WAHAWAHJA RAPATA - 1865 -- 1868
edmondsallan -Hello - This ngati porou warrior chief ancestry and his deeds is well known in the area. Rapata, a leading lay member of the Anglican diocese of Waiapu, was attending a church opening at Popoti in June 1865 when the Reverend Mohi Turei brought news that Hauhau had arrived in the Waiapu Valley and were at Pukemaire. Rapata led 40 men, mostly of Te Aowera hapu, against them. Although the Hauhau won the battles of Mangaone and Tikitiki, Rapata distinguished himself by killing a Hauhau chief in single combat at Tikitiki. After Henare Nihoniho was killed at Mangaone, Rapata became the leader of Te Aowera. The Hauhau held the advantage in these early encounters, in numbers, arms and ammunition. Loyalist Ngati Porou appealed to Donald McLean, the provincial superintendent and agent for the general government; war material was sent, and James Fraser with 100 Hawke's Bay volunteers landed at the mouth of the Waiapu River to relieve Te Hatepe, the pa of Mokena Kohere. Without government assistance Ngati Porou territory might have become a Hauhau stronghold.
Having beaten the Hauhau from Te Hatepe, Fraser and Mokena stormed their position at nearby Pakairomiromi, and Rapata won a small battle at Te Horo. Rapata then went to relieve Te Mawhai, the pa built by Henare Potae at Tokomaru Bay. They drove off the Hauhau and took the neighbouring pa of Tautini and Pukepapa. After these victories Rapata shot Hauhau captives who belonged to Te Aowera. Having skirmished towards Tolaga Bay and killed 12 Hauhau in an engagement at Tahutahu-po, Rapata and his men returned to the Waiapu Valley. They joined Fraser's troops and 50 Forest Rangers in an attack on the Hauhau fortifications on Pukemaire hill. Although the attack was beaten off, the Hauhau abandoned the pa and retired to Hungahunga-toroa, further north. They surrendered there after Rapata and Major R. N. Biggs scaled the cliff above the pa and fired down into it. At the request of Mokena, Hauhau of Ngati Porou were spared and called from the pa, hapu by hapu. They were later made to swear an oath of allegiance to Queen Victoria. Most Hauhau from other tribes, captured fighting in Ngati Porou territory, escaped into the bush, but those that remained were executed. The surrender at Hungahunga-toroa eliminated the Hauhau in Waiapu, and thereafter Ngati Porou as a whole supported the government. But Hauhau continued to control Poverty Bay; in October 1865 Rapata and Mokena led 300 Ngati Porou south. Fighting on the East Coast now became intertribal. With other government troops Ngati Porou besieged the Hauhau at Waerenga-a-hika. A mass charge by Hauhau carrying white fighting flags was defeated, and after a cannon was brought into action, the pa surrendered. Prisoners from Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki were deported by the government to the Chatham Islands. It was after this battle that Te Kooti was arrested.
Fighting continued further south. On 4 January 1866 Rapata and 150 Ngati Porou landed at Wairoa to assist pro-government Ngati Kahungunu leaders Kopu Parapara and Ihaka Whaanga. The Hauhau retreated inland to Lake Waikaremoana and while pursuing them Ngati Kahungunu were ambushed at Te Kopane. Defeat and military disaster seemed imminent but Rapata fired the bush and the flames drove the Hauhau from their positions. Many prisoners were taken in the pursuit; Rapata wished to spare local Ngati Kahungunu and only execute those of Ngati Porou, Tuhoe and Rongowhakaata. This was not acceptable to Ngati Kahungunu and all the prisoners were shot. By the winter of 1866 the East Coast was largely pacified, although the Hauhau leaders Te Waru Tamatea and Eru Tamaikowha were undefeated and the Urewera was beyond the control of government forces. As you can read , their is a lot of movement and fighting going on .How did they manage to survive ? Till we meet again - Regards - edmondsallan