Ngati Tumatakokiri

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Ngāti Tumatakokiri, a numerous and fierce tribe, dominated the north-western quadrant of the South Island for at least 200 years.  Their ancestors arrived in Aotearoa from Hawaiki on the Kurahaupowaka, settling initially in the Bay of Plenty.  After moving inland to the Taupo district for a time Ngati Tumatakokiri travelled down the Whanganui River to the coast, eventually making their way to the Marlborough Sounds in the sixteenth century.  From there they were harried westwards by competing tribes, and established themselves from Rangitoto  to Mohua  and south to as far as Mawhera.

Kurahaupo wakaKurahaupo waka at Kurahaupo Waka Festival on Lake Horowhenua - Photograph taken by Phil Reid, ca 14 January 1991. Alexander Turnbull Library: EP/1991/0099/19
http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=40841.

Through their Kurahaupo whakapapa, Ngāti Tumatakokiri were related to other Te Tau Ihu tribes, Ngāti Kuia and Rangitane, and to Ngai Tara who controlled the strategic districts of Te Whanganui-a-Tara and the Kapiti Coast for generations.

Gilsemans, Isaac, fl 1630s-ca 1645 :Baye des Meurtriers. De Moordenaars Baay / J V Schley direx. [ca 1726?]. Alexander Turnbull Library: A-353-003. http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=64281 [A view of the attack on Abel Tasman's ships in Tasman Bay or Murderer's Bay in December 1642, with a manned Maori waka in the foreground, and the two sailing ships behind, surrounded by other waka, one with a triangular sail]

Ngāti Tumatakokiri clashed with Abel Tasman's crewmen in Mohua in 1642, killing four with hand weapons despite Dutch cannons and muskets.  Ngāti Tumatakokiri's violent attack leaves unanswered questions:  did Tumatakokiri interpret the musical exchange on the first evening as a Dutch willingness to fight?  Did Tumatakokiri see the Dutch as ghosts or evil spirits?  Did the Dutch break a tapu or insult the locals in some way?

Another question which bothers historians is how so many Tumatakokiri (probably 200+ warriors required to man 22 waka) assembled in such a short time.  The answer probably lies in the fires recorded by the Dutch as they sailed into Mohua - a universal method of warning neighbouring communities of threat;  or perhaps the Zeehaen and the Heemskerck unwittingly stumbled into an important ceremonial occasion such as the tangi for a chief for which Tumatakokiri had already gathered.  Tasman sailed away without landing on Aotearoa.

Letter from Hohepa Enewire Te Kiaka to McLean, 7 Apr 1863. Alexander Turnbull Library: MS-Papers-0032-0687B-16.  http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=1031120

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries Tumatakokiri lost control of their large domain.  They were assaulted and harassed by Ngāti Kuia in the east, Ngāti Apa from the Kapiti Coast in the north, and Ngai Tahu in the south.  Although they fought valiantly Tumatakokiri, as an iwi, were finally annihilated during battles in the Paparoa Ranges north of Greymouth in about 1810-1812.  Ngāti Apa assumed authority over north-west Nelson, Ngai Tahu dominated their former West Coast lands, and Ngāti Kuia controlled eastern Tasman Bay.

The few Tumatakokiri survivors were enslaved.

Ngāti Apa was itself almost destroyed during the Tainui-Taranaki conquest of Te Tau Ihu 1828-1832, and Tumatakokiri slaves were transferred to new masters of Toa, Koata, Rarua, Atiawa or Tama.

Some Tumatakokiri survived into colonial times:  Kehu (Hone Mokehakeha), slave to Rarua chiefs at Motueka, was a superb guide to early European explorers, Brunner and Heaphy;  Pikiwati, slave to Te Rapa of Rarua, and known as Cotterell's "Man Friday", witnessed the Wairau confrontation where Cotterell was killed, and accompanied Kehu on Brunner's epic 1846-1848 expedition;  Eruera Te Whatapakoko (a.k.a. Te Puhiohio) slave to Hohepa Tamaihengia of Toa, unsuccessfully claimed land at Maruia;  Pirihira Waikeri married Wipiti Tukihono, son of a Rarua/Tama chief;  and Hohepa Te Kiaka lived with Koata at Rangitoto and Whangarae .

There are descendants of Tumatakokiri alive today, but they have lost authority over their former vast estate.

2012

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  • Ko Hemi Tukinotia Paki taku ingoa, ko Tumatakokiri ahau. my name is Jimmy Paki, I am the The great great grand son of Hohepa Huria, sole Eaar to Maruia Valley from Golden Bay to Westport.My family was not of Slaves, I Am one the Last Chieftain Of Tumatokiri, Ngati APA, Te Ati Awa, Ngati Kauwhata,Ngati Raukawa, Tuwharetoa, Ngati Porou, Kai Tahu, Ngai Tahu, Ngati Paoa, Tainui, Te Arawa,Maniapoto, Ngati Kahungunu. The Western Side is still occupied by me.

