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Iwi of New Zealand
Rohe (location) Northland
Waka (canoe) Māmari, Ngātokimatawhaorua, Māhūhū, Ruakaramea
Population 122,214

Ngāpuhi is a Māori iwi located in the Northland region of New Zealand, and centred in the Hokianga, the Bay of Islands and Whāngārei.

Ngāpuhi has the largest affiliation of any iwi, with 125,601 people identifying as Ngāpuhi in the 2013 census,[1] and formed from 150 hapu/subtribes, with 55 marae.



The founding ancestor of Ngāpuhi is Rāhiri, the son of Tauramoko and Te Hauangiangi. Tauramoko was a descendant of Kupe, from Matawhaorua, and Nukutawhiti, of the Ngātokimatawhaorua canoe. Te Hauangiangi was the daughter of Puhi, who captained the Mataatua canoe northwards from the Bay of Plenty.

Through intermarriage with other iwi and expansionist land migration, the descendants of Rāhiri formed tribes across the Northland peninsula. These actions also fostered ties with neighbouring iwi. The name Ngāpuhi came to describe the tribes settled in the Hokianga and Bay of Islands.

Hosting the first Christian mission

Ruatara was chief of the Ngāpuhi from 1812 to his death in 1815. In 1814, he invited the Rev. Samuel Marsden to set up the first ever Christian mission in New Zealand on Ngāpuhi land. The presence of these influential Pakeha secured Ruatara's access to European plants, technology and knowledge, which he distributed to other Māori, thus increasing his mana. After the death of Ruatara, his uncle Hongi Hika became protector of the mission.

Thomas Kendall, John King, and William Hall, missionaries of the Church Missionary Society, founded the first mission station in Oihi Bay (a small cove in the north-east of Rangihoua Bay) in the Bay of Islands in 1814 and over the next decades established farms and schools in the area.[2] In 1823 Rev. Henry Williams and his wife Marianne established a mission station at Paihia.[2] In 1826 Henry's brother William and his wife Jane joined the CMS mission at Paihia. Marianne and Jane Williams established schools for the Ngāpuhi. William Williams lead the CMS missionaries in the translation of the Bible and other Christian literature; with the first chapters of the Māori Bible being printed at Paihia by William Colenso in 1827. The missionaries did not succeed in converting a single Māori until 1830 when Rawiri Taiwhanga (1818–1874), a Ngāpuhi chief, was baptised.[3][4] Ruatara and Hongi Hika themselves welcomed the missionaries' presence, but did not convert.[5] Hone Heke attended the CMS mission school at Kerikeri and Heke and his wife Ono, were baptised in 1835.[2]

Musket Wars

By the early 19th century, the Bay of Islands had become a prominent shipping port in New Zealand. Through increased trade with Europeans, initiated by Ruatara, Ngāpuhi gained greater access to European peas, including muskets. Armed with European firearms, Ngapuhi, led by Hongi Hika, launched a series of expansionist campaigns, with resounding slaughters across Northland and in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.[6]

The United Tribes of New Zealand and the Declaration of Independence

On 28 October 1835 various Northland chiefs, primarily from the Ngapuhi tribe, met at Waitangi with British resident James Busby and signed the Declaration of Independence of New Zealand, proclaiming the United Tribes of New Zealand. In 1836, the Crown received and recognized the United Tribes independence under King William IV. By 1839, 52 chiefs from around Northland and central North Island had signed the Declaration, including most Ngāpuhi chiefs and Pōtatau Te Wherowhero, ariki of the Tainui tribes of the Waikato (iwi).[7]

The Northern War / Flagstaff War

In 1840, the Ngāpuhi chiefs were all signatories to the Treaty of Waitangi. However, from 1845–1846, Ngāpuhi fought against the British Crown over treaty disputes and European encroachment and interference. The Māori forces were led by Te Ruki Kawiti and Hone Heke, who instigated the war when he chopped down the flagpole at Kororāreka to commence what is sometimes called the Flagstaff War. The British did not fight alone but had Ngāpuhi allies; Tāmati Wāka Nene had given the government assurances of the good behaviour of the Ngāpuhi and he felt that Hone Heke had betrayed his trust in instigating the Flagstaff War.

