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
25Sheet 3 — The Waikato-Manukau SheetPungarehuPungarehuWaikatoNgāti ApakuraWaikato Heads Late March or early April 1840

Pungarehu, from Pārāwera, south of Te Awamutu, signed Te Tiriti at the Waikato Heads mission station in late March or early April 1840. He may also have been known as Kahawai or Hoani Papita (John the Baptist). This chief was a successful flour miller, and with Kīngi Hōri Te Waru sent a gift of flour and a letter of thanks to Queen Victoria for her recent assurance to Waikato Māori that their land would not be taken away. The Queen sent back two lithograph portraits of herself, Prince Albert and their five children; one portrait is now in Te Awamutu Museum.

Land agent John White wrote to Native Minister Donald McLean in 1871, recommending that a man named Pungarehu be hired as a Native Policeman because there would be fewer complaints from people arrested by a young rangatira of high rank. [1] This Pungarehu may have been a relative of the treaty signatory.

[1] 3 pages written 20 March 1871 by John White in Alexandra to Sir Donald McLean, Object #1003310 from MS-Papers-0032-0632 (ATL)

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 Pungarehu

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...