Story: Te Whānau-ā-Apanui

Page 3. Stories of Apanui Ringamutu’s family

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Rongomaihuatahi and Tūrīrangi

Apanui Waipapa of Ngāti Porou arranged for his daughter Rongomaihuatahi to marry Tūrīrangi, a descendant of Tamatekapua and Ngāriki from Tunapahore. However, war broke out between Apanui Waipapa and the Ūawa (Tolaga Bay) chief Kahukuranui, ending disastrously with Apanui Waipapa’s death.

Later, Tūrīrangi killed several of Kahukuranui’s descendants near Tunapahore. The news of their deaths spread along the East Coast and reached Kahukuranui’s people at Tolaga Bay.

Kahukuranui recruited a strong battle force and proceeded to Tunapahore to avenge the deaths. During their attack on Tūrīrangi’s , Kahukuranui was killed. Apanui Waipapa’s children showed their concern by sending their sister Rongomaihuatahi to the eastern Bay of Plenty, to find the man who had killed Kahukuranui.

She and her escorts reached Tunapahore, where she met and eventually married Tūrīrangi. Their child, Apanui Ringamutu, was to become the founding ancestor of the tribe.

Apanui Ringamutu meets his mother’s people

Six or seven years after Rongomaihuatahi married Tūrīrangi, her brothers and the people of the Ngāti Porou region attended an important meeting at Ōmāio.

On hearing of the meeting, Rongomaihuatahi set off along the coast from Tunapahore with her small son, Apanui Ringamutu. Reaching the creek behind the Ōmāio pā, Rongomaihuatahi instructed Apanui to continue while she watched from the bank of the creek. When the elders saw the boy playing with the children of Ngāti Porou, they asked them to bring him forward.

In reply to their questions, Apanui told them that he was the son of Rongomaihuatahi. On hearing this, Te Aotākaia, Rongomaihuatahi’s brother, cried out a welcome that was echoed by the Ngāti Porou contingent. When Apanui said his mother would be arriving soon, everyone expressed their joy with greetings and weeping.

Rongomaihuatahi then emerged from her hiding place and joined her people. To demonstrate his pleasure at the link between Tūrīrangi’s people and Rongomaihuatahi, her brother announced that the land between Pōtikirua and Puketapu would be given to the boy and his descendants.

How to cite this page:

Roka Paora, 'