Some Aspects of Ati Awa ki Kapiti History

The earliest accounts of Te Ati Awa ki Kapiti go back to the Kāhui Mounga collective that had spread itself from Taranaki and the Central Plateau region through to Te Upoko-o-te-Ika, or what is now the Wellington region. During this time, further waves of migrations occurred. Two of these migrations began with the arrival of the following waka to Taranaki; Te Kahutara, Taikōria and Okoki. The names of these iwi were Te Tini-a-Taitāwaro, Te Tini-a-Pananehu, Tamaki, and Te Tini-o-Pohokura.

They were named after four brothers who led their people to Aotearoa. One of these iwi groupings, Te Tini-o-Pohokura, spread its people throughout Taranaki, and sections of this community occupied areas in the upper reaches of the Mokau Valley. One of their ancestors, Piopio, who was a prominent amongst her people, married a descendant of the famous Toi Kairākau named Atakore in order to bring warfare between the tribes to an end. Once peace was agreed, Toi Kairākau bestowed upon Piopio his name in honour of that peace. Her name became Piopio Te Kairākau.

Eventually Piopio Te Kairākau’s people migrated further south to the Kāpiti region. The name of this ancestress was bestowed upon two pou, or pillars, that rested on each side of the Waikanae River. One of these pou, named ‘Piopio’, was located at what is now known as Piopio Place, near the Waikanae beachfront. The other pou, named ‘Te Kairākau’, was located at what is now the Camelot Subdivision in Ōtaihanga. The Te Tini-o-Pohokura people have direct connections with Te Āti Awa and coupled with the pou at the mouth of the Waikanae river, mark many traditional symbols of connection we maintain to some of the earlier occupant’s on the Kapiti Coast.

Preceding the Te Tini-o-Pohokura settlement was the journey of an ancestor named Haunui-a-Nanaia, who has a direct relationship with the ancestral canoes of Kurahaupō and Aotea. Haunui-a-Nanaia was married to a woman named Wairaka. They resided in Whenuakura, near Pātea, and it was through an act of adultery on Wairaka’s behalf, and the subsequent pursuit of Wairaka by her husband, that brought Haunui-a-Nanaia to the area of Takamore. Haunui-a-Nanaia is well-known as the ancestor who pursued Wairaka by following the path of a deity named Rongomai, who exemplified itself in the form of a meteor. Haunui-a-Nanaia is also well-known as the ancestor who named various tributaries and landmarks from Whanganui to Wellington. Within the boundaries of Te Āti Awa ki Kapiti, the rivers of Waimeha and Waikanae are no exception.

However, what is also important to recount is the connection between the deity, Rongomai, and Haunui-a-Nanaia. Rongomai was a very powerful supernatural being in which it is stated that whatever its meteor dust touched would be deemed tapu, or to have an intrinsic spiritual condition, due to the nature of Rongomai. There are chronological accounts of landmarks being deemed tapu through Rongomai’s deeds as Haunui-a-Nanaia made his pursuit. Again, within the boundaries of Te Āti Awa ki Kapiti, there are signs of this relationship. The traditional name of the Paraparaumu waterfront is Te Wai-o-Rongomai. The other source indicative of Rongomai is an ancient spring named Te Puna-o-Rongomai. This is located to the east of the Weggery Homestead within the Takamore wāhi tapu. The spring itself was named as a result of Haunui-a-Nanaia witnessing the descent of meteor dust landing upon this spring, acknowledging its mana, it was named after Rongomai. For centuries following its naming, Te Puna-o-Rongomai was utilised by our ancestors, the Muaupoko people, as a healing spring, and used in association with birthing rites.

