HENERIATA TE WAIMATAO KARAKA
Author – Hune Poi FOX
Tena koe Karen,
(1) A nei etahi korero
e paana ki to tatau tipuna kia Te
The two whakapapa
that I have enclosed, one compiled by SherwoodKupenga and the other by me illustrates the affiliation
of our tipuna Te
Waimatao to all the marae’s
within the boundaries of Te Aitanga-a-Mate orbit.
(2) The father of Te Waimatao and her brother Haumaroro is Hoterene
Karaka of Te Aitanga-a-Mate hapu
mother, Heneriata was from Waimana and of Tuhoe extraction.
We have very little
information on Te
Waimatao’s mother, its an area
that I hope to research in the very near future.
Waimatao was raised at Whareponga
along with her cousin Titihuia
Whitehead by one Marara Tangikuku who according to some authority was a substantive
land owner in the whareponga area, she had no children of her own.
Waimatao as a young girl was
taken to Harataunga in the Coromandel where she married one Himiona Tinotahi., a man from that region.
By Himiona Te
Waimatao had four children, Merearihi, Himiona, Ema and Te
In a relationship
with a pakeha named Hillman, Te
Waimatao had him a son, Kawhia (Bob) Clarke.
(5) Kawhia for a while lived at Porahu and then at the
Pahi before migrating to the poverty Bay and finally settled at Te Karaka
with his large family. Eddie
Clarke a grandson of Kawhia
is currently residing at Ruatorea.
Information regarding Te Waimatao’s earlier family life in the Coromandel is rather
sparse. However, she did tell us that she use to work in the gumfields
for a living, digging for kauri gums. (kapia)
(6) Gun digging was
a major industry in the Coromandel and the far north in those days.
One of Te Waimatao;s treasured keepsake was a piece of kauri gum,
she often showed it to us and as well talked about the various use of
(7) When Merearihi
reached maturity she started to work in the schools and in time became
a teacher and was posted to a school somewhere in North Auckland. It
was during this time that Te
Waimatao decided to return to
her beloved Whareponga. She had not long given birth to her last child Te Owaina. Her fostered mother had promised her a share
of the land to live on. On her arrival at Whareponga, Te
Waimatao was informed that all
the land around Whareponga has been processed and put through the Maori
Land Court. By but a few without much iwi consultation. Te Waimatao was hurt when she realised that she was excluded
from the land claims at Whareponga. She carried this grief to her grave.
(8) I believe that
this turn of event in view of the many years that it had elapsed did
cause a lot of animosity and hurt, Te
Waimatao was not the only one
involved on the issue, there were others.
Regardless of what
had transpired during her absent in Coromandel, Te
Waimatao was not deterred by
the outcome of the land issue, her mind was made up to live the rest
of her life at Whareponga.
After a year living
at Whareponga, Te
Waimatao received word from Merearihi
that she had given birth to a baby boy and that she intended to marry
the father of her child.
After some thought Te Waimatao decided to travel north with her own child and
spend sometimes with her first mokopuna.
Waimatao at first had no objection
to the union of her daughter with her partner until she found out that
he was half Ngapuhi. This information was a bolt from the blue for Te
Waimatao, she vowed within her
to terminate the relationship at whatever the cost.
Waimatao’s resentment of Ngapuhi
people is not an isolated affair, but one shared by all Ngati-Porou
people in consequence of the unprovoked 1820’s Ngapuhi musket raids
of Ngati-Porou by Pomare the Napuhi chief and his warriors.
(10) The slaughter
of men, women and children in large numbers by these raiders from the
north were still deeply rooted in the minds and hearts of the Ngati-Porou
people and Te
Waimatao was no exception.
Waimatao concealed her disappointment
from Merearihi and at the same time was piecing together a
plot to lure her daughter back to Tairawhiti and away from her Ngapuhi
As daily life fell
into a routine and all suspense removed, Te
Waimatao was ready to carry out
As usual Merearihi
would get up in the morning, get ready and then she was off to her place
Waimatao wasted no time in packing
all the baby’s belongings together and began her journey back to Whareponga
with Merearihi’s baby as well as her own child Te
Food for the baby
was never going to be a problem because Te
Waimatao was at the time was
breast feeding her own child and therefore was able to give Merearihi’s baby all the nourishment that he needed.
