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Some Chapters in the Life and Times of Te Rauparaha

Chapter IV

Chapter IV.

The voluntary migration, from their ancestral possessions, of an independent and comparatively powerful tribe like the Ngatitoa, with a view to the conquest and settlement of a new territory, must, under any circumstances, be looked upon as a remarkable event in the later history of “Old New Zealand;” but our wonder at the undertaking ceases, when we reflect upon the peculiar position occupied by this tribe—and, in fact, by all the tribes on the western coast of the North Island, to the South of the Manukau—at the period when it took place, more especially with reference to the opportunity of acquiring fire-arms, which had become an absolute necessity to any tribe desirous of maintaining a separate independent existence, whilst we are forced to admire the sagacity of the chief who conceived, and of the people who adopted, such a design. There can, indeed, be little doubt that had the Ngatitoa attempted, in the then changed circumstances of native warfare, to retain possession of their ancient territory against the increasing power of the Waikatos, more particularly after the alliance of the latter with Te Waharoa, they would certainly have been annihilated.

I ought to have mentioned in the last chapter, that in the long period during which the Ngatitoa, Ngatiawa, and Ngatitama occupied adjoining districts, frequent intermarriages took place between members of these tribes, so that the leading chiefs, especially, of each came to be connected with those of the others by ties of blood. Te Rauparaha himself was in this position, and this circumstance, added to his great fame as a warrior and page 36 statesman, gave him an influence in the councils of Ngatiawa and Ngatimata, which was of much value and importance to him, in the furtherance of his immediate projects, whilst they ultimately led to his example being followed by those tribes, after the severe losses inflicted upon them by Te Wherowhero and the Waikatos at Puke-rangiora. It appears, indeed, that long before this blow fell upon them, Te Rauparaha had pointed out the danger to which they would be exposed at the hands of the Waikato chief, when he and his people no longer stood between them and the latter, but the united Ngatiawa and Ngatitama were at that time a very powerful tribe, their ancient mana, as warriors extending through the length and breadth of the land, and they ridiculed the possibility of serious defeat or disaster befalling them, and even urged Te Rauparaha himself to abandon his design, as unnecessary, and as being incompatible with the honour of his tribe. But the sagacious chief of the Ngatitoa had seen the change produced in the relative positions of the Ngapuhi and Ngatiwhatua, on the one side, and of Ngatimaru and other Thames people on the other, owing to the opportunities possessed by the former of acquiring, in abundance, the powerful European weapons, and he had early appreciated the fact, that in all future contests in New Zealand, the party which could only bring the wooden spear and battle-axe into the field, against the musket and the bayonet, must eventually be destroyed. On this point, very decisive testimony is given by Major Cruise, of the 84th Regiment, in his account of his residence in New Zealand in 1819 and 1820. He mentions that, on the arrival of the “Dromedary” store ship at the Bay of Islands, for the purpose of taking in a cargo of kauri spars, they found the people of the Bay daily expecting the return of a numerous war party, which had started some months previously for the purpose of attacking the natives at the River Thames. Shortly afterwards, in effect, this party arrived at the head of the bay, and he and some of the other officers of the “Dromedary,” went to meet it. The returned party occupied a fleet of about fifty canoes, many of them seventy or eighty feet long, and few less than sixty; all of them were filled with warriors, who stood up and shouted as they passed the; European boat, holding up numbers of human heads as trophies of their success. The barter of powder and muskets, he says, carried on by the whalers, had already distributed some hundred stand of arms amongst the inhabitants of the Bay, and as the natives at the Thames were unprovided with similar weapons, they made little opposition to their more powerful invaders, who, in that instance, told him that they had killed 200, whilst they returned with the loss of only four men. Tui, one of the principal chiefs of the Bay, in a conversation with Major Cruise on this occasion, made one continued boast of the atrocities he had committed during an excursion to the same place about two months before, and dwelt with marked pleasure upon page 37 an instance of his generalship, when, having forced a small party of his enemies into a narrow place, whence there was no egress, he was enabled, successively. to shoot twenty-two of them, without their having the power of making the slightest resistance. Now, such facts as these were well known to Te Rauparaha, and satisfied him that the utmost valour, backed even by very superior numbers, must be of no avail against a weapon of so deadly a character as the musket, when wielded by so daring and bloodthirsty a people as