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The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions: Tai-Nui. [Vol. V]

Chapter XVI

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Chapter XVI.

Ah! woe is me! I pat the side of my own house,
As lonely here I sit, and ask, where, where
Is that which voice of loud applause oft cheers?
My noble greenstone ornament—yes, O my son!
Come now, now come, and enter thine own sister's house,
That thou mayst have the plume
Called Papa-uma placed upon thy brow,
To go in pride and see thy tribe at
Wai-pokaia, where thine own ancestors
May call to thee and bid thee welcome
In the words, “Come, welcome, come, ascend
The noted path to Te-arahanga,”
And Nga-ti-awa Tribe shall voyage on sea,
And take thee in their own canoe, to show to
Thee the power and love of dwindled tribe,
Who yet from distance still shall call,
And tell me I again shall stand
On sacred peak of Kapua, and once
Again shall hold my then returning child.

The Nga-Ti-Maru Reside In Horo-Tiu.

As we have completed our account of the wars between the Nga-ti-maru and Nga-puhi, we will now give an account of the Nga-ti-maru while they lived on the banks of the Horo-tiu.

Horo-tiu is far inland from the sea, and is owned by Waha-roa (long street-like path in a pa). All the Hau-raki tribes lived there to escape the weapons of Hongi-hika, an account of whose wars has been given in this history.

At this time the Wai-kato Nga-ti-haua were commanded by Waha-roa, chief of the Hau-raki tribes, because they were living page 250 on his lands at this time; yet they did not live in peace each with the other in this district, but were for ever disputing and warring in the Horo-tiu country.

The cause of these disputes and wars was of ancient days. They originated in a dispute about land called Te-pae-o-tu-rawaru (the mountain-range of Tu-rawaru—a fish). Nor was this all: when Hongi-hika chased the Hau-raki tribes out of their own district, the Nga-ti-maru and Nga-ti-haua were then quarrelling and fighting each with the other, and at that time they were at war, which came to a climax when the Nga-ti-maru occupied their pa called Hao-whenua (take land in as fish are drawn together in a net), in the Nga-ti-haua district.

The Wai-kato and Nga-ti-whanaunga (one of the Thames tribes) met in a body with the intention of going to Taitai (to kill a human being at the baptism of a canoe), and, in this migration, stayed at the Hao-whenua Pa on their way up country. On the morning of the day on which they were to leave that pa, this body of travellers had a war-dance, according to old custom, and in the proceedings of the dance two of the Wai-kato men, named Te-wao (the forest) and Kupe (obstinate), with evil design fired their loaded guns, and shot some of the Nga-ti-maru. Some of the wounded died, and others recovered. For this act the Nga-ti-maru fired on the Wai-kato people and killed many. One noted chief called Kereru (pigeon) was killed, and the Wai-kato fled; but a supreme chief called Te whakaete (take by right of birth) was killed. His death was the cause of great sorrow to the Wai-kato, and this dirge was sung for him by his wife:—

The twinkling morning-star appears,
And is as though you dead were
Coming back to us again in life:
But, O my husband! come, come back to me.
And ye, O daughters! while ye can,
Make much of your beloved ones now;
While I demand those sons of yours
As food for me. Then Ahi-kai-ata
And Naenae should not be cast aside,
But cooked as dainty morsels for my slave.
page 251 My husband, go, while dread of din of war
Is now so often heard in Rei-roa,
Where thine own meet their death on sandy flat
At mouth of plain of Karaka.
Come, let the noble chieftainess
Of Ti-maru amuse thee now,
And partly deaden all thy woe,
To blot the memory
Of the shattered, broken, noble axe (husband).

As soon as the words of this song had been heard by the Wai-kato Tribe and the Nga-ti-haua, war at once began between them and all the Hau-raki tribes, and this song was answered by another song composed by some Wai-kato poet, which is the following:—

Your bowels move in dread,
O Hau-tutu! at Tau-aro.
Nor is the enemy a mere spy
From Pakenga. The wrath
Of Naenae soon will burst
On thee, though thou didst send
Thy troop to the Tumu.
Here is a stage of eels,
For want of eaters, rotting now,
Though offered as a part of feast.
Their number is quite numberless,
As seen at Maunga-tautari—
The seventy twice told of the Ngaungau.
Ah, ancient dame! a light
Now place in front of thee.
The dogs bite keenly now,
And Maru-tuahu's acts
Cannot be equalled; hence
The end must soon be seen.

The War In Revenge For The Death Of Te Whakaete At Kari (Keri)-Aruhe. (Nga-Ti-Maru.)

Soon after these events the Wai-kato sent a war-party out to avenge the death of Te Whakaete (take by force); but this force was met by a party of Nga-ti-paoa at Kari-aruhe, and the Wai-kato were beaten in open battle. This statement is not false—it is very truth.

The evil between them continued till the Wai-kato committed murder on those in the pa at Maunga-kawa (mountain of baptism) belonging to the Nga-ti-maru, which was owned by page 252 Nga-ti-paoa under the leadership of Takurua (winter). Takurua was murdered, and Tiki (effigy) was the first killed in revenge for his death.