In the meanwhile
back in Northland, Merearihi returned home from work that afternoon to find
the house empty, her mother and the two little ones had disappeared.
Confused and in dismay Merearihi could not understand why her mother could do
such a cruel act on her. However, the one thing she did know at that
point in time that her mother and her baby were now well on their way
back to Whareponga.
(12) Having reached
Whareponga after her long journey back from the north,
Te Waimatao was now certain that
she had accomplished the most important part of her plan and that the
final act was just a matter of waiting.
During this time Te Waimatao was not idle. She was on the prowl among the
locals, her mission to find a suitable bachelor for a husband for her
In the meanwhile
back in North Auckland the situation for Merearihi was going from bad to worse, the anxiety and
yearning was setting in, the scenario had also made it difficult for
her to focus in the work place.
(13) Merearihi decided to terminate her employment and return
to Whareponga to be with her child, but unknown to her that by doing
so, she was about to seal her fate.
Waimatao had played her cards
cleverly, the waiting was over and Merearihi was home. There was no way Te
Waimatao was going to let her
out of her sight.
At the time of Merearihi’s return to Whareponga, Te
Waimatao had not at that time
settled on who the suitor was for her daughter, granted that she had
several prospects on her mind she decided to wait and debate on the
issue a little longer, and in doing so the partner of Merearihi who’s name was Jack
Morris arrived in the area looking
for his partner and child. He was subjected to abuse and threat by Te Waimatao and also by local clans on Ngati-Porou people.
(14) The seriousness
of the threat was enough to convince the Ngapuhi that his only refuge
out of the hostile situation was elsewhere from the region, so he decided
to abandon his mission and return to the north.
Merearihi, when made aware of the state of affairs was
naturally upset but to no avail, she was forbidden by Te
Waimatao from having anything
more to do with her Ngapuhi partner.
(15) This turn of
event had played a cruel role in the life of Merearihi, a promising career, a loving partner and also
unknown to her at the time that she would never mother her first child.
Waimatao was apprehensive after
the visit by the Ngapuhi and decided to marry Merearihi sooner than later to ease the situation should
the Ngapuhi make another attempt to lure Merearihi out of the district.
Waimatao wasted no time in making
the announcement of the betrothal (Taumautanga) of Merearihi
to a local gentleman whose name was Wiremu
(16) Merearihi and Wiremu
Pahau lived and raised a large
family at Te Aotane, a place situated on the banks of the Mata river
which was accessible by Whakapaurangi Road.
Subsequent to the
above event a fever (Piwa) epidemic swept throughout the Tairawhiti
district with devastating impact on many young lives, one of the casualties
was Te Owaina the youngest child of Te
Owaina is buried at Te Kura-a-Poutama
cemetary at Ruatorea.
Waimatao kept Merearihi’s child and raised him, she named him after his
Karaka, The child of Merearihi subsequently became the father of the Fox
family living at the Porahu.
Iharaira Pokiha (Fox)
was a lone figure farming in the upper Maraehara Valley on land known
His relations who
were also farming on the land blocks close by in the locality felt sorry
for him being on his own and thought that a partner for him would infuse
some quality to improve his living standard on his property.
After much debate, Te Iharaira’s relations decided to go to Whareponga in search
for a partner for their cousin.
To meet the criteria
the woman they were seeking for was one that was sincere as well as
being resilient in order to endure the harsh and lonely environment
of the Porahu.
Waimatao was one of the kind
that fitted into that category and the very reason that brought Te Iharaira’s relations to her doorstep with their proposal.
After a brief meeting, Te Waimatao agreed to the proposition, she then gathered
up her belongings and with little Hoterene departed from Whareponga, en-route to Porahu
with the group.
accepted the arrangement with approval and respect, the union was a
success, Te Iharaira adopted Hoterene.
Sometime later Te Iharaira and Te
Waimatao adopted aunty Mate Ngata the second last child of Apirana and Arihia
Ngata, she was three (3) days
old when taken to Porahu.
(18) This was also
the case with aunty Waina
Green the daughter of Peti
and Totorewa Green, Te
Waimatao named her after her
child Te Owaina who died during the fever epidemic.