the New Zealanders. He, therefore, never wavered in his design, and from the time when Tamaki Waka Nene pointed out the ship sailing in Cook Strait, until his actual departure from Kawhia at the head of his people, his mind and his energies were constantly engaged in devising the means of carrying it to a successful issue. It was not, however, until upwards of two years after the return of the war party, mentioned in the last chapter, that the necessary arrangements for the migration were completed, and during this interval he frequently visited the Ngatiraukawa, at Maungatautari, for the purpose of urging them to join him, whilst he also held constant intercourse with the chiefs of Ngatitama and Ngatiawa, in regard to the assistance his people would require from them, whilst passing through their territory. I must caution my readers from inferring from the relationship and general friendliness which existed between the Ngatitoa and the Ngatiawa, that either of these tribes would have felt much delicacy or compunction in destroying the other. At the period in question, more, perhaps, than during any other in the history of the race, moral considerations had but little weight in determining the conduct either of the individual or of the tribe. The ruthless wars which were then being prosecuted all over the North were rousing, to the highest pitch, the savage instincts of the race, and even the nearest relatives did not hesitate in destroying and devouring each other. Of this utter abandonment of all moral restraint many frightful instances might be quoted, but the fact is too well known to those who are acquainted with the history of the New Zealanders during the thirty years preceding the colonization of the Islands by the Europeans to require demonstration here.

But however essential to the success of the enterprise were the friendship and co-operation of Ngatiawa, it was no less necessary that Te Rauparaha should be enabled to effect his object without danger of molestation from his old enemies, the Waikatos, who would naturally be disposed to take advantage of any favourable circumstance, in connection with the event in question, in order to wreak their vengeance upon a foe from whom they had received many disastrous blows. In the last chapter, I mentioned that the Ngatimaniapoto, then occupying the country extending along the coast to the northward of Kawhia, were connected by common descent, as well as by intermarriages, with the Ngatitoa; and I may now add that, although page 38 occasional disputes took place between these two tribes, they had always lived on terms of friendship, and usually made common cause against an enemy. But the Ngatimaniapoto were also, in a considerable degree, connected with the Waikato tribes, under the leadership of Te Wherowhero; and Rauparaha, determined to make use of this double connection in order to establish a firm peace between himself and the great Waikato chief before he commenced his movements towards the south. Through the influence of Kukutai and Te Kanawa, with both of whom Te Rauparaha was on good terms, he succeeded, very soon after his return from the expedition under Waka and himself, in inducing Te Wherowhero to agree to a cessation of hostilities, whilst he also informed them of his intention to leave Kawhia, with his people, and promised to cede it to Te Wherowhero on his departure. The easy acquisition of so valuable a territory was naturally looked upon by this chief as a matter of great moment to his people, besides the even more important circumstance attaching to it, namely, that the removal of a powerful enemy would enable him to concentrate his forces along his eastern frontier, so as to keep in check the increasing power of Te Wahoroa, whom he dreaded, notwithstanding that an alliance then existed between them. The proposed peace was accordingly made, and Te Rauparaha and his people being thus as secure as could be expected against attack on the part of the Waikatos, and having made satisfactory arrangements with Ngatitama and Ngatiawa for their passage through the territory of the latter, proceeded to make final preparations for departure. The principal point in this respect was the necessity of providing for a supply of food during the journey, which must obviously be a slow one on account of the aged, and of the women and children, whilst the distance was too great to be accomplished within a single season, and it was essential, therefore, to establish resting places where cultivations could be carried on in order to provide for the continuation of the march in the ensuing year. In the next place, Te Rauparaha knew that he could not conceal his intentions from the tribes whom he was about to invade; and that, although their power had been greatly shaken during the previous raid, he could scarcely hope to occupy their territory without further resistance. It was, therefore, necessary to provide for the contingencies which the possibility of such resistance naturally involved, and this could only be done by a careful management and disposition of the forces under his command, and by securing the co-operation of some of his more immediate relatives and allies. Testing his foresight in all these matters by the ultimate success of his enterprise, we are entitled to believe that the arrangements