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
21Sheet 3 — The Waikato-Manukau SheetPohepohePohepoheNgāti HauāWaikato Heads Late March or early April 1840

Pohepohe signed the Waikato-Manukau sheet of the Treaty of Waitangi at the end of March or beginning of April 1840 at Waikato Heads. The Ngāti Hauā rangatira (chief) was visiting Waikato from Matamata, where the rest of his tribe had refused to sign.

Pohepohe’s daughter Ita married Wiremu Tāmihana Tarapīpipi, and after she died (in 1840) Tarapīpipi married another of Pohepohe’s daughters, Pare-te-kanawa (also known as Wikitōria). Tāmihana was among those who refused to sign the treaty. Pohepohe also had a son named Tai-epu, named after the place where Pohepohe’s sister Kai-whia was buried.

Early in the 19th century Pohepohe accompanied Te Waharoa, the main leader of Ngāti Hauā and the father of Tarapīpipi, on a great expedition with Ngāti Maniapoto. On this expedition Maunga-tautari and Poroaki of Ngāti Hauā were killed at Pou-tama by Ngāti Awa. In 1812 Pohepohe and Muriwhenua led Ngāti Hauā in seeking revenge for the deaths of Paretekawa, Maniapoto, Rangipakaru and Harara. With Ngāti Maniapoto they defeated Ngāti Whakatero, though Pohepohe and two others were injured by Te Roha before he was killed by Te Muringa. A battle broke out between Ngāti Hauā and Ngāti Tama-Te-Ra after Ngāti Hauā refused to trade two of Pohepohe’s daughters for eel pots. Ngāti Tama-Te-Ra then fled to Horotiū.

In 1836 Pohepohe led a party of Ngāti Hauā fighters to ambush Ngāti Whakaue. A wrong direction was taken, causing much confusion; there were many deaths on both sides.

In his old age Pohepohe lamented the spread of Pākehā settlement and the resulting destruction of native bush and bird life: ‘Ka ngaro nga manu Maori.’ (The Māori birds are doomed to disappear.) [1]

[1] Quoted in Māui Pōmare and James Cowan, Legends of the Maori, vol. 1, Fine Arts, Wellington, 1930, p. 93

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Jordon wansbrough

Posted: 14 Apr 2017

Pohepohe is my tipuna

Ka Moe a Pohepohe ia Teika Haehae Kupenga ka puta mai ki waho ko Te Puata Teika Haehae Kupenga ka Moe a Te Puata Teika Haehae Kupenga ia Mere Teikamatawhero Whakaruru Whatitiri ka puta mai ki waho ko Taupoki Teika Puata ka Moe a Taupoki Teika Puata ia Allan Rangipapa Lewis is puta mai ki waho ko Josephine Pohepohe Lewis is Moe a Josephine Pohepohe Lewis ia Graeme Mcrae Nicol ka puta mai ki waho ko Diane Marie Nicol ka moe a Diane Marie Nicol ia Rex Gordon Wansbrough ka puta mai ki waho ko au Jordon Wansbrough tenei