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Te whakatuwheratanga o Te Tumu Herenga Waka : 6 Tihema 1986, Poneke, Te Whare Wananga o Wikitoria



Tarewai was a famous Ngai Tahu warrior renowned for his athletic ability and a famous leap. He migrated to the Otakou Peninsula from the Kaikoura — Whareraupo (Lyttleton) area. At the Otakou Peninsula, he came into conflict with the Ngati Mamoe people and was captured by them together with his mere pounamu, a famous weapon. He managed to escape, although he had been wounded. Later he returned and approached the Ngati Mamoe campfire at night and saw them examining his mere pounamu. He joined them and asked if he too might examine the weapon. They gave it to him, whereupon he jumped up and slew them all. He ran out along the Peninsula while being pursued by Ngati Mamoe warriors, and leapt over a point still known today as — Te Rereka a Tarewai, and ran off and made his way to Fiordland.

He eventually died in the battle known as Te Harakeke, which took page 21 place on Resolution Island. Ngati Mamoe were entrenched there but they had prepared the landing beach with wet flax, so that when the Ngai Tahu people under Tarewai attacked they lost their footing. Ngati Mamoe were thus able to fight Ngai Tahu off and in the ensuing battle Tarewai was fatally wounded. He was laid to rest with his mere pounamu in a limestone cave.