The outcome of the Flagstaff War is a matter of some debate. Although the war was widely lauded as a British victory,[8] it is clear that the outcome was somewhat more complex, even contentious. The flagstaff which had proved so controversial was not re-erected by the colonial government. Whilst the Bay of Islands and Hokianga was still nominally under British influence, the fact that the Government's flag was not re-erected was symbolically very significant. Such significance was not lost on Henry Williams, who, writing to E. G. Marsh on 28 May 1846, stating that "the flag-staff in the Bay is still prostrate, and the natives here rule. These are humiliating facts to the proud Englishman, many of whom thought they could govern by a mere name."[9][10]

The flagstaff that now stands at Kororareka was erected in January 1858 at the direction of Kawiti's son Maihi Paraone Kawiti; the symbolism of the erection of the fifth flagstaff at Kororareka by the Ngāpuhi warriors who had conducted the Flagstaff War, and not by government decree, indicates the colonial government did not want to risk any further confrontation with the Ngāpuhi.

In a symbolic act the 400 Ngāpuhi warriors involved in preparing and erecting the flagpole were selected from the ‘rebel’ forces of Kawiti and Heke – that is, Ngāpuhi from the hapu of Tāmati Wāka Nene (who had fought as allies of the British forces during the Flagstaff War), observed, but did not participate in the erection of the fifth flagpole. The restoration of the flagpole was presented by Maihi Paraone Kawiti was a voluntary act on the part of the Ngāpuhi that had cut it down on 11 March 1845, and they would not allow any other to render any assistance in this work.[11]

The legacy of Kawiti’s rebellion during the Flagstaff War was that during the time of Governor Grey and Governor Thomas Gore Browne, the colonial administrators were obliged to take account of opinions of the Ngāpuhi before taking action in the Hokianga and Bay of Islands. The continuing symbolism of the fifth flagpole at Kororareka is that it exists because of the goodwill of the Ngāpuhi.

The Waitangi Tribunal in The Te Roroa Report 1992 (Wai 38) state that "[a]fter the war in the north, government policy was to place a buffer zone of European settlement between Ngapuhi and Auckland. This matched Ngati Whatua's desire to have more settlers and townships, a greater abundance of trade goods and protection from Ngapuhi, their traditional foe." [12]

Notwithstanding the achievements of Te Ruki Kawiti and Hone Heke in pushing back colonial government control over the Ngāpuhi, in the years after the Flagstaff War over 2,000 km² of Ngāpuhi land was alienated from Māori control. A significant transfer of land occurred in 1857/1858 when Maihi Paraone Kawiti, the son of Te Ruki Kawiti, arranged for the fifth flagpole to be erected at Kororareka. The flagpole was intended as a signal to Governor Thomas Gore Browne, that Maihi did not follow his father’s path. Tawai Kawiti described the circumstances of the offer of land as being "[a]s a whariki” (or mat) for the flag to repose on, Maihi offered to the Governor all lands between Karetu and Moerewa to north of Waiomio and as far south as the Ruapekapeka Pa. This offer was accepted but was paid for at half the value.[13]

Twentieth century history

Amidst cultural and economic decline, the twentieth century saw a steady migration of Ngāpuhi Māori from Northland into other regions of the North Island, mainly Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. In part, this has seen the organisation of Ngāpuhi into large geographic and urban divisions.[14]

Ngāpuhi today

"Kia tū tika ai te whare tapu o Ngāpuhi"
May the sacred house of Ngāpuhi always stand firm

— Ngāpuhi motto

Despite such geographical diversity, the people of Ngāpuhi maintain their shared history and self-identity. The iwi is administered by Te Rūnanga ā Iwi o Ngāpuhi, based in Kaikohe. The Rūnanga acts on behalf of the iwi in consultations with the New Zealand Government. It also ensures the equitable distribution of benefits from the 1992 settlement with the Government, and undertakes resource management and education initiatives.

Waitangi Tribunal - Te Paparahi o te Raki (Wai 1040)

In 2010 the Waitangi Tribunal began hearings into the Ngāpuhi's claim that sovereignty was not given up in their signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.[15] The Tribunal, in Te Paparahi o te Raki inquiry (Wai 1040),[16] is considering the Māori and Crown understandings of He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga / The Declaration of Independence 1835 and Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi 1840.

Many of the arguments used were outlined in Paul Moon's 2002 book Te Ara Ki Te Tiriti: The Path to the Treaty of Waitangi, which argued that not only did the Māori signatories have no intention of transferring sovereignty, but that at the time the British government and James Busby did not wish to acquire it and that the developments and justifications leading to the present state were later developments.[17] A common Ngāpuhi interpretation of the Declaration of the United Tribes is that the British government was simply recognizing Māori independence and putting the world on check, merely re-asserting sovereignty that had existed from "time immemorial".[18]

The Te Paparahi o Te Raki stage 1 inquiry hearings phase was intended to reach conclusions as to the meaning and effect of the treaty for the Crown and Te Raki Māori in 1840.[19] Hearings began in May 2010 and on 14 November 2014, the Te Raki stage 1 report handover took place at Te Tii Marae, Waitangi.

The key conclusion of the stage 1 report was that the treaty signatories did not cede sovereignty in February 1840.[20][21] ‘That is, they did not cede authority to make and enforce law over their people or their territories.’ The rangatira did, however, agree ‘to share power and authority with Britain’.[22]

The consequences of the findings in the stage 1 report are being considered in the Te Raki stage 2 inquiry, with the Tribunal hearings considering issues including the immediate aftermath of the Treaty of Waitangi, the Northern War (1844–46) and Crown pre-emption (the right of the Crown to acquire Māori land that is addressed in the treaty).

Notable people

See also

Notes and references

  1. "2013 Census totals by topic". Statistics New Zealand. 2013-12-10. Retrieved 2014-02-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Carleton, Hugh (1874). "Vol. I". The Life of Henry Williams. Early New Zealand Books (ENZB), University of Auckland Library.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Orange, Claudia & Ormond Wilson. 'Taiwhanga, Rawiri fl. 1818 – 1874'. in: Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007
  4. Missionary Impact > 'A high profile conversion' by Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  5. James Belich, Making Peoples; A History of the New Zealanders, 1996, ISBN 0-8248-2517-9, pp.141-168.
  6. "The Te Roroa Report 1992 (Wai 38)". Waitangi Tribunal. 1992. Retrieved 3 Oct 2011. |chapter= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Treaty events 1800-49 - Treaty timeline". Treaty events 1800-49 - Treaty timeline. New Zealand History online. Retrieved 6 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "OFFICIAL DESPATCHES. Colonial Secretary's Office, Auckland, January 17, 1846". New Zealander, Volume 1, Issue 34,. 24 January 1846. p. 4. Retrieved 17 Sep 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Carleton, Hugh (1874). "Vol. II". The Life of Henry Williams. Early New Zealand Books (ENZB), University of Auckland Library. pp. 137–8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. James Belich, The New Zealand Wars, p.70
  11. Carleton, Hugh (1874). "Vol. II". The Life of Henry Williams. Early New Zealand Books (ENZB), University of Auckland Library. pp. 328–331.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. The Te Roroa Report 1992 (Wai 38), Waitangi Tribunal (1992) Chapter 1, Section 1.1. p 8
  13. Kawiti, Tawai (October 1956). "Heke's war in the North". Te Ao Hou / The New World. Maori Affairs Department (16): 38–46. Retrieved 10 Oct 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Events of August 2004 may have the effect of recognising Ngāti Hine as an independent iwi rather than a hapu of Ngāpuhi.
  15. Field, Michael. "Hearing starts into Ngapuhi's claims". Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved 6 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Te Paparahi o Te Raki (Northland) Te Paparahi o Te Raki (Northland) inquiry, Waitangi Tribunal
  17. "Book lies at the heart of Ngapuhi's sovereignty". NZNewsUK. New Zealand News Online. Retrieved 6 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Joshua Hitchcock sets the record straight regarding Ngapuhi, sovereignty, and legal pluralism in New Zealand". Settler Colonial Studies Blog. 3 August 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Te Manutukutuku (Issue 67)". Waitangi Tribunal. February 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Te Paparahi o Te Raki (Northland) (Wai 1040) Volume 1" (PDF). Waitangi Tribunal. 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Te Paparahi o Te Raki (Northland) (Wai 1040) Volume 2" (PDF). Waitangi Tribunal. 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Report on Stage 1 of the Te Paparahi o Te Raki Inquiry Released". Waitangi Tribunal. 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links