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Maori Land Wars-History and effect
"New Zealand Wars", "Maori Land Wars" or just "Land Wars" are some of the titles given to this troubled period of our History.
We were not unified collectively as a people and our response to this threat came largely from our need to protect our own territory.
Perhaps here we can explore what has been passed down to us in regards to our own Whanau history
Some of our people resisted and rebelled against the taking of their land. There were even attempts at collective resistance
Others joined the opposition sometimes having been tempted with (sometimes) an empty promise, perhaps the reward of being able to retain their own land.
It seems to be that each and every individual, whanau or tribe tried to deal with this problem in the way they thought would benefit themselves or their people best.
Some background history can be found at
details of some campaigns mounted by the Europeons
The effects and impacts of these wars is still being mourned today
Perhaps collectively with todays technology and better communication we can add our own peices of personal whanau history. tories and queries to this thread and complete the complicated puzzle of what occurred historically for our people as a whole
Edited by - markonijoy on Oct 23 2006 05:16:55 AM
District -Te Wairoa, Auckland -1864
Source -Excerpts of translation (abridged)from
Hera Maurahu's memoirs
Hera born at Waipiro Bay circa 1858 and
whangied to Chief Honetana Te Irirangi of Ngaiti Tai - Te Wairoa, Auckland (comments in brackets are my own -Joy)
(Speaking about confiscated Ngai Tai lands)
"A large portion of their land was taken by the Goverment as part of the Waikato land that was confiscated.
Hikurangi and Otau were the two areas affected.
The boundries begin at Te Wairoa river at Otau, the stream that goes into the Te Wairoa river,
- Waikeri, Te Kopua, Te Pohue, Papakauri, Hihiorapa, Mays-Karaa then to the East a line straight to Taherenikau then turns to Okenga Wai- tukutuku Hikurangi then to Otau
A large tract of land.
Anaru ( Makiwhara)said the ChiefÂ´s of this land were-
Honetana Te Irirangi
Matene Te Makuru
Wi Te Haua
Hori Te Whetuki
Ihaia Te Kupuroa.
Ngati tai were an Iwi that did not take up arms in the Waikato wars
I was taken as a whangai by one of the Rangitira of that iwi, Honetane Te Irirangi. I was only small at the time of the Waikato wars 1863/64
We lived at Otau at the time when the war started.
Otau were we lived was a big Pa with food plantations at the top end of the Wairoa River. Otau was at the South eastern side of the river. It was awesome living at Otau. It was quite far then you descended to the side of the mouth of the Waikato River ( description then given of other places they habitually stayed at)
The iwi were supporters of the Goverment.
We had a Red Flag that flew all the time
(should be noted that this was suppose to signify they were not hostile and therefore deserved the Garrisons protection)
Honetana was said to be a Major. He had an officers uniform a sword and a gun.
Hori Te Whetuki also had a soldiers uniform.
These Rangitira worked for the Pakeha and their iwi.
Our flag saved us one time when a group of Pakeha soldiers wanted to shoot us. It was the other pakeha who knew our Chiefs who sheilded us- and so we were not killed.
It was at that time the Soldiers barracks were erected at Te Totara, at Pukekakaho on the Northern end of Te Wairoa river above the places where we stayed.
I never heard any reasons of warfare to the tribes of Te Wairoa that caused the soldiers barracks to be built there.
There are many bits of good land on the North west side of the river recognised by the pakeha to be purchased perhaps. This was some of the talk we heard at that time, then the roads to Mangatawhiri and Whaingaroa were closed by Waikato and the pakeha soldiers arrived at those roads.
At the time of the Waikato wars a group from Waikato arrived and stayed at Otau. They were seen by the pakeha who attacked and killed two but most were wounded.And so the ope departed. Titipa and Eraihe were those who were killed. They were from Ngaiterangi from the Koheriki(?) of Waikato. This was the end of the fighting that affected this district of Te Wairoa
None of the people of this tribe I lived with took up arms against the pakeha. I know this because I knew the Kaumatua of the tribe ( then lists names)
My knowledge was from living with these people and seeing the places were they lived.
note* Hera was the Aunty of Sir Apirana Ngata
Edited by - markonijoy on Oct 23 2006 04:50:31 AM
Not that Im aware of although this year while in NZ I noted they had a wonderful range of NZ DVDs and books some of which had not been there the year before. We tried to purchase some NZ History DVDs covering the Wars so perhaps it was these ones? Problem was it was not in a DVD format that was usable for Europe.
Its fantastic to see what NZ is providing these days as accessible research resources and I noted there seemed to be a trend for people to be reading more the historical material rather than novels. We heard many glowing reports of documentaries that had been aired on TV regarding NZ history and this seems to have been the catalyst for many peoples interest.