he made were well calculated to ensure the safe accomplishment of his design; and we know, at all events, that during that interval which took place between the peace with Te Wherowhero and the actual departure of himself and his people from Kawhia, Te Rauparaha took page 39 care to provide for such supplies of food as would carry them through the first stage of their intended journey, whilst he also determined in detail the principal arrangements for the entire march. These preparations having all been satisfactorily completed by the beginning of the year 1819, he visited Waikato, for the last time, in order to bid farewell to Kukutai, to Pehikorehu, to Wherowhero, to Te Kanawa, and to all the chiefs of Waikato, saying to them, “Farewell; remain on our land at Kawhia; I am going to take Kapiti for myself, do not follow me.” He then returned to Kawhia, where he at once assembled his tribe and started for the South, the number leaving Kawhia itself, including persons of all ages, being about 400, of whom 170 were tried fighting men. On the morning of the day of their departure, he and his people came out of their pa at Te Arawi, having previously burned the carved house named Te Urungu-Paraoa-a-te-Titi-Matama. They then ascended the hill at Moeatoa, and looking back to Kawhia were very sad at leaving the home of their fathers. They cried over it, and bade it farewell, saying, “Kawhia remain here! The people of Kawhia are going to Kapiti, to Waipounamu.”

Savage, even ruthless, as those people may have been, we can still understand their sorrow at leaving their ancestral possessions. “The love of the New Zealander for his land is not,” says Mr. White (from whom I have before quoted on this point), “the love of a child for his toys. His title is connected with many and powerful associations in his mind; his love for the homes of his fathers being connected with the deeds of their bravery, with the feats of his own boyhood, and the long rest of his ancestors for generations.” Every nook and inlet of the beautiful harbour of Kawhia was endeared to the departing people, not only by its picturesque beauty, which the New Zealander fully appreciates, but also by its association with the most ancient traditions of the tribe. Every hill, every valley, was connected, in their memory, with scenes of childish joy, whilst many of the singular and gloomy caverns in which the district abounds, were crowded with the remains of their ancestors, and were the subjects of their reverence and awe; and from these circumstances, not less than from the uncertainty which necessarily hung over the future of the tribe, we may estimate the strength of their faith in the sagacity of the chief who had induced them to embark in so remarkable a project.

The march was at length commenced, and at the end of the third or fourth day the people arrived at the Pa of Puohoki, where Te Rauparaha determined on leaving, under a sufficient guard, a number of the women (including his own wife, Akau) who, by reason of pregnancy, was unfit for travel. The remainder of the tribe continued their journey, and settled for the season at Waitara, Kaweka, and Taranaki, living in the pas of the Ngatiawa and page 40 Ngatitama. Shortly after this, Te Rauparaha determined to return to Te Puohu's pa, in order to bring up the women who had been left behind, and selected twenty of his warriors to accompany him. His tribe were unwilling that he should undertake this expedition with so small a number of men, urging him to go in force in order to prevent the risk of any treacherous attack upon his party. Te Rauparaha, however, insisted on limiting his followers to the twenty men he had chosen, and started on his journey. On crossing the Mokau River, he found the body of Rangihaieta's only child, who had been drowned from Topiora's canoe, as she and part of the tribe came down the coast during the general migration. It was in order to commemorate this circumstance, that the name Mokau, as a nickname, was assumed by Te Rangihaieta. Te Rauparaha wrapped the body of the child in his clothing, and carried it with him to Puohu's pa, where it was interred with due solemnity. On his arrival, he found the women and the people he had left all safe, and at once made arrangements for removing them to Waitara. In the meantime his wife, Akau, had given birth to Tamihana, who is now living at Otaki. On the third day after his arrival the party left the pa, Te Rauparaha carrying his infant child on his back in a basket. Just before reaching Mokau, it being dusk, they were threatened by a considerable war party of Ngatimaniapoto, who had crept down the coast after the evacuation of Kawhia and the surrounding district, and Rauparaha had strong reason to fear that he and his people would be attacked and cut off. By a clever stratagem, however, he imposed upon the enemy, for, after clothing twenty of the women in men's mats, and placing feathers in their hair, and arming them with war clubs, he sent them forward under the charge of his wife, Akau, a woman of commanding stature, and who, on this occasion, wore a red mat named Hukeumu, and brandished her weapon and otherwise acted as if she were a redoubtable warrior, whilst Te Rauparaha himself covered the retreat with the men, the remainder of the party marching between these two bodies.

