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Te Kou-o-Rehua

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
6 Sheet 5 — The Tauranga Sheet Te Kou Te Kou-o-Rehua Ngāti Pūkenga Te Tāwera Tauranga, 10 April-May 1840

Te Kou-o-Rehua signed Te Tiriti at Tauranga in April or May 1840. He was the son of Taitaui and Hineikakea, and husband of Rīpeka. He signed the Treaty to protect his people and land. Although Te Kou had said he would not take up arms against the Crown, after the fighting at Tauranga in 1864 his land there was confiscated anyway. According to Ngāti Pūkenga oral traditions documented by Tauranga Library, he responded by saying, ‘Friend, release my land at Tauranga because I am a man without offence. I have committed no offence. If I had gone to fight at Tauranga and Waikato it would then have been right to punish me, that is, my people. While you were fighting at Waikato and at Tauranga I lived quietly at Hauraki.’ Te Kou died at Manaia in September 1865.

For further information and sources see Debbie McCauley, The Treaty of Waitangi in Tauranga: Te Tiriti o Waitangi ki Tauranga Moana

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