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
2Sheet 2 — The Manukau-Kāwhia SheetTe TinanaIhikiera Te TinanaNgāti WhātuaTe TaoūManukau 20 March 1840

Ihikiera Te Tinana signed the Manukau-Kāwhia sheet of the Treaty of Waitangi on 20 March 1840. He was a Ngāti Whātua rangatira (chief) from Kaipara. 

Ngāti Whātua were strong supporters of William Hobson and helped establish Auckland as the site of the government. Captain William Symonds, a police magistrate, recorded that Te Tinana and two others signed an agreement at Waitematā on 18 September 1840 to give land to the government temporarily, until ‘its purchase may be effected’. [1]

According to a letter written by Te Keene Tangaroa of Kaipara to Queen Victoria in 1883, Te Tinana and fellow Ngāti Whātua chief Āpihai Te Kawau visited Hobson when he arrived at Waitematā after the initial signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. To their suggestion that the lieutenant-governor should be like a parent to them, Hobson replied, ‘Yes; I will be your parent, and the Queen will be the parent for all of us, for both races, the Pakeha and the Maori.’ [2]

Te Tinana reiterated this wish on 26 July 1860 at the Kohimarama conference organised by Governor Thomas Gore Browne. He stated that his ‘relations are gone to the grave, but they live again. These are they: these are my sisters, these pakeha ladies sitting here.’ [3] Referring to the Taranaki tribes then fighting British troops, he said that those who were being troublesome should be punished.

At the beginning of the Waikato War (1863–64), Te Tinana and fellow chief Te Kawau were approached by Wiremu Tāmihana Tarapīpipi of Ngāti Hauā. They warned him that if Kīngitanga forces advanced towards Auckland, they should be prepared to fight Ngāti Whātua.

[1] ‘Captain Symonds reporting proceedings of agreement with natives’, 18 September 1840, MS-Papers-2828, Alexander Turnbull Library

[2] Quoted in Hawke's Bay Herald, 25 December 1883, p. 2

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