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Kia ū mai tō tātou māramatanga ki te take i horo ai a Mokoia i te Hakihea o te kotahi mano e waru rau e rua tekau ma toru i ngā mana nui o NgaPuhi o Te Aupouri o Ngāti Whatua me Ngāti Te Tahinga hapū o Waikato nui me hoki kau ngā kanohi ki te tau i mua noa atu i tēnei koia te wā i tae mai ai tētehi rangatira mātauranga nui ki te patu tangata me tōna pikitūranga a Te Whatanui, whoi anō he Ngāti Te Toa te tokorua rangatira nei ko Te Rauparaha te tangata ko tāna take i tae mai ai ia ki a Tūhourangi he whakaakiaki i a rātou ki te ngaki i tōna tupapaku.
Ko te mauāhara tōna ki a NgaPuhi ko te kōhuru tangata nui i riro atu i Te Totara pā nā Hongi Hika me tana taua pū tini ngerongero.
He tokoiti anahe ngā mōrehu i ora, nā te hīanga anō i hinga ai tēnei pā rangatira kai Thames tonu ētehi o ngā maioro e kitea ana. Kāti hei ngā kōrero a ngā pakeke me ngā tuhinga rau he tata ki te kōtahi māno o te tangata, wāhine mai, tāne mai, tamariki mai i kōhurungia.
Ko tētehi o rātou ko Te Wheturoa he pōtiki nā Te Whatanui nā reira he tāpeha tata ki a Te Rauparaha me Ngāti Toa whānui tonu.
Anei te pūtake o te mauāhara ki a NgaPuhi. Ka moe a Te Rauparaha i a Te Akau, he wahine rangatira nō Tūhourangi nā reira i whai huarahi ai mōna ki Tūhourangi otīa ki a Motutawa me tētehi o ōna rangatira nui ko Te Mutukurī. Māna te mate o Ngāti Te Toa e ngaki.
I pēwhea i mōhiotia ai a Te Rauparaha he tāua nō NgaPuhi e whakatata mai nei ki Ngāwaiariki – mā ngā atua kē tēnā whāwhārua e whakakī, engari he tika te whakapae kāre e roa atu i ta rāua ko Te Whatanui wehenga i Motutawa ka puta a NgaPuhi, kāre e mōhiotia te tini o te tangata engari e mau pū katoa ana rātou, ko Te Pae-o-te-te-rangi te amokura matua o te pōkaitara.
Ka puta te rautaki ki te kawe i te tokoiti o te toa mā te waka kotahi anahe ki te moutere, ka tukua te waka kōtahi, ka ūtaina ngā toa tokoiti ki te tākere o te waka ka hoea te roto-moana mai uta ki tai, ka tuaruangia, tuatorungia e hia hoki ngā wā, kāre i mōhiotia, engari ka tini ngā toa ki te poho o Te Pākira ka mātika te tini o Tuhourangi me ā rātou mere me a rātou rākau Māori katoa ka haukurungia ngā kōhamo, ka werongia ngā tupapaku, ka ngāwhāngia ngā mātenga ko te otinga atu he kai mā te popo ma te hūhū ma te hanehane.
Engari a Te Maangi te ika i rere rā i runga i te kaharoa o te kūpenga a Te Mutukurī, kāre i patua. Ka pekengia te tūwatawata ka rukua ngā wai kanakana o Rotokākahi, ka whāia e ngā toa o Tuhourangi he tokorua tangata ka hoea te wai, e whakatata atu ana ki a Te Maangi e hahau ana ki raro ki a ia ki a rātou hoe, ka mākere katoa ōna niho, ka ekengia te tauihu o te waka, ka whawhaingia rātou, ko te mutunga iho e tu ana a Te Maangi – ki uta ōna toa tata e whakatutu waewae ana, e pakō kau ana ngā pū, mā te aha i tēnā kua hereherea ō rātou ringaringa!
Kāre i mau hereherengia a Te Maangi koia te mōrehu o tēnei kōhurutanga. Ka wehe katoa rātou i Motutawa e ahu atu ki te kāinga ki roto ki te puku o te wheke, ka tū anō te riri i Ohinemutu e rua anō o rātou i patua e Ngāti Whakaue – ko tētehi mahinga tēnei e kore e warewarengia e te ope kai tangata nui o NgaPuhi a ngā rā kai te haere, ka hoki mai tēnei āhuatanga ki runga ki a rātou me te tini o Ngāi Te Arawa.