The Ngatimaniapoto, mistaking the strength of Te Rauparaha's force, commenced a retreat, but were attacked by him, and five of their number killed, amongst whom was Tutakara, their leader, who was slain by Rangihoungariri, a young relative of Te Rauparaha's, already renowned as a warrior. The party then continued their march and reached the Mokau River at dark, but were unable to cross it in consequence of its being swollen by rain and the tide being high. Rauparaha knew that the danger was not over, and that the Ngatimaniapoto would, under cover of night, attempt to take revenge for their loss. He therefore ordered twelve large fires to be made, at some distance from each other, and three of the women of the party, still disguised as men, to be placed at each fire, to which he also assigned one of his warriors, whilst he, with the remainder, acted as scouts. The men near page 41 the fires were to keep watch during the night, and occasionally to address the others, saying, “Be strong, oh people, to fight on the morrow if the enemy return. Do not consider life. Consider the valour of your tribe.” Besides this, the women were directed to make much noise with their speeches, so that Haiki even might hear their voices. This further stratagem appears completely to have deceived Ngatimaniapoto, who did not attempt to molest them any further. During the night, however, a peculiar incident, illustrative of Maori life, occurred, which might have been productive of disaster but for the course taken by Te Rauparaha. Amongst the women who were with the party was Tangahoe, the wife of a chief, who had an infant with her. This child in its restlessness began to cry, and Te Rauparaha, fearing that his stratagem would be betrayed by the cries of the child, told its mother to choke it, saying “I am that child.” The parents at once obeyed the command, and killed the child. Towards midnight the river fell considerably, and at low tide the party left their fires and crossed it, continuing their march until they reached a pa of the Ngatitama, greatly rejoicing at their escape. Early on the following morning Rauparaha's party, with a reinforcement of Ngatitama and Ngatiawa, returned to the spot where the fight of the previous afternoon had taken place, and secured the bodies of Tutakara and the others who had been killed. These were taken to Mokau, where they were cut up and eaten, amidst great rejoicings on the part of Ngatiawa and Ngatitama at the chance thus afforded them of paying off some old grudge which they had against Ngatimaniapoto. The success of the stratagems employed by Te Rauparaha on this occasion, added greatly to his renown as a warrior, and, moreover, invested him with an attribute of almost sanctity, not only in the eyes of his own tribe, but also in those of his allies. Te Rauparaha then joined the main body of his people, who were engaged in the necessary preparations for the resumption of their migration.