The naming of the Waikanae River itself symbolises the serene nature of this area. The term, Waikanae, has two proverbial meanings. The first:

“Ka ngahae ngā pī, ko Waikanae”
“Staring in amazement, hence Waikanae”

This proverb recalls when Haunui-a-Nanaia was crossing the river. It was during a cloudless night in which the stars and moon were prevalent in the skies. When Haunui-a-Nanaia stared into the river waters, he noticed myriads of Kanae, or Mullet, swimming in shoals. What startled him was that the eyes of the Kanae were gleaming from the reflection of the stars and moon. Haunui-a-Nanaia was ‘staring in amazement’. The essence of this proverb is also personified by the following proverb:

“Ko tōku waikanaetanga tēnei”
“This is my peace and humility”

This simple proverb captured by the naming of the river symbolises our relationship to the Waikanae area.

Te Hekenga Tangata- Migrations

The nature and impact of Northern incursions into Taranaki during the 1820’s and 1830’s caused major upheaval in Taranaki. Women, men and children were killed or herded away as slaves, the impact on these communities was profound. The continued threat of violence and conflict resulted in many Te Atiawa whanau and hapū taking the opportunity to migrate with their Ngāti Toa kin to Kapiti, Wellington and the top of the South Island, with some also travelling as far as Wharekauri (Chatham Islands). This was not, of course, a single exodus, but several heke (migrations) over decades with many travelling back and forth from these areas to Taranaki. While the heke took place, small settlements throughout our Northern Taranaki maintained ahi kaa and were present on the return of a large part of our whanau in the 1848 to resettle Waitara under Wiremu Kiingi Te Rangitaake.
The first of the migrations into Taranaki began with Ngāti Toa under Te Peehi Kupe, Te Rangihiroa, Tungia, Te Rauparaha and Te Rangihaeata. After insurmountable pressure from the Waikato and Ngāti Maniapoto tribes, they were forced to leave their traditional lands in Kāwhia and sought salvation with their Taranaki cousins in Northern Taranaki. Decisions to go south to Wellington and Kapiti were influenced by Te Peehi, Te Rangihiroa and Te Rauparaha following their incursions into that area with Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Whantua leaders. A group of Northern Taranaki also accompanied them, resulting in significant opportunities for new lands to occupy and strategic geographic assets to control.

Migrations south were known collectively as ‘Te Heke Mai Raro’. The first of these migrations was called ‘Te Heke Tahutahuahi’ and occurred in 1821, when the exodus of Ngāti Toa led by Te Peehi Kupe arrived in Urenui in north Taranaki, they were lodged at Pukewhakamaru and Okoki. While here they were attacked again by the Waikato tribes who had followed them down to Taranaki. The attack, however, was repulsed by a heavily bolstered force of Ngati Tama, Ngati Mutunga and Te Ati Awa and a heavy defeat was inflicted upon the attacking Waikato and Ngāti Maniapoto party.

Despite this, the second of the ‘Heke Mai Raro’ migrations took place and in 1822, another movement of the people called ‘Te Heke Tataramoa’ saw the migration of Ngāti Toa from Urenui, accompanied by hapū and iwi from Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Mutunga and Te Āti Awa southwards. Many noted Taranaki leaders accompanied this exodus; Te Puoho-o-te-Rangi, Paremata-te-Wahapiro, Reretawhangawhanga, Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitaake, Te Whetu Tumokemoke, Te Matoha, Ranginohokau, Tuhata Patuhiki, Rautahi, Te Pakaiahi, Manukonga, Te Whakapaheke, Takaratai and Kawe.

After much conflict with tribes throughout the journey to the Kāpiti district, and on arrival there, the migrants carefully began the establishment of resource rights through raupatu, or conquest.

In 1823, certain sections of the northern Taranaki contingent returned from Kāpiti to Taranaki to support their kinsmen against further incursions from their Waikato and Ngāti Maniapoto enemies.

In 1824 was the migration called ‘Te Heke Niho Puta’. This was the second northern Taranaki migration comprising the hapū of Ngāti Hinetuhi, Te Kekerewai, Ngāti Hineuru, and Ngāti Kaitangata. The chiefs who led this contingent were Te Puoho-o-te-Rangi, Patukawenga, Reretawhangawhanga, Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitaake, Te Poki, Te Arahu, Ngatata, and Pomare Ngatata. Certain parts of this migration went beyond the Kāpiti region, acquiring lands through raupatu within the Wellington region. Eventually, a section of this group led by Pomare Ngatata migrated to Te Wharekauri, or The Chatham Islands.

It was during this same year that the migration called ‘Te Heke Rua Maioro’ occurred. This was a Ngāti Raukawa migration of certain sub-tribal groupings from Maungatautari in Waikato to the Horowhenua and Kāpiti region. In 1825 saw the arrival of other Ngāti Raukawa hapū in the migration called ‘Te Heke Kariritahi’.

In 1827 many hapū from throughout Taranaki migrated to the Kapiti Coast and Wellington region, this was known as ‘Te Heke Taranaki’. This was followed by the ‘Te Heke Whirinui’ migration which comprised of Puketapu, Pukerangiora, Manukorihi, Otaraua, Ngāti Uenuku, and Ngāti Kura sub-tribes. The chiefs who led this expedition were Te Manutoheroa, Te Tupe-o-Tu and Hau-te-Horo.

In 1832 there was a further migration known as ‘Te Heke Tama-te-Uaua’. This was the largest migration of the northern Taranaki tribes, including Ngāti Maru Wharanui. The hapū represented were Ngāti Hineuru, Ngāti Rahiri, Ngāti Puketapu, Ngāti Whakarewa, Ngāti Kaitangata, Ngāti Tupawhenua, Ngāti Tu, Ngāmotu, Ngāti Te Whiti and Ngāti Tawhirikura. The chiefs who led this migration were Tautara, Rauakitua, Haukaione, Te Wharepouri, Te Puni, Rangiwahia, Te Ito, Wi Tako, Ngatata-i-te-Rangi, and Te Matangi.

In 1833 another migration called ‘Te Heke Paukena’ occurred. This comprised of central and southern Taranaki iwi, in particular the Taranaki tribe, represented by Ngāti Haumia and Ngati Haupoto hapū, and the Ngāti Ruanui tribe, represented by the Ngāti Tupaea hapū. The Te Āti Awa hapū of Puketapu also featured in this migration.

In 1834 was the migration called ‘Te Heke Hauhaua’. This was the last migration of the Taranaki people to the Kapiti area, largely consisting of the tribes Ngāti Tama, Taranaki and Ngāti Ruanui.

Settlement and Conflict within the Kapiti Region – Haowhenua 1834

As a result of the successive migrations of Taranaki iwi to the Kapiti Coast, the population swelled, Ngāti Raukawa from the north had also arrived by this time resulting in pressure on the availability of natural resources. Conflict was inevitable.

In 1834, tension on the Kapiti Coast reached new heights when an Ati Awa man, Tawake was caught stealing food. This of course, led to conflict between Ngāti Raukawa and sections of Ngāti Toa and the Taranaki tribes. Te Rauparaha allying with his Ngāti Raukawa kin then sent a message to some of his northern relations asking for help. Sections of Waikato arrived with allies from Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Tipa, led by the chiefs Wetini and Nini. Ngāti Tuwharetoa also came to Te Rauparaha’s assistance, led by Papaka Te Heuheu.

Prolonged fighting with muskets around the Haowhenua area ensued with many important leaders between both iwi killed, in particular the old fighting chiefs Te Tupe-o-Tu and Hau Te Horo of Otaraua hapū who fell at a resting place named as a result of their deaths. This pace was called ‘Te Matenga o Te Tupe-o-Tu’. The great Ngāti Ruanui tohunga, Turaukawa also fell here, as did Tawhaki and Takarangi. Other leaders noted during this time were Te Rei Hanataua of Ngāti Ruanui, Mitikakau of Ngāti Maru Wharanui, and the Te Āti Awa chiefs Rauakitua, Te Manutoheroa, Reretawhangawhanga, Hone Tuwhata, Huriwhenua, and Te Uapiki, all of which survived to build communities back in Taranaki and the top of the South Island

This battle was named ‘Haowhenua’ after the pā site and wider area in which the battle took place. Following the officiating of peace, Nini, of Ngāti Tipa, uttered the following phrase:

“Hei konei e Āti Awa. E kore au e hoki mai! Ki te tae mai he iwi hei patu i a koe, ka mate!”
“Farewell Āti Awa. I shall not return! If a people come and make war with you, they will perish!”

This was also said to have been expressed by Ngāti Tuwharetoa paramount chief, Mananui Te Heuheu when the news came to him that his younger brother, Papaka Te Heuheu, had died during the fight. He is said to have broken his taiaha as a sign of grief for his brother whilst the negotiations for peace took place.
This battle now signalled a level of destabilisation between the Waikato and Taranaki tribes, and in 1835-36, more migrations took place. While Ngāti Raukawa and their allied tribes retreated beyond the Otaki river mouth, the Taranaki tribes realigned themselves tightly within the Te Hapua area to strengthen themselves against future reprisals.
Despite a short lull in peaceful occupations, the uneasy truce between Te Āti Awa and Ngāti Raukawa was to be short-lived.

Te Kuititanga 1839

The period following Haowhenua saw little conflict, but unresolved issues were ever present. A significant period in Ati Awa’s history during this time also talks of the influence of Christianity. This had seen many of the Taranaki people taken into slavery by Ngāpuhi set free. Many of these people became missionaries and a Te Ati Awa man named Ripahau arrived from Northland to resettle with his Te Ati Awa relations in the Kāpiti region. Ripahau had acquired the skills of literacy, and was well versed in the teachings of Christian beliefs. It was through Ripahau that members of the Te Āti Awa tribe, in particular Reretawhangawhanga, Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitaake, Eruini Te Marau, Pirikawau, and Riwai Te Ahu acquired the skills of literacy. More importantly, Ripahau introduced Te Āti Awa to the philosophies of the Bible. Te Āti Awa welcomed his teachings, which led to a gradual change in the traditional lifestyle of the tribe. Te Āti Awa were now looking at the Christian philosophies as a means to forging peaceful relationships within the Kāpiti region. Ripahau also influenced Tamihana Te Rauparaha and Matene Te Whiwhi of Ngāti Toa and Ngāti Raukawa.

However, unresolved issues from the Haowhenua conflict led to more tension arising between the neighbouring tribes. This came to a head during the funeral of Waitohi, the sister of Te Rauparaha in 1839 as insults and disparaging remarks were made between the leaders. Upon the tribes return home tension continued to arise. Despite attempts to seek peaceful means between the neighbouring tribes, negotiations came to an abrupt end when Minarapa, another liberated chief of the Taranaki tribe and staunch Christian man, was unable to secure the return of captives who had been taken prisoner and subsequently executed for building houses in the Otaki area. Once Minarapa returned to Waikanae to inform the people of the outcome, there was no choice but to prepare for more conflict.

The initial attack by Ngāti Raukawa occurred under the cloak of darkness in October 1839. This was led by the chiefs Ngakuku and Te Whatanui, and centred upon Waimea pā site, an outpost located within the large cultivation grounds of Ngāhuruhuru on the northern side of the Waikanae river. Ngāhuruhuru covers what is now the El Rancho Christian Holiday Park and stretches west towards the Waikanae river mouth. Waimea pā site mainly consisted of affiliates of Ngāti Kura hapū, and Ngāti Mutunga iwi. With the element of surprise working in favour of Ngāti Raukawa, a bloody battle ensued with much loss of life. Bodies were scattered throughout the Ngāhuruhuru cultivation grounds. The surviving occupants of Waimea pā site were forced to retreat in disarray across the Waikanae river to another Te Āti Awa outpost called Arapawaiti pā site. This was a communal village for the Te Āti Awa hapū of Ngāti Rahiri and Ngāti Rukao. It was at Arapawaiti pā site that reinforcements arrived from the main Te Āti Awa fortress of Kenakena pā site. Kenakena pā site was a massive communal village, partitioned into areas designed for individual hapū to commune independently of each other. The extent of the pā site covered 1.5 kilometres of the Paraparaumu beachfront in the location of the Paraparaumu Skate Park reaching inland as far as the location of Te Āti Awa Park.

