Chief of Ngati Poutama hapu of Wanganui.
A new biography of Te Rangi Paetahi, Mete Kingi appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.
Mete-Kingi, often referred to as “the General”, is remembered for his part in the “duel” at Moutoa in 1864 between the Maoris of the river and a Hauhau band intent on sacking Wanganui township. With Major Kemp, he took troops to Opotiki to avenge the murder of Volkner and he later campaigned in Taranaki against the Hauhaus and Titokowaru. In later life there was bitter rivalry between Mete-Kingi and Kemp (Keepa te Rangihiwinui).
Mete-Kingi was more a man of peace than a warrior and on several occasions he intervened in disputes that might have flared up into open fighting. While a member of Parliament (he was elected in 1868 as the first representative for Western Maori) he pressed for an amnesty for those who had rebelled against the Government. He worked to reconcile the tribes of the Upper Wanganui with Ngati Maniopoto and the Waikato and, in 1881, visited Parihaka to try to persuade those followers of Te Whiti who came from Wanganui to return to their homes.
On 22 September 1883 Mete-Kingi died at his home in Putiki. His military funeral attracted a great crowd of mourners and onlookers, and a memorial in his honour was later erected in Market Square by the people of Wanganui. From an early age he had declared his allegiance to the Kawana-tanga, the Government, and he served it faithfully for the rest of his life.
by John March Booth, M.A., DIP.ANTHR.(LOND.), Secretary, New Zealand Maori Council, and the Polynesian Society, Wellington.
- Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives, Sess. I, 1884, G. 3
- Defenders of New Zealand, Gudgeon, T. W. (1887)
- The Press (Christchurch), 25 Mar 1903.