The story of the warrior who became the first Maori King - Pōtatau Te Wherowhero.
Details all of the momentous events of Te Wherowhero's life from about 1775 to his death in 1860, including his status as Lord of the Waikato and the famous battles and conflicts with other tribes, the raising up of Pōtatau as the First Māori King, and Mana Motuhake, the Māori Kingship, set apart as the symbol of the spiritual and cultural life of the Māori.
An epic battle, the greatest in pre-European Aotearoa - aggrieved over what he saw as the unfair division of a fish harvest, Pikau-te-rangi of Ngati Toa-rangatira raised an army of 10,000 men. He led… Audio
Te Rauangaanga used strategy and takes advantage of the terrain to defeat an army more than three times the size of his own. Fought circa 1790, the battle of Hingakaka was the greatest battles fought… Audio
The papa tatau, sacred stone talismans brought to Aotearoa from Hawaiki in the Tainui canoe, disappeared after the battle of Hingakaka. In the early 1800's several Tainui war expeditions were sent out… Audio
Skirmishes between Ngati Toa and the Waikato tribes increase and several truces are called. Te Wherowhero and the great Ngati Toa chief, Te Rauparaha are blooded as leaders in the series of reprisals… Audio
Te Rauparaha was by now well known as one of the most audacious fighting chiefs among the Tainui peoples. Twice, Ngati Toa had been forced to settle for peace with Te Rauparaha at their stronghold of… Audio
Cut off from his allies and encircled by his enemies, Te Rauparaha was forced to evacuate his outer defences around Kawhia harbour and fall back into his inner defensive citadel, at Taharoa lake. At… Audio
As battle commenced on the field of Te Kakara, Te Puoho's gun thinned the Waikato ranks. Raparapa, of Ngati Tama, pushed Te Puoho aside and, in hand-to-hand combat, claimed for himself the matangohi… Audio
Te Rauparaha's people, the Ngati Toa and their allies begin their migration south, abandoning their ancestral lands of Kawhia. Te Rangituatea, a kinsman of Te Rauparaha's, aids the flight by revealing… Audio
Tukorehu's expedition south is trapped in Pukerangiora pa. As word spreads that Waikato will invade to lift the siege of Tukorehu's forces, all the famous warriors of Taranaki are drawn to prepare for… Audio
Ngapuhi, under Hongi Hika and Te Huiputea, occupy Waikato and Ngati Maniapoto territories. A stealthy morning-star attack ends the occupation. For the next few years, Te Wherowhero resides with his… Audio
In the 1820s Te Wherowhero was almost continuously on the warpath, settling old tribal scores north and south. In the 1830's these campaigns wound down and Te Wherowhero turned his skills to peace… Audio
The early Governors - Hobson, Fitzroy and Grey - all honoured and respected Te Wherowhero. He was especially close to Sir George Grey and, with his son Tukaroto, was a frequent guest on Kawau Island… Audio
When Te Wherowhero's son Matutaera, robbed his father's treasury, he was taught the need to obey his parents and observe his duty to the people, in all circumstances. Te Wherowhero invites the aged… Audio
Pei te Hurinui Jones (9 Sep 1898 – 7 May 1976) was renowned as a Māori scholar and writer. He was also a Ngāti Maniapoto leader, interpreter, land officer, translator, genealogist and a JP. His work includes the editing and translating of three volumes of Māori chants and song-poetry into English; translating three Shakespeare plays into Māori; and, writing several books on Tainui and its people. He was made a member of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1961 and received a Waikato University honorary doctorate in 1968.