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Ngati Toarangatira - Carved Maori Warrior Chief of Kawhia

  • TOARANGATIRA (Warrior-chief)
The ancestral figures featured along this side of the house are....This ancestor became the eponymous ancestor of Ngati Toarangatira, the principal Kawhia at the time of Te Rauparaha's birth. He was, indeed, aptly named the Warrior-chief.

Of powerful physique he established his fame along the West Coast of the North Island, as a duellist.

In one battle he overcame several warriors in quick order by thrusting his taiaha between an adversary's legs, and with a quick upward thrust throwing the enemy to the rear for someone else to finish him off.

In this manner he strode forward into the enemy's ranks.

In Toarangatira's early life the overlord of the Kawhia seaboard was the high chief, Tuahumahina of the Motungaio pa, which occupied the summit of the hill on the south end of the business area of Kawhia township.

After some desperate fighting on the south side of the harbour against Tuahumahina and his large army, Toarangatira followed his enemy across the harbour and built himself a pa just south of Parangi lake.

In due time he took the initiative and mounted a fierce attack on Motungaio. The pa soon fell, and Tuahumahina thought he could escape by making a dash on the seaward side of the pa.

But Toarangatira anticipated this move and as Tuahumahina landed at the foot of the high escarpment overlooking the beach he found himself cornered, and in the next instant he was laid low by Toarangatira's taiaha.

This victory gave Toarangatira the rich prize of the Kawhia and the coastal lands southwards.

The next figure is of the most famous of the descendants of Toarangatira; the resourceful and colourful war leader of the Toarangatira and allied tribes,

Te Rauparaha instigated many tribal wars and his propensity in this regard finally led to his own undoing, and was eventually confronted by the overwhelming power of the organised inland tribes of Waikato and Maniapoto.

His subsequent conquest of the southern end of the North Island earned him the title of "The Napolean of the South".

  • MARAMA HAHAKE or MARAMA KIKOHURA - was the junior wife of Hoturoa.

When the Tainui Canoe was proceeding north on the eastern side of the Hauraki Gulf she expressed a wish to accompany an overland travelling party.

She rejoined Hoturoa at the head of the Tamaki inlet, because she had committed adultery with one of the guides of the overland party. 

The first attempts to drag the canoe over the narrow isthmus failed, and. it was necessary to mention her transgression in a potent canoe hauling spell before the canoe moved and finally floated in the waters of the Manukau harbour.

Hoturoa never forgot Marama's misbehaviour, and after the birth of her son Tanenui at Kawhia, she finally parted from her husband and went away to live in the Tamaki district.

  • RAUKAWA - The firstborn of Turongo and Mahinarangi, Raukawa became the founder of widespread sections of the tribe named after him. He was named after the special perfume his mother, Mahinarangi, used in her courting days which she commenced by seemingly running accidentally into Turongo's arms on the moonlit courtyard of her father's village.

The late Reverend Canon Paora Temuera of Otaki, on the tribal courtyards, had a popular poetical set piece for his orations in which he gave the aristocratic genealogical lines of his ancestor, Raukawa; and would wind up by saying, "The marriage of Prince Turongo to the beautiful Princess Mahinarangi (Moon-glow of the Heavens) was the union of two powerful blood streams which were sanctified by all the laws of creation and science of heredity",

At present the tribe occupies large areas in different parts of Tainui territory.

  1. The parent stock called Ngati Raukawa ki Panehakua (The Raukawa tribe of Panehakua) live on the south side of the Maungatautari mountain.
  2. Those to the east who live on the Wharepuhunga ranges are called Ngati Raukawa ki Wharepuhunga (The Ruakawa tribe of Wharepuhunga).
  3. Those of the tribe who occupy the lands from Waotu to the vicinity of Te Poi are called Ngati Raukawa ki te Kaokaoroa 0 Patetere (The Raukawa tribe of the long armpit of Patetere).
  4. The section of the tribe who accompanied Te Rauparaha on his southward march under their chiefs Te Whatanui and others, settled in the Manawatu, Horowhenua and Otaki, and they go under the name of Ngati Raukawa ki Kapiti, (The Raukawa tribe of Kapiti).
  5. NGATOKOWARU - A renowed high chief and war lord of the Raukawa tribe.

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