Wahanui's Petition

 

Born in the late 1820s, Wahanui Huatare also known as Te Wahanui or Reihana Te Huatare - was the son of Te Ngohi-te-arau from Ngāti Maniapoto and Tārati from Ngāti Waiora. Wahanui was a natural orator who was open to new diplomatic ideas, provided that they were in full support for the growth and enhancement of his people.

After the New Zealand Wars ended in 1872, the King Country kept its doors closed to Pākehā because they strongly opposed the presence of the Government and their motives for land. Subsequently a decade later, Ngāti Maniapoto chiefs such as Wahanui, Rēwi Maniapoto, and Taonui saw the inevitability of their land being released and free to the Pākehā. Therefore, they formed a new powerful group to control the process and negotiations with the Government, while safeguarding Ngāti Maniapoto enterprises and maintaining their mana.
In June 1883, a petition was signed by Wahanui and 412 others who represented Te Rohe Pōtae, and presented to Parliament in Wellington. It voiced strong criticism from Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, and Whanganui iwi towards the Government for legislation which ran contrary to the Treaty of Waitangi. The Government was trying to open up their country by making roads & railways which disregarded the territory and possession of Ngāti Maniapoto, and Waikato lands.

The Government seemingly did not desire to meet the requests outlined in the 1883 petition. However, they partly met some of the Māori concerns pertaining to land legislation and policies that made great progress for both the Government and Te Rohe Pōtae. Wahanui was a distinguished leader who fought strongly for Ngāti Maniapoto and remains a vital part of its history.

I whānau mai a Wahanui Huatare i te kaumātuatanga mai o ngā tau 1820’s.  Ko Te Wahanui, ko Reihana Te Huatare anō ōna ingoa.  He tama nā Te Huatare (Te Ngohi-te-arau anō tōna ingoa) rāua ko Tārati o Ngāti Waiora.  He toki whakairo i te kupu.  Nāna hoki i manaaki ngā whakaaro o tēnā, o tēnā, mehemea he kaupapa hei oranga, hei whanaketanga mō tōna iwi.

Whai muri i ngā pakanga whenua o Niu Tīreni i te tau 1872, i tū te raina aukati kia kore ai te Pākehā e uru mai ki te whenua o Kīngi Kanatere.  I te mea, kīhai rātou ngā tūpuna i whakaae kia eke mai te Kāwanatanga me ō rātou kaupapa huna mō te whenua.  Ā, nāwai rā, ka kitea e ngā rangatira whaimana, e Wahanui, e Rēwi Maniapoto e Taonui hoki kei riro ō rātou whenua i te Pākehā.  Nā konā, i whakatū tētehi tira mana nui hei whakahaere i ngā whakaritenga i ngā nekeneke me te Kāwanatanga, kia mau tonu ki ngā taonga katoa o Ngāti Maniapoto me ōna mana.

I te marama o Pipiri, i te tau 1883, i hainatia tētehi petihana e Wahanui, e ētehi tangata 412 i whakakanohitia te Rohe Pōtae, ā, i hoatu ai te petihana ki te Paremata i Pōneke.  Ko tō te Petihana kaupapa he whakatakoto i ngā nawe a te iwi ki ngā kupu taurangi o runga i te Tiriti o Waitangi, kīhai te Kāwanatanga i manaaki.  I te pīrangi te Kāwanatanga kia huakina te tatau Kakepuku kia takotoria ngā huarahi me ngā ara tereina, heoi, kīhai te Kāwanatanga i aro atu ki te mana whenua o Ngāti Maniapoto me Waikato.

Kīhai te Kāwanatanga i pīrangitia te manaaki ngā hiahia o roto i te Petihana o te tau, 1883.  Heoi, i manaakitia ētehi nawe a te Māori mō roto i te ture whenua me ngā kaupapa here i puāwai mai ai mō rāua, mō te Rohe Pōtae me te Kāwanatanga.  He rangatira whaimana a Wahanui i mau ki te kawaumārō mō Ngāti Maniapoto te take, ā, ka mau tonu i te mahara, ake ake.

References

Cathy Marr, The Alienation of Māori Land in the Rohe Potae (Aotea Block), 1840-1920. December 1996.


Tags Wahanui Huatare; Reihana Te Huatare; Te Ngohi-te-arau; Ngāti Maniapoto; Tārati; Ngāti Wairoa; King Country; Te Rohe Pōtae; Pākehā; Rēwi Maniapoto; Taonui; Government; Petition; Parliament; Wellington; Ngāti Raukawa; Ngāti Tūwharetoa; Whanganui; Treaty of Waitangi.