Chapter Sixteen — The History of Mahaki
The History of Mahaki
Mahaki, the eponymous ancestor of the tribe named Te-aitanga-a-Mahaki, of Poverty Bay, was the second son of Tauhei and Tama-taipunoa. The marriage between Tauhei (the last child of Kahungunu and Rongomai-wahine) to Tama-taipunoa. was the outcome of the peace terms after the raid made by Tutamure on the pa Maunga-akahia, as has been related in the history of Kahungunu. Strange though it may seem, all the children of Kahungunu and Rongomai-wahine left their birthplace (Te Mahia) and married into prominent tribes of the Poverty Bay district: Kahukuranui (the first child) went and married Ruatapuwahine, the daughter of Ruapani, the paramount chief and owner of the whole of Turanganui-a-Kiwa land. The next child, Tamatea-kota, married Rongo-kauae (a daughter of Rongo-whakaata, prominent ancestor of Te Arai and surrounding lands), and became the parents of Kahatapere (father of the twin brothers who were murdered by Tupurupuru, grandson of Kahukuranui and second cousin to the twins). Rongomai-papa, the third child, married Ruapani himself, and begot Ruarauhanga, the mother of Tupurupuru, as has been mentioned. The next was Mahaki-nui, who died without issue.
The last of these famous children-was Tauhei, who married Tamataipunoa, as is mentioned above. The married couple migrated to Waikohu, inland of Gisborne and in the Bay of Plenty district. The first child of the marriage was Tawhiwhi, who married Te Ahiwhakamauroa, a woman of Poverty Bay, and died in early age. The next was Mahaki, who married Hine-tapuarau, a granddaughter of Kahukuranui, an uncle of Mahaki himself. By this marriage, the first child was:
1. Rakai-te-awe (f.) 2. Ihu, or Ranginui-a-Ihu (m.) 3. Hikarongo (m.) 4. Rakaiaotea (f.) 5. Whakarau, or Whakarauora-tanga-a-Tu-tamure (m.)
The last child was so named Whakarauora-tanga-a-Tu-tamure, or "Lives spared by Tu-tamure," in memory and appreciation of the sparing of the lives of the people in the Maunga-akahia pa where Tauhei was given in marriage as a peace-offering, as has been related.
Mahaki and his family lived in the pa named Pa-werawera at Waikohu, inland from Gisborne, near the present Mahaki railway station. At this time the whole of the Turanganui-o-Kiwa territory, formerly reigned over by Ruapani, had been inherited by Tupurupuru, the celebrated grandson of Ruapani, and first cousin to Hine-tapuarau, wife of Mahaki. When Tupurupuru murdered the twin brothers, as related in the history of Taraia, Mahaki with his sons took up the leadership of the avenging side, which resulted in the killing of Tupurupuru and the migration of his people to Mahia. The part of the land actually occupied by Tupurupuru and his people, that is, the western side of the Waipaoa River, fell to the two sons of Mahaki—Ihu and Whakarau. The eastern side of the river was held by Hine-manuhiri (who married Pukaru, son of Ruapani) and her children, together with Rakaipaaka (brother of Hine-manuhiri) and his children, who had their pas at Waerenga-a-hika. Subsequently, over the killing of the dog of Tu-te-kohi and the cohabiting of the wife of Mahaki as related in the history of Tama-te-rangi, a fight took place. This resulted in the driving off the land of Hine-manuhiri and Rakaipaaka and their people, which gave Mahaki and his children the sole ownership of the lands formerly owned by Ruapani. Thus it is shown that Mahaki became the prominent owner of Turanganui by wresting the lands from his own cousins. In later periods his grandchildren and descendants extended the right and mana of the tribe over a very wide territory, which made Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki the richest and most powerful tribe in the Poverty Bay district. There are many other activities achieved by this section of the Ngati-Kahungunu tribe, but these are sufficient to show the power of the Ngati-Kahungunu tribe in this part of the East Coast of the North Island. All of the persons mentioned in this chapter lived in stormy and turbulent times. Mars was in the ascendant and quarrels, fightings, and migrations characterised their lives. Therefore it is all the more interesting to find that as the several later generations passed, the various tribes forgot their animosities and became united through important marriages.