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
7Sheet 1 — The Waitangi SheetHakeroHākiroNgāpuhiNgāi Tawake, Ngāti RēhiaWaitangi 6 February 1840

Hākiro was the son of Tāreha, and, like his father, was from Kororāreka (later called Russell). He had contact with both Catholic (Bishop Pompallier) and Protestant (Henry Williams) missionaries before 1840. British Resident James Busby claimed that Hākiro had suggested that he (Busby) might be a king for Māori.

During the debate about the treaty at Waitangi on 5 February 1840, Hākiro spoke on behalf of Tītore, who had signed the Declaration of Independence in 1835 and died in 1837. He argued strongly against the treaty and Governor William Hobson: ‘“To thee, O Governor! this. Who says ”Sit“? Who? Hear me, O Governor! I say, no, no.’ As he shouted these rhetorical questions and answers he ran swiftly backwards and forwards brandishing a taiaha (fighting staff). ’Sit, indeed! Who says, ”Sit”? Go back, go back; do not thou sit here. What wilt thou sit here for? We are not thy people. We are free. We will not have a Governor. Return, return; leave us. The missionaries and Busby are our fathers. We do not want thee; so go back, return, walk away.”’ [1] However, Hākiro did sign the treaty on 6 February.

On 11 Februrary 1858 Hākiro was one of the speakers who welcomed Governor Thomas Gore Browne to Waimate, in the Bay of Islands, noting that he supported Queen Victoria.

[1] Quoted in 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. 24 

If you have more information about this treaty signatory please add a community contribution below or contact us at [email protected].

Community contributions

No comments have been posted about Hākiro

What do you know?

Can you tell us more about the information on this page? Perhaps you have a related experience you would like to share?

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Comments will be reviewed prior to posting. Not all comments posted. Tell me more...