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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
56 Sheet 1 — The Waitangi Sheet Hakitara Hakitara Te Rarawa Waitangi, 6 February 1840

Hakitara signed the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840 at Waitangi. At the hui the previous day he spoke after Hōne Heke Pōkai in support of the treaty. His speech had little effect and he stopped speaking.

Hakitara was ‘dressed in a very large and handsome silky white kaitaka mat (finest and best kind of garment, only worn by superior chiefs), fringed with a deep and dark-coloured woven border of a lozenge and zigzag pattern, the whole of Native (I might truly say of national) design and manufacture.’ [1]

Hakitara had apparently visited England in an attempt to see King William IV. He was present at the 1860 conference of chiefs at Kohimarama organised by Governor Thomas Gore Browne.

He may have been the Ngāpuhi chief Hakitara who was living at Kaiapoi with Ngāi Tahu when the Ngāti Toa chief Te Pēhi Kupe was killed there around 1828.

[1] William Colenso, The authentic and genuine history of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand, February 5 and 6, Government Printer, Wellington, 1890, p. 15,

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