potatau te wherowhero

Personal details

Full Name:

  • Pōtatau Te Wherowhero


  • ?25 Jun 1860

In the 1850s, a movement was set up to appoint a Māori king who would unite the tribes, protect land from further sales and make laws for Māori to follow. Te Wherowhero became the first Māori king in 1858.

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Events In History

  • 25 June 1860
    Death of the first Māori King

    The Māori King movement came into existence in the late 1850s as an attempt to unite the tribes, prevent land sales and make laws for Māori. Pōtatau Te Wherowhero became the first Māori King in 1858, but died two years later. Read more...


Māori King movement origins

  • Māori King movement origins

    In May 2008 Māori gathered at Ngāruawāhia to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the formation of the Kīngitanga, or Māori King Movement. The current king, Te Arikinui Tūheitia Paki, was crowned in August 2006 following the death of his mother, Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

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  • Page 5 – Pōtatau Te Wherowhero

    In April 1857, at Rangiriri, Pōtatau agreed to become king. He was crowned and anointed at Ngāruawāhia in June 1858.

  • Page 6 – A challenge to European authority?

    Pōtatau established a boundary between the territory in which his authority held sway and that of the governor: 'Let Maungatautari [River] be our boundary. Do not encroach on

War in Taranaki 1860-63

  • War in Taranaki 1860-63

    In March 1860 war broke out between Europeans and Māori in Taranaki following a dispute over the sale of land at Waitara. It was the beginning of a series of conflicts that would dog Taranaki for 21 years, claiming the lives of hundreds of people and leaving deep scars that persist to the present day.

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  • Page 2 - Pressure on Māori landAs the Pākehā population of New Zealand increased during the 1850s, Māori faced growing pressure to sell their
  • This 1847 George Angas painting shows Potatau Te Wherowhero's pa with Taupiri mountain in the background