Reinforcements also arrived from the Te Uruhi pā site, the communal village of Puketapu hapū, and the Ngāti Maru Wharanui pā sites of Whareroa and Tipapa. Whareroa and Tipapa are located in the area of Queen Elizabeth Park.

Soon a counterattack was launched. Ngāti Raukawa, overwhelmed by the volume of the attack, were forced to make a hasty retreat. Te Āti Awa pursued their enemies, who retreated by way of the Waikanae beach front. The Te Āti Awa pursuers outpaced their Ngāti Raukawa counterparts, forcing the enemy to run through the heavy sand of the dunes. Inevitably, Ngāti Raukawa suffered as a result of this, as many of Te Āti Awa’s enemies were captured and killed. This pursuit continued to the Kukutauaki stream, where the Taranaki iwi chief Minarapa called an end to the slaughter. The surviving Ngāti Raukawa retreated to their territories.

At the conclusion of the battle, the Ngāti Raukawa captives were escorted to various pā sites of Te Āti Awa. The consequences were horrific. 55 Ngāti Raukawa captives were escorted to Kenakena and Te Uruhi pā sites. It was there that the Puketapu and Otaraua chief Te Manutoheroa exclaimed:

“If you had come during daylight and fought like men, this would not have happened!”

The 55 captives were all executed. Accounts state that “It was like the breaking of calabashes”. However, the Te Āti Awa did not treat the deceased in the traditional fashion. The bodies were buried in a mass grave, but were afforded a Christian burial and acknowledged with military honours. Other Ngāti Raukawa captives were taken to other Te Āti Awa sites for imprisonment. Kaitoenga pā site, further inland of Arapawaiti and across from the vicinity of Ngāhuruhuru cultivation ground, was established by the Otaraua hapū and kept Ngāti Raukawa captives there until peace had been reached between Te Āti Awa and Ngāti Raukawa. The name, ‘Kaitoenga’, is representative of the manner in which the captives were held. The captives were considered to be ‘Scrap Food’, and were taunted as such. However, cannibalism did not take place as the shift from old practices and Christian influences began to take effect. Taewapirau, a Ngāti Kura communal area, and Upoko-te-Kaia, a Ngāti Mutunga pā site, have names that reflect the severity of the battle.

The battle itself was witnessed Henry Williams, Octavius Hadfield, Colonel William Wakefiled, Ernst Dieffenback and Charles Heaphy, who were observing from the New Zealand Company Ship, the Tory, which was anchored off Kāpiti Island. Other important onlookers were Te Rauparaha and Te Rangihaeata.

The aftermath of the battle was met by much lament. The deceased were mourned and celebrated. Waimea pā site had been devastated. Because of the amount of blood spilt upon the land, Waimea pā site was vacated, and Ngāhuruhuru was to never be used as a cultivation ground again. The deceased that were scattered within the grounds were buried where they had fallen by way of Christian protocols. Ngāhuruhuru, which had been used extensively by the pā sites that surrounded or dwelled within its contours, was considered a wāhi tapu, and from then onwards was only used for burials.

Ancestors who have been recorded as being buried within the contours of Ngāhuruhuru and Waimea are the Te Āti Awa chieftaness, Pohe, who was married to the chief Te Rangihiroa of Ngāti Toa and Ngāti Mutunga. Pohe was beheaded at Ngāhuruhuru. Eruini Te Marau’s mother, Te Ripu or Meturia, was buried at Waimea. Metapere Te Waipunahau, the mother of Wi Te Kakakura Parata and Hemi Matenga, was also buried at Waimea.

Te Ruru Mā Heke 1848 and Tuku Rākau

The following year, on 16 May 1840, saw approximately 22 northern Taranaki chiefs sign the Treaty of Waitangi in Waikanae. This was witnessed by both Henry Williams and Octavius Hadfield. Octavius Hadfield had carried on from the work done by Ripahau, and worked closely with Riwai Te Ahu of Te Āti Awa in consolidating Christian philosophies into the community. This led to the building of the Kenakena Church within the Kenakena pā site confines. This church was located along Mazengarb Road around the entrance to Te Āti Awa Park. It was here in 1843 that Bishop Selwyn confirmed 120 Māori Christians.

