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



Te Rangihaata was known mainly as a fighting chief. This is reflected in many of the incidents which punctuated his life and is probably best summed up in the name of the whare he built and carved on Mana Island.

"Kaitangata" or Man Eater.

Fiercely loyal to his people he was quickly and passionately stirred to their causes. He was fearless and outspoken and was widely regarded as a straight and honest man. Like many men ot his kind, he sometimes allowed his vision to be dulled by loyalty when looking at those close to him. At the so-called Wairau incident he gained a reputation as being bloodthirsty for the cold blooded execution of Pakeha prisoners as utu for the murder of his wife. Paradoxically though, when the Ngati Ira chieftainess Tamairangi was captured, Te Rangihaeata was so affected by her lament for her land and people that he pleaded for her life and took her back to Kapiti to live.

Te Rangihaeata argued against Te Rauparaha (his uncle) in his plans to move from Kawhia, preferring instead to wage a guerilla campaign against Waikato and Maniapoto. In the so-called Hutt Valley rebellion, Governor Grey, backed by 800 troops forced Taringakuri off the land. While Te Rauparaha pledged non-interference with Government activities, Te Rangihaeata declared open war by blockading the Pukerua track and posting a sign warning against providing food for the Pakeha, declaring the track to be his backbone (i.e. tapu and therefore not to be trampled on).

Te Rangihaeata died of pneumonia after lying in a stream to soothe the effects of a fever caused by measles.