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Rangatira Moetara

Nga Tohu

In 1840 more than 500 chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document. Ngā Tohu, when complete, will contain a biographical sketch of each signatory.


Signature Sheet Signed as Probable name Tribe Hapū Signing Occasion
92 Sheet 1 — The Waitangi Sheet Rangatira Pakanae? Rangatira Moetara Ngāpuhi Ngāti Korokoro, Te Hikutū, Ngāti Hau, Ngāi Tū Mangungu, 12 February 1840

Rangatira Moetara of Pākanae signed the Treaty of Waitangi on 12 February 1840 at Mangungu, Hokianga.

He spoke positively about William Hobson during the hui at Mangungu: ‘Welcome Mr Governor. How do you do? Who sold our land to the Pakehas? It was we ourselves. By our own free will, we let it go and it is gone, and what now? What good is there in throwing away our speech? Let the Governor sit for us.’ [1]

Rangatira Moetara was the brother of Moetara Motu Tongapōrutu and father of Hapakuku Moetara. When his brother died in 1838, Rangatira succeeded him as leader of Ngāti Korokoro and adopted the name Rangatira Moetara.

He later acted as an assessor for the Native Land Court. In 1863 Rangatira Moetara was named as a member of the Bay of Islands rūnanga (council), and in 1878 he was identified as one of the leading chiefs of Ngāpuhi.


[1] Quoted in Waitangi Tribunal, He Whakaputanga me te Tiriti – the declaration and the treaty: the report on stage 1 of the Te Paparahi o Te Raki Inquiry, Wellington, 2014,

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