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
16Sheet 6 — The Bay of Plenty (Fedarb) SheetMokaiMōkaiNgāti Awa?Ngāti Pūkeko?Whakatāne 16 June 1840

Mōkai signed the Bay of Plenty (Fedarb) Treaty of Waitangi sheet on 16 June 1840, at Pohaturoa rock in Whakatāne. There were two people called Mōkai who signed the Treaty on this occasion. Mōkai’s great-granddaughter was Mihimere Mōkai, the mother of Matekoraha Te Peehi Jaram, commonly known as Bessie, an early twentieth century weaver. [1]

In 1856, Mōkai was recorded entering the Port of Auckland on the Hera with seventy buschels of wheat and half a cask of tobacco from Ōpōtiki in the Bay of Plenty. [2]

Mōkai was killed by Te Kooti’s forces in Whakatāne in 1869. He was among nine who were killed in the attack, while Te Kooti lost around forty men. [3]

[1] E. M. Tutua. 'Jaram, Matekoraha Te Peehi', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 23-Oct-2013

[2] Shipping Intelligence. PORT OF AUCKLAND, Daily Southern Cross, 29 February 1856, Page 2 (Papers Past)

[3] FLIGHT OF TE KOOTI FROM WHAKATANE. Hawke's Bay Herald, 23 March 1869, Page 3 (Papers Past)

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