before you are attacked and it is too late. Go all that can, and leave only such as are unable to travel; leave them to be made cinders (kongakonga) of. Go to Taranaki; to Te Ati-Awa, for safety."* W. Taungatara, after relating much the same, says, "Rau-paraha replied that he thought it better to go to the Ngati-Raukawa tribe, who were his relatives (their home was at Munga-tautari, near Cambridge), but Te Rangi-tuatea said at once, "E kore koe e pahure; engari me ahu koe ki te pa-ngaio e tu mai ra, ka ora koe!"—("You will not be able to pass (the Waikato tribe), but turn towards the pa-ngaio there and you will be saved"—the pa-ngaio being the Ati-awa tribe.) Te Rauparaha then asked, "When shall we go?" "This very night; do not delay;"W. Taungatara says that they left that same night; but it is probable Major Te Wheoro is right in saying that Te Rau-paraha possibly thinking there would be a difficulty in thus escaping without the help of—at least one part of—Waikato, summoned Te Hiakai to a conference, which took place within the pa. During this interview, Te Hiakai agreed that he would restrain his people and allow Te Rau-paraha to depart in peace on his way south. Te Rau-paraha, turning towards Kawhia, said to Te Hiakai, "Behold your land! Do not follow me to the south!" It would have been well for Te Hiakai if he had taken this advice; but he did not, and consequently lost his life at the battle of Te Motu-nui, as we shall see in Chapter XIV.

It appears that Te Rangi-tua-tea, in pursuance of his friendship for Te Rau-paraha and his desire that Ngati-Toa should get away, persuaded most of the besieging force to leave the neighbourhood of the pa and go a-fishing—probably in Kawhia Harbour. Evidently, Te Hiakai and he were now acting in unison, for Te Wheoro says, on the return of Te Hiakai from the pa, he and Ngati-Mahuta took great care that Waikato should not pursue Ngati-Toa. He adds, "Many of the garrison went by canoe with Te Rau-paraha, Te Rangi-haeata,

* From Mr. Shand.

page 337and To Kaka-kura, whilst others went by land "(see next Chapter). It was not the whole of Ngati-Toa that left, for some remained and became, as Te Wheoro says, slaves—rather would they be raht, or vassals to the conquerors.

Te Rangi-tua-tea, in thus assisting Ngati-Toa, was secretly rejoiced at the discomfiture of Waikato, but evidently was not a believer in the doctrine that "virtue is its own reward," for "immediately on the abandonment of Kawhia," says Mr. Shand, he, with all his people, at once took possession of part of Kawhia and instantly set to work to entrench himself in order to prevent Waikato claiming the place. He fortified a pa named Te Kawau (? that at Taharoa), where he left a guard of his own people, and then returned to Waipa and brought over four hundred of the Ngati-Raukawa (? Ngati-Mania-poto) to assist in holding the place."