The Nga-ti-paoa then sent another war-party out to further avenge the death of Takurua. As they had beaten the Wai-kato, this war-party of Nga-ti-paoa stayed in the country of the Wai-kato to fish for eels. This news having been heard by the Nga-ti-haua section of Wai-kato, they went to avenge the death of those killed by the Hau-raki tribes; and the Nga-ti-haua beat the Nga-ti-paoa war-party, and but few escaped. This battle was called Huka-nui (great frost). While the Nga-ti-haua were killing Nga-ti-paoa, the Nga-ti-maru were killing some of the Wai-kato tribes at Pu-toetoe (root of Arundo conspicua bush). Soon after this battle the battle of Taumata-wiwi (peak of the trembling) commenced: this was fought between the Nga-ti-maru and Nga-ti-haua, assisted by Wai-kato and Nga-ti-awa. These were the enemies of Nga-ti-maru. The Wai-kato were beaten; but the battle-field was held by them, Nga-ti-haua, and Nga-ti-awa, who were led by the chief Waha-roa, father of William Thompson, Tara-pipipi (plume of spotted feathers). The Hau-raki tribes fled, and were killed while being pursued by their enemies. They were beaten in this battle, and had nine twice told of their chiefs killed. The Wai-kato, Nga-ti-awa, and Nga-ti-haua also lost many of their men, but that did not matter, as the sole power was held by Waha-roa. The Wai-kato killed the fleeing Nga-ti-maru even into their own pa, but at this juncture the fleeing Nga-ti-maru turned and charged the Wai-kato at the entrance of their own pa, and killed some of them. Those last killed in a battle are called a huka. As the Nga-ti-maru had obtained the huka, it was (according to ancient custom) thought much of; and, though the act of holding the field of battle is thought much of, the huka is a proof of a brave deed in battle, and a good omen in regard to power in war at a future time.

This was the last battle that was waged between the Hau-raki tribes and the tribes of Wai-kato. Still, the Nga-ti-maru page 253 stayed in their pa at Hao-whenua, in the Horo-tiu district. They had been driven there by Hongi-hika out of the Thames; and, as Hongi had only killed the people, and had not taken possession of the land, the Hau-raki tribes were not afraid to go back into the Hau-raki district, but went back as though they were fleeing before an enemy. They wished that an enemy might follow them; but the Nga-ti-haua and Wai-kato did not follow or attack them. They went back to their old homes at the Thames.

The Thames had not been wholly deserted by the Nga-ti-maru. Some of this tribe had lived up in the mountains of this district. These lived unattacked by their old enemy, as the Nga-puhi had seen how they would be treated in war if they attempted to come again and attack the Thames tribes. The Nga-puhi had learnt a lesson at the battle in Wai-kato, under Pomare, in which they had been so roughly handled, and also at the battle at Poi-hakena, which have already been given in this history.

The Battle Of The Hara-Miti, At Tauranga.

After the Hau-raki tribes had been one year back at their home in the Thames, they collected a war-party to go and take revenge for their defeat at Taumata-wiwi, and for the murder of Takurua by the Wai-kato. This war-party went into the Wai-kato, and killed a great chief called Te-kumete (the bowl), and then came back to the Thames. They had not been at home very long before they again went into the Wai-kato country. This party went because the Nga-ti-maru felt that they had not obtained sufficient revenge for past defeats and murders. This time they killed a great chief of the Nga-ti-haua called Te-manu (the bird), who was a man of high rank, whose name was known far and wide. Many of his tribe were also killed with him. As these were not of note, their names are not given here. The Nga-ti-haua did not send any war-party into Hau-raki after the battle of Taumata-wiwi; therefore the Hau-raki tribes had the honour of killing the last man in their wars, and peace was then made between them.

page 254

Battles Between The Hau-Raki Tribes And Wai-Kato. (Nga-Ti-Maru.)

The Maunga-tautari (the upright sticks to which are bound the small battens to which the reeds are fastened on the inside of a Maori house) district was owned by the Nga-ti-rau-kawa and Nga-ti-kau-whata; therefore the war for possession of that place was of ancient origin, even from the time that Koroki and Tao-whakairo had a war on account of a woman. An account of that war has been given in this history (see Vol. IV., at page 191). In that account it is stated that Tao-whakairo cursed Koroki. When the battle was fought all the Wai-kato tribes assembled and killed Tao-whakairo. Many of the Nga-ti-kau-whata pas were taken at that time, and Wai-kato was at that time the enemy of Rau-kawa and Kau-whata; and these tribes continued to war against each other, and each beat the other in turn, and each at times was victorious. But the time came when the Nga-ti-rau-kawa went on a war-expedition to Here-taunga (Hawke's Bay); and while they were away from home the Wai-kato tribes attacked and besieged those of the Nga-ti-rau-kawa who remained at home in the Pa Hangahanga (frivolous), but after besieging it for months were not able to take it. So a Wai-kato chief, wishing to see what those in the pa were doing, built a puwhara (high stage), and climbed up to the top of it to look into the pa. One of the Nga-ti-rau-kawa of the pa, called Te-ahu-karamu (altar made of the coprosma-tree), was watching him. Now, one day, when the Wai-kato chief again got on to the top of his stage, Te-ahu-karamu took a gun, and, so soon as the plume of feathers on the head of the Wai-kato chief was seen above the top of his puwhara, Te-ahu-karamu fired at and killed him. Now, it ought to be known that those in the pa had only two guns, one of which was a duck's-bill gun (Brown Bess) and the other a pistol. But on the night of the day on which Te-ahu-karamu had shot his man those in the pa fled to another pa called Pawa-iti (little entrance to a page 255 trap); but this step was taken in accordance with the advice of two chiefs called Tu-korehu (albino) and Te-aka-nui (great vine), who were of those who were besieging the pa.

