After the battle of Kai-inanga, the Ngati Apa returned to the outward part of Rangi-tikei—that is, the lower valley—but soon removed to Wairarapa for fear of an attack by the Ngati Tu-whare-toa; but from there they were quickly driven back by the Ngati Kahu-ngunu. They returned to Rangi-tikei, but on their arrival were met by the Ngati Hau-iti, who had returned to avenge their defeat at Kai-inanga. The Ngati Hauiti people mustered at Mokai Patea, where they were met by a Ngati Rau-kawa heke (migration) of four hundred men, besides women and children, under the chiefs Te Heuheu-nui, Te Rangi-mone-hurehu, and Te Whaka-rau. This was the second great heke from Taupo, but no particulars are available regarding the first (called Rua-mai-oro). At Patea the following tribes sent men to swell the numbers: Ngati Whiti, Ngati te Upoko-iri, Ngati Tama, and Ngati Tu-whare-toa. Then this great body journeyed down the river together till they came to Kai-inanga, where they spent some time making canoes to convey their provisions down the Rangitikei River.
On leaving Kai-inanga some of the party went by land, and others with the canoes. Following the course of the canoes, the first day they came to Pounga, where they camped, next day reaching Otara. “Here,” said
the old man who gave the narrative, “we found no persons living, for the place had been abandoned for fear of witchcraft, by which many had died. We found bodies hung up in trees three and four together, and the survivors had scattered. We instituted a search for them, and on the Rangatira we captured thirty-one prisoners. We found O-tama-kapua, Te Weio, and Te Tai-nui, and the principal men caught at these places were Potaka and Te Rangi-tahua. This latter afterwards died by witchcraft, just as the others had done before him.
“Starting down the river from Otara, we reached Whaka-poka, and camped there, Ngati Hau-iti accompanying us. There we found a small pa, where some of Ngati Hau-iti were dwelling, and cultivating the land. Thence we reached Ma-karaka, and camped there for a time, finding people of the same tribe. Next we reached Te Mahoe, and then Te Pohue, where we camped at the mouth of the Pou-rewa Stream. There we divided, sending scouting parties to Oroua on our one side, and also in the opposite direction. One party came back the same day, bringing four people that they had captured, and next day our two reconnoitring parties returned bringing two more.”
According to another account, the day after these two prisoners were taken, a strong division of the heke struck the main body of Ngati Apa between the Rangi-tikei and Turakina Rivers. Here a battle was fought, in which the Ngati Rau-kawa were victorious, many of the Ngati Apa being killed, and their chief leader Ta-whiro captured. Then, at the feast in honour of the victory, all the dead bodies were brought into the camp and piled in a heap. On top of this ghastly pile the unfortunate Ta-whiro was bound, stretched, and then flayed alive by a lady named Pekenga, eventually being killed by Tanguru, who was of the Ngati Hau-iti, Ngati Whiti, and Hine-manu tribes. Then the combined tribes set to work, the ovens were kept at glowing heat, and the Ngati Apa required no further burial.
Continuing this narrative the old man said, “After Ta-whiro was killed we left Pou-rewa, passed Parewa-nui, and pushed on to the mouth of the Rangi-tikei River. As a gale was blowing, we hauled up our canoes and marched down the beach, only one canoe venturing out, and reaching Manawa-tu. When we reached this place we camped for the night, and, as the gale was increasing, we hauled up the one canoe that had reached us, and left it on the beach. Then we continued our march along the beach to Kapiti, where we saw Te Rau-paraha and Te Pehi. We stayed there about two months, while our leading men went on to Poneke to bring up Taiaha, of the Ngati Ira, and his people; and while they were away we captured several prisoners at Horo-whenua, among whom were Te Kowhai, Hunia's mother's brother, and a woman named Whaka-haunga, of the Mua-upoko. After some time we commenced our return journey to Taupo, by way of the Rangi-tikei. We came to Parewa-nui on that river, and there baked karaka-berries. Next day we commenced to eat the berries, and made ourselves very ill, like drunken men. We found no inhabitants there: if there had been any at the pa we should have killed them.
