Death of Te Rauparaha

27 November 1849

Sketch of Te Rauparaha
Sketch of Te Rauparaha (Alexander Turnbull Library, QMS-0122-140A)

The formidable Ngāti Toa leader had dominated Te Moana-o-Raukawa – the Cook Strait region – from his base at Kāpiti Island for nearly 20 years.

Te Rauparaha spent the last year of his life at Ōtaki. By this time his influence had declined, in part because of the humiliation of his imprisonment by Governor George Grey in 1846. He had had eight wives in the course of his life, and 14 children, some of whom survived him. Te Rauparaha was buried near Rangiātea church at Ōtaki. He is believed to have later been reinterred on Kāpiti Island.