When the tribe fled from the pa they left two in the pa. One was a very old man called Te-kohu (fog), and an invalid called Matangi (wind). These the besiegers killed.

Soon after this some of the sub-tribes of the Nga-ti-mania-poto caused peace to be made between their tribe and that of the Nga-ti-rau-kawa, who were living in the pa called Pawa-iti. Some of these Nga-ti-rau-kawa went back to reside at Maunga-tautari, and lived at Puke-whakaahua (hill of the resemblance), at Ara-titaha (diverging road), and at other places; but the permanent settlement of the Nga-ti-rau-kawa was at Ara-titaha.

Soon after the battle at Hangahanga the Wai-kato tribes went back with the Nga-ti-mania-poto to their own districts, and did not stay at Maunga-tautari. Still, this apparent peace between these tribes was not lasting.

As Hongi-hika had become possessed of guns, he, with a war-party, left their home in the North, and came to the Wai-te-mata (water of the obsidian) (Auckland Harbour), and besieged the Mau-inaina Pa, belonging to the Nga-ti-paoa, at Tamaki. Having taken this pa, his army paddled into the Thames and attacked the Nga-ti-maru pa. The Nga-puhi came from the Thames, and went up the Tamaki River, pulling their canoes across the portage at O-tahuhu, paddled down the Manuka waters, went on to Wai-uku, where they dragged their canoes across the portage at Te-pae-o-kai-waka (the ridge of the canoe-track), and into the Awa-roa (long creek). The Wai-kato tribes had heard of this Nga-puhi war-party, and had gone and cut trees into the Awa-roa Creek, to impede them in their progress; but the patience of Hongi was not overcome, as he worked at the trees and got them cleared away, and his canoes passed into the Wai-kato River. He went on to Matakitaki (gaze at), which was up the Wai-pa, situate at the confluence of the Manga-pouri with the Wai-pa. Here all the Wai-kato men, women, and children had assembled. This pa was attacked by page 256 Nga-puhi and taken. Some Wai-kato escaped, but a thousand were killed in it. Those who fled went up to the mountains; and the Hau-raki tribes who had escaped from the pas Mau-inaina and Te-totara fled from their home to the upper waters of the Wai-kato and to the mountains of their own district. Thus the lower Wai-kato district had not any inhabitants.

The personage of the greatest name who was taken prisoner at Matakitaki by the Nga-puhi was Rahu-ruaki (basket of the sea-sick). She was the wife of Te-kanawa. To her the Nga-puhi intimated the terms of peace which they would make with Wai-kato, and she was to tell them to her people. On these terms peace was made, and the Nga-puhi gave one of their women, the daughter of Rewa, as a token of that peace, to wife to Kati, the younger brother of Po-tatau (count each night), thus making an end of the Nga-puhi war-parties going into Wai-kato.

When Nga-puhi had beaten the Nga-ti-whatua in open battle the Nga-ti-whatua fled into Wai-kato, whither they were pursued by Hongi and his warriors to O-tawhao (copse) to the Pa Pawa-iti. But the Nga-ti-whatua went back to Horo-tiu, where they were attacked by Hongi and their pa taken. Some of the Nga-ti-whatua, with their chief Te-tinana (the body), lived amongst the Wai-kato tribes; and Te-tinana was murdered by Tu-kerehu in revenge for deaths which had taken place in former times.

At the time when Hongi pursued the Nga-ti-whatua to Te-rore (the trap) the Nga-ti-raukawa and Te-puke-ki-mahua-riki migrated southward. At the same time Po-mare (night of coughing), with a war-party of Nga-puhi, came into Wai-kato. When Po-mare was on his return home from Wai-kato he was seen by the Hau-raki chief Taraia (chop with an axe) passing the Rore in his canoes. Taraia invited Po-mare to go on shore and meet him in battle. The Nga-puhi war-party landed, and in a battle that ensued Po-mare was killed, and those of Nga-puhi who escaped death fled and were pursued by Wai-kato to the Awa-roa (long creek), and few of these escaped. From this page 257 time Nga-puhi did not send any more war-parties into Wai-kato. Nga-puhi did, however, again visit that district as a war-party, in company with Nga-ti-maru, at the time when all the Wai-kato people had assembled at Kihikihi (sputter; a cicada), at O-tawhao (forest), at Kai-paka (eat the burnt scraps of a meal), and at Nga-mako (the shark's teeth), where the Wai-kato thought they could live in a collected body without fear of the Nga-puhi. At these places they lived in a body till the days that Po-tatau went to reside on the banks of the Manuka. Then the various sub-tribes of which this body of people consisted went back each to its old home. The tribes called the Patu-tokotoko, Nga-ti-naenae, Nga-ti-pare-haehae-ora, stayed at Kihikihi and at O-ta-whao. The Maru-tuahu Tribe, of the Thames, at this time went to reside in the Horo-tiu with the Nga-ti-haua and Nga-ti-koroki Tribes. There they lived in a lonely way, yet they disputed with the tribes in whose district they were and with whom they lived. These tribes, the owners of the district, left them their home and migrated to Ka-wehi-tiki (the effigy is afraid) and to Maunga-tautari. The Nga-ti-koroki went to to Kawhia; but the Nga-ti-koroki and the Nga-ti-apa-kura Tribes went to live at Kai-paka (eat the burnt scraps), at which place Nga-ti-koroki also lived till the days when Nga-ti-koroki and the Nga-ti-hine-tu disputed with each other. These two tribes were part of the main tribe of Nga-ti-apa-kura. When these family tribes fought a battle amongst themselves some of the Nga-ti-koroki were killed and cut up with Maori stone adzes. When the Nga-ti-haua had heard of this act of mutilating the dead they sent a war-party against that part of the Nga-ti-apa-kura who lived at Kai-paka, when the old people of the Nga-ti-apa-kura were absent from their pa catching eels in the lakes of that district. In the battle that took place the Rangi-anewa (day of listlessness), a supreme woman of rank of that family tribe, was killed; but the pa of the Nga-ti-hine-tu at Tauranga-tahi (one battle) was not attacked by this war-party. The chief Pae-waka (the canoe to lie page 258 across) had charged this war-party not to attack that pa. When the Pa Kai-paka was taken those who had been catching eels in the lakes went to Kawhia; but a great body of the principal chiefs of Wai-kato went to Ka-whia and brought them back to Raro-wera (burnt below), in order that the Nga-ti-haua might have a clear path by which they could go and attack the Nga-ti-haua family tribe, then living at Ka-wehi-tiki, to take revenge for the death of Rangi-anewa. Waha-roa therefore gave the land at Rangi-aohia (day on which the kumara was given in handfuls) to the Nga-ti-apa-kura Tribe in payment for the death of Rangi-anewa. For this the Nga-ti-haua Tribe were not attacked by any Wai-kato war-party at that time. And the Nga-ti-apa-kura and Nga-ti-hine-tu lived at Rangi-aohia.