However, Te Āti Awa’s attention was returning back to their lands in Taranaki. Colonial settlers had acquired blocks of land which met with strong disapproval of the Te Āti Awa people who were based in Kāpiti. However, their opposition was weakened in the eyes of the settlers due to a large proportion of Te Āti Awa living in the southern parts of the North Island. Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitaake, the son to the paramount chief of Te Āti Awa Reretawhangawhanga, wrote letters to Governor Robert Fitzroy outlining his opposition to further sale of ancestral lands. With the passing of Reretawhangawhanga on 26 May 1845 at Kenakena pā site, Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitaake upheld his father’s mantle as paramount chief of Te Āti Awa and prepared a large contingent of his people for a return migration to their ancestral lands in Taranaki. This migration took place in 1848, and was called ‘Te Ruru Mā Heke’. Because of the concerns that the migrating party had for their deceased who had fallen during their tenure in Kāpiti, a number of bodies were exhumed and their bones were transported with them back to Taranaki. This process occurred over a period of time as there were a number of journeys back and forth between Kāpiti and Taranaki.

As a result of this migration, the landscape around the Waikanae river also changed. Kenakena pā site had dropped drastically in terms of population size, but still had families occupying parts of the pā site. An internal shift in population took place as more Te Āti Awa tribesmen moved to the northern side of the Waikanae river to occupy the pā sites of Kaitoenga, Kaiwarehou, Taewapirau and Upoko-te-Kaia. It was also during this steady shift that Wi Tako Ngatata-i-te-Rangi, a chief of Ngāti Kura, Ngāti Tawhirikura, Ngāti Hamua and Te Matehou, built a house named ‘Pukumahi Tamariki’ on land just east of the Takamore cemetery. This land is called Tukurākau.

Unfortunately large parts of Kenakena pā site were becoming dilapidated due to large parts of the communal area being vacated. Strong sand drifts were now covering substantial parts of the pā site’s landscape. The church itself had sand level to the windows in 1849. By 1851, Kenakena pā was largely overrun. However, families still remained at parts of Kenakena, aswell as Te Uruhi and Arapawaiti pā sites.

As a result of Māori discontent and frustration with the purchase of ancestral lands by both the Crown and colonial settlers, the movement of national importance, called the Kīngitanga, began to take shape in Otaki in 1855. Wi Tako became a strong supporter of the Kīngitanga movement, as he saw an opportunity for unifying the Māori people. The original intention of the house, Pukumahi Tamariki, was to serve as an assembly house for the Kīngitanga if the movement was to travel through the Waikanae area. Wi Tako also had one of seven ‘pillars of the Kīngitanga’ built at his home named ‘Te Mako’ in Naenae. This was again another symbol of his strong allegiance to the movement.

As tensions between Māori and colonial settlers reached boiling point in Taranaki, further migrations took place which saw more of our whannau return to Taranaki. Prior to the onset of the Taranaki Land Wars in 1860, Wi Tako had become disillusioned with the Kīngitanga movement, and his hapū moved into the Wellington region. Tukurākau was now under the leadership of Wi Te Kakakura Parata of Kaitangata hapū.


In 1865 Taranaki Iwi responded to the plight of war and confiscation with an alternative non-violent action. Te Whiti o Rongomai, Tohu Kakahi and other prominent Taranaki leaders were then appointed to lead the community.

Under its own autonomy and independence, Parihaka flourished in an environment where development was inspired by the principles of discipline, faith, organisation and unwavering dedication. The population grew steadily as those who had been affected by dispossession through conflict, war and confiscation sought refuge. Many Ati Awa whanau who lost land in Taranaki during this time removed to Parihaka in support. Under the inspiration of Te Whiti and Tohu and other Taranaki iwi leaders Parihaka grew to pre-eminence.

