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Te Rere-tā-whangawhanga

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
97 Sheet 8 — The Cook Strait (Henry Williams) Sheet Rere tauwangawanga Te Rere-tā-whangawhanga Te Āti Awa Manukorihi Waikanae, 16 May 1840

Te Rere-tā-whangawhanga signed the Cook Strait (Henry Williams) sheet of the Treaty of Waitangi at Waikanae on 16 May 1840 by drawing part of his moko (tattoo). He was from the Manukorihi hapū (subtribe) of Te Āti Awa in Taranaki. He married Te Kehu, who signed this treaty sheet on 19 May. The couple had three sons: Wiremu Kīngi te Rangitāke, who also signed the treaty on this occasion, Matiu and Enoka.

In 1822, Te Rere-tā-whangawhanga accompanied Ngāti Toa on their migration to Kāpiti, but he returned to Kāwhia in 1823. In 1824 he was a leader of the Te Heke Niho-puta migration of Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāti Tama and settled in Waikanae. In 1829 he led a taua (war party) against Ngā Rauru because of their actions during the migration. While Te Rere-tā-whangawhanga was with Te Rauparaha at the battle at Kaiapohia in the South Island in 1831, a taua under Te Wherowhero of Waikato captured his pā (fortified village) at Pukerangiora, near Waitara. 

In 1833 his hapū took the name Manukorihi and joined the Taranaki migration to Cook Strait, where conflicts developed with Ngāti Toa and Ngāti Raukawa over land. Te Rere-tā-whangawhanga was attacked at Ōtaki and Haowhenua in 1834 before Te Heuheu brokered peace.

Te Rere-tā-whangawhanga died at Waikanae in 1844. Wiremu Kīngi te Rangitake took over as rangatira (chief), and continued Te Rere-tā-whangawhanga’s opposition to the sale of the Waitara Block.

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