Maori Wars of the Nineteenth Century:
The Ure-wera taua first proceeded to Waikare-moana, and made war on the Ngati-Ruapani tribe (which, whilst connected with the Ure-wera, is also more nearly related to Ngati-Kahu-ngunu), taking the two island pas named Pa-te-kaha and Nga-whaka-rara, and losing Te Wara-hoe* of their own tribe, as also Kumara, a lady of rank and grandmother of Tamarau, one of my principal informants in this narrative, in whose honour the aforementioned Piki-huia composed the following lament:—
E Kui! Kumara, tenei te whare i moe ai,
Kia noho atu au i te marae kino—
I te marae o Tu-mata-uenga.
Titi rere po, Kio’ rere ao, po,
Tau atu ki Waikare,
Rukuhia e koe, te ruku o te kawau,
Kia ea ake ana, ko Hau-mapuhia,
Ngau ai runga, ngau ai raro
Ngau ai te tipua, ki era nga tipua.
Tuatua i a R&acar;t&acar;, i a Wahie-roa, i a Tane,
E tu ana, hei rangaki i to koutou mate,
Kia tohe Makauri, e tohe Te Ariki,
Rere noa iara me he kahui Kawau,
Ki roto o Wairau,
* Possibly this means Te Warahoe hapu of the Ure-wera, not a man of that name.
I ngaro ai te tangata,
Huna te koko-uri, huna te koko-tea,
E tu Mariko tata
Piri ana i te taha—e—i.
O madam! Kumara, here is thy house
In which thou sleepest,
Whilst I am in the court-yard of affliction—
In the court-yard of Tu—the war god—
Like a night-flying titi bird,
A rat of night and day,
They swooped on those at Waikare,
Plunge thee then, with the kawau’s dive
And emerge like Hau-mapuhia.
All above struggle with all below,
These demons fight with other demons,
Call on Rătă, Wahie-roa and Tane
To arise and avenge your deaths,
Makauri and Te Ariki strove in vain,
But fled like a flock of shags,
To the lake of Wairau,
Hadst thou hidden thyself with charms,
That conceals man’s presence,
That obliterates the stars,
Mariko-tata would appear
And thou wouldst have been safe.
The end of this episode was, that the survivors of Ngati-Ruapani were driven out of Waikare-moana district, and fled to their relatives at the Wairoa, where the allies followed them up.
At the Wairoa, the taua was joined by Te Whata-nui of Ngati-Raukawa, who, it will be remembered, was a relative of Ti-waewae–killed by Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, as related previously. He had with him a few men of his own tribe, and, most strange to say, we find with him Te Whare-pouri of the Ati-awa tribe of Taranaki. These two chiefs had been making an independent foray on their own account in page 362 Hawke’s Bay, having come, as my informants say, from Otaki and Cook Strait. So far as Te Whata-nui is concerned this seems doubtful, for I think he had not at that time migrated from Waikato to the south. It was not until two years later, or in 1828, that his tribe—Ngati-Raukawa—threw in their lot with Te Rauparaha at Otaki.
The Nga-Puhi chief, Te Wera Hauraki, was at this time living at Te Mahia Peninsula, and Te Mau-tara-nui’s friend Pomare was, it is said by the Ure-wera, at Rotorua at the time of the former’s death. Whether sent for or not is not clear, but he came to assist in avenging his friend’s death. He came by way of Whakatane, and then passed up the Rangitaiki valley, being joined en route by Te Iripa, a younger brother, or cousin, of Te Mau-tara-nui, with some of the Ure-wera, and together they proceeded viâ Waipunga Gorge to the Wairoa, where they joined their forces to those of Te Whata-nui. It is also said that Tu-korehu, of Ngati-Maniapoto of Waikato, was with one of these parties, but it is doubtful.
Before the arrival of the Ure-wera force on the ground there had already been some fighting, for Te Whata-nui had taken the Rakiroa pa, a few miles seaward of Te Reinga falls, on the Wairoa river, and Te Wera with his Nga-Puhi warriors had attacked the pa Rangi-houa, Wairoa, which he finally took, but as his powder had given out the Ngati-Kahu-ngunu rushed Nga-Puhi and succeeded in killing Muri-wai of page 363 the latter tribe, who, however, is not to be confounded with the Hokianga chief of the same name.
The Ure-wera and other forces seem now to have joined, and proceeded to the siege of Pohatu-roa pa. The Nga-Puhi account, however, states that Pomare drew off, as he considered it a breach of a peace that he had made with Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, but some other branches of Nga-Puhi, having no scruples of this kind, took part and rendered very efficient assistance. These were the Ngati-wai and Ngati-rangi branches of Nga-Puhi, under the leadership of Te Mangai,* each 60 strong, who joined Te Wera with his force from Te Mahia; Tara-patiki, and Te Putara-nui, both renowned toas of Nga-Puhi, were also there.
* Te Mangai was one of Hongi’s trusted warriors, and had been engaged in many of the celebrated battles and sieges under that chief. He was at Maunga-nui, Mau-inaina, Te Totara, and Roto-rua. He died at Ohaeawae, Bay of Islands, in 1877, aged about 90 (“Wananga,” 1877, p. 429).
* This description seems to indicate that the modern redoubt, used by both Maoris and our troops in the sixties, was an ancient invention of the Maoris.