In 1879, Crown encroachment on Māori land threatened all Māori settlements and Te Whiti sent out his people to obstruct the surveys and to plough the confiscated land. When arrested the ploughmen offered no resistance but were often treated harshly. Then in 1880, the Parihaka people erected fences across roads, continued to pull survey pegs and escorted road builders and surveyors out of the district.

The Native minister John Bryce described Parihaka as “that headquarters of fanaticism and disaffection”. Parliament passed legislation enabling the Government to hold the protesters indefinitely without trial.

By September 1880 hundreds of men and youths had been exiled to South Island prisons where they were forced to build the infrastructure of Cities like Dunedin. These resistance campaigns led to close to 400 “ploughmen” and “fencers” from throughout Taranaki being arrested and imprisoned. No court proceedings were conducted by any Supreme Court trial and special legislation was passed, first to defer them and then to dispense with the trials altogether. Subsequently, all prisoners were shipped to jail in Dunedin, Hokitika, Littleton and Ripapa Island for 2 years on charges of forcible entry, malicious injury to property, riot.
Lenience was not given to rebel and loyalist alike as everyone implicated in fencing or ploughing was detained and imprisoned. Many prisoners, including people of Waikanae were imprisoned. They included Winara Matewhitu Parata, the son of Wi Parata Te Kakakura and Tamihana Te Karu and others. Conditions were harsh and included hard labour. The detrimental impact of these conditions was compounded by the effect of ill health and exile.

By 1881, the Crowns concern with Parihaka had reached new heights. Many of the strongest and fittest of Parihaka men were in Prison while Parihaka continued to flourish, so on 5 November 1881 more than 1,500 Crown troops, led by the Native Minister, invaded the occupied the pā in order to dismantle the community. No resistance was offered. The experience of the Paahuatanga (sacking) was captured by the following whakataukitanga korero:

‘I tenei rangi ka opehia noatia te kopae heki i raro i te katua, kahore he kai pipipi, kahore he kai kokoko’
‘Today we will be bundled together like eggs under the parent, without food and sustenance’

Over the following days some 1,600 men, women and children not originally from Parihaka, were also forcibly expelled from the settlement and made to return to their native homes. Houses and cultivations in the vicinity were systematically destroyed, and stock was driven away or killed. Looting also occurred during the occupation. Taranaki Mäori assert that women were raped and otherwise molested by the soldiers. Special legislation was subsequently passed to restrict Mäori gatherings. Throughout this period restrictions were also placed on the Mäori movement. Entry into Parihaka was regulated by a pass system. Te Ati Awa ki Waikanae continued to support Parihaka financially during this time and Wi Parata was known to have his own house called ‘Tararua’ within the settlement. His daughter Ngauru also married Te Whiti’s son, Nohomairangi and another of his daughters Utauta is depicted in many photographs during the period.

Parihaka continues to have an influence on many Waikanae families.

Land Alienation and the Shifting of Pukumahi Tamariki

Crown encroachment of Māori lands and customary rights was well underway by the 1870’s. The breakdown of the traditional Māori communal structures had resulted in the individualisation of land titles and an end to customary ownership. Internal issues over rights of ownership to lands and estates were prevalent amongst Māori tribes throughout New Zealand. Māori tribes were finding that their own leaders were now corrupting the customary relationship that Māori had to their resources. This was no different in Waikanae. The Ngarara Block is an example of such issues, where through the lack of understanding of the Crown legal process saw the extinguishment of Māori customary ownership to large tracks of land. The Maori Land Court became the Crown mechanism to effect major changes in our rohe.

For the people of Te Āti Awa, this issue was compounded by internal struggles over rights of ownership to lands and other natural resources. During the period between 1870 and 1890 the Māori Land Court was to be responsible for awarding significant areas of land to small sections of Te Āti Awa people. To add further unrest within Te Āti Awa, Wi Te Kakakura Parata had made arrangements with the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company which saw the Crown purchase 15,500 acres of steep country along the Tararua foothills in 1881 as a part payment to the railway company for building the railway.