Engari ki Motutawa a Tuhourangi e peruperu ana ko Te Mutukurī te kākātarahae nō roto i te pōkaitara nui māna te ika tapu a Te Paeoterangi, he pōtiki whakahirahira nō Te Koki rāua ko Tāwaewae he tokorua rangatira nui nō Kawakawa, ka tapahingia, ka taongia,ā kaingia ake! E kai ana, e haurangi ana i te mākona o te kiko tangata e whakatakoto rautaki a NgaPuhi ki te ngaki utu.
Ko te kupu a Hongi Hika ki ana tangata, kia tāria te kōtahi tau, ka whakarewangia te ope nui ki te whakapuru i ngā waru pūmanawa o Te Arawa. Tāria te roanga atu.
The back story for the dreadful slaughter of Te Arawa hapu that took place on Mokoia Island in December of 1823 by the combined forces of NgaPuhi, Te Aupouri, Ngāti Whatua and Ngāti Te Tahinga of Waikato we began in 1822 when the sharp-witted leader of Ngāti Toa, Te Rauparaha, and his relation Te Whatanui successfully incited the Tuhourangi tribe of Te Arawa to murder a NgaPuhi party that had arrived to rest on their island of Motutawa at Rotokakahi (Green Lake).
The reason for Te Rauparaha's attack upon NgaPuhi was to avenge the killing of some of his relations by Hongi Hika and his armed musket warriors who, through deceit, overwhelmed the impregnable Te Totara pā that can today still can be seen at Thames.
In the year 1821 Te Wheturoa the nephew of Te Whatanui therefore a nephew of Te Rauparaha was in this pā when it was taken by Hongi Hika – it is estimated that near 1000 men, women and children were killed and for many decades their bones lay strewn across the pā site.
Here we find a reason for Te Rauparaha and Te Whatanui to square the account with NgaPuhi.
Te Rauparaha had married Te Akau, a woman of Tuhourangi, allowing him to very promptly capitalise on this relationship by enciting Te Mutukurī an influential leader of Tuhourangi to perform the murderous act.
How Te Rauparaha knew a Ngapuhi war party was travelling and would arrive at Motutawa is unknown, but they arrived assuring the inhabitants of the island that they had no intention of conflict.
Though still cautious, Tuhourangi agreed the strategy was to send a single waka only in order to control the flow of men to the island. A single canoe was sent over to the kāinga of Epiha to the awaiting party enabling a manageable number of men to be conveyed to the island where they were then escorted to the house of Te Mutukurī, Huiterangiora, that stood upon Te Pākira the highest point of the island.
Numbers vary as to how many men were being entertained, here we find the Ngāti Rangitihi chief Mokonuiarangi who it was said made his way around the gathering of chiefs encouraging them to commence the killing but no one did.
As soon as Te Mutukurī felt the urge to kill, the Tuhourangi tribesman arose with such ferocity that the killing was swift and without mercy.
Te Maangi was the only survivor and he managed to scale the pallisade before diving into the lake and making for the shoreline to his waiting men, who could only fire their muskets from a distance.
Te Maangi was nearly captured, he was hunted down by two men in a small canoe who, paddling hard came upon the NgaPuhi. Te Maangi took hold of the bow before clambering aboard and turning upon his pursurers.
Though severely injured he made it back to the remainder of his party who then quickly endeavoured to retreat from the area only to again be attacked this time by Ngāti Whakaue while they were travelling passing close to Ohinemutu.
A decision that the inhabitants would pay for dearly.
Upon Motutawa island the bodies of the slain were prepared for the earth ovens and the honour given to Te Mutukurī was the most valued of them all – the corpse of Te Pae-o-te-rangi.
Little did the Tuhourangi and Ngāti Whakaue know that the remainder of the NgaPuhi had successfully made it back to their homes in the North and as the war council formed Hongi decided that with his foremost generals they would spend one year preparing for the invasion and annihilation of the Arawa.
To be continued.