Story: Whāngai – customary fostering and adoption

Ngātau Omahuru, the 'Fox boy'

Ngātau Omahuru, the 'Fox boy'

Ngātau Omahuru was also known as William Fox. During a battle in Taranaki in the New Zealand wars, Ngātau was kidnapped by government forces, and was eventually taken to Premier William Fox, who adopted him and raised him as his own. Ultimately, when Ngātau grew up, he returned to his family.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PA2-2494
Photograph by William James Harding

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Basil Keane, 'Whāngai – customary fostering and adoption - The custom of whāngai', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 August 2022)

Story by Basil Keane, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 Jun 2017