Te Kanawa whatupango, also reffered to as Kanawa, was the eldest child born to Te Kawairirangi II and Urunumia. Te Kawana was a descendant of the ancestor Maniapoto, and a notable Ngāti Maniapoto warrior known within Tainui history. Te Kanawa lived at Hauturu, near the upper reaches of the Kāwhia Harbour. This location was chosen specifically for its strategic protection against potential aggressive neighbours such as Toa Rangatira of Ngāti Mango.
Because of his Maniapoto and Kinohaku ancestry, Te Kanawa was chosen to lead Ngāti Maniapoto against neighbouring foes. His skills in warrior traditions were illustrious and dreaded by Toa Rangatira whose land lay nearby on the west side of the Kāwhia Harbour.
Toa Rangatira wanted to expand their territory into Maniapoto lands. This brought about frequent battles, however, Te Kanawa and Maniapoto withstood all attempts.
Leadership changes saw Te Rauparaha claim his title as the chief of Ngāti Toa Rangatira and his descendants. Yet his activities created more conflict among the Waikato and Maniapoto tribes. This led to the dispatch of Waikato and Maniapoto forces, which expelled them from Kāwhia.
Te Kanawa whatupango (Te Kanawa-of-the-baleful-eye) is considered one of the principal ancestors because of his noble acts for Ngāti Maniapoto.
Te Reo Maori
I te rau tau 1600, i whānau mai a Te Kanawa (ko Kanawa anō tēnei). Ko ia te mātāmua o ngā tamariki a Te Kawairirangi tōmuri rāua ko Urunumia. I mōhiotia whānuitia e te motu ko Te Kanawa he hoariri taiea o Ngāti Maniapoto i roto i ngā hītoria o Tainui. Otirā, he uri whakaheke i a Maniapoto. I noho a Te Kanawa i Hauturu, kei te hauāuru o Kāwhia moana. I whiriwhirihia e Te Kanawa tēnei wāhi hei whakamarutanga mōna i onā hoariri huānga i a Toa Rangatira o Ngāti Mango e noho tata ana ki a ia.
Nā tōna whakapapa ki a Maniapoto rāua ko Kinohaku, i whiriwhirihia ia hei tātarariki mō Ngāti Maniapoto hei hoariri hoki ki ngā iwi e noho tata ana. Nā ōna pūkenga tauā whakamataku i wehi ai a Toa Rangatira ki a Te Kanawa. Nō Toa Rangatira te whenua pātata i te hauāuru o Kāwhia moana. I hiahiatia ai e Toa Rangatira te hora te remu o tōna kākahu ki ngā whenua o Maniapoto hei whenua mō rātou. Nā tērā hiahia tōna i whakatūtū ai te puehu. He otinga, i tū mārō ai te ope tauā o Te Kanawa me Maniapoto.
Nāwai rā, i ara mai ai a Te Rauparaha hei rautātaki i a Ngāti Toa Rangatira me āna uri kārangaranga. Heoi, nā āna mahi i tū ake te puehu i waenga i te iwi o Waikato me Maniapoto. Nā ēnei kairiri ka panaia rātou ko Waikato me Maniapoto i te whaitua o Kāwhia. Ko Te Kanawa whatupango, he tupuna rangatira i āna mahi whakahirahira mō tōna iwi, mō Ngāti Maniapoto.
Rohe Potae and Wahanui, Paramount Chief, John Reihana Kaati. Te Kūiti: John Reihana Kaati, 1997, pp. 15-16.
Te Kanawa; Kanawa; Te Kawairirangi; Urunumia; Ngāti Maniapoto; Tainui; Maniapoto; Hauturu; Kāwhia; Toa Rangatira; Ngāti Mango; Kinohaku; Te Rauparaha; Waikato; Te Kanawa whatupango.