Manawa Kāi Tahu
Te Heke o Pūraho
Stories of Kāi Tahu Tipuna – Our Language, Our People, Our Place, Our Culture
Nā Tahu Potiki
By the time they had migrated to the Wairarapa the descendants of Tahu Pōtiki were travelling with an extended kinship group that had broken away from iwi in the East Coast and Hawkes Bay. Sometime after arriving in Wairarapa the leaders of this migrant group negotiated a trade of weapons and canoes for land and hunting grounds occupied at the time by Rakitāne. The Kāi Tahu ancestors subsequently settled many villages around the Wellington region including Paekawakawa (Island Bay), Hātaitai, Te Aro, Ōhariu, Parirua (Porirua) and Ōmakarautawhiri (Bridge Point near Tītahi Bay).
Whilst settled about Te Whakanui-a-Tara many tensions arose amongst the leadership which led to several violent encounters including the battle of Pūharakeke Tapu. This battle, and the series of events leading up to it, was the catalyst for one of the more significant moves across the strait to the South Island – the Exodus of Pūrahonui.
TE HEKE O PŪRAHO
Rākaitauheke and Tapu were chiefs who lived in the district and a disagreement regarding a canoe arose between them. Rākaitauheke, who was a son of Kurī and Tanemoehau, believed he had been insulted and awaited his moment to seek retribution. Whilst Tapu was visiting one day, Rākaitauheke returned the insult and bit the carved prow of Tapu’s canoe until he broke it, and then killed him with a strike from his patu.
Maru, who was a nephew of Rākaitauheke, was concerned as he knew that Tapu’s relations would be guarding the trails in to Wairarapa where Maru’s wives and children lived. So Maru waited in case an avenging war party was seeking revenge for Tapu’s death.
Maru waited some three months but he so desperately missed his wives and children, he and his servant went by sea via Cape Palliser and then overland to Lake Wairarapa. As they got closer to the village they were spotted by sentries and an ambush was laid.
Maru turned to his servant and said, “Should we be taken by surprise, for any reason, just follow me (move exactly as I do)”.At that very moment they walked in to the ambush and a spear was thrown at Maru. He managed to dodge the spear but the servant did not move so he was struck and killed.
Maru was seized and taken captive and the immediate intent was to execute him but his in-laws rescued him. Tūmapuhia-ā-raki (brother-in-law) stood to his side whilst his nieces, Waipuhi and Rākaitekura, stood one to his back and the other in front of him. Led by Tūmapuhia the group moved as one back in to the pā and to the house of Tūmapuhia and stayed there.
Tūmapuhia instructed his people to perform a military drill so the war parties assembled. As they gathered Maru recited a prayer before he left the house. He then observed the battalion of men perform a war dance. Once it was completed they all sat down.
Then the chiefs of the village rose and made speeches to Maru. “Heed our words Maru. You must soon return to your iwi. You should go so you and your people are safe and otherwise who knows who else may encounter this army of men.”
Maru then stood in front of the chiefs and asked, “So am I to be spared by you?”
They replied, “Yes.” He asked two more times and still the answer was “Yes. You will not be killed by us.”
“Fine,” said Maru. “When I return then I need not run.”
Maru then responded with these words.
“If there is a great rain then all the land will be wet. But if there is a large body of men one leg is in front and another behind. Therefore it may look dark above but light can be seen below. This is why I will survive you and when you pursue me tomorrow you will ultimately see me again and I will be leading a charge against you.”
The next day Maru, his children and his wives were guided by his brothers-in-law to the landing. They lit a fire and the brothers-in-law returned. When they saw the burning fire Maru’s people knew that he was alive. A canoe was sent to collect them all and they crossed over to Paekawakawa.
He went as far as Te Aro and sent messengers to all the local areas to inform everyone to gather at Te Aro. Maru rose to speak to the people about his journey, the death of his slave and his own rescue.
He then said to the tribe, “Kāti Kahukunu are coming to avenge the death of their relatives.”
I te taeka mai o kā uri o Tahu Pōtiki ki te Wairarapa i haere kātahi rātou me ō rātou whanauka i wehe i te Tai Rāwhiti me te Poroporo-ki-Huariki. Nā wai rā, nā wai rā i hui kā rakatira o te wharauka me kā rakatira o Rakitāne ki te whakarite te kaitaoka, arā nā rātou i tuku kā rākau whawhai me kā waka ki a Rakitāne, nā Rakitāne te whenua me te mahika kai i tuku ki ā rātou,
Nā tēnei kaitaoka ka nōhia katoatia kā wāhi o Te Whakanui-a-Tara arā ko Paekawakawa, Hātaitai, Te Aro, Ōhariu, Parirua me Ōmakarautawhiri.
I a rātou e noho ana ki Te Wairarapa ka tutū te puehu i waekanui i kā rakatira nunui tae atu ki te pakaka nui ko Pūharakeke Tapu. Ko tēnei pakaka tētahi pūtake kia whakawhiti mai te iwi o Kāi Tahu ki Te Waipounamu arā ko Te Heke o Pūrahonui.