Shortly after this, it would appear that Te Wherowhero and Te Waharoa, deeming the opportunity a good one for striking a deadly blow against Rauparaha, had collected a large force at the head of the Waiapa, with which they marched upon Taranaki, intending to attack the Ngatitoa at Motunui, before the latter could obtain any material assistance from Ngatiawa or Ngatitama, the main body of whom were chiefly stationed at Te Kawaka, Urenui, and other places. The plans of the Waikato leaders were so carefully laid in this respect, that Rauparaha received no intimation of their advance until they were close upon him, but he at once sent intelligence to Kaiaia, the leading chief of the Ngatitama, since better known by the name of Ta Ringa Kuri, with instructions to join him at Motunui. However, before Kaiaia could come to his assistance he assembled his own forces, including a small body of Ngatiawa; and, having a better knowledge of the country page 42 than the enemy, he fell upon them suddenly, his forces attacking in a compact body. After encountering an obstinate resistance, he succeeded in completely routing them with a loss of nearly 150 men, including the principal chiefs Hiakai and Mama, whilst many other chiefs, and a large number of inferior people, were taken prisoners. The latter were hung, and their bodies, as well as those of the men who had fallen in the battle, were duly devoured, with all the ceremonies attendant upon such a feast after a great and successful battle. Te Wherowhero and Waharoa were the only great chiefs of note who escaped on this occasion, the slaughter of leaders having been peculiarly heavy, and even they owed their lives to the connivance of Rauparaha, who, apparently for reasons of his own of which I am not informed, but possibly to avoid driving them to desperation, did not care to attack them on the following day. It is said, whether truly or not I cannot decide, that Te Waharoa did not exhibit his usual bravery on this occasion, but had fled early in the day. It appears, too, that had Kaiaia's portion of the Ngatitama arrived in time to take part in the battle, the whole of the Waikato force would have been destroyed. Be this as it may, during the night after the battle Te Wherowhero approached the camp of the Ngatitoa, and cried out to Te Rauparaha, “Oh, Raha, how am I and my people to be saved?” Te Rauparaha replied, “You must run away this night. Do not remain. Go, make haste.” Te Wherowhero and his men fled during the night, leaving their fires burning; and when Kaiaia's forces came up on the next morning they found the Waikato camp deserted, whilst the bodies of many of those who had been wounded in the previous day's engagement, and had died during the night, were left behind. These bodies were at once cut up and devoured by Ngatitama, Te Rauparaha and his people joining in the feast.

After all danger of further attack on the part of Waikato had ceased, Te Rauparaha determined, before resuming the movement southward, again to visit his friends at Maungatautari, in order to induce the latter, if possible, to join him in the expedition. For this purpose he travelled to Taupo taking the road from Taranaki by the Upper Wanganui and Tuhua. At Tuhua he had a long conference with Te Heuheu, who promised to afford him any assistance he could in effecting his settlement at Kapiti and on the main land, but would not consent to take any other part in the undertaking. He then proceeded to Opepe, on Lake Taupo, where a large number of the Ngatiraukawa had assembled, under Whatanui, in order to discuss Te Rauparaha's proposals. Here a great tangi was held, at which Whatanui made a speech to Rauparaha, and gave him many presents, as they had not met for a length of time. After the ordinary ceremonies were concluded, Te Rauparaha again opened his proposals to the assembled chiefs, representing page 43 the many advantages that would accrue from adopting them, and particularly insisting on the opportunity it would give the tribe of obtaining abundant supplies of fire-arms, as Kapiti and other parts of Cook Strait had already begun to be visited by European ships. He also dwelt on the rich and productive character of the land, and the ease with which it might be conquered, whilst there was nothing to prevent, at the same time, a large number of the tribe from remaining at Maungatautari, in order to retain their ancient possessions there. To all this, however, Whatanui gave no reply, and the meeting broke up without any indication that any part of the tribe would join in the proposed expedition. Te Rauparaha then visited other sections of the tribe, and another great meeting took place, at which he was not present. At this meeting the chief objection raised was, that by joining Te Rauparaha he would become their chief, and there was an unwillingness on the part of the tribe, notwithstanding what had occurred at the death of Hape, entirely to throw off their allegiance to