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Maori Wars of the Nineteenth Century:

Peace between Waikato and Nga-Puhi, 1824

page 307

Peace between Waikato and Nga-Puhi, 1824.

It will be remembered that after the siege and fall of Matakitaki to Hongi Hika in May, 1822 (see ante) some women were left in the pa to open the way to peace, should Waikato desire it; and moreover (Captain Mair informs me) two young Waikato chiefs—Te Kihirini and Te Kanawa-te-whakaete—who had been taken prisoners, were returned by Hongi-Hika to their people, with this object also in view. These young chiefs with others proceeded to the Bay of Islands for that purpose, where the peace was ratified by a marriage between two high chiefs of the opposing tribes. This was a frequent practice in old days. It is believed to have been in the early part of 1824 that a party of Nga-Puhi visited Waikato to cement the peace between Hongi-Hika and Te Wherowhero. Mr. Fenton says:* “The Waikato party accompanied by the bride (Matire-toha, Rewa’s daughter) and sixty Nga-Puhi chiefs, under Rewa and others, started away from the Bay by direction of Hongi-Hika to return the visit of the Waikato chiefs to the Bay, and complete the peace by formally reinstating the tribes of (Lower) Waikato in their usual residences. When the party arrived at Takapuna (North Shore, Auckland) they were met by Apihai Te Kawau at the head of all the Ngati-Whatua sub-tribes—Te Taou, Ngaoho, and Te Uringutu —who treated them courteously and supplied page 308 them with food from Okahu (near Orakei, Auckland harbour), where at that time they were sojourning. The Taou people took the Nga-Puhi party up the Wai-te-mata river, and then across to Ongarahu, their settlement near the sand-hills of the west coast, where they entertained them for three days. The Nga-Puhi party then returned down the river to Te Whau, dragging their canoes over the neck there into the Manakau harbour, and thence, pursuing the route formerly traversed by Hongi-Hika (viâ the Waiuku and Awaroa streams), they passed up the Waikato river.

“At Weranga-o-Kapu, an island in the Waikato river below Tuakau, they saw a party of Ngati-Paoa under Kohi-rangatira (the chief who escaped from the massacre at Mau-inaina in 1821) and Paraoa-rahi living in a pa; and, after arriving at the pas of Waikato on the Mangapiko river, a branch of the Waipa (at the site of Matakitaki, taken by Nga-Puhi in 1822), they found another party of Ngati-Paoa, part of the original inhabitants of Mau-inaina. The Waikato chiefs of the pas were Te Kanawa and Te Roherohe (? Te Pohepohe) and the chief of the Ngati-Paoa was Te Rauroha.

“The Nga-Puhi chiefs remained two years at this place and then returned to their own country. At the end of the year, 1824, Te Taou and Ngaoho hapus of Ngati-Whatua were living at Te Rehu (not far from the lunatic asylum, Auckland,) and at Horotiu (Commercial Bay formerly, now reclaimed, the page 309 present site of Fort Street and Custom House Street, Auckland,) and some at Okahu.”

* Loc. cit., p. 70.