Manihera Ngatoru or Manihera Te Toru was also known as Te Manihera Matangi. He was the son of Rawiri Matangi, of Ngati Rahiri, Ngati Tawhirikura, Ngati Hamua hapu of Te Ati Awa and Pikia Te Rangi of the Ngati Te Whiti and Tawhirikura hapu. His parents were first cousins. He was the grandson of Wahanga and thus descended from Aniwaniwa and Tawhirikura which made him a close relation of Te Puni and Wharepouri as well as Ngatata and Pomare. He had a sister Kakea Te Rangi whose daughter Neta Pikia married Heta Te Manurua of Ngati Ruanui. His successor was Taare Waitara the son of Hana Waitara.
Manihera left Taranaki with his father Matangi, Te Puni, Wharepouri, Wi Tako and followers in 1832 after the Battle of Otaka. They settled at Te Uruhi near Waikanae. Shortly afterwards Te Mana who was living at Petone invited Matangi and his son to come and share his cultivations at Ngauranga. Before he left for Wharekauri, Pomare, from Matiu Island, allotted areas to certain chiefs. Matangi and Manihera Te Ngatoru were given the care of Petone and Ngauranga to one side of the Ngauranga stream. Ngatata was given the area at Kumutoto and the Wellington City side of the Ngauranga stream. Mohi Ngaponga was given Te Aro and Paekawakawa. Ngati Tama claimed Kaiwharawhara, and Moturoa, claimed Pipitea through his relationship to Patukawenga. The various claims to Ngauranga were discussed in an extensive Maori land case regarding ownership in 1868.
Just after the migration to Wharekauri in 1835, Wharepouri returned to Okiwi from Wairarapa and was invited by Matangi to settle with his family at Ngauranga which he did. About 5 months before Wharepouri settled at Ngauranga Hemi Parai was invited by Ngatata-i-te-Rangi to come and settle there. He sent Mohi Ngaponga from Waikanae to cultivate at Ngauranga and then Hemi Parai's people joined him. Later because of Mohi Ngaponga's interests at Te Aro, Manihera confiscated Mohi's potatoes at Ngauranga.
The first house built at Ngauranga was that of Te Mana followed by Matangi and then Manihera Te Toru. In 1859 Manihera Te Ngatoru built a plank house at Ngauranga and lived there till he leased it to Mr Wallace in 1864. He also built a house called Te Raho o Te Kapowai at Petone. In 1844 when Major Richmond was making further payments for the Port Nicholson land he offered Manihera payment for Ngauranga during negotiations over the Deeds of Release but the money was refused. In 1847 Manihera Te Toru signed the McCleverty agreement for both Ngauranga and Petone and in September that year was made a Maori land assessor for Ngauranga. In 1860 Manihera Ngatoru, Porutu and Epiha Wairaweke represented the Ngatiawa of Wellington at the Kohimarama conference convened by Governor Gore Browne. When the Maori Land Court was established in September 1862 he appeared as a witness in various cases and Manihera Ngatoru also signed with a number of other chiefs the agreement for payment concerning Wellington City Reserves in January 1877.
Later in life he regularly used the name Te Manihera Matangi and after settlement lived for a period at Pipitea before going to live at Taita.
Te Manihera Matangi died on the 27th October 1884 and was buried in the cemetery at Christ Church Taita beside Hana Waitara who died in 1882. A memorial erected on his grave is still maintained by Matangi descendants.
Wellington MB no. 1C, p.70, 86-98, 108, 124, 131, 188
Wellington MB no. 1H, p.348, 360, 365-371
Nga Tangata taumata rau : 1769-1869. 2000 p.329
Dictionary of New Zealand Biography updated 30th September 2002.
Aubrey Matangi of Taita : personal communication.
See also documents listed in Alexander Turnbull Library Archives Catalogue.