    Posted by Jimmy Tukinotia Paki, 27/07/2017 3:25am (3 months ago)

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Further sources - Ngati Tumatakokiri

Books

  • Mackay, Alexander(1873)  Traditionary History of the Maori.  In A Compendium of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs in the South Island. Volume I Pt III.  Government Printer, Wellington ;  see pp39, 44-45 re Ngati Tumatakokiri, particularly origins, and battles with Ngai Tahu.
    http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-Mac01Comp.html
  • Mackay, James Jr:  Letter to Mr H. Smith, October 1859.  In White, John (1888)  The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions. Volume IV.  For account of Ngati Tumatakokiri's situation within a chronology of tribal occupation of Te Tau Ihu, see pages 3, 6-9
    http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-Whi04Anci.html [n.b. there are many typographical errors in this transcript, probably due to poor resolution by optical recognition software].
  • McEwen, Jock M(1986)  Rangitane. Heinemann Reed, Auckland, 1986;  various sections of early chapters dealing with migrations from Hawaiki, whakapapa of descendants of Toi, Kupe and Kurahaupo ancestors, and migrations within Aotearoa.
    http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/14913821
  • Mackay, Alexander(1873)  Traditionary History of the Maori.  In A Compendium of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs in the South Island. Volume I Pt III.  Government Printer, Wellington ;  see pp39, 44-45 re Ngati Tumatakokiri, particularly origins, and battles with Ngai Tahu.
    http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-Mac01Comp.html
  • Mackay, James Jr:  Letter to Mr H. Smith, October 1859.  In White, John (1888)  The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions. Volume IV.  For account of Ngati Tumatakokiri's situation within a chronology of tribal occupation of Te Tau Ihu, see pages 3, 6-9
    http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-Whi04Anci.html [n.b. there are many typographical errors in this transcript, probably due to poor resolution by optical recognition software].
  • McEwen, Jock M(1986)  Rangitane. Heinemann Reed, Auckland, 1986;  various sections of early chapters dealing with migrations from Hawaiki, whakapapa of descendants of Toi, Kupe and Kurahaupo ancestors, and migrations within Aotearoa.
    http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/14913821
  • Smith, S. Percy (1910) History and Traditions of the Taranaki Coast. Thomas Avery, New Plymouth (for The Polynesian Society);  various sections of early chapters dealing with migrations from Hawaiki, whakapapa of descendants of Toi, Kupe and Kurahaupo ancestors.(and seeLament of Riri-koko pp430-431)
    http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/5900349
  • Te Rangihiroa (Sir Peter Buck) (1982) The Coming of the Maori. Whitcoulls, Wellington. various sections of early chapters dealing with migrations from Hawaiki, whakapapa of descendants of Toi, Kupe and Kurahaupo ancestors.  
    http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/760608  
  • White, John (1887) The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions.  Volume III, Chapter XIV pp314-316.  Re skirmishes and battles between Ngati Tumatakokiri and Ngai Tahu, Ngati Apa and Ngati Kuia.
    http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-Whi03Anci.html

 

Articles

Other

  • Ballara, Angela (2001)Customary Maori Land Tenure in Te Tau Ihu (The Northern South Island) 1820-1860.  Evidence to Waitangi Tribunal, February, 2001, pp70, 73 re demise of Tumatakokiri and survivors in colonial times, including Kehu and Pikiwati.
  • Cotterell, J S (1845)  Extracts from Letters of J S Cotterell in ‘The Friend'. 5th Month 1845.  Nelson Provincial Museum; Accession No. UMS 259.  Re Pikiwati.
  • Haeata, Kuini Mae:  Whakapapa Books and personal communications.
  • Herewini, Ramari:  Evidence to Nelson Native Land Court. Nelson Minute Book: No. 2,  p224.  Re capture of Te Wata Pakoko by Ngati Rarua
  • Meihana, Kereopa:  Evidence to Native Land Court. Nelson Minute Book: No. 2, p311;  includes names of Ngati Tumatakokiri killed by Ngati Kuia and Rangitane on heke to Kaiapoi c.1831,  under thrall of Te Rauparaha and allies.
  • MacDonald, Frank Dawson:  Whakapapa Tables (compiled from whakapapa books of his grand-uncles, Tuiti and Te Oti Makitanara); personal communications
  • Mackay, James Jr:  Outwards Letterbook.  Archives NZ Accession No. MA-Collingwood 2/1, pp283-284, 286.  Report to Donald McLean, Chief Native Secretary, 19th August 1861;  an account of Eruera Te Wata Pakoko's capture, and claim to land in Maruia Valley;  also a note re Pikiwati of Ngati Tumatakokiri.
  • Ngapiko, Taka Herewini:  Evidence to Nelson Native Land Court. Nelson Minute Book: No. 2 p199. Re enslavement of Pikiwati and other Tumatakokiri slaves at Anapae (Anapai) by Te Rapa of Ngati Rarua.
  • Pakauwera, Eruera:  informant of Elsdon Best (Best Notebook II, Polynesian Society);  information re origins and status of Ngati Tumatakokiri;  defines them as of Kurahaupo waka affiliation, like the other Te Tau Ihu iwi of Rangitane, Ngati Apa and Ngati Kuia.
  • Rangiauru, Hohaia: Evidence to Nelson Native Land Court of land grant at Motueka to Kehu by his masters, Poria and Aperahama Panakenake of Ngati Rarua.Nelson Minute Book: No. 5 p79, 81
  • Te Kiaki, Hohepa:  He Korero Tenei Na Hohepa Henewira Te Kiaka.  Recorded from Hohepa Te Kiaka at Okoha, Pelorus Sound, 1867;  translated by Tahuariki Meihana of Ngati Kuia, 8 May 1903.  Source:  Ngati Apa ki Te Ra To Trust Archives, Blenheim