Nga Tohu

In 1840 more than 500 chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document. Ngā Tohu, when complete, will contain a biographical sketch of each signatory.


Signing

SignatureSheetSigned asProbable nameTribeHapūSigning Occasion
156Sheet 1 — The Waitangi SheetKahu KoteTe Karamū KahukotiNgāti PāoaKaraka Bay 4 March 1840

Te Karamū Kahukoti signed the Treaty of Waitangi on 4 March 1840 at Karaka Bay, Tāmaki (Auckland). He was one of the highest-ranking Ngāti Pāoa chiefs to sign the treaty.

By December 1840, when he met with George Clarke, chief protector of aborigines, he seems to have had regrets about signing the treaty. He had heard from Europeans that ‘in the course of a few years all those chiefs who had signed the treaty would be no better than slaves; they would soon be driven from the sea coast into the interior: while those who have refused to sign it, will maintain their independence and keep their land.’ [1]

In 1842 Kahukoti built a ‘large roomy building’ at Ōrere for both Māori and Pākehā visitors.

In 1853 Kahukoti wrote a letter of farewell to Governor George Grey. He requested that Grey speak to the queen and make sure that Kahukoti did not lose his lands.

Kahukoti died in 1861 after slipping and falling down a cliff. In remembrance, the Aotearoa newspaper printed a waiata tangi (song of lament) that Kahukoti had sung at the uhunga (funeral) of Pāora Te Putu:

Kaore te po nei te mauru te hau,
Te tahuritanga ake ki te kopaenga whare;
Tahuna mai e tama ki te ahi taraiti;
Ka muri aroha au, te tonga o te ra,
Te rerenga ki te rua, mawai ano e tapapa?
Whakaopeope ai te rere mai o te ao;
Mawai au e kawe nga tumu kei Otaki?
Te kakau tango rua nahau nei e Puke.
Kei te muri koe Pene, nana rawa i tuatahi.
Nana rawa i tuapeka ki te iti i ahau;
He inumanga Rama i haurangi ai au.[2]



[1] Quoted in Paul Monin, Hauraki contested, 1769–1875, 2nd edn, Bridget Williams Books, Wellington, 2006, p. 117

[2] Quoted in Ko Aotearoa, January 1862, p. 26. An almost identical waiata and English translation can be found in A.T. Ngata and Pei Te Hurinui Jones, Ngā Mōteatea, Part One, Polynesian Society, Auckland, 2004, pp. 184–5


If you have more information about this treaty signatory please add a community contribution below or contact us at webqueries@mch.govt.nz.

How to cite this page

'Te Karamū Kahukoti', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/treaty/signatory/1-156, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 17-Jun-2016

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