Soon after the death of Po-mare in Wai-kato, a second party of people of the Nga-ti-rau-kawa migrated south-ward. The name given to this migration was Te-heke-whiri-nui (the migration of the thick plait; or the thick plait round the upper border of the winter mats). At this time Te-hiwi (the ridge), of the Nga-ti-rau-kawa, was killed by the Nga-i-te-rangi of Tauranga; so the Nga-ti-rau-kawa went to Tauranga to avenge the death of Te-hiwi, and attacked the great pa at the Kopua (deep spot in a river or lake), and took it.

When the Nga-ti-maru attacked the Nga-ti-rau-kawa in payment for Te-waha (the mouth), of the Nga-ti-maru, who was killed by Te-whata-karaka (stage made of the karaka—Corynocarpus lævigata—wood), Te-uhunga (the ceremonies at a funeral) was killed.

Again in those days a body of Nga-ti-rau-kawa people migrated southward. This migration was called the Kariri-tahi (one cartridge). And the Nga-ti-maru attacked the Nga-ti-tama and Nga-ti-tahu at Pari-ka-waru (the cliff where the hair was cut), and on their return towards their home this war-party killed Te-whata-karaka at Pirau-nui (great rottenness), and his body was taken to Taupo. The migration of Nga-ti-rau-kawa page 259 went on towards Rotorua and Kapiti (gorge), and Nga-ti-maru took [resided at] Maunga-tautari, in the Wai-kato, and lived at Nga-toko-i (dawn of thought) and at Hao-whenua (encircle land). Hao-whenua was a great pa, and covered a great space of land; hence it was called Hao-whenua (taking in a large piece of land). The Nga-ti-paoa lived at Kai-paka, near to Maunga-tautari. This was not the Maunga-kawa (hill of baptism) Pa: that was occupied by the Nga-ti-apa-kura. It was the Maunga-kawa Mountain which they occupied. These tribes lived each in the place stated; and Te-whakaete(take by force), of Wai-kato, was murdered by the Nga-ti-maru at Hao-whenua. A war-party was sent out by the Nga-ti-haua to avenge the death of Te-whakaete. This war-party killed a chief called Te-kari(Keri)-aruhe (dig the fern-root). But this did not satisfy the revenge of Wai-kato; so they sent a second war-party out for the same object. This war-party was defeated at Pu-toetoe (root of the Arundo conspicua), and many battles were fought by the Maru-tuahu [Nga-ti-maru] and Nga-ti-haua.

We now come to the battle of Taumata-wiwi (brow of the hill of the juncus), where the Maru-tuahu (Nga-ti-maru) were worsted, and Maru-tuahu proposed to make peace. The Nga-ti-maru were allowed by Waha-roa to go back to their own country at Hau-raki (Thames). The Nga-ti-koroki lived at Maunga-tautari with Nga-ti-kahu-kura, Nga-ti-werewere, Nga-ti-hou-rua, and Nga-ti-hura. Waha-roa and his tribe [the Nga-ti-haua] went back to reside at Matamata (point, or extreme end), in order that there might be some people there to meet any war-party which might be sent into Hau-raki by the Nga-puhi or Nga-ti-maru. A war-party of Nga-puhi came there, and they and the Nga-ti-maru divided into two, and Nga-puhi went to attack Matamata, while the Nga-ti-maru went to attack Ka-wehi-tiki; but as the Nga-ti-maru could not take the pa at Ka-wehi-tiki, they went to assist Nga-puhi to attack Matamata. But when the news was heard that the Wai-kato were coming page 260 to assist the Matamata people, the attacking party left Matamata and went to other parts of the country.

