Te timatatanga ake o Te Roroa.
Our eponymous tūpuna
This is the story of the brothers Manumanu (1) and Rangitauwawaro who came from Muriwhenua in a large war party to seek utu for the death of a man named Taureka. Taureka was killed by Ngati Kahu ki Waimamaku. Great grandsons of Tohe, Manumanu and Rangitauwawaro belonged to Ngai Tamatea and probably came from Kapowairua. They joined a great taua of Ngati Awa, Ngati Miru, Nga Ririki , Ngai Tahu and Ngai Tamatea which sought to colonise new lands.
Journeying down the Takahue valley into North Hokianga, the taua fought as it went. Skirting Lake Omapere, it conquered the Waihou valley where it left behind a party of Ngati Miru people who eventually became tupuna of Tamati Waka Nene and Eru Patuone. At Taheke, Hokianga it secured a strategic entry into South Hokianga by taking that land upon which it left a group of Ngai Tamatea people who in time became the ancestors of Tutaerua, the hotly pursued wife of Tupoto of Ngapuhi. At Whirinaki, Hokianga further fighting was broken off and a peace-making effected through the marriage of the Ngai Tamatea woman Tikaatarangi, Tohe’s great granddaughter, to Rahiri’s younger brother Maui. Eventually that couple became the grandparents of the far-famed Waimirirangi whose mana was such that she often was referred to as the queen of Ngapuhi.
Upon reaching Motutoa, Pakanae, South Hokianga, the taua attacked the Panitehe pa of Rahiri’s son Kaharau but were unable to take it. Moving on to Omapere, they found that Ngati Kahu had retreated to Waimamaku so followed them up and there defeated them. The Ngati Kahu remnant then fled to Whangape and Herekino.
Journeying along the coast into the rohe of Ngai Tuputupuwhenua and Ngati Rangi, the taua stopped at Kawerua and then moved on to Waipoua and Maunganui Bluff. At Waikara north of Maunganui Bluff, where Kaharau had married his Ngai Tuputupuwhenua wives Kaiawhi and Houtaringa, tangata whenua made a stand but peace soon was made once the related Ngai Tamatea people identified themselves. The ope then crossed over to Manuwhetai, south of Maunganui Bluff, from where it separated into various parties occupying portions of Waipoua/Maunganui. At Manuwhetai Manumanu 1 built his pa named Onetahi.
Later, a party of Ngai Tamatea under Rangitauwawaro, who had married Taurangi a Ngati Kahu woman, returned to Waimamaku taking up occupation of the conquered land while his brother Manumanu (1), who married the Ngai Tuputupuwhenua and Ngati Rangi woman Maraeroa, settled down permanently at Waipoua/Maunganui. At Waipoua Manumanu’s pa were Whenuahou, Kaitieke and Kateanui while his garden was named Wai-o-Rua after his Muriwhenua garden.
At Waimamaku Rangitauwawaro and Taurangi had two sons, Rongotaumua, a noted warrior who enjoyed a number of military successes against Ngapuhi, and Te Puni. The grandchildren of Rongotaumua were the three sisters Huia, who married Te Whareumu of Ngati Pou, Kie, who married Tarahape Te Whareumu’s brother and Te Kura who married Pakauwhati of Pouto. Their aunt Punga married Taiteanuku of Ngapuhi and became the tupuna of Kahumakaka killed at Taiamai by Ngapuhi in wars against Ngati Pou. That death caused Punga’s descendants to support Ngati Pou in those wars. From that time Te Roroa ki Waimamaku has been inextricably linked with Ngati Pou and Ngai Tu so that today all are regarded as one.
While living at Waipoua, Manumanu (2), the eldest son of Manumanu (1) who is said to have known no fear, was killed at Taumarere, Kawakawa assisting his mother’s Ngati Rangi people in a fight against Ngāi Tāhūhū tribe. At the tangihanga Manumanu (2)′s body was laid out on a kahikatea log. When manuhiri (visitors) came to the tangi they commented upon the length of the corpse, exclaiming: “Te Roroa o te tangata rei te kahikatea” (The tallness of the man is that of the kahikatea). Another version of the whakatauki, which has the same meaning, is:”Te Hei. Te Roroa o te tangata rite tonu ki te kahikatea” (Behold ! How tall the man that resembles the kahikatea).
Subsequently Manumanu (2)′s koiwi (bones) were brought back to Waipoua and there interred. To commemorate his death, his father’s and uncle’s mixed Ngai Tamatea / Ngai Tuputupuwhenua / Ngati Rangi / Ngati Kahu people adopted the name Te Roroa which, after some 15 generations, still survives today. From Manumanu (2)′s brother Ngaengae the mana passed to Ngaengae’s sons Rangiwhatuma and Matohi. From Rangiwhatuma the mana went to his sons Ikataora, Taramainuku and Whaiputuputu while from Matohi his mana went to his son Pinea. From Ikataora his mana went to his son Toa.
Na Gary Hooker