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
39Sheet 9 — The East Coast SheetTe PotaeEnoka Te Pōtae-auteNgāti Porou Te Whānau-a-Ruataupare, Te Whānau-a-Te-PoriroTokomaru 9 June 1840

Enoka te Pōtae-aute signed the East Coast sheet of the Treaty of Waitangi on 9 June 1840 at Tokomaru Bay. He was a rangatira (chief) of the Te Whānau-a-Ruataupare and Te Whānau-a-Te-Poriro hapū (subtribes) of Ngāti Porou. His wife was Makere Te Materonea, an important woman in Te Aitanga a Hauiti. Her mother was Te Rangipaia, who died with her husband during the Ngāpuhi raids of the 1820s.

Enoka was the father of Arapeta, Tama Whakanehua and Hēnare Pōtae. One source states that Tama Whakanehua was Enoka’s brother and therefore Hēnare’s uncle. [1] When Tama Whakanehua, also known as Tamati Waka, died in 1854, Hēnare Pōtae took over as the head rangatira. They lived at Māwhai pā (fortified village) in Tokomaru Bay.

Enoka died in 1852 and was buried in the Tuatini cemetery.

[1] ‘Henare Potae: Materials for a biography’, R. de Z Hall, Gisborne Museum

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Margaret Tibble

Posted: 25 Jan 2017

Te Rangipaia II was taken in a raid by Pomare of Ngapuhi, who killed her husband Ngarangiteremauri. She had a son to him who died in battle with his father Pomare. Te Rangipaia moved back to the East Coast when she married an East Coast man and lived out her days there in Te Araroa.