The Nga-ti-koura stayed at Maunga-tautari, so that they might be able to take revenge for the defeat of the Nga-ti-maru at Taumati-wiwi. Now, because Te-u-ata (arrive at dawn of day), of Nga-ti-rau-kawa, saved the lives of Tete-nui (great figure-head) and Pito-rua (two ends), who were captured by him in the battle at Matamata. For this Waha-roa allowed these tribes to go and occupy the lands of the Nga-ti-rau-kawa situate on the banks of the Wai-kato River.

When the Nga-ti-rau-kawa had been at O-taki (to make a speech to) and Kapiti, Po-tatau went to see them, and, after him, Hau-nui (great wind) and Poro-koru (end of folding) went to see and to ask them to go back to their old homes in Wai-kato. Some went back, but others stayed where they were at Kapiti.

Battle Of Taumata-Wiwi. (Evidence, Te-Aroha.)

The tribes or hapu who are collectively known as Maru-tuahu, and who now oppose the Nga-ti-haua, some eight or ten years before the battle of Taumata-wiwi evacuated their own proper territory or district on both sides of the Firth of the Thames, and went and settled at Horo-tiu, in Wai-kato, by permission or invitation from the Wai-kato people; they also took possession of a large adjoining district, which had shortly before been occupied by the Nga-ti-rau-kawa Tribe, but who had been driven off, and who had gone in search of new possessions for themselves to the south. The district temporarily evacuated, but not abandoned, by the Maru-tuahu tribes is very extensive, and may be approximately described as being bounded on the east by the sea-coast from a point near Tauranga Harbour to Cape Colville; from thence west across the Hau-raki Gulf, including all the land on both sides of the River Thames, to the vicinity of Auckland; from thence an in-land line in a south-easterly direction to a point on the Piako River considerably above its junction with the Wai-toa, and from thence east to page 261 near Tauranga, and then in a north-east direction to the commencing-point. This large district, extending some eighty miles from Cape Colville in the north to the Aroha lands at the southern extremity, was at that time exposed from its position to the incursions of the Nga-puhi tribes, who were in those days the scourge of New Zealand, and so much feared that even the powerful, numerous, and warlike Maru-tuahu Tribe did not hesitate to abandon for a time their own country and remove to a position inland, where, if they could not escape the attacks of their most dreaded enemies, they would at least have a better chance of having notice of their approach, and be less likely to be taken by surprise. The willingness of the Wai-kato tribes to allow a powerful and dangerous people like the Maru-tuahu to enter and establish themselves in their country seems to be due also in a great measure to their own fear of the restless and warlike Nga-puhi. They thought that the common danger to which both they themselves and the Maru-tuahu were exposed would cause the incomers to act as faithful allies, and that their alliance would bring them such a great accession of force as would enable them to defend their country against all comers. Events, however, did not occur as expected. Some of the Nga-puhi sections sought other and more distant scenes of war and rapine; others remained at home engaged in earnest though uncongenial labour—the labours of peace, undertaken only for the purpose of procuring the arms and munitions of war. As there was at that time probably no other tribe in New Zealand but the Nga-puhi who could attack the united forces of the Maru-tuahu and Wai-kato with any prospect of success, these tribes found themselves for a time accidentally living in peace. However, the Maru-tuahu soon began to avail themselves of their position with the purpose of establishing themselves in the Wai-kato country, and taking permanent possession, not only of the lands of the expelled Nga-ti-rau-kawa Tribe, but also of those of the Wai-kato people at Horo-tiu page 262 and the surrounding districts, to which they had no right whatever, and into which they had only been permitted to come to reside and maintain themselves in the character of friends and allies while absent from their own proper district. Before long the country was commanded by not less than twenty Maru-tuahu fortifications; every village had its stockaded and rifle-pitted pa, and the fierce and encroaching Maru-tuahu now commenced a series of aggressions on the Wai-kato people, plundering their villages, driving them from their cultivated lands, and doing everything possible to provoke war, in which the Maru-tuahu hoped, no doubt, to oust the Wai-kato tribes from their large and fertile country. The Nga-ti-haua, against whom these aggressions were chiefly made, were justly famous for their valour—no tribe in New Zealand had ever or has ever outshone them in barbaric courage or warlike ability, not excepting even the formidable Nga-puhi; but they had no name for patience under injuries.

