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
31Sheet 8 — The Cook Strait (Henry Williams) SheetTe PuniHōniana Te PunikōkopuTe Āti AwaNgāti Te Whiti, Ngāti TāwhirikuraPort Nicholson 29 April 1840

Te Puni signed Te Tiriti on 29 April 1840 in Port Nicholson. As a young man he was known as Hōniana. It was said he was given the name Te Puni – deep pool – after he and his father escaped an attack on their pā by jumping from a cliff into the Waiwhakaiho River.

He later settled in the Wellington region. Te Puni and his people built houses for settlers and provided supplies in exchange for European clothes and other items. Te Puni also gave them military advice.

Read a full biography on Te Ara Biographies

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