Ngati Rahiri versus Ngati Tamatera
Hart, P. (2016). Ngati Rahiri versus Ngati Tamatera. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 15), Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/10324
Conflict between Ngati Tamatera, of Ohinemuri, and Ngati Rahiri, of Te Aroha, was provoked by the latter believing that members of other hapu had received money for the Aroha Block to which they were not entitled. In addition, the two hapu disagreed over the block’s northern boundary. In early 1877 Ngati Rahiri threatened violence and even fired over the heads of several rangatira passing through their land, thereby challenging their right to intrude on it. In response, Ngati Tamatera, with the assistance of Ngati Koi, blocked the road to Te Aroha and also the Waihou River against Ngati Rahiri, although they permitted Pakeha to pass. Pakeha took a relaxed attitude to the conflict, not expecting any real battles occurring during a squabble they understood to have been caused by members of an inferior hapu having their names wrongly included in Crown grants. After Ngati Tamatera erected two small and unimpressive pa to block both road and river, Ngati Rahiri retaliated by constructing a similarly unimpressive pa at Omahu, their settlement at Te Aroha. Apart from much posturing, the only actions taken were Ngati Tamatera sending back to Omahu an aged woman who had come down the river in a canoe and Ngati Rahiri stealing pigs and peaches and firing shots near a settlement. The Native Minister and various officials, notably James Mackay, intervened to resolve the conflict, which was ended with a reconciliation initiated by Ngati Tamatera and formalized by a large meeting of both hapu at Omahu. Once this quarrel was settled, negotiations to enable the Crown to purchase the Aroha Block were resumed.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart