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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
7 Sheet 7 — The Herald (Bunbury) Sheet Iwikau Iwikau Ngāi Tahu Ngāti Rangiāmoa Akaroa, 30 May 1840

Iwikau signed the Herald (Bunbury) sheet of the Treaty of Waitangi at Akaroa on 30 May 1840. He was a rangatira (chief) of Ngāti Rangiāmoa, the senior line of the Ngāi Tuahuriri section of the Ngāi Tahu iwi (tribe). He was a half-brother of Te Maiharanui, who in 1830 was captured by Te Rauparaha on the Elizabeth and killed. His other siblings were Mukoko, Parekaiakaaka and Maikoukou (this may be an alternative spelling of Mukoko). Their parents were Te Whe and Haritaua. He married Wahaka, the fifth child of Tutuke and Te Wakarawa. [1] Iwikau had a daughter who married the whaler James Robinson Clough, also known as Jimmy Robinson or Rapahina. They had a child named Abner. [2]

Iwikau was the main rangatira of 450 people living at Koukourarata (Port Levy) on Banks Peninsula. [3] He was described as ‘a person of agreeable and gentlemanly manners’. [4]

In 1834, Iwikau was a leader in the Ngāi Tahu campaign to the Marlborough Sounds known as Oraumoa nui or Taua nui. Ngāi Tahu brought 500 fighting men and stayed for two months, but Ngāti Toa kept out of sight. [5]

[1] Evison, 1952, p. 24

[2] Historical, Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood, p. 1

[3] Enclosure in No. 1, A Compendium of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs in the South Island, Volume Two

[4] The Southern Districts of New Zealand, Edward Shortland, Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, London, 1851, p. 256

[5] ‘Marlborough’, Lore and history of the South Island Maori, W. A. Taylor, Bascands Ltd, Christchurch, p. 21

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