Āpihai Te Kawau

Biography

Āpihai Te Kawau
Apihai Te Kawau

Āpihai Te Kawau (?–1869), of Ngāti Whātua, probably fought against Ngāpuhi in his youth. He later joined the great Ngāti Whātua/Ngāti Maniapoto war expedition known as Te Āmiowhenua (encircling the land).

The iwi involved in Te Āmiowhenua fought their way through Rotorua, Hawke's Bay, Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington), Manawatū, Wairarapa, Wanganui, Taranaki and Waikato. After a major defeat by Ngā Puhi at Te Ika-a-ranga-nui in 1825 Te Kawau and his people left their lands on the Tāmaki isthmus (the future site of Auckland) for several years.

Te Kawau signed the Treaty of Waitangi at Manukau Harbour in March 1840. One reason was that he wanted British protection against future Ngāpuhi raids. He subsequently provided 3,000 acres (1200 hectares), for £50 and a quantity of goods, for the new capital of Auckland on the Waitematā Harbour.

At first Te Kawau was able to manage the relationship between his people and the colonial authorities. He made sure that Māori customary law would, at least initially, be respected. This was reflected in the Native Exemption Ordinance of 1844, through which Māori lawbreakers were punished with a fine, rather than culturally unacceptable imprisonment.

In 1852 Te Kawau became an assessor - a Māori magistrate who worked with European magistrates in settling disputes among Māori. For this he was given a pension. Later however, he began to speak out against land sales. By the time of his death in 1869 Ngāti Whātua owned only a fragment of their former lands, and British law had become dominant.

Adapted from the DNZB biography by Ani Pihema, Ruby Kerei, and Steven Oliver 

Āpihai Te Kawau

Nō te iwi o Ngāti Whātua a Āpihai Te Kawau (?-1869). Kāore e kore i roto ia i ngā pakanga ki a Ngā Puhi i tōna ohinga. Nō muri ka kuhu ia ki Te Āmiowhenua, te taua nui o Ngāti Whātua me Ngāti Maniapoto ka takahi i te ara o Tūmatauenga mā Rotorua, Te Matau a Māui, Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara, Te Manawatū, Te Wairarapa, Wanganui, Taranaki, tatū ki Waikato. Whai muri i te patunga kino o Ngāti Whātua e Ngā Puhi i Te Ika-a-ranganui i te tau 1825, ka whakarērea a Tāmaki-makau-rau e Te Kawau me tōna iwi mō ētahi tau.

Ka haina a Te Kawau i te Tiriti o Waitangi ki ngā wai o Manukau i te marama o Maehe o te tau 1840. Ko tētahi take i haina ia, kia tiakina a Ngāti Whātua e Peretānia i ngā whakaekenga o Ngā Puhi. Whāia, ka hokona e Te Kawau te 3000 eka (1200 heketea) hei whakatū i te tāone matua o Ākarana ki ngā tahatika o Te Waitematā; e 50 pāuna me ētahi taonga hokohoko te utu mō aua whenua.

I te tīmatanga, taea noatia ai e Te Kawau ngā whakahaere i waenganui i tōna iwi me ngā mana o te koroni. I te tīmata ka ngana ia kia arongia ngā tikanga a te Maori. Kitea ai tenei āhuatanga i te Native Exemption Ordinance o te tau 1844, e mea ana ki te takahi te tangata Māori i te ture, ka whainahia ia, kāore ia e mauhereheretia, i te mea he takahi tenei i ngā tikanga a te Māori.

I te tau 1852 ka eke a Te Kawau hei āteha – he kaiwhakawā Māori ka mahi tahi me tētahi kaiwhakawā Pākehā ki te whakatau i ngā tautohetohe i waenganui i te Māori. Ka utua a ia ki te penihana mō tēnei mahi. Tāria te wā, ka whakahē a Te Kawau i te hoko whenua. Tatū rawa ki tōna matenga i te tau 1869, iti noa iho ngā whenua kua toe ki a Ngāti Whātua, ka mutu, kua kake ko te ture o Peretānia kei runga i ngā mea katoa.

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