They later raised Whareraima (Wally
or Ware) Pahau, he was three
(3) years old at the time.
Te Aowera marae in
the past was a place of assembly for the Ringatu faith, Te
Waimatao was a strong advocate
of the religion and was always present during these mass.
On one visit to Te
Aowera, she decided to visit her daughter at Te Aotane, on her arrival,
she noticed that Whareraima then three(3) years old was covered in scabies
(Hakihaki) and sores (Patito) she decided to take him back
with her to the Porahu.
At the Porahu Te Waimatao submersed Whareraima in the cold Maraehara river before sunrise every
morning, by the seventh day all the scabies and sores had disappeared
from Whareraima’s body.
(19) On a visit to
a Ringatu mass at Te Aowera, Te
Waimatao took Whareraima with her, on seeing her child, Merearihi wanted him back, but Te
Waimatao refused to give him
up, so Whareraima became the fourth person to be raised at the
The name Whareraima
is associated with the vault (Whareraima) at the rear of Te Aowera
Marae, it belongs to Renata, son of Hera
(20) When Whareraima reached maturity he enrolled in the army to go
overseas to fight in the second world war. On final leave he returned
home to the Porahu. Whareraima got as far as the home crossing, Maraehara river
was running high after days of continued rain, this made it impossible
for anyone ford.
Waimatao with us the mokos came
down to the river on the home-side and Whareraima above the roar of the river on the other side
was waving and shouting out his farewell. Te
Waimatao in turn was wailing,
tears streaming down from her eyes as she bid farewell (Poroporoaki)
to her mokopuna. We asked her why she was crying, she said,
“Ware will never return home let alone his own country”
intuition was correct.
Iharaira bethrothed his niece Mei Hovell as wife for Hoterene, the marriage was a significant one in terms
of genes when the grandchildren arrives and also the knowledge that
the grandchildren are truly and equally belongs to them both.
(23) Himiona, the son of Te
Waimatao had no issue, Ema,
the second daughter married George
Kelly he was an American, they
had two children,
Girley a daughter and George
a son. When Ema died, George
senior returned to America taking
his daughter with him, leaving little
George in the care of Te Waimatao at Porahu.
boat that was taking the Kelly’s overseas sank in rough weather, George Senior went down with the boat, daughter Girley was
rescued and returned to New Zealand and I think she was raised in a
convent. However in the mid 1940’s Girley was briefly reunited with some of her relations
while nursing at Te Puia Hospital and during this time she met and married
a chap by the name of Ray
Preston who was at the time working
as a clerk for the Waiapu County Council.
After sometime in
Te Puia the couple moved to Gisborne where they raised a family. Some
members of the family still live in Gisborne today.
(24) Young George Kelly was cared for by Te
Waimatao at Porahu, he died at
a young age and had no issue.
(25) I have described Te Waimatao in my previous notes as being a big and robust
and in many ways built like a man.
The stories passed
on to us by others of her fights with members of her own sex suggested
that she never came off second best.
Men were no exception,
In one such encounter we were told that she beat the hell out of this
man by grabbing his testicles and never letting go.
Much of what has
been said about Te
Waimatao seem to portray her
s being villainous, this is not true, as a matter of fact it is quite
the opposite. We see our tipuna as a sincere, caring and loving person
to all her mokopuna’s and relations and if there was anything to mar
that personality then that would have to be her over protective nature
when it comes to her grandchildren
Waimatao’s relations are the Tamati’s, the Pipi’s, the Rangiwai’s and the Kirikino’s.
Waimatao is buried in the Porahu
cemetery with her beloved koroua Te
Iharaira, surrounded by their
moko’s those who went before them and those that followed after.
Kua pakaru te mihini.
For the purpose of analysis, I have
numbers each paragraph of the above article on our tipuna Te Waimatao
Analysis of Item (1) The following two whakapapa’s compiled by June Fox
Kupenga is self explanatory.
