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.


SignatureSheetSigned asProbable nameTribeHapūSigning Occasion
118Sheet 1 — The Waitangi SheetKaitokeKaitoke Te Whakawai NgāpuhiTe HikutūMangungu 12 February 1840

Kaitoke signed the Treaty of Waitangi on 12 February 1840 at Mangungu, Hokianga after speaking out against William Hobson:

‘No, no,’ cried Kaitoke; ‘no, Mr. Governor, you will not square out our land and sell it. See there, you came to our country, looked at us, stopped, came up the river, and what did we do? We gave you potatoes, you gave us a fish-hook; that is all. We gave you land, you gave us a pipe, that is all. We have been cheated, the Pakehas are thieves. They tear a blanket, make two pieces of it, and sell it for two blankets. They buy a pig for one pound in gold, and sell it for three. They get a basket of potatoes for sixpence, sell it for two shillings. This is all they do; steal from us, this is all.’ [1]

When he spoke for a second time, he called for chiefs to choose their own governor.

In 1837 Kaitoke had killed two young Māori Wesleyan converts who came to his village to preach. He was a follower of the Ngāpuhi prophet Papahurihia, also known as Te Atua Wera (the fiery god). After the killings he moved across the Hokianga from Mangamuka to Whirinaki.


[1] T. Lindsay Buick, The Treaty of Waitangi: or, how New Zealand became a British colony, Mackay, Wellington, 1914, pp. 138–40

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