Māori King movement - 1860-94

Page 7 – The death of Tāwhiao

Tāwhiao's legacy

Tāwhiao died on 26 August 1894. He was buried at Taupiri after a tangihanga attended by thousands. He had children by three wives. His principal wife was Hera, with whom he had three children: Tiahuia, who married Te Tahuna Hērangi and was the mother of Te Puea; Mahuta, who succeeded Tāwhiao as king; and Te Wherowhero.

Tāwhiao left a legacy of religious principles from which his people would draw a future dream for Tainui: the rebirth of a self-sufficient economic base, supported by the strength and stability of the people. Native trees and foods symbolise strength and self-sufficiency in his statement: 'I shall build my own house, the ridge-pole will be of hinau and the supporting posts of māhoe and patatē. Those who inhabit that house shall be raised on rengarenga and nurtured on kawariki.' During Tāwhiao's exile, Waikato people had reflected and focused on the powerful symbols of the King movement. The man and the vision became united and formed part of the traditions and knowledge of the people. The vision is recounted and passed on to later generations at tribal hui, where it continues to be discussed and debated.

How to cite this page

'The death of Tāwhiao', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/the-maori-king-movement-1860-94/the-death-of-tawhiao, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 5-Apr-2019