TE HEKE O PŪRAHO
Ko Rākaitauheke rāua ko Tapu te tokorua o kā rakatira e noho ana i taua rohe, ā, ka tū te raru kai waekanui i a rāua, ko tētahi waka te take. I whakatakariri a Rākaitauheke, te tama a Kurī rāua ko Tanemoehau, i te mea i roko kōrero ia nā Tapu i mea atu te ki-mōkai mō Rākaitauheke. Kātahi ka tipu te riri ki tōna puku ka mahara ia mō te whakautu. Nā wai rā i haere mai a Tapu ki te kāika a Rākaitauheke. Ka haere a Rākai ki te whakarei i tō Tapu waka ka kahua te arero, ka ruia te waka, ka whati te whakarei. Kātahi ka patua a Tapu kia mate rawa.
I maharahara a Maru (iramutu a Rākaitauheke) ka tauaraihia te ara ka kore ia e tae ki Wairarapa, nō te mea i reira ōna wāhine me kā tamariki e noho ana. Ka tatari a ia me kore e haere mai he taua hei kaki i te mate o Tapu.
E toru kā marama e tatari ana ekari nā te nui o tōna aroha ki āna tamariki me āna wāhine ka haere a Maru ki te tiki i tana whānau. Ka haere rāua ko tāna ponoka mā te moana, ā, piki atu, ka heke atu ki tua, ki tātahi, ka tae ki te taha a Wairarapa moana. Ka tata rāua ki te kāika, ka kitea mai rāua e kā tūtei. Ka whakatakototia te tahapa.
Ka kī ake a Maru ki tāna mokai i muri i a ia “Kia mōhio ki te tūpono tāua ki tētahi mea nōku te kori, kia kori mai hoki koe.”
Kātahi ka eke tonu rāua ki mua o te tahapa. Ka whiua mai te tao kia Maru. Karohia e Maru, ka taha, tū kē ki tāna hoa mate rawa atu.
Ka hopukia a Maru, ka mau, ka meatia kia patua, ekari nā ōna hunaoka ia i whakarauora. Ka tū a Tūmapuhia-ā-raki (te taokete) i tōna taha, i tū a te Waipuhi i te tuarā, ko Rākaitekura i te aroaro (he iramutu te tokorua nei). Haere tonu mai a Tūmapuhia me kā irāmutu ka mau ki te taokete kia Maru, ka haria ki roto i te pā ki te whare o Tūmapuhia, ka noho i reira.
Ka whakahaua e Tūmapuhia tōna iwi kia whakaara waewae. Ka whakatakototia kā matua. Nō te takototaka a kā matua ka karakatia mai a Maru kia puta ki waho o te whare, ā, ka puta a Maru ki waho. Ka kite ia i kā matua ka whakatika ki ruka, ka puha. Ka mutu te puha ka noho ki raro.
Ka whakatika kā rakatira o te iwi ki ruka, ka whaikōrero mai ki a Maru, “Whakaroko mai e Maru ki te kupu, nau mai, haere e hoki ki tōu iwi ka kī atu kia haere kia ora ai koe me tō iwi, mā wai e tītiro mai tēnei nui tākata.”
Ka whakatika a Maru ki ruka i mua i te aroaro o āna rakatira. Ka pātai atu ia, “Kua ora nei au i a koutou?”
Whakahokia ana, “Āe.“ Tuarua, tuatoru, ko taua pātai anō. Whakahokia mai, “Āe, e kore koe e mate kua ora koe.”
“E pai ana i te mea kua ora nei au i a koutou. Ki te tae au ki roto i tōku iwi e kore au e oma. ”
Ka whakautua e Maru tēnā kupu.
“Ki te nui pata āwhā, mākū katoa te whenua. Tēnā, ko te nui tākata kotahi waewae hei hikoi ki mua kotahi waewae hei hikoi ki muri nō te mea, pōuri noa ki ruka, e mārama ana a raro. Ko tēnei ka ora nei au i a koutou, whanake,i muri i a au ka whanake āpōpō koutou kite mai ai ko taua takata nei anō kei mua o te taki e haere mai ana.”
Ao ake i te ata, ka hoki mai a Maru me kā tamariki me kā wāhine me kā taokete e ārahi mai ana i a rātou ki waho o te tauraka. Ka kā te ahi, ka hoki kā taokete. Nō te kiteka mai a te ahi, ka mōhio atu te iwi ka ora a Maru, ka hoe atu te waka ki te tiki atu i a rātou. Ka whiti mai ki Paekawakawa.
Ka haere mai ki te Aro, ka tukutukua kā karere ki kā wāhi katoa kia hui mai ki te Aro. Ka whakatika a Maru ki ruka, ka kōrero ki te iwi i tōna haere, nā te mateka o tāna ponoka me tōna whakarauoratanga. Ka kī atu a ia ki te iwi, “Kei te haere mai a Kāti Kahukunu ki te kaki i tō rātou mate.”