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Te Ihingarangi – Chapter 3

Part 3 of a history of the Karapiro-Maungatautari area by Te Kaapo Clark and Lyn Tairi for the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand in 1992.


Ko Ngati Kahupungapunga

“During this period Ngāti Kahupungapunga had many settlements along the Waikato River, including Karapiro. Towards the end of this century a Ngāti Kahupungapunga chief, Parahore, married a great-granddaughter of Turongo, Korokore. She apparently considered that she had married beneath her station. In any event she became so domineering that finally, when she ordered her husband to make a gift of preserved birds to her relatives, he turned upon her and silenced her forever with a blow of his war club.”1

Korokore’s slave escaped and conveyed the news to Whaita, Korokore’s brother. Whaita, with the help of his uncle Takihiku and cousins Tamatehura, Wairangi, Upokoiti and Pipito, exacted utu on the Ngāti Kahupungapunga. Battles were fought at Te Arowhenua, Te Pohue, Takaahiahi and Hapenui, which cleared the western side of the Waikato.1

On the eastern side Ngāti Kahupungapunga were relentlessly pursued and pa were captured at Piraunui, Hokio, Pawaiti and Puketotara along what is now Lake Arapuni. The last battle was fought at Pohaturoa, known today as Atiamuri Rock, on Lake Whakamaru, which Tainui besieged until the defenders were starved out and immediately killed. Tainui hapu took over the lands of the Ngāti Kahupungapunga.

“During this time descendants of Uenukuwhangai, youngest son of Whatihua and Ruaputahanga, went to Maungatautari, and settled on the western slopes near Puahue. It is not clear whether they were there before the war with Ngāti Kahupungapunga or whether they went there as a result of that war. They spread round Maungatautari on the northern side through Roto-o-rangi to the Cambridge district.”2

1 F L Phillips, Nga Tohua Tainui: Landmarks of Tainui (Otorohanga 1989) p50.

2 J B W Roberton, Maori Settlement of the Waikato District (Te Awamutu 1965) p21.

Illustration of Ngati Kahupungapunga from The Blade of the Club of Raukawa on raukawa.org.nz