Rongowhakaata, Ropata Wahawaha, Te Kooti, Treatygate

Loyalist Ropata on Te Kooti

Major Ropata Wahawaha, NZC.

John Key and Appeaser-General Chris Finlayson have just awarded $22 million of your money to the East Coast tribe Rongowhakaata for wrongs supposedly done to the Hauhau mass-murderer Te Kooti (above).

The Treatygaters don’t tell you, but most Maori tribes remained loyal to the Queen in the rebel wars of the 1860s.

One of the greatest loyal fighters was Ngati Porou’s Ropata Wahawaha (top).

Here’s what he had to say in the Poverty Bay Herald of April 30, 1884, at the prospect of the newly-pardoned Te Kooti revisiting the coast where he had butchered so many innocent settlers and Maori sixteen years before.

It was said that Te Kooti had been wrongly imprisoned on the Chathams because he had been wrongly accused of treachery when fighting for the Crown.

If he was not an enemy before his imprisonment, he certainly was afterwards.

If Arthur Allan Thomas or David Bain had ‘done an Anders Brievik’ on his accusers, as Te Kooti had done again and again on his, what would we make of their claim of friendship?

Thanks to Trina for her newspaper detective work.

COMING SOON: Key and Finlayson’s latest appeasement offering: $75 million to Ngati Toa, for upsetting New Zealand’s most depraved cannibal, Te Rauparaha.

19 thoughts on “Loyalist Ropata on Te Kooti

  1. My word, John, that’s a shocking story and it clears up any misapprehension about Te Kooti for all to see the true story from the letter of Ropata Wahawaha who sounds as though he was a fine man. Terrible to see that list of murders committed at the hands of Te Kooti’s cohorts. I’m disgusted that our Prime Minister and his sidekick could award this mass murderer’s descendants anything. They have made a terrible mistake either by design or ignorance. Certainly they haven’t sussed out the true facts.

  2. How unsurprising anakereiti, that a man responsible for the butchery of children would be defended by you because he’s one of your own. It seems to be a cultural quirk of Maori women to stand by their menfolk as they commit the most violent and depraved acts, even against their own children.

  3. Yes, Anakereiti, he would have been angry. Any normal person would have been angry in those circumstances.

    But only the cruellest of the species would then tomahawk, shoot, bayonet and burn 70 innocent men, women and children.

    You seem like a good person. How can you excuse such a disproportionate response?

  4. Isnt all of our history full of disproportionate responses? Yours included? @John A

    The problem I see from my side – is that disproportionate responses appear to be unforgiveable when it is Maori involved? And if its disproportionate responses from Pakeha then you excuse it as an act of “war”.

    [JA: That sounds plausible at first blush, Anakereiti, except that you don’t supply any examples. I’m talking about a tribe receiving $22 million despite committing a series of horrific crimes. Can you give us even one instance of Europeans committed mass murder against innocent Maori civilians, and being ‘compensated’ for it to the tune of millions?]

    Gosh Seven, I dont think the traits mentioned can be attributed to Maori women only.

  5. Te Rauparaha, that was a name that was feared amongst many – but I dont think Ngati Toa are receiving settlement for the Crown upsetting Te Rauparaha. Obviously a leader of great cunning, at one stage getting a pakeha ship captain to assist in murder. I also dont think Te Rauparaha was considered depraved for being a cannibal amongst Maori of the time, it just added to the fear of him.

    [JA: Anakereiti, Ngati Toa are being paid $10 million specifically for the loss of their ‘marine empire’ – ie their ability of Te Rauparaha to cross Cook Strait and kill and eat his South Island enemies.

    The ‘pakeha ship captain’ whom you say assisted in murder, was certainly a reprehensible character.

    But his crime could not be remotely compared to Te Rauparaha’s atrocities.

    I will soon be quoting an account of him slashing open the stomach of a pregnant woman, ripping out the foetus, roasting it on a stick and eating it.

    This monster now has a stadium named after him in Porirua!

    The captain transported Te Rauparaha and his warriors on his murderous raid (and their baskets of human flesh and prisoners-to-be tortured on the return journey).

    But to imply that he took part in the butchery of innocents at Kaiapoi is more distortion on your part.

    You’re right: Te Rauparaha was not overly depraved by pre-Treaty Maori standards. He was simply the most depraved of a society where depravity was endemic.

    Why we should be compensating the descendants of the perpetrators of such routine casual cruelty boggles the mind.]

  6. Also it should be noted that the letter above was written by Rapata Wahawaha, who was involved in the murder of 126 prisoners in Ngatapa, sanctioned by Col. Whitmore. He had every reason to have a fear of Te Kooti.

    [JA: Yes, Ropata – who, as you say, was originally called Rapata after the Rongowhakaata man who enslaved him as a child – took it upon himself to execute those prisoners after the siege of Ngatapa.

    He was acting on his own initiative out of utu to avenge his enslavement. He also had Te Kooti’s recent massacre of 70 innocents at Matewhero fresh in his mind.

    This was the worst action by the Crown in the wars, and would not have happened under a British commander.

    I am not aware that Col. Whitmore ‘sanctioned’ the executions. If he did, I presume it was after the event, not before.

    The execution of prisoners, while certainly not British policy, was perfectly in accord with Maori custom.]

  7. 22 MILLION dollars . . . wow, imagine what our countries services for all New Zealanders could have done with that money.

    I wonder how far that money could have gone if it was used to help rebuild Christchurch?

    I wonder if Ned Kelly’s or William Wallaces descendants got paid out such a phenominal amount of Tax payers money because their feelings were hurt?

    I wonder how much more united our country would be if this sort of emotional manipulation used to screw taxes from hard working New Zealanders was abolished.

  8. No wonder our economy is a shambles. This rort is an absolute disgrace. I’m wondering what happened to us all being equal under the law. I don’t see any millions of dollars being given out to the white people who lost land and there were a lot of them too.

  9. Anakereiti, Ngati Toa are being paid $10 million specifically for the loss of their ‘marine empire’ – ie their ability of Te Rauparaha to cross Cook Strait and kill and eat his South Island enemies.

    – actually JA isnt it their maritime dominance, they are being paid for – not their ability to cross the Strait and eat Maori. They had plenty of choices in the North Island for “takeaways”

  10. What a murderous (insert word here). He was a serial killer to beat all serial killers, without exception. How can you possibly go back that far and ask desdendants over 100 years later to pay for what went on then. That is just utter stupidity, and Key is bribing his way to try and win the next election. What an absolute waste of money..

  11. I think you are missing the point all you ignorant people. Te Kooti was not give fair trial under the Crown System regardless of anything everyone gets a fair trial under the crown system. William Gilbert Mair was my Great Great Grandfather and even he and his Te Arawa Troops who trailed Te Kooti for many years recognised that Te Kooti did not receive fair trial. Te Kooti also enslaved many of his followers including Rongowhakata so many of them did not have an option but to join the Hauhau. You people would quiver in the realities of that time.

    1. David Bain was wrongly imprisoned too. So was Arthur Thomas. So probably was Teina Pora.

      Imagine if one of them had escaped, murdered dozens of men, women and children, and gone into hiding.

      What would you think if he justified his killing of innocents (including the Lavin children whom his Hauhaus tossed in the air and impaled on bayonets) as fair because someone else wrongfully sent him to the Chatham Islands?

      That was Te Kooti. He was a violent man in a violent land, whom the state imprisoned illegally in fear of the danger he posed.

      In return he proved why their fear, if not their solution, was justified.

      The wrongs he visited on others far outweighed those done to him.

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