Story: Kīngitanga – the Māori King movement

Te Puna o te Roimata: Haurua monument (1st of 2)

Te Puna o te Roimata: Haurua monument

In 1857 the Ngāti Maniapoto people met at Haurua, near Ōtorohanga in what was later known as the King Country, and confirmed their support for Pōtatau Te Wherowhero as the first Māori king. This occasion became known as Te Puna o te Roimata (the wellspring of tears). It was first commemorated by this monument next to State Highway Three. The photograph shows the Māori-language inscription, facing the road. The opposite side gives the English translation, which reads:

At a meeting of the Maniapoto tribe held at Haurua in the year 1857, they announced their confirmation of the selection of Potatau Te Wherowhero as the first Maori king and it was also affirmed that the kingship of the Maori people was to be hereditary in his family.

Potatau had been selected as King by a meeting of chiefs of the Maori tribes held at Pukawa in November 1856; but before he would accept the position, Potatau expressed his wish that the matter be submitted to his senior cousins among the Maniapoto tribe.

The chiefs of the Maniapoto tribe who deliberated and who made the decision were – Taonui, Hauauru, Haupokia, Te Wetini, Tuhoro and Te Kanawa.

The site of the meeting-place at Haurua is distant about 500 yards west of this spot.

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Photograph by Janine Faulknor

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How to cite this page:

Rahui Papa and Paul Meredith, 'Kīngitanga – the Māori King movement - Pōtatau Te Wherowhero, 1858–1860', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 8 December 2022)

Story by Rahui Papa and Paul Meredith, published 20 Jun 2012