In 1884, the house, Pukumahi Tamariki was also moved to be situated closer to the railway. When the line was open for traffic, Pukumahi Tamariki was brought via bullock to its present site in which it still stands today. This is at Marae Lane in Waikanae, and is the meeting house now known as ‘Whakarongotai’.

In 1891, the Native Land Court’s work was largely complete and the division of the large Te Ati Awa lands between individual Māori owners, who, in accordance with the court’s approval, were free to sell their interests. Land sales continued to create considerable consternation amongst Te Āti Awa families.

The flu epidemic 1915-1919

Throughout the 1880s and 1890s the Māori population in Waikanae dwindled. Diseases such as tuberculosis and measles changed the face of the landscape. The old settlements were deserted and old burial grounds and cultivation areas had long since become green farming pastures and housing areas for the newly developed Waikanae community. In 1915, the Kāpiti Coast district was hit by the flu epidemic, which struck a mighty blow to the people of Waikanae both Māori and Pākehā alike. To inhibit the spread of disease members of the Waikanae community met with our people to seek permission to inter their dead who had died as a result of the flu epidemic. Permission was granted and a mass grave was excavated within the Takamore cemetery.

The deceased were brought via the original access ways to the Takamore cemetery via horse and cart. Two mass burial graves were dug; the main hollow to the northern side of the cemetery is the location of one of these holes. This was the burial place for the babies and children. The other mass burial grave was dug just to the west of the Takamore cemetery fence line. This was a mass burial grave for the adults and elderly. The deceased were buried in accordance with the wishes of the township.

Twentieth Century

Twentieth-century Te Ati Awa history is diverse and complex. By this time, past conflicts and struggles between the people had been largely reconciled. These new relationships produced an important foundation for new collaborations ultimately leading to the exchange of gifts and marriage.

During this period the people were now also experiencing major changes as they wrestled with such momentous events as the First World War and the depression of the 1930s. After the Second World War many whanau left their traditional tribal areas and moved to the cities. By the early 1930’s however, significant changes had the confederation of tribes build their “marae matua” (parent marae), named Raukawa, in Ōtaki. The Native Purposes Act (1936) allowed for the creation of the Raukawa Marae Trustees. This body of sixty-nine trustees represents the iwi and hapū of the Confederation. Accordingly and as a result of their representation the Trustees were tasked with administering the Confederation.

In 1975, The Raukawa Marae Trustees began a 25-year tribal development experiment, known as Whakatupuranga Rua Mano – Generation 2000. Te Wānanga o Raukawa was born out of this revival to assist the confederation to achieve its educational aspirations. The Raukawa Marae Trustees resolved to establish Te Wānanga o Raukawa in April 1981 for the advancement of knowledge and for the dissemination and maintenance of knowledge through teaching and research. The Raukawa Marae Trustees saw Te Wānanga o Raukawa as a natural and necessary extension of Whakatupuranga Rua Mano.

Te Wānanga o Raukawa became an incorporated body in 1984 and by 1993 Te Wānanga o Raukawa was recognised by the Crown as a “wānanga” under their new legislation known as the Education Amendment Act 1990. By this time Te Wānanga o Raukawa had been fully operational for over a decade.

Other key references in Te Ati Awa history include;

1850 The first of the major post-European initiatives of the ART Confederation involved the prominent church of the area, Rangiātea.  Rangiātea was operational from 1850-1995 when it was consumed by fire and burnt to the ground.  A programme of replication was undertaken and the new church building was opened in November 2003.
1860s Key joint venture for the three iwi in the establishment of the Ōtaki Māori Racing Club.
1900s At the turn of the century, the Confederation and the Anglican Church built the Ōtaki Māori College on land provided by the Confederation for education.  Due to financial difficulties the Anglican leaders closed the school in 1938, after thirty years of operation.  During that time the college provided education for many of the youth who were from the Confederation, including the baritone Inia te Wiata.  Other youth from outside the Confederation included the Bishop Manuhuia Bennett and the Honourable Ben Couch.
1943 Another important venture of the Confederation was the creation of an educational trust board, called the Ōtaki and Porirua Trusts Board, to administer the land that was previously used by and for the Ōtaki Māori College.