“Leaving Pàrewa-nui, we reached the mouth of the Ranga-taua, and camped there. There died that night the daughter of Te Heuheu and a Tu-whare-toa chief named Te Poka. We believe that they were bewitched by the Ngati Apa.” [As a matter of fact, they both died of wounds inflicted during a skirmish with a stray band of Ngati Apa. Huru-hia was
the lady's name, and she was famed for her extreme beauty. A great tangi was held over her remains, at which Te Heuheu caused her head to be preserved, he himself calcining her brains, and strewing the ashes over the land, which he declared to be for ever tapu.]*
“Leaving the Ranga-taua we marched to Wai-tuna, and halted there while the heads of our dead were properly preserved.” [Wai-tuna was a pa about two miles above the Onepuhi Bridge over the Rangi-tikei River.] “Some of our party who were going overland captured prisoners at Oroua. We were travelling in such a manner as to catch anybody in the neighbourhood. Here at Wai-tuna our party from Manawa-tu joined us, bringing in one prisoner. Here we again divided into parties, some going up the Turakina Valley and the others remaining near the Rangi-tikei. The first-mentioned party took several prisoners, but we took none.
“From Wai-tuna we went on to Ma-karaka (at Kaka-riki), and from thence to Whaka-poka; from there on to Te Kiekie (Makohine), and from there to Otara. At this place we found Te Waha and Te Rangitahua, who had returned and resumed residence there, for the priest had exorcised the spot. Then we went on to Kawatau (a river on the east side of the Rangi-tikei, above Manga-weka), where we stayed for some time, as we buried the bodies of Te Poka and Heuheu's daughter there. From thence we proceeded to Kai-inanga, where we left our canoes, and continued on our way to Taupo.”
This journey, as described by our Maori friend, was called by him the “Heke Kariri Tahi” (Migration of one cartridge), from the circumstance of their having very little ammunition. According to Travers, Whata-nui accompanied this heke for the purpose of conferring with Te Rau-paraha; but, finding that chief absent, he returned to Taupo almost immediately to bring down his people. From the manner in which these strong armed bodies of men roamed over the Turakina, Rangi-tikei, and Manawa-tu districts, killing and making slaves of all the unfortunate Ngati Apa they met, one can form an idea of the state of the country at that time.
We have notes of two later Ngati Rau-kawa hekes, one of which came down before the fight known as Hao-whenua, and the other immediately after; but, as the first of these mentions the death of Taka-rangi at Kohuru-po, that event had better be related first, as well as civil and other troubles related by the Ngati Apa themselves.
Now, there was a battle fought at Tara-kite (near Rata), called Tawapara, and after this Rangi-whaka-pou was murdered by Ika-whaka-ariki, both of Ngati Apa. To revenge that murder, the Kauae, in conjunction with Ngati kahu-ngunu people, destroyed the whole hapu of Ika-whaka-ariki who were living at Huaki-tae-ore, across the Rangi-tikei, and at Rua-puta-uaki and O-weta-ra, down by the river (near Bull's).
When that war-party of the Ngati Kahu-ngunu came down to smite Ika-whaka-ariki, that chief fled to Whanga-nui, where he remained for some years, and when he thought he could return in safety he did so, and again took up his residence in his pa (below Bull's); but members of the Ngati Kahu-ngunu Tribe were still on the scene, and the Kauae people soon
[Footnote] * In Traver's “Life of Te Rau-paraha” this lady's name is given as Reremai, but his informant was apparently in error, for Reremai was one of the victims of the Kai-inanga fight.
learned where Ika-whaka-ariki was hiding, and also his friend Orehu. So a raid was organized, and Ika-whaka-ariki captured without much trouble. When brought face to face with his captors he sang a song, and otherwise showed his bravery; but this availed him but little, for very soon he had to go the way of all flesh, and trod the dim and distant road to Hawaiki.
It was about this time that Rangi-iki-iki, after the death of his wife Kara, went away to Oroua, and Rangi-tuhaha went to reside at Te Whaau-rongo (near Halcombe).
The next affair that happened was the bewitching by Rangi-te-muri, which caused the death of a great number of Rangi-whaka-po's people, also many of the Ika-whaka-ariki and Kauae. They were all living at Paewa, and very often went to the mouth of the Rangi-tikei River fishing, when they would send large supplies of food to their own places, and also to Rangi-iki-iki (at Oroua). Rangi-te-muri noticed this, and set about bewitching the track which they had to pass over.