All that bodes well for better understanding I think of the issues -past and present
Maybe! I fear that there maybe too much of an influx of historical information to the point where i hope that it doesnt become just one of those things and lose its power. Much in the same that when one does research the interest is ten times higher than when just offered on a silver platter. Nevertheless, it is indeed great to see our history more accessible.
The James Belich New Zealand Wars documentaries are probably the best that i have seen.
It portrays the genius behind the masterminds of oldtime maori
Thanks for that, I shall make an effort to obtain and watch it when next in Aoteoroa
Being limited by luggage allowance often means hours and hours of deliberating as to which would provide the best reference tool.
You are quite right of course to fear the current interest in NZ History may lose its hold and power. That does tend to happen when people reach saturation point.
Yes indeed, and thats where i think the treaty claims is at the present. People have had enough of hearing about it, even if they do not know what its all about.
Anyway, the wars!!!
I prefer pre-european influenced wars, well i mean those are probably the wars that most interest me. That may of course be because our people back here didn't really have much to do with the land wars as such, labelled kupapa, an act that was done to ensure us as much of our own land as possible. Not saying it was the right or the wrong thing to do of course. But a decision made by our people for the benefit of our people. I suppose thats why i sort of don't like to conform to the idea of Maori as one, because when it comes down to it i think that tribes will do whats in the best interest for their tribe. Much like Tainui, Nanaia and the whole Foreshore issue.
Ironic actually when i think about it. Considering alot of the people calling for unity among Maori here are from Tainui!
I read with interest your post and when you say descendents still mourn today well you have that right as i am included in not understanding or knowing why i cannot trace my whakapapa and 4 or 5 generations of my fathers family don't have a blood surname!! even harder still no one alive knows anything or if they do they won't talk of how or where our maori heritage is from, it screws with my identity and all i know is that somewhere in Taranaki is homeground, it's been a 20yr old search and still ongoing, to think all i ever wanted was my own blood family surname and to know what tribe and marae i belong to, have exhausted most avenues of research and all i can ascertain is that my gtgt grandmother was raped and possibly even her daughter, but why should i feel ashamed for waht took place back then? i feel more ashamed that i cannot connect to my heritage because no one wants to talk of back then and how my heritage exists, one parent says we are italian! the only way to even prove my ancestory is through dna testing, will wait til that becomes cheaper! so yes, i do mourn for not knowing who i am completely, to not know my iwi, hapu, marae and turangawaewae etc has seen a me shed quite a few tears in frustration that no one can tell me my whakapapa, i only hope that my son doesn't grow up questioning his identity, especially if i haven't got the answers, i also wonder how many out there are in my position e.g descended from maori through rape, it may offend some people reading this but don't i have a right to know, even if digging up the painful past that i am not responsible for but still paid the price of having no name to even connect me to anything maori, thankyou for your comments.
rlee I hear your cry and let me assure you- You are not alone. It is perhaps one of the sadder aspects involving loss of identity. A lonely difficult journey
I have had this occur with my own Grandmother who was born through the rape of her 15 year old pakeha mother by a Maori man in his 20s.The man disappeared and was not to be found
My grandmother from that side was pakeha so grew up totally within that culture looking different to her siblings. There was a blanket of silence and secrecy.However worse than that was the stigma of all Maori being generalised within her family as "dirty bloody Maoris"
Recently I was contacted by someone who was wrestling with finding the right words to explain this very dilema to their son who is still a child and can tell by his looks he has Maori blood in his veins. For too long the rights of these people and other sectors within Maoridom have been ignored and through ignoring these issues we also condone the abuse.
Even in the case of rape there is a place for honesty.
When old enough offspring conceived from rape should be entitled to all known information ( relative to whats deemed appropriate for their age) given in a diplomatic compassionate manner while reassurred of their place within their own families love.
Information gained can then be used to determine whether they wish to make contact with the perpertraitor if known, or their wider whanau.
Many people make mistakes in life and it is a sad world when we cannot find it in our hearts to forgive them.Forgetting is impossible
On my last trip to NZ I met a Maori man who told me he had been in jail for a brutal rape committed 22 yrs previous. The man told me he had just that month seen his victim for the first time since that initial court case. It occurred some 6 hours distance from eithers old stomping ground.
He said in court the woman said she would never forget his face. He had been surprised to see her at his friends place and recognised her straight away. She looked at him and smiled and he felt this signified she had conquered her fear of him and therefore won. He admitted in his youth he was bad and now hes older, wiser, remourseful and mellowed. Sadly it seemed his son was following in his footsteps.
I have heard so many stories of a similar nature
untill these things are bought into daylight and openly discussed we cannot hope to fix them
Edited by - markonijoy on Oct 30 2006 07:51:32 AM