I have compiled a more detailed whakapapa of descendents of Hoterene Karaka Snr. This is displayed for the whanau on the Porahu
Porourangi = Hamo te rangi
= Tamateatoia RONGOMAIANIWANIWA =
= Hinehuhuritai Aoarere
= Te Wakatotara Haupunoke
Tangihaereroa Hinekehu = Tangihiakotea RONGOWHAKAATA
= Whaena Moerua
= Hinetapurangi Poroungarongo
Tutauruhira*** = Kuratau Puatehau
Te Aokapua =
Te Waiharia KAPOHANGA =
Kokere = Manukaipo
Brother of PAKANUI
HOTERENE KARAKA = W1 = Heneri (No Tuhoe) Hoani Kaikapa
= W2 = Hipora
TE WAIMATAO H1 = Himiona Tinotahi,
(Heneriatta Karaka) H2 = Hillman (Pakeha)
Kuratau = Tuteuruhira (Brother of PAKANUI
whom was killed at Nuhaka)
Te Aokapua =
Tuterangiwehiwehi = Waiharia
Kokere = Manukaipo (Daughter of KAPOHANGA)
W1 = Heneri (Tuhoe)
W2 = Hipora Rakau
TE WAIMATAO (Heneriatta Karaka) Haumaroro (Hataraka)
P1 = Jack
Morris H2 = Wiremu Pahau
Edith Mei Hovell.
Analysis of item (1)
The whakapapa indicates linkage back
to Porourangi and Uenuku.
However, the whakapapa by June
tend to indicate the generations more precisely.
Considering each generation generally
spans 25 years.
Analysis of item (2)
Hoterene Karaka Snr. was born in the district of Waiapu Cr.
1850. His first partner Heneri
Ngatai who was from Waimana is
closely related to Hopa
Henara Tukairangi. His second
wife Hipora Rakau who was born Cr. 1855 was the daughter of one Paora Tukunoa (f)
Records indicate that Hoterene and Hipora both of Waiapu married in 1872.
Hopa Hemara Tukairangi was a substantial land owner of Mareahara. His
parcel of land was won in a ballot. The area includes the hill area
facing Porahu and Mangarua. (Authority Aunty Mate Kaiwai & Uncle Tipene
Analysis of item (3)
There were two women in Whareponga during
the early/mid. 1800’s by the name Tangikuku. They were Marara and Makere
Tangikuku. One Makere being the mother of Tohunga Mohi
Aunty Mate Kaiwai)
Analysis of item (4)
Te Waimatao is a substantive land owner in the area of Kennedy
The relationship with a Pakeha man Hillman
was a one night stand from which resulted in Mauhana
Hillman (Hiramana) ‘Na te
patara wehike noiho e tiki atu” “It only took a bottle of whiskey
to lure him”
Analysis of item (5)
Whilst residing at Porahu Kawhia Hillman lived in a single room building near the stock
yards, hence the name given to the area ‘Whare-raro’
Analysis of item (6)
Self explanatory, nil comments required.
Analysis of item (7)
It appears that while Waimatao and others who had land interest in Whareponga
was absent from the area a Materoa
Reedy nee Ngarimu and others decided to put the Whareponga land
issue through the Maori land Court.
“Na Materoa taua mahi ra. Whakapatipatitia te tiati,
whakahaurangitia, atahi ano ka hainatia nga pepa whenue kia nga mea
kare no ratau te whenua”
.”Materoa was responsible for the injustice. They coerced
the Land Court Judge with alcohol and had him sign the land over to
(Authority Aunty Mate Kaiwai)
Analysis of item (8)
It is important to stress that Merearihi’s partner was more Pakeha than Maori.
During the 1960’s Mum and the whanau
met with Jack
Morris and his whanau at Rua’s
rental place in Papatoetoe – Auckland. The Morris whanau appear to
be more Pakeha.
Had Merearihi nor Jack
Morris indicated to Te waimatao that he had Ngapuhi blood in him, Te Waimatao may not have realized his tribal linkage and
therefore would not have taken the course of action she did.
Furthermore, had Merearihi married Jack
Morris she may not have died
at a very young age.
Analysis of item (9)
The 1820 Ngapuhi raids also claimed the
life of our tipuna Poroaki at Whetumatarau.
(Authority, Manuel Jose – Olive
Analysis of item (10) Nil
Analysis of item (11) Nil
Analysis of item (12) Nil
Analysis of item (13) Nil
Analysis of item (14) Nil
Analysis of item (15)
The union with Wiremu
Pahau produced seven children,
two girls and five were boys.