their own hereditary arikis. This resolution was communicated to Te Rauparaha by Horohau, one of the sons of Hape, by Akau, then Rauparaha's wife, and the reasons specially assigned for it grieved Te Rauparaha very much. Seeing the apparent impossibility of inducing Whatanui's people to join him in his project, he went on to Roturoa, and ultimately to Tauranga, where he urged Te Waru to join him. Te Waru, however, refused to leave Tauranga on account of his love for that place, and for the Islands of Motiti and Tuhua. Whilst Te Rauparaha was at Tauranga, news reached that place that Hongi Heke, with the Ngapuhi, was besieging the great pa of the Ngatimaru at the Thames, which, after some delay, they took, as mentioned in a former chapter, slaughtering great numbers of the inhabitants. Amongst others of the killed on this occasion, were the infant children of Tokoahu, who had married a grand-niece of Rauparaha's. He appears to have been greatly exasperated at the absurd manner in which the people of this pa had permitted it to be taken, and at the destruction of his relatives, and at once went over to Roturoa, whither another taua of the Ngapuhi, under Pomare, had proceeded after the defeat of the Ngatimaru. Here he had an interview with Pomare, and expressed his determination to kill some of the Ngapuhi as a payment for the slaughter of Tokoahu's children, to which Pomare consented, he being also in some degree connected by marriage with Tokoahu. The Ngapuhis, accompanied by To Rauparaha, proceeded to Paeoterangi, where Tuhourangi and some others were duly sacrificed, with great solemnity, in order to appease the manes of Tokoahu's children. Pomare then gave over to Rauparaha a number of men who had been under the leadership of Tuhourangi, who, from that time, became attached to and incorporated with Ngatitoa, and accompanied him on his return to Taranaki shortly after the sacrifice in question. On reaching Taranaki, he made page 44 preparations for continuing the migration, and succeeded in inducing Wi Kingi Rangitake, since celebrated in connection with the Waitara war, and his father, Reretawhangawhanga, with many other chiefs, and a considerable number of the Ngatiawa tribe, to accompany him, his followers then consisting of his own people (the Ngatitoa), numbering 200 fighting men, of the Ngapuhis who had been transferred to him by Pomare, and of Wi Kingi's Ngatiawas, numbering nearly 400 fighting men, and their several families. During the interval between the commencement of the migration and its resumption from Taranaki, after Te Rauparaha's last return thither, a large war party of Waikatos, under Tukorehu, Te Kepa, Te Kawau (Apihai), and other chiefs, had descended the East Coast, from whence they invaded the territory which Te Rauparaha was about to seize. The Muaupoko, Rangitane, and Ngatiapa, were all attacked on this occasion, and again suffered great loss, a circumstance which became known to Te Rauparaha through some Ngatiraukawa men who had joined the Waikatos in their expedition, and had communicated its results to him during his last visit to Maungatautari. It appears, moreover, that after he had left Taupo, Whatanui and a large party of Ngatiraukawa made up their minds to join him at Kapiti, but instead of following the same route which he intended to take, they determined to proceed vid Ahuriri, having been invited thither by the Ngatikahungunu, for some purpose which I cannot clearly make out. On their arrival there, however, a dispute took place between the two parties, and a battle ensued, in which the Ngatiraukawa were defeated with considerable slaughter, the remainder of the party being forced to retreat upon Maungatautari. Late in the autumn of 1819, no doubt after the ordinary crop of kumera had been gathered in, Te Rauparaha resumed the march, which was uninterrupted until they reaehed Patea, where five of the Ngatitoa men, and a male slave of Topiora's named Te Ratutonu, who had formerly been a chief, were murdered. To avenge this murder, Rauparaha killed a number of the people occupying Waitotara, and thence his party proceeded to Wanganui, the greater portion of the women and children travelling along the coast in canoes, whilst the warriors, with most of the leading chiefs, travelled by land, Rauparaha himself, however, travelling by water in a large canoe taken from the Waitotara people. I may here incidentally mention that his designs, at this time, were not confined to the acquisition of Kapiti, and the adjacent country; he had also made up his mind to invade the Middle Island after he had become well settled in his new abode, in order to obtain the great treasures of green-stone which were believed to be in possession of the people of that island. Of course, he could only hope to effect this by obtaining a number of large canoes, and, to use the words of his son, “canoes were at that time his great desire, for by them only could he cross over to the Island of