The brothers, Wi Kātene Te Pūoho and Paremata Te Wahapiro


Wi Kātene Te Pūoho
Wi Kātene Te Pūoho, son of the paramount chief of Ngāti Tama, Te Pūoho ki Te Rangi and his wife, Kauhoe Te Waipunahau of Te Atiawa, was also known as Wi Kātene Te Manu, Te Manu, or Emanu.  After the death of his father in 1837 he became chief at Wakapuaka, the closest Māori settlement to Nelson Town.  Wi Kātene and his father both had the nick-name Te Manu (the bird);  his father, Te Pūoho ki Te Rangi, was given this name by his enemies, on account of his eloquence and melodious voice. 

Wakapuaka E Manu Coates

Coates image ref - Coates, Isaac, 1808-1878. [Coates, Isaac], 1808-1878 :E Manu. Chief - Wauka pa Wauka. [1843?]. Ref: A-286-001. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22468794

Te Manu and his wife, Tahua (Ngārua Tahua Te Keha, Te Atiawa of Golden Bay), were baptised as Anglicans in January 1844, taking the baptismal names William Cotton (Wi Kātene) and Victoria (Wikitoria, a.k.a. Wikitoria Te Amohau).  Their daughter, Hōta (Ngāhōta Ngārongoā), was baptised Julia (Hūria) on the same day.  Hūria was the only one of their 8 children to survive to adulthood, although Wikitoria had a daughter, Meri Makarini, before marrying Wi Kātene.

Wi Kātene Te Manu established a long and mutually respectful relationship with the New Zealand Company, settlers, and Crown officials.  In 1841 Te Manu was on his way by waka to Mohua (Golden Bay) when he first met Captain Arthur Wakefield who was at Astrolabe and Kaiteriteri, negotiating for land for the settlement of Nelson, and distributing gifts to each of the chiefs.  Te Manu obtained the same share for three Ngāti Tama chiefs at Wakapuaka.

Wakapuaka Te Manu headstone

Headstone of Wi Kātene Te Manu. Image supplied by author

Wi Kātene Te Manu was known as a man of peace and as a great rangatira who led his own whanau and the wider Ngāti Tama tribe spread across Motueka, Mohua and Te Tai Tapu.  He was successful in traversing both his own traditional world and the new society brought by European settlement.  He looked after his people and was tenacious in not giving up land to the Crown, especially at Ngāti Tama’s main base of Wakapuaka which, he maintained, was the minimal land holding required for their subsistence.  He was widely respected and admired in both Māori and European communities.  One witness said that people lived in friendly relationships at Wakapuaka, perhaps because they “scented the fragrance of Wi Kātene”.  Wi Kātene Te Manu died in 1880, aged 65;  he is buried at Haua, the Ngāti Tama urupa (cemetery) at Wakapuaka. 

Wakapuaka Te Manu Reserve

Opening of Te Manu Reserve. Nelson City Council

Te Manu Reserve
Te Manu’s name was immortalised in Emanu Street (now Emano Street) approved by Nelson’s Street Naming Committee on 31 March 1842;  he was the only living chief recognised in this way.  His name has been corrected in Te Manu Reserve (in Emano Street) previously known informally as Emano East Reserve.  Local residents ensured that the land was retained as public space, rather than losing its reserve status for housing.  In consultation with Ngāti Tama the community group named the reserve Te Manu.

Wakapuaka Paremata Street

Paremata Street sign, Nelson. Image supplied by author

Paremata Te Wahapiro
When Taku Te Whangataki was killed in battle, his widow, Kauhoe Te Waipunahau, married Taku’s brother, Te Pūoho ki Te Rangi, who became stepfather of his nephews and nieces, including Paremata Te Wahapiro.  The relationship between uncle and nephew was very close, forged in the heat of inter-tribal battles in the North Island, and eventually in Ngāti Tama’s involvement in the conquest of the northern South Island.  Paremata was a warrior chief in the conquest of Te Tau Ihu.  He joined Te Pūoho’s ill-fated war party which was almost wiped out by Ngāi Tahu at Tuturau in Southland in early 1837.  Paremata was saved when Te Mātenga Taiaroa of Otakou repaid a debt of mercy he owed to Te Pūoho and Paremata for their protection of him and his people during the siege of Kaiapoi Pā in 1831.  Paremata was detained in relatively benign captivity by Taiaroa for a time, favoured with a Ngāi Tahu wife, Ngāmianga, and an interest in a plot of land near Tuturau, before being returned to his Ngāti Tama whanaunga at Wakapuaka.  Paremata, being an older son, might have expected to be chief of Ngāti Tama at Wakapuaka, but the loss of mana occasioned by his term of imprisonment meant the mantle of rangatiratanga passed to his younger half-brother, Wi Kātene Te Pūoho. 

Wakapuaka apremata Flats Reserve

Entrance to Paremata Flats Reserve. Image supplied by author

Initially Paremata’s relations with Company agents, particularly Arthur Wakefield, seemed positive:  he alerted Wakefield to the existence of Nelson Haven, and in early 1842 they reached an agreement to allow Paremata and Eharo (Te Haehaeora) of Wakapuaka to grow a crop of potatoes in Nelson Town on condition that the crop was harvested and the land vacated when it was required for the incoming settlers.  In September that year an argument at Wakapuaka erupted into violence when Rautaami Kauri shot Paremata in the shoulder;  a Police party brought Paremata into Nelson for medical treatment, and he recuperated at the home of Rev. Reay, Anglican missionary. 

However, Paremata’s mood and attitudes seemed to change.  In July 1843, encouraged by the success the previous month of Te Rauparaha and Ngāti Toa in defending their rights at Wairau, Paremata began a series of skirmishes against nearby settlers.  He and a group of Wakapuaka Māori pulled down a settler’s home in Happy Valley, for alleged non-payment for the land.  In January 1845, another dispute arose between Paremata and settlers of Happy Valley;  Paremata threatened violence and instigated arson, burglaries and theft from settlers’ homes.  The uprising was only averted by the arrival of an armed party from Nelson, and the intervention of Rev. and Mrs Reay;  Mrs Reay offered to join the Māori contingent as a sort of hostage to ensure a peaceful settlement.

Paremata gained a reputation in the immigrant community as a troublemaker – a “big blustering bully” , a “degraded chief”, a “petty tormentor” and “the old savage”.  He established a new pa Hatana near the Wakapuaka-New Zealand Company boundary.

From the late 1840s Paremata spent more time with his Ngāti Toa relatives at Porirua than with his Ngāti Tama people at Wakapuaka.  He is believed to have died at Foxton while returning a slave or slaves in about 1854, and to be buried at nearby Moutoa.

Paremata is commemorated in a street name at Atawhai and in the name Paremata Flats Reserve, Māori Pā Road, Wakapuaka, on ancestral Ngāti Tama land, now a Nelson City Council reserve.


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