Fierce reprisals were commenced; murders, skirmishes, battles, and massacres became ordinary and common events; and so this state of things continued for a length of time without either party having gained any marked advantage over the other, until at last the Nga-ti-haua, by what is stigmatized by their enemies as a treacherous stratagem, or kohuru, succeeded in surprising a Maru-tuahu chief named Takurua in his village, and massacring him and nearly all his people, men, women, and children, to the number of about two hundred persons, at a place called Kai-paka, where, deceived by the artful pretences of the Nga-ti-haua and their chief Te-waha-roa that they were tired of war and anxious to enter into terms of peace and reconciliation, the Maru-tuahu chief and his people had relaxed that incessant vigilance which was necessary to the preservation of life. Furious at this loss, and, if possible, more so by the disgrace, most deeply felt, of having been outdone in deception, the Maru-tuahu sought revenge by isolated murders, in night attacks, in open battles and skirmishes, by every effort of force and stratagem; and, notwithstanding some reverses, page 263 unprejudiced Maori authorities have held that, previous to the final battle of Taumata-wiwi, the Maru-tuahu had balanced the loss and obliterated the disgrace. The end was, however, drawing near—at least, in that stage—and to the final conflict. No human flesh and blood, however hardened, could endure much longer the excitement, privation, danger, and unrest which the equally-balanced force and ferocious courage of the contending parties had now protracted to several years' duration between two petty divisions of the human race. War had attained its most terrible and forbidding aspect: neither age nor sex was spared, agriculture was neglected, the highest duty of man was to slay and devour his neighbour; whilst the combatants fought in front the ovens were heating in the rear; the vigorous warrior, one moment fighting hopefully in the foremost rank, exulting in his strength, laying enemy after enemy low, thinking only of his war-boasts when the victory should be won, stunned by a sudden blow, instantly dragged away, hastily quartered alive, next moment in the glowing oven—his place is vacant in the ranks, his very body can scarcely be said to exist. While his flesh is roasting the battle rages on, and at night his remains furnish a banquet for the victors, and there is much boasting and great glory. Such things were according to Maori usage and custom. It appears now that after this long succession of conflicts, through which the two tribes had passed without either party having gained any marked advantage over the other, they by common consent made up their minds to end the contest in one great and final battle. The Maru-tuahu, with this view, abandoned all their scattered forts, with which the country was studded, and in the neighbourhood of which many of the previous desultory engagements had taken place, and concentrated their whole force at their principal fortress of Hao-whenua, so called from its great extent, and which was situated at Maunga-tautari, in the Wai-kato country, a rich territory which they had already practically seized, but of which they determined the result of page 264 the coming battle should leave them the undisputed owners. Besides the Maru-tuahu force assembled at Hao-whenua, a chief now known by the name of Te-hira was at the Thames with several hundred men, who, for some unexplained reason, did not come up until after the battle. Taraia, also one of the principal Maru-tuahu war-chief's, was absent at the south with many Maru-tuahu people on one of those expeditions of which the men of those times were so fond, enacting from place to place, and from tribe to tribe, as they passed along, the character of the peaceful guest, the open enemy, or the flying plunderer, as opportunity, necessity, or inclination might dictate. The Wai-kato tribes were not slack in their preparations. Their allies, the Nga-i-te-rangi, of Tauranga, were summoned, and soon appeared; the Nga-ti-haua and Wai-kato mustered their whole force, and, leaving only a small number of men to garrison some of their forts, advanced, and with their allies encamped at a place called Te-tiki-o-te-ihi-a-rangi, not far from Hao-whenua, where the Maru-tuahu force was assembled. The Maru-tuahu, being informed that the Wai-kato tribes had arrived at Te-tiki-o-te-ihi-a-rangi, not far from Hao-whenua, nothing daunted, marched out early in the morning to meet them, and took up a strong position at Taumata-wiwi, firing guns as a challenge to come on to the attack. There was small need for the call to arms: at the first gun the Wai-katos swarmed forth from their camp and rapidly formed their order of battle in divisions of tribes, the whole under the command of the celebrated Waha-roa. The left was composed of the Nga-ti-haua, Waha-roa's own tribe, Nga-i-te-rangi were in the centre, and the Wai-kato on the right. The left was close to the Wai-kato River, and, Waha-roa having sent forward a strong body of skirmishers, advanced slowly and in good order to the attack of the enemy's position, the skirmishers in front being already hotly engaged. Soon afterwards, however, a hasty messenger from the front came to Waha-roa to say that the advanced parties had been almost exterminated, and that the few survivors required immediate aid. Waha-roa then ordered a page 265 rapid advance of the whole line, and as the armies closed he called to the tribe or division of the enemy between whom and the Nga-ti-haua a particular rivalry seems to have existed, “O Nga-ti-paoa! I am Waha-roa. I fight on the left, by the river of Waikato.” The Maru-tuahu, well aware of the advantages of their position, awaited the attack, and defended it with great vigour from an early hour in the morning until late in the afternoon, inflicting on the Nga-ti-haua, who seem to have borne the whole brunt of the battle, a loss probably equal to four times what they suffered themselves. The Ngati-haua, notwithstanding, encouraged by the voice of their war-chief, and furious more than dismayed at their loss, pressed on and stormed the Maru-tuahu position. Maru-tuahu, now finding their ammunition beginning to fail, and retreat unavoidable, and after having, for want of lead, tried gravel and stones in their enemies' faces at hand-to-hand distance, unwillingly fell back upon their post of Hao-whenua, closely followed by a strong party of the enemy. This retreat was not, however, a rout: Maru-tuahu retreated fighting, slaying and being slain, until they arrived at their pa, where having obtained a fresh supply of powder, they immediately made a sortie, driving their pursuers back as far as a place called Te-rei-roa, in sight of, but out of gun-shot from, Hao-whenua, and where the main body of the Wai-kato forces were now assembled in their original order of battle, in divisions of tribes. Maru-tuahu in returning from this sortie took with them the body of one of their pursuers whom they had killed in the last affray, and claimed thereby the honour of having killed the last as well as the first man in this battle. This fight had lasted from early morning before either party had partaken of food till late in the afternoon, and when the sun went down Maru-tuahu were secure, though discomfited, in their pa; and the Nga-ti-haua, in the heat and the elation of battle departed, decimated, bleeding, and utterly exhausted, horrified at the loss of so many of their best warriors, their chief Waha-roa wounded, the reaction from over-exertion page 266 and physical excitement weighing them down and giving rise to a thousand unwonted apprehen-sions and alarms, remained the masters of the battle-field, and held possession of the bodies of the enemy. They had won the battle of Taumata-wiwi.

