KUKUTAI - WAATA- PIHIKETE - 1822 ( ? ) ------- 1867
edmondsallan - Good morning . While we are in the " Waikato " If you want to, we could learn a bit more about the people's in the area . After all it is the home of the " Maori King ". I know the Nga-puhi and other sub tribes have always tried to have the right to elect a maori " KING " from their peoples . My Grandad , "ARTHUR MILSOM EDMONDS " WHO DIED EARLY IN LIFE UP NORTH - ( In his jouarnal ) left Hundreds of short notes on people right across NZ . All marked - 'not finished 'As I begin to understand my gran', ( mental picture & his notes ) I think he must of been thinking of " Historical Ancestry Research " right across NZ. I suspose while he was in some god forsaken area, surveying and many times on his own , he would scribble some thing in his note book . I know he had made contact with " Alexander .h. Turnbull " several times as they seem to run into each other in the same area's. He also made notations on this very distinguished Gentleman . Their was no ( TV or Computer in those days )other way I can think of ,on how he gather the beginnings but unfinished papers he left behind on many Kiwis in NZ. Sorry for the deviation . My mind was just talking aloud .
" Kukutai - Waata - Pihikete " came from high ranking blood lines .Kukutai's father, also named Kukutai, was a warrior of very high standing, and a leader of Ngati Tipa of Waikato, who were settled along the coast from Kawhia Harbour to Waikato Heads, and along both banks of the Waikato River to Onewhero, above Te Kohanga. When his father was killed in 1846, Kukutai was elected to his place, over his elder brother, Erueti. Kukutai's mother was Oeroa, and he was married twice, to Rangi-hera-runga and to Rangihaia.
Kukutai was converted to Christianity by the CMS missionary Robert Maunsell, who had set up a mission station at Maraetai, at Waikato Heads, in 1839. Kukutai took the name Waata (Walter). Later he also used the name Pihikete. When Maunsell's assistants, C. S. Vlkner and J. W. Stack, moved upriver from Maraetai to Te Kohanga in 1853, to prepare the ground for Maunsell to follow in 1854, Kukutai moved his whole tribe there. He built a church on his own land at Te Kohanga.
On 20 April 1853 Kukutai gave 750 acres of land at Te Kohanga to the Crown as a site for a Church of England school for both Maori and Pakeha children. He banned alcohol from his jurisdiction, and built himself a European house. In 1857, when F. D. Fenton arrived in Waikato to advise on and set up judicial institutions, Kukutai was appointed an assessor, a position with some of the duties of a magistrate. He was also elected manager of his tribal farm. At the great meeting of Maori leaders at Paetai, near Rangiriri, to discuss proposals for a Maori kingship, in 1857, Kukutai led a contingent which paraded under the Union Jack. Although opposed to land-selling, he spoke against the establishment of the kingship, and supported Fenton's appointment as resident magistrate in Waikato.
Partly as a result of the Paetai meeting, a system of tribal councils (runanga) was set up. When Governor George Grey visited Waikato in December 1861 to attend a great meeting of Waikato people at Taupari, near Te Kohanga, and to make known his intentions regarding the Maori kingship, he installed Waata Kukutai as head magistrate of the Taupari runanga. Kukutai drew a salary of 50 per annum.
Kukutai gained a reputation as something of a spendthrift. He borrowed his salary in advance from the government, and was considered by the Waikato resident magistrate, John Gorst, to be conceited and self-serving. When British forces invaded Waikato in July 1863 Kukutai and Te Wheoro built and occupied a pa at Te Ia (Havelock, near Mercer). They transported supplies for the British from steamers at Waikato Heads upriver to the Camerontown redoubt, until the supply line was severed by a Ngati Maniapoto attack in September. Kukutai received the rank of major in the New Zealand militia. His salary was raised to 150 per annum and he also applied for a salary for his wife, because his public duties prevented him from growing food for her. What a salary . In those by gone days , that was good income . It is interesting to note how he also jumped onto the bandwaggon , got in among where the power game & where the monies is generated from . In the " waikato maori Hierarche " his ancestory is well known .I also found in finishing off a lot of my
" Grandad's notes " their is a lot of material available on most of what he tabulated . Has saved invaluable time . Till we meet again -Regards -edmondsallan