“It happened this way,” said my informant, when telling of the event: “This man Rangi-te-muri lived on the flat in front of the present Parewanui Schoolhouse, and the old track lay between the two swamps, where the road runs at present. Now, Rangi-te-muri looked out daily and saw the people passing and repassing with their loads of eels and fish, and, although they passed his door, they never gave him a present or left any of the fish hanging at his place. Then said Rangi-te-muri to himself, “I'll fix them.” And fix them he did, for he bewitched the track, and next time the fishermen passed that way (and they had to go that track, for there was no other) they travelled over it for the last time, and they received the punishment which was always meted out to those who touched bewitched things, and went to join their great ancestress, Hine-nui-te-po.
When Te Kai-whaka-taha saw so many of his people falling under this potent spell, in fear of his life he fled across the river, where he fell into the hands of a party of Ngati Kahu-ngunu who were on their way to make war with Ngati Apa. They quickly captured him, and, as he was a man of great avoirdupois, they made game by exhibiting him round, on account of his immense size and fatness. He was then duly killed and eaten, and the spot where the feast took place was named, in honour of the event, Tapu-iko-koneke—meaning “the fat thighs of the quail.”
After this, Rangi-tane came into the Rangi-tikei district, accompanied by Ngati Tauira. They went to Wai - tata - pia (now the homestead paddocks on Mr. Dalrymple's run at Parewa-nui), a pa to the west of Rae-tihi (a sand-ridge on the same farm), and there they fought with Ngariki and Tupa-taua. They were victorious, and, after having slain the chief Te Umu-o-te-hau, they went on to Te Awa-mate Pa seeking further quarrels. Nga-riki, after the loss of their chief, fled up the river. Then Hori Kingi sent two chiefs across the river, with full instructions to fetch some poha tuna (extra fine eels—i.e., the chiefs) home with them from Puke-puke Pa (a fortified pa on one of the lakes lying between the mouth of the Rangi-tikei River and Foxton, known to local residents as Humpy's Lake), held by Ngati Apa; but warning was sent, and the two chiefs Rangi-hau-tu and Ao-kehu went out with a party and waylaid Rangi-tane, who were one hundred strong, and cut off almost the whole party, as out of that strong taua Te Weta was the only man who escaped. This
battle was known by the name of Tu-raki-awatea, and was fought on the site of the Turakina Railway-station. The Tu-raki-awatea Pa stood on the other side of the main road, near the Turakina Bridge. The old pa on the opposite side of the river was known as Kopiro. Flushed with victory, the Ngati Apa followed up another party of Rangi-tane to Papa-rata (Oroua Downs), and annihilated them there. These losses naturally aroused the riri of the Rangi-tane, who obtained aid from the Ngati Kahu-ngunu, Nga Pakapaka, and Nga Mutu-ahi, from Dannevirke, and came against Pukepuke, but were again repulsed. Then they resorted to stratagem, and made it appear as though they had retired; but not so—they were simply hiding. Then some of the Ngati Apa women and children went in a canoe over the river on to the flat to suck flax-blossoms, and before they discovered their perilous position they were captured. In this way Oko-rewa, Te Hakeke's mother, was taken, as well as others; but before Rangi-tane got away with their prisoners, one of the women managed to call out to Rangi-hau-tu to follow, as his wife was a captive. He did so, but did not come up to the retreating taua till they came to the Manawa-tu, where, instead of fighting, a peace was patched up, and Rangi-hau-tu was returning home in full confidence with the women, when he was set upon by his escort of Rangi-tane men, and cruelly murdered by Taka-wai. His body was left on a ridge called Te Ruahine (a sandridge lying between the fertile and waste lands on the southern side of the Rangi-tikei River), but the women and children got back to the Puke-puke Pa in safety.
A Waiata Composed on the Occasion of Rangi-Hau-Tu's Death, Sung by a Rangitane Woman of the Pakapaka Hapu (mo te Matenga o te Rangi-hau-tu i patua e Taka-wai me ona taina ki te Ruahine Manuka).