Of the Boys Whareraima, George and Watene were members of the28th. Maori Battalion. Of
Bella also served in the army.
The last in the Pahau family was Te Mauhue.
Merearihi died at a very young age of birth complications.
The night Merearihi passed away at Te Aotane, Te
Waimatao who was at the Porahu
saw in her dream a number of old people who had long passed away. they
were in a circle. In the middle of the circle was Merearihi.
Waimatao woke up in the middle
of the night and began crying. Te
iharaira came in and asked why
she was crying, Te
Waimatao told him of her dream.
They caught their horses in the middle of the night and rode to Te Aotane.
When they arrived Merearihi was dead, her baby Te
Mahue was barely alive. Her husband Wiremu Pahau was at the pub with his mates.
Mahua was taken back to Porahu
where he later died.
Te Mauhue was the first to be buried at the Porahu family
Rua is named after Te Mahue
‘Rua huihui Te mahua wehewehe’ (Rua
who died after separating from his mothers womb)
Analysis of Item (16) Nil
Analysis of item (17)
Te Iharaira Pokiha was a grand-nephew of Major
Ropata Wahawaha. Ropata’s sister Ritihia
Fox who had Hata-te-kani
Pokiha, father of Te Iharaira.
Te Iharaira’s mother was Manuel
Jose’s daughter Makarita.
Analysis of item (18)
Te Waimatao and Te
Iharaira worked tirelessly to
clear the thick native bush in and around Porahu to prepare it for farming.
Large native tree stump at Waitaha are indications of the tenacity of
these two pioneers.
Analysis of item (19) Nil
Analysis of item (20)
From my understanding, Maku
Turei and Puna
Mackay came with Whareraima to Porahu before they departed with the 28th.
Maori Battalion. Puna and Maku’s horse managed to swim across the swollen river,
but Whareraima’s horse could not swim. It was Puna and Maku who alerted Te
Waimatao that Whareraima was on the other side of the swollen river.
Analysis of item (21)
Whareraima was killed in action in Florence, Italy as a
consequence of an explosion at an oil and ammunition dump they were
guarding. His body was never found.
The instance he was killed, his wairua
came to Te Waimatao.
In the middle of the night Te Waimatao saw Whareraima in full military uniform standing at the end
of her bed. His head bowed.
Te Waimatao called his name, as his image faded into the
darkness. Te Waimatao began crying. Te
Iharaira came into the room to
asked why she was crying, Te
Waimatao said that Whareraima had passed away.
Late the next day the phone rang to confirm Whareraima’s passing away.
Analysis of item (22)
Mum (Edith Mei Hovell) and not dad (Hoterene
Karaka) who was genetically related
to Te Iharaira.
Te Iharaira’s mother and mum’s
grand-mother were sisters and daughters of Manuel
Jose and Tapita. Mum was Te
Te Iharaira personally approached and asked Peti Lima
for mum to marry his adopted son our dad.
Analysis of item (23)
Himiona Tinotahi resided at Porahu for sometime with us. He enlisted
and went to Gallipoli under the name of John
Anderson (Brother John
was named after Himiona) during World War 1. Soon after landing at Gallipoli
a Turkish shell exploded centimeter from them, killing those around
him. Himiona was severely wounded in the explosion. The impact
of the shell damaged most of his private parts. He was hospitalised
for a period and returned home.
Without his private parts intact, Himiona
decided both mentally and physically to become a woman. Hence his new
title Nanny Himiona.
Himiona mastered the arts of cooking and dress making.
Analysis of item (24)
Mum named me after George
Kelly, who was often referred
to as (Paapi)
Dad and Te Iharaira named me ‘Houkamau’ after the ngatiporou chief of Wharekahika (Hicks
Bay). My Maori land Court documents are under Houkamau
Analysis of item (25)
Tipene Ngata often relived some of those stories of our tipuna Te Waimatao.
Mum would often talk about the power of Te Waimatao in fights against her cousin Hukarere from Whareponga (Later to reside at Maraehara)
and even with her husband Te
Analysis of item (26) Nil
Analysis of item (27) Nil
George Kelly Clarke