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
24Sheet 9 — The East Coast SheetAera Te EkeRāwiri Te EkeTe Aitanga-a-HauitiNgāti OneoneTūranga 5-12 May 1840

Rāwiri Te Eke Tu-o-te-Rangi signed the East Coast sheet of the Treaty of Waitangi between 5 and 12 May 1840 at Tūranga (now Gisborne). He was a Ngāti Oneone rangatira (chief) of the Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti iwi (tribe). He had two sons with his principal wife Riria Taheke, Hirini Te Kani and Rutene Te Eke. Hirini succeeded Te Kani-a-Takirau as the leading rangatira on the East Coast.

In the 1820s a force from Tūranga and Hauiti led by Te Kani-a-Takirau attempted to raise a siege of Okurarenga (later renamed Kaiuku) pā (fortified village) at Māhia. The attackers were Ngāti Raukawa and either Tūhoe or Ngāti Tūwharetoa. They captured Riria and Hirini, among others, who were ransomed by Rāwiri with a pounamu mere (greenstone club) called Pahikauri.

In 1832 or 1883, the pioneer Tūranga trader John Williams Harris married Rāwiri’s cousin, Tukura.

When land purchase agent Donald McLean visited Tūranga in 1851, Rāwiri and the other Tūranga rangatira met to discuss the possibility of a European township being founded in Poverty Bay. Rāwiri was among those who opposed this suggestion and no  decision was made.

Rāwiri died in 1852 and was buried on the other side of the river from Kaiti. The Ngāti Oneone marae (meeting house) Te Poho-o-Rāwiri was named after him.


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

'Rāwiri Te Eke', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/treaty/signatory/9-24, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 9-Mar-2018

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Harata Gibson

Posted: 27 Feb 2018

Kia ora

I am a direct descendant of Rawiri > Hirini Tuahine > Heta (1) > Heta (2) > Tokorua Barney > Harata Te Kani (Gibson

Rawiri Te Eke Tu o Te Rangi was married to Riria Hine I whakatahea.

He was not buried in Kaiti... he was buried on the 'otherside' of the river (now known as the township side).