Te Rauparaha & Son.

I’m doing some work on the correspondence and recorded speeches of Tamihana Te Rauparaha, son of Ngāti Toa rangatira, Te Rauparaha. The father has the more historical fame (or infamy) attached to his name – in part for conquering deeds of the 1820s-30s in the Kāpiti Coast region and in Te Wai Pounamu. However the son was a significant figure in his own right: he brought Octavius Hadfield back to Kāpiti as a missionary in 1839; became a missionary himself to his father’s enemies in Te Wai Pounamu; was an early sheep farmer in the Otaki area; and promoted the idea of a Māori king in the early 1850s, before turning against the idea later in the decade. I am particularly interested in how he conceptualised the idea of a (Māori) monarchy in its imperial and New Zealand contexts, and in how (and why) he later imagined New Zealand as one political society under Kuini Wikitoria (Queen Victoria).

His image was recorded in various ways by European artists and photographers. Like all representations, they need a significant amount of interpretation (which I am not going to do now). But apart from their complexity as cultural productions, they remain amazing images. Here are only a few:

Tamihana Te Rauparaha - G F Angas (1852)

Angas, George French, 1822-1886. [Angas, George French] 1822-1886 :Tamihana Te Rauparaha [1852]. Ref: C-114-001. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22878621

Tamihana Te Rauparaha - photograph ca. 1860

Photographer unknown :Portrait of Tamihana Te Rauparaha with an unidentified man. Ref: PA2-2881. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22473958

Tamihana Te Rauparaha - W H W Davis - ca 1872

Davis, William Henry Whitmore, 1812-1901. Davis, W H (Wellington) fl 1873-1875 :Portrait of Tamihana Te Rauparaha 1819-1876. Ref: PA2-2122. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22849318

An historian who has recently done some important work on Tamihana Te Rauparaha, especially his writings on his father, is Arini Loader of Victoria University of Wellington.

New faith, new law

I was in Ōtaki recently. One of the aims of my thesis is to explore the origins of the Kīngitanga on the Kāpiti coast. At Ōtaki is one of New Zealand’s oldest churches, Rangiātea. In wandering around the urupā there, I came upon the memorial to Matene Te Whiwhi-o-te-Rangi who, with Te Rauparaha’s son, Tamihana, went to the Bay of Islands in 1839 and brought back Octavius Hadfield (‘Harawira’) as a missionary. Te Whiwhi and Tamihana took the Christian message of peace and forgiveness (the new ‘law’) to the South Island, to Ngāti Toa’s enemies, and made peace. They acted as peacemakers in other contexts.

Te Whiwhi’s memorial stone tells this story and ends with an injunction to his people: ‘Kia mau ki te whakapono me te aroha’ – Hold fast to faith and love.