Me whakawai hoki e puanga akohu te patu tonu ai,
Ka rau-ai to ringa mo nga ringa kino
Kai te Ruahine mo Tanitia* tena kei roto mo te rangi Whititua,*
Tena kei roto mo te Rangi-tapu-ihi,*
Tena kei roto mo taku roraruhu kai Pukepuke,
Mo te rorotuna ki Kai-kokopu,
I me kata atu au e hika l konei i.
—I waiatangia mai mo te Hakeke i le
whawhai ki kahutara,
“So died the great chief Rangi-hau-tu (storm-wind standing in the heavens) by treachery foul and dark. The proud canoe was broken up, and his people were left stranded, with the raging sea all around them, but they were not engulfed”—for Ao-kehu quickly sent messengers to Whanga-nui and Manga-whero, telling them what had happened, and seeking aid, which was readily given; and the combined forces travelled to Manawa-tu, where they defeated Rangi-tane at the Hara-keke Pa with great slaughter. (The site of the Harakeke Pa was the place now known as the Sugarloaf Hill, below the Manawa-tu Railway-bridge.)
When this pa was first surrounded, word was hurriedly sent to Te Ahuru-o-te-rangi, who was then on a visit to the South Island. As soon as he received the message, he crossed over the Rau-kawa Strait with his war-party in canoes; but by the time he arrived the pa had been captured, and many of its people killed and eaten. Te Ahuru-o-te-rangi then
[Footnote] * Three Ngati Apa men killed previously.
[Footnote] * Three Ngati Apa men killed previously.
[Footnote] * Three Ngati Apa men killed previously.
gathered all his people and attacked the Waipu Pa (on the Turakina Lake, the Maori name of which was Otiti: it lies on Mr. Lethbridge's property, about three hundred yards from the railway-station), where the Ngati Apa were expecting and awaiting the inevitable attack; but the pa was a strong one and its people many, consequently it withstood the siege for a long time, and eventually Te Kahu-te-rangi, who was related to Te Ahuru-o-te-rangi, came to Waipu and made peace, after which the various hapus in the pa returned to their own homes. So ended the trouble in this quarter for a time; but only for a very short time, for Ngati Apa next joined forces with Nga Rauru (Wai-totara Tribe), and, for some real or fancied injury in connection with Rangi-hau-tu's murder, they successfully attacked Pihaia, a pa on the sandhills between Putiki and the sea, on the Whanga-nui River. In payment, Whanga-nui travelled to Whanga-ehu, where they captured a large pa named O-hake-to, near the beach at that place, and here they killed O-take-hoke and others. Smarting under the defeat, a woman of the Ngati Wairiki went to Hawke's Bay to get help to revenge her people. When she reached Wai-rarapa she collected forces and returned, and her reinforcements joined with the men of Rangi-tikei, Turakina, and Whanga-ehu, and came on to the pa Tuke-a-maui, at Pari-kino, on the Whanga-nui River, which they besieged. The top end of the pa was defended by Manumanu's descendants, and the middle by Ma-ruru. The pa was surrounded and eventually taken, but the part which the Manumanu people were defending was not attacked.
Sam Woon, a well-known Whanga-ehu Native, has in his possession a mere pounamu taken by Ngati Apa at the fall of this pa.
Seeking further details regarding this fight at Tuke-a-maui, the writer was told the following interesting story by the grandson of one of the chiefs who took part in the attack:—
“Some of the Ngati Apa people were badly beaten by Rangi-tane at Pohangina, and among those who were taken was a Ngati Apa chief named Te Ahuru.” [Te Ahuru was the man who, with his wife, arranged the attack on the Kai-inanga Pa, as related some few pages back. He was afterwards killed at Kapiti, when the combined tribes made their unsuccessful atack on Te Rau-paraha at that place. (An account of this attack has been published in the Jour. Polynesian Soc., so will not be further referred to here.) Details relating to the death of Te Ahuru's daughter will be related later on.] “However, in their eagerness to make this man a prisoner, they allowed some of his men to escape, who immediately fled away to Rangi-tikei, where they raised a party to seek revenge.