Waipounamu.” Amongst the page 45 leading chiefs who accompanied Rauparaha, was Rangihaieta, who, as will be remembered, had, during the previous invasion, taken prisoner a Ngatiapa woman of rank named Pikinga, whom he had made his slave-wife. When her brothers heard of the arrival of Ngatitoa at Wanganui, they, with a party numbering altogether twenty men, came to meet her, and accompanied Ngatitoa as far as the Rangitikei river, for, as the weather continued extremely fine, Te Rauparaha thought it desirable to push the advance as rapidly as possible. On arriving at the mouth of the Rangitikei the people rested for some days, those in the canoes landing for that purpose. During this rest, armed parties were sent inland, in various directions, for the purpose of capturing any stray people whom they could find, in order that they might be killed and eaten; but these parties found the country nearly deserted, the remnant of the original tribes having taken refuge in the fastnesses of the interior. Te Rauparaha then pushed on to the mouth of the Manawatu, where he and his people again halted, parties here, also, going inland in search of Rangitane, with the same intentions with which they had previously sought the Ngatiapa, and with very much the same result. Their next stage was Ohau, where Ngatitoa settled until after they had taken Kapiti, as will be mentioned in the sequel. During this time the Muaupoko occupied the country inland of Ohau and stretching to the Manawatu River, having a pa on Lake Horowhenua, and on the banks of Lake Papaitanga, which is close to it. Shortly after Rauparaha had settled at Ohau two of the chiefs of Muaupoko visited him, and offered, if he would come over to their pa at Papaitanga, to make him a present of several large canoes. He was extremely delighted at this offer, and at once consented to go. Rangihaieta, however, endeavoured to dissuade him, saying, “Raha, I have had a presentiment that you will be murdered by Muaupoko,” but Rauparaha laughed at his fears; and, attracted by the prospect of obtaining the canoes—which had been glowingly described to him by the two chiefs—would not listen to any suggestions against the proposed visit. He even refused to take any large force with him, confining himself to a few men, and to some of his own children. It appears, however, that a plot had been laid between Turoa and Paetahi (father of Mete Kingi, lately one of the Maori members of the Assembly), chiefs of the Wanganui tribes, and the leading chiefs of the Muaupoko, to murder Te Rauparaha, and the invitation to Papaitanga, with the offer of the canoes, were only steps in the plot for that purpose. It is quite clear that he apprehended no danger, and that he fell into the trap laid for him with wonderful facility. It was evening when he and his companions arrived at the pa, where they were received by Toheriri, at whose house Rauparaha was to sleep. His people were all accommodated in different parts of the pa, Rauparaha alone remaining with Toheriri. The page 46 murder was to be committed at night by a war party from Horowhenua, and when Toheriri believed that his guest was fast asleep, he rose and went out, intending to inform the war party that Rauparaha was asleep in his house. His movements, however, aroused Te Rauparaha, who at once suspected some foul design, a suspicion which was soon converted into certainty by the cries of some of his people at the commencement of the bloody work. He then escaped from the house, and, being entirely unarmed, fled towards Ohau, which he succeeded in reaching, but quite naked. During the attack Rangihoungariri, who, it will be remembered, distinguished himself when Rauparaha's party were attacked by Ngatimaniapoto, near the River Mokau, had succeeded in getting well away, but hearing Hira's sister calling out to him that she would be killed, at once returned to her aid, but was soon overwhelmed by numbers and slain, Te Poa, Hira's husband, having been killed previously. Hira, and a girl named Hononga, were not killed, but were carried off to Ruamahunga, in the Wairarapa, where the former afterwards married Taika, a distant relation of Rauparaha's. These two girls were the daughters of that Marore whom I mentioned in a former chapter as having been his boy wife. This treacherous murder provoked the wrath of Ngatitoa, who, from that time, proceeded to destroy Muaupoko without mercy. Toheriri was taken prisoner, and afterwards hung and eaten, undergoing dreadful tortures. Before this event Muaupoko were a somewhat powerful tribe, but their power was utterly broken by the Ngatitoa and their allies, in revenge for the attempted murder of their great chief. After this escape Rauparaha settled at Ohau, and occupied the main land as far as Otaki, his war parties constantly hunting the people at Rangitikei, Manawatu, and Horowhenua; but a remnant of these tribes still held Kapiti, notwithstanding several attempts to take possession of it.