Te Watarauihi Ngahenga, often written in early records as Nga Henga, belonged to the Te Matehou hapu of Te Ati Awa. He was closely related to Ngakirikiri, also of Te Matehou. Ngakirikiri was the son of Te Kaara and the elder brother of Te Raro Te Ua, in evidence given by his niece, Maraea Te Ua, to Major Heaphy, in 1878
Nga Henga and Ngakirikiri were included in the Colonel McCleverty’s lists of original owners of 1847, for both section Hutt 19, Waiwhetu, and Hutt Section 57, Taita. In the Araheke M Reserve list of possible beneficial owners, Wataruihi was listed as Te Ngakengarahui.
Nga Henga’s successors for Taita Hutt Section 57 were Pero Te One and Paratene Tipene and Hemi Parata. Ngakirikiri’s successors were Hone Ngaukaka and the whanau of both Tipene Te Raro, and Maraea Te Ua.
Land Court evidence links Nga Henga to a sibling whose children were Rawina, mother of Heni Wereta, Teratiao and Parata Te Ua. Parata Te Ua was the father of Hemi Parata of Parihaka.
Maraea Te Ua, in a dispute with Karipa Tawhake over subsection 23 of Hutt Section 19, records some of the Wesley Maori Mission history in her evidence to Major Heaphy, 1878. Karipa Tawhake became the officiating Maori Minister at Waiwhetu and sought permission from Nga Henga to clear and cultivate Subsection 23 of Waiwhetu Hutt Section 19, so that he could grow food firstly for himself, and then for the congregation of the church, including the people of Petone. Te Karere O Poneke (newspaper) of January 1858, includes a substantial donation by Watarauihi Ngahenga amongst the list of donors of funds for the building of whare karakia at each kainga within Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
Tipene Te Raro says that the Waiwhetu whare karakia belonged to Watarauihi Nga Henga but was built by all the people. The whare karakia was not situated on Section 19, but may have been built on the old pa site at the mouth of the Hutt River. This whare karakia was washed away in a flood on January 1858?
Maraea and Tipene disputed Karipa’s right to subsection 23, saying that his work was finished once the floods had carried away the church. Tipene produced a letter from Nga Henga written 12 September 1862 where he states that he doesn’t want the land divided. It would appear that Nga Henga had “mana” over all this area, namely subsections 21-23, of Waiwhetu Hutt Section 19.
Nga Henga died in 1876.
Wellington MB no. 2, p. 122, 288
Taranaki MB no. 3, p. 341
National Archives MA AccW2218 Box 31 Misc. Court papers, John McKay 1882.
Te Karere of Poneke, (1858) ; Vol. 1, no. 17, p. 3 ; Vol. 1, no. 19, p. 2