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Ngati Mahuta of King Country

Long-term tenure in the King Country by Ngati Mahuta was recognised through the Native Land Court during the Rohe Potae investigation of title and its subsequent partitions (Taharoa A and Maketü).

The Rohe Potae comprised 1,636,000 acres, and was described as “the largest and most important that has ever been brought before the Native Land Court.

The applicants represented Ngäti Maniapoto, Ngäti Hikairo, Ngäti Whakatere and Ngäti Takihiku (both of Ngäti Raukawa), Ngäti Tüwharetoa, and Ngäti Rangatahi (of Whanganui).

Counterclaims were set up by Te Tumuhuia of Ngäti Hourua and Ngäti Naho; Kaukiuta representing Ngäti Wairere and other hapü; Hamiora Patara of Ngäti Haua and Ngäti Koroki; Keremeta Ahunuku for Te Werokoko and others; Wiremu Te Whitu for Ngäti Hourua; Harete Te Waharoa for Ngäti Hourua and Ngäti Mahanga; Wiremu Te Wheoro on behalf of Ngati Mahuta and Ngäti Ngahia; and Mihi Pepene of Ngäti Pou.

The case was heard over 58 days from late July 1886, and judgment delivered on 20 October 1886. In the absence of his “principal witnesses” (who were following King Täwhiao), Major Te Wheoro described the conquest by Waikato over the “former owners” - Ngäti Toa, Ngäti Koata, Ngäti Te Ariari and their allies, and the second count – more than 60 years of Ngati Mahuta occupation, from Harihari, to Lake Taharoa, to Käwhia Heads, along the coast to Te Maika, Takatahi, Rangitaiki, Räkaunui, and numerous käinga around the harbour including the larger settlements of Päkarikari and Heahea.

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Ngati Mahuta Memories

The following memories and korero, are from some of our Ngati Maahuta kaumaatua and chiefs of previous occupation of places around Kawhia harbour. The stories/memories are in no particular order.

TE KANAWA TE IKATU (WAIKATO): The number of settlements around the Käwhia and Aotea Harbours attributed to this man indicate he was a man of high standing. He was indeed a close ally of Te Wherowhero with whom he collaborated on numerous occasions.

Aside from the sea force role during the battles against Ngäti Toa and Ngäti Koata, Te Kanawa was the great war chief’s second-in-command at Mätakitaki and jointly owned the strategic Puraha settlement with Te Wherowhero. He dug pits at Tangitekorowhiti to serve as boundary markers. He was buried at Te Pahi, near Puraha.

 PUMIPI: Pumipi Tuhoro lived around the Harihari lake area. He had eight children – 2 born at Waihikura, some at Otumatariki (south of the block) in HariHari – and are intermingled with the Waikato settlers of Taharoa. His sister married Te Manihera, and his daughter Hera Maringi married Captain King. Practically every Ngati Mahuta member is a descendant of this woman.

TIHIRAHI: Described as “a man of mana,”Tihirahi (Ngati Mahuta) led the Ngäti Werewere people in the battles at Käwhia. He participated in the allocation of lands among following the departure of Te Rauparaha and his peoples, and established homes around Te Papa-o-Karewa, Pouewe, Karereatua, Te Hikitanga.

Observations by Reverend Cort Henry Schnackenberg: Te Mata, near Raglan, Aug 10th. 1864
My dear Sir,
… The Kawhia & Aotea rebels have returned home, and are planting potatoes. Many Waikatos, I think perhaps 200 are doing the same at various places between Kawhia & Mokau – chiefly on the coast where they have plenty of food.

 Schnackenberg...C H Schnakenberg papers
My dear Sir,
Ngati mahuta have built a large house at the Taharoa Lake a few miles south of Albatross Point of Kawhia. Raglan Sept 8 1873,

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