A few years ago Emeritus Professor Alan Ward wrote a book which included a list of the signatories of the "Deeds of Release" for the Port Nicholson area. These deeds were signed on the 26th February 1844 at Te Aro, Kumutoto, Pipitea and Tiakiwai, on the 15th March at Waiwhetu, on the 26th March at Pakuao and Kaiwharawhara, at the 2 villages of Waiariki and Te Ikamaru on the 29th March and finally at Oterongo and Ohaua on the 30th March. Professor Ward suggests that little is known about the extent of the authority of these signatories to represent their hapu.
The authors of this document are practicing librarians who are only too keenly aware how difficult it is to find information about the Maori Leaders of Port Nicholson or Wanganui-o-Tara in the 1840s. We hope that the short biographies that follow, together with portraits where they are available, will start to fill the gap.
Some of the people included have already been well covered by the Dictionary of NZ Biography, 1990-2000. Their condensed biographies have been included in this volume so that a balanced picture of the Maori leaders in the area during the settlement period can be presented as far as is possible.
We hope we have given a general overview of the hapu and iwi who had quite recently migrated to Whanganui-a-Tara from the Taranaki Rohe in the 1820 to 1840 period.
Book one focused more on Te Aro and Pipitea Pa, with Waiwhetu Marae, while book two takes in Ngauranga, Kaiwharawhara, and around the southwest coast including Ohariu to Makara.
Full copies of the two editions may be obtained from any Wellington City Libraries. Please print this order form, and send with your request (by post or email to Ann Reweti.)
This project on short biographical profiles on local tupuna was produced in conjunction with the Wellington Tenths Trust.