Mokena Hou and his wife Rina
Hart, P. (2016). Mokena Hou and his wife Rina. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 35), Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10344
Mokena Hou had a distinguished whakapapa, but as nephew to Hou was subordinate to the latter’s son, Karauna Hou. He was born near the Te Aroha hot pools, and his future wife, Rina, who also had illustrious ancestors, including some Ngati Haua, was born in the same area. Both were affiliated to several hapu. After the Hauraki tribes fled from Ngapuhi in 1821, he would be present at the battle of Taumatawiwi in 1830 (though he did not fight) and participated in a later siege of the Ngati Haua pa at Matamata. During the 1830s and later, he mostly cultivated land and dug gum in the lower Waihou region and as well as cultivating at Te Aroha. After living at Kaitawa before the Thames goldfield opened, nearby, in 1867, he moved to Te Aroha, where he would live continuously, warding off the ambitions of Ngati Haua. When the land court investigated the ownership of blocks of land in Hauraki, he sought to obtain as many interests as possible, not always successfully, and tried to get more than his fair share of both land and revenue. A devoted Anglican, he assisted the early missionaries to the Waihou region. Wanting peaceful relations with Pakeha, he assisted both the surveying and the settlement of the Aroha Block. When gold was discovered at Te Aroha in 1880, he assisted the prospectors, opened his land for mining and for a township, and invested in some claims, expecting and obtaining a good financial reward. He may have assisted in making the hot pools a public reserve, and certainly gave sections of land within the settlement for public and religious purposes. When he and his wife died a month apart, they were fondly remembered.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart