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The Whānau of Tiro and Te Mairanga

He whānau rangatira o Te Roroa. A chiefly whānau.


After the fighting in the Kaihu valley, Toa brought his family to Opanaki, Kaihu to hold that land. It was there that his sons Tiro and Te Haara grew up in the pa Whakatau, Te Kawau and Tirotiro. In due course Toa was visited by the Ngati Pou chief Riutaia who, apprehensive of the loss of his land at Taiamai sought to marry his eldest daughter Te Mairanga to Toa’s son Te Haara, a notable warrior. However, upon Te Mairanga observing at Maropiu and Mamaranui the extensive gardens of Te Haara’s elder brother Tiro, she resolved to marry Tiro which she did at Kaihu much to the disappointment of her father. Tiro’s gardens were Pukunei, Nga Werewere, Hikutaia, Pakahikatoa, Te Tinihoi, Taongauapoaka, Tangitangi a Kiwi and Puwai.


In time Tiro and Te Mairanga grew children as well as food. Their ten tamariki were Te Waiata, Te Maunga, Te Toko, Te Maara, Tonganui, Paekoraha, Te Hamua, Huia, Pakinga and Waitarehu – hence the pepeha the ten of Te Mairanga which proclaimed the mana of the whanau. Of those children seven were boys and three,Te Hamua, Huia and Waitarehu, girls. Tiro’s teina Te Haara married Ngamako of Ngati Miru and went away to live on his wife’s lands. They became the parents of Paka who married Heke of Ngati Rangi and who fought against Ngapuhi at Pikoi, Te Hakiro, Mihi (w), Whare (w) who married Te Ahu of Te Uriroroi, Whangarei and Hae .Because of their links to Ngati Rangi, some of these people remained at Taiamai.


When Te Waiata grew up he was tomo’d(bethrothed) to Kahukore, the sister of the famous warrior Te Houhou of Ngati Waiora hapu of Te Aupouri. Killed in battle by Poroa of Te Rarawa, there is a tangi for Te Houhou in Nga Moteatea. Te Waiata secondly married Te Po a Te Rarawa woman from Herekino and with her had two children, Te Morunga who died without issue at Herekino and Wairuaiti who was captured at Whanganui in Tuwhare’s ope. With Kahukore, his principal wife, Te Waiata had two sons, Taoho, of whom more will follow later, and Te Whata who married Kaikino and went with her to Waipoua. Their daughter Te Hana , born at Waipoua, married Rangatira Moetara of Ngati Korokoro and had the chiefs Hapakuku Moetara and Wiremu Moetara.


Te Maunga the brother of Te Waiata, married Mahia alias Puhirangi, the daughter of Tangiwharau and Te Hiamoe of Ngati Pou ki Taiamai and granddaughter of Te Taonga. The latter, the son of Tarahape, was the paramount Ngati Pou chief. Te Maunga and his wife lived usually at Matatina pa, Waipoua and Maungaturoto pa, Taiamai. Upon Te Maunga and his people being defeated at Taiamai by Ngapuhi in the battle of Pikoi circa 1790, they abandoned Taiamai for Waipoua. Tuohu, after whom the wharenui at Matatina, Waipoua is named and who was a renowned gardener, lived at Matatina. With the aid of Te Rarawa, he had the drain Takapu Tohora dug to drain the nearby swamp. His waikokowai at Matatina was named Taniwhanui. He also lived at Waimamaku and Te Hunoke where he was fatally shot by Hongi Hika. His grandson was Tiopira Kinaki.


Te Toko, Te Maunga’s teina and the grandfather of Hakaraia Te Maanu, was killed at Pikoi, Taiamai for the part he had played in killing a woman in a Ngati Pou attack on Rawhia pa, Upper Waihou, Hokianga. With Tukarawa, Te Taonga’s son, Te Toko had been a leader of that taua. Upon Te Toko’s death, two Ngapuhi women climbed upon his corpse and, as it was being dragged along, chanted the following song:


“Ta oho e, ta oho

Ko Toko ra tau tangata e ta oho ai koe,

Ta oho, ta oho e, ta oho

Ko Te Ruahoanga ra tau tangata e taoho ai koe”


Another version was supplied by Hori Whiu:

” Tutangata koe

Tautapa ai

(Ka oho te iwi)

Ta oho ! Ta oho !


You were an upstanding man

About whom I sing

(The people joined in)

Awaken, Awaken !


Following that event, Taoho adopted the name of Taoho as a reminder that revenge needed to be sought for his uncle . Before that, he was known as Riwaru. It was because of the death of Te Toko that Hakaraia Te Manu, father of the Paniora whanau, and Tiopira Kinaki fought Hone Heke. Tiopira and his whanau then were living at Upper Waihou, Hokianga with their whanaunga Tamati Waaka Nene.


Te Maara went to Waimamaku and there married the woman Tapuhi of Ngati Pou. Their child was Hukeumu, a famous toa of Te Roroa. Hukeumu successfully defended Whiria pa against Hongi Hika and Ngapuhi and was victorious in war against Te Parawhau.


Tonganui went to Waipoua and became the ancestor of Heremaia who lived on the north bank of Waipoua River. Puti Heremaia who married Wiki, Ahenata Heremaia who married Rewiri Tiopira and Puka Heremaia were members of the Heremaia whanau.


Paekoraha also went to Waipoua. His wife was Koerere of Ngati Pakau ki Taheke and his daughter Maro who married Waenga, the High Priest of Hokianga Heads. Waenga, who met Samuel Marsden, was blown up in Clendon’s ship the Fortitude in 1833 when a keg of gunpowder was accidentally ignited. His daughter Marara Mahuhu married Tiopira Kinaki. Her sister Punga (Kate) married the Hokianga Pilot Master John Martin. Marara and Punga’s brother was Hoani Reupena (Reuben).


Te Hamua (w) married at Waipoua Kowhiti of Ngati Pou, the son of Tukarawa of Ngati Pou and his wife Taihoro of Ngati Miru ki Whangaroa. Tukarawa, the son of the great Ngati Pou chief Te Taonga, was living at Whangaroa in 1793 when he was said to have 2000 warriors under his command. Kowhiti and Te Hamua lived at Taiamai and later at Waimamaku. Their descendants are found principally amongst the Paniora and Ngakuru whanau.


Huia was given in land court evidence as a tupuna of Wi Tipene, but nothing else is known about him. Pakinga and Waitarehu had no descendants.


The whanau of Tiro and Te Mairanga lived in difficult times, when the whole security of the iwi was under threat by other groups. Male members of the whanau therefore were forced to exercise mana whenua over specified areas of Te Roroa rohe for the benefit of the people. When necessary, these leaders called on other Te Roroa communities for military support. Thus did Te Waiata exercise mana whenua over Kaihu and Maunganui Bluff, Te Maunga over Waipoua and Taiamai, Te Toko over Taiamai (Ohaeawae), Te Maara over Waimamaku and Paekoraha over Waiwhatawhata and Te Hunoke.



Na Gary Hooker