“Now, Rangi-tane, having captured Te Ahuru and others, kept them for a few days, and then set them to work to carry stones for the umus in which they were to be cooked. After enough stones had been gathered, they made the unfortunate men gather firewood for the ovens, then the leaves, and last of all, they forced them to dig out the umus, and when all was ready the conquerors lined up for the haka which was to celebrate the victory; but, in the middle of the song, down came Ngati Apa—the party that the recent escapees had brought along. They smote left and right, and before many minutes were over the ovens were steaming, but they contained Rangi-tane instead of Ngati Apa.
“Te Ahuru was doubtless well pleased at his release, but he desired still further revenge. So he sent messengers to Wai-totara and Patea
asking the Nga Rauru to bring kai and send men. The northern Natives heartily responded, sending two hundred fighting-men, besides many slaves bearing great quantities of the indispensable kai. When they came to the Whanga-nui River, Taka-rangi, the great Whanga-nui chief, who was after-wards killed at Kohuru-po, heard that the Nga Rauru people were in his territory, and he said ‘What are these people here? I will not allow them to carry food over me.’ So he sent out his men, and after a short skirmish Nga Rauru retire minus their kai. When Ngati Apa heard that Taka-rangi had intercepted those who were coming to give them assistance, they immediately started out, and took a large pa situated on the Kai-toke Lake” [about two miles from Whanga-nui No. 1 Line]. “Whanga-nui, not to be outdone, travelled to Rangi-tikei, where they besieged the pa at Pou-rewa, killed Te Haha-o-te-rangi, and then retired.
“Then up arose Te Ahuru and said to his people, ‘I hear there is a brave man called Te O-raunga of the Mua-upoko. I will go to him and see if he will lend a hand to help punish Whanga-nui and Rangi-tane.’ So he went to Wai-were, a pa at the south end of Lake Horo-whenua, and laid his views and intentions before Te O-raunga; but that careful chief said, ‘No, I am afraid I cannot help you, for this taniwha you wish to destroy has two heads—i.e., Whanga-nui and Rangi-tane. If it had only one I would willingly go. But go on to Pori-rua. Te Huke-o-tungia is there, and he will assist.’ So Te Ahuru went to Pori-rua as directed, but Huke-o-tungia said, ‘No, I cannot help; but let us go to Nga-kaka-waha-nui (the loquacious parrots), at Wai-rarapa.’ So they went on, and came to the pa” [near Mr. Bidwell's], “and there they found the two kakas famed for their great beaks, Te Whata-horo and Te Kaka-hou, and explained what they came for. After hearing all Te Ahuru and his friend had to say, the two great chiefs replied, ‘Yes, we will help you. Go home as fast as you can, gather all your people, and plenty of kai. We will follow in a few days.’ So Te Ahuru returned to Rangi-tikei; but as soon as he had gone; Whata-horo said to his friend, ‘Had we not better follow at once, before Whanga-nui hears of our approach and has time to gather?’ So they started off from Wai-rarapa with a great army of over three hundred men of the Rakai-whaka-iri, the Ngati Kahukura-a-whitia, the Hamua, and the Ngati-moe tribes, all branches of the Ngati Kahu-ngunu.
“When Te Ahuru left Wai-rarapa he arranged with his own people to have supplies of food ready, and with this purpose in view he came on to Whanga-ehu; but no sooner had he called his people together than a great war-party was seen approaching from the south. The people were much afraid, and said to Te Ahuru, ‘What is the meaning of this?’ Te Ahuru, although he felt considerable apprehension, replied, ‘Perhaps it is our friends from Wai-rarapa and Pori-rua. Let us go forward to meet them.’ (The Pori-rua people had also joined, although they had at first refused.) So the two parties met, and the apprehensions of the Ngati Apa were quickly set at rest by the joyful discovery that the taua was led by their Wairarapa friends. After the customary feast had been disposed of, a war-dance was executed, during the excitement of which some of the brave fellows advised going on to Whanga-nui that night. Te Ahuru opposed this, for he wished to have time to gather all his available Ngati Apa force. But Tui, the tohunga travelling with the taua, settled the dispute by saying, ‘We will go now, for even at this moment the Whanga-nui people are preparing to resist us, and to-morrow we will meet their party and be victorious.’”