Skip to main content

Rangi Topeora

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
78 Sheet 8 — The Cook Strait (Henry Williams) Sheet Topeora Rangi Topeora Ngāti Toa Ngāti Te Maunu, Ngāti Kimihia Kapiti?, 14 May 1840

Rangi Topeora (today known as Te Rangitopeora) signed the Cook Strait (Henry Williams) sheet of the Treaty of Waitangi on 14 May 1840 at Kāpiti.

She was a formidable wahine rangatira, an important Ngāti Toa leader and a composer of waiata that are still sung today. She had a forceful and passionate personality. Sometimes she was vengeful, and sometimes she was a peacemaker.

Topeora had four husbands, held much property and had many accomplishments. When she was baptised in 1847, she chose the name Kuīni Wikitōria, Queen Victoria, for herself, and Arapata – Albert, the name of Queen Victoria’s husband – for one of her husbands. Te Rangihaeata was her brother and Te Rauparaha was her uncle.

After the Treaty she initially accepted the Pākehā presence, but later denounced the settlers as their numbers grew. She opposed land sales and challenged Māori in the area who did not support her brother Te Rangihaeata, who resisted Pākehā settlement.

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