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
34Sheet 1 — The Waitangi SheetWiremu TanaWiremu Tana PāpāhiaTe RarawaTe Horohukare, Ngāti HauāBay of Islands probably Date unknown

Wiremu (Wī) Tana Pāpāhia was the son of Pāpāhia, who also signed the Treaty of Waitangi. They probably signed in the Bay of Islands. Wī Tana Pāpāhia supported the treaty, and escorted the official party to Hokianga on 12 February 1840.

Following his name on the treaty sheet (listed as signature 35) are the words, ‘Tangata Kotahi’. It is possible that this was not another son of Pāpāhia, but that the full signature is Wiremu Tana Tangata Kotahi, meaning ‘Wiremu Tana signed for himself alone’. 

Wī Tana Pāpāhia was one of the Te Rarawa chiefs who signed a peace treaty between Ngāpuhi and Te Rarawa on 13 June 1868. In 1870 he was said to be one of the leading chiefs of Te Rarawa. 

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Posted: 08 Oct 2017

there is a portrait sketch of "tangata kotahi" in webster's maori journal 1847