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Wiremu Pātene

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
104 Sheet 1 — The Waitangi Sheet Wiremu Patene Wiremu Pātene Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa Te Uri-Kōpura, Te Urimāhoe, Ngāti Tama, Te Kohatutaka? Mangungu, 12 February 1840

Wiremu Pātene (William Barton) signed the Treaty of Waitangi at Mangungu, Hokianga, on 12 February 1840. He was the son of Hōhepa Te Ōtene Pura, who signed the treaty at Waitangi on 6 February 1840.

Early in 1837 Wiremu Pātene, ‘a handsome young chieftain’, was one of four young Māori men who were attacked while visiting the village of the chief Kaitoke to preach the gospel. [1] Two of the party were killed but Pātene stayed by their side despite threats. A group returned later to recover the bodies.

Wiremu Pātene married Hemaima (Jemima) in March 1837, but she died shortly after the wedding.

His original name may have been Kairangatira, as a Kairangatira William Barton (Wiremu Pātene) was baptised by the Wesleyan (Methodist) missionary William White in December 1833. [2]

[1] James Buller, Forty years in New Zealand: including a personal narrative, an account of Maoridom, and of the Christianization and colonization of the country, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1878, p. 40,


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