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
7Sheet 8 — The Cook Strait (Henry Williams) SheetTe Tarenga KuriTe Kāeaea / TaringakurīNgāti TamaNgāti WaiPort Nicholson 29 April 1840

Te Kāeaea, also known as Taringakurī, signed Te Tiriti at Port Nicholson on 29 April 1840. He was the principal Ngāti Tama rangatira at the time. His parents were Whangataki II and Hinewairoro.

Before assuming the leadership of his iwi, he was prominent in the conflicts with Waikato of the early nineteenth century. Te Kāeaea joined the migrations of Taranaki iwi and Ngāti Toa of the 1820s, eventually settling Ngāti Tama in Kaiwharawhara and Hutt Valley.

He received the name Taringakurī, by which he was widely known, after Te Rangihaeata sarcastically said that if Te Kāeaea could not understand his words, he must have ‘taringa kurī’ (dog’s ears). His mana in Hutt Valley was challenged repeatedly by the colonial government and settlers, who encroached upon the village and cultivations his people had set up. Te Kāeaea always strenuously argued for the rights of his people. He died in 1871.

Read a full biography on Te Ara Biographies

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