A victory is not necessarily a conquest. The party beaten on one day may be more ready for the battle on the next than the enemy by whom they were worsted, and the Nga-ti-haua themselves declare that the night after the battle of Taumata-wiwi was passed by them in great exertion to burn their dead, lest they should fall into the hands of the enemy. Dry timber for the purpose was scarce and distant, and, exhausted as they must have been by the long and desperate contest of the previous day, it does not seem likely they would have undertaken this excessive and unusual labour unless they had at the time considered themselves in a very unpromising condition, and not the victors who had won by conquest a large tract of land in the enemy's country, the nearest point of which was twenty-five miles distant, and which extended more than ten miles farther into the enemy's country, to save from whose hands they were now burning the bodies of their bravest men and nearest relations. The whole number of their dead were burnt by the Nga-ti-haua for the reasons stated, though the object was not fully accomplished until about the second day after the fight. Early on the morning after the battle (according to the account given by the Nga-ti-haua), the Wai-kato tribes, after a day of hard fighting and a night spent in burning their dead, were in arms again, and on the point of marching to attack the Maru-tuahu in their fortress of Hao-whenua, when a deputation from the Maru-tuahu appeared, consisting of some eight or ten persons, two of whom were the chiefs Taha-roku and Tupua, men of high rank in the Maru-tuahu Tribe. They came in humble guise and unarmed, to ask for peace. The Maru-tuahu version of this affair is considerably different: they positively affirm that the meeting did not take place until the second day after the fight, and not until Taha-roku had received page 267 an invitation from Te-waha-roa, the Nga-ti-haua chief, to come to him for the purpose of arranging terms of peace, or a cessation of hostilities for the time being. This point, as to whether the chief Taha-roku and his companions came with or without the invitation of Te-waha-roa, is hotly contested between the parties: the matter of importance is that the meeting did really take place, and that an agreement, truce, or convention was made between the parties, by which the Maru-tuahu agreed to evacuate the Wai-kato country, including the lands of the Rau-kawa Tribe, which they had taken, and to return to their own district about the Thames. This having been agreed upon, and it having been further stipulated that Maru-tuahu should go unmolested, and taking all their property of every description, Wai-kato and their allies departed for their different homes, leaving Maru-tuahu at Hao-whenua.

This is the story of Taha-roku, the Maru-tuahu chief, who (like a good Maori diplomatist, having the interest of his tribe in view) said nothing at all except “How am I to get away?” He was assisted a good deal by his colleague Te-tuhua, a gruff and burly warrior, related distantly to Waha-roa himself, who made one of those grim jokes which the Maori fighting-men of old were fond of flinging in the very jaws of death. Giving a side-glance at a heap of sweltering, smoking, and only half-consumed bodies of the best and bravest of the Nga-ti-haua Tribe, he said quietly to Waha-roa, “Why are you spoiling my provisions?” The burning of our own dead on the battle field is a very unusual practice, and never had recourse to by us, especially near our own country or district, except under very desperate circumstances, when hope is lost of saving the bodies from the enemy's ovens in any other way. The laconic speech of Te-tuhua contained a volume of acuteness, and showed him to be keenly alive to the position of both parties: it was as much as to say to Te waha-roa, “You are putting the best face you can on matters, and trying to dictate terms to us, and are page 268 nevertheless yourself ready to run at a moment's notice.” Taharoku also seems to have been a man of a practical turn of mind, and the only question which seems to have troubled him at all on this very momentous occasion was that which he put to Waharoa, “How am I to get away?” After several years' fighting, after the last determined struggle for mastery, our contending tribes remained as before, able only to inflict mutual disaster, but without any appearance of one party being able to conquer the other. The Maru-tuahu were as fully desirous of returning to the Thames (as they had just heard that European traders had arrived and were selling guns and powder) as the Wai-kato tribes were to see them go; yet the difficulty and danger of moving were great, and Taha-roku fully understood it. He had to remove not merely an army of light armed, able-bodied warriors, who could traverse a country with almost the rapidity and more than the devastation of a hurricane, penetrating forests, swimming rivers, scaling mountains, and subsisting for days on almost nothing—he had to remove a tribe, old men and women, young children, the sick and wounded, and all the property, provisions, and baggage. There was only one plan of retreat open to him—this was by the Wai-hou and Piako rivers, where all the canoes procurable awaited him; but to arrive at these two points he would have to divide his force into two about equal bodies, who would be obliged to separate, and be thus force, and, encumbered as they would have been by women, liable, either party, to be attacked by the whole Wai-kato children, non-combatants, and baggage, cut off in detail. Nor was this all: on arrival at the rivers Piako and Wai-hou he knew that the number of canoes was quite inadequate to carry the whole tribe, and consequently the two divisions would have to again divide, one half of each division going in the canoes, and the other half, now at each place reduced to a fourth of the whole force, remaining behind until the canoes could be returned, and thus exposed for several days to certain destruction should they be attacked by the concentrated force page 269 of the Wai-kato enemy, who was not likely to throw away such an opportunity. The difficulty was really great, and the military problem, as Taha-roku put it in very few words, was impossible for him unassisted to solve; but Te-waha-roa must certainly have been to the full as anxious to get rid of Maru-tuahu as they were to return to their district, for when he said to Taharoku, “You must go home to your own country at the Thames,” and the astute and politic Taha-roku, without wasting a single word, showed that he fully understood his own position, and was not so foolish as to think of returning to the Thames except under such circumstances as would insure to him a safe and unmolested retreat, by merely saying, “How am I to get away?” Waha-roa, seeing that there was no chance of entrapping him into a false position, or of getting rid of him in any way except in perfect safety and with every convenience to himself, solved the difficulty proposed by Taha-roku in the most decided and satisfactory manner, and in as few words as it had been put, by simply saying, “You shall be led out”—or “guided out,” or “escorted out.” And the words do not, and did not, in the sense in which they were used by Waha-roa, convey any meaning which would imply humiliation or disgrace to the Maru-tuahu: what they really did mean, and what rendered them so perfectly satisfactory to the Maru-tuahu leader, was, that Waha-roa would send with them two or three persons of consideration of his tribe as “guides” or “leaders,” who would be hostages or pledges for the safe and unmolested retreat of the Maru-tuahu. Some years afterwards, jokingly, in a quarrel with some of the Maru-tuahu, some young men of the Nga-ti-haua added a gloss to the phrase “led out” which was said to mean “You were led out like pigs.” This not very flattering interpretation was bandied about amongst the Maru-tuahu; and, to show how in the course of events and in the lapse of time, and from what originally trifling causes, the truth becomes obscure and falsehood established as truth, this liberal interpretation of the phrase “led out” was page 270 taken up by Taraia, a ferocious old Maru-tuahu war-chief, who, for the purpose of exciting his people against the Nga-ti-haua, and doing in a general way as much mischief as possible, taunted the Maru-tuahu with having been led out of Wai-kato “like pigs.” This accusation, made against the Maru-tuahu by one of their own chiefs, being repeated and a good deal talked about at the time, had the effect, no doubt, of causing it to be believed by “outsiders” generally, who had no particular reason for investigating the matter closely, that Maru-tuahu had been expelled from Wai-kato under circumstances of marked defeat and humiliation, and that not one individual of the Nga-ti-haua Tribe accompanied them on their return to the Thames.

Maru-tuahu was accompanied on their return to the Thames by a chief of the Nga-ti-haua called Paki-ra-hake, and two chief women of the same tribe. A secure and unmolested retreat having been thus granted to the Maru-tuahu, they, after three months of preparation, according to their own account, but in three weeks after the battle, according to the Nga-ti-haua, evacuated their fort at Hao-whenua, and departed by three different routes—by the Wai-kato, the Wai-hou, and Piako Rivers—and all three parties arrived in due time, and without molestation or misadventure, in their own district. The Maru-tuahu having departed, the Nga-ti-haua came at once into possession of the lands at Horo-tiu and Maunga-tautari, which their opponents had occupied for several years more as combatants struggling for possession than as established owners, and the Nga-ti-haua were certainly so far gainers by their departure. But the Nga-ti-haua claim the Aroha lands, which were part of the old acknowledged Maru-tuahu tribal estate, and which were separated by a wide belt of country from the districts evacuated by that tribe, and on which the battle was fought. The Nga-ti-haua state that, one month after the Maru tuahu had gone, a party of Nga-ti-haua, of whom Waha-roa was one, proceeded to the Aroha, and took a formal possession, agreeing amongst themselves as to the division of page 271 the different eel-ponds, streams, and old eel-weirs, and also in a rough way dividing the land amongst themselves, after which, and having stayed about a week, they returned to Matamata, where they built a pa, and where they have continued to live permanently ever since. One said, “I know Hao-whenua. I was there in the end of 1830. The Natives who were with me were very careful how they lit fires, lest they should be discovered by the Thames Natives (Maru-tuahu), whom they were greatly afraid of. We got safe to Tauranga. I returned to Kawhia in January, 1831, by way of Matamata and Ka-wehi-tiki. The Nga-ti-haua were there in great numbers. At Matamata, at the pa, they were working at flax and cultivating, but appeared in continual expectation of being attacked: they did not seem to wish for fighting. I saw the Nga-ti-haua pa at Ka-wehi-tiki: they were also in fear of Hau-raki (Maru-tuahu). They expected the enemy by two roads, one by the Wai-hou and the other by the Piako. In the end of the year 1831 I returned again from Kawhia to Tauranga. I called on my way at the same places, Matamata and Ka-wehi-tiki. I found the people in the same state and under arms. I heard that during my absence they had been attacked by the Thames Natives, and that they could not tell what moment they might be attacked again. They were in fear of the Hau-raki Natives, and as far as I could judge they had no desire to attack them. Every night they slept in the pa. The Thames Natives, in the year 1832, attacked the Nga-ti-haua at Wai-harakeke. I heard this from the Nga-ti-haua at Matamata.” “I found the Natives at Matamata and Ka-wehi-tiki, as well as my guides, to be greatly in fear of the Thames Natives.” “On my second return to Matamata I heard the Thames Natives had been there, but had not succeeded in taking the pa.” “I know the Ngati-haua kept in their pa when attacked by the Hau-raki Natives; they never came out.” Another says, “Some six months after the battle of Taumata-wiwi the Nga-ti-haua were getting flax at Wai-harakeke. I heard page 272 of Taraia afterwards killing some of them and driving them off. It would not have been safe for the Nga-ti-haua to take their produce down the Wai-hou. It takes three or four hours journey to go on foot to Wai-harakeke from Matamata.”

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Tiki Gateway At Ohinemuti.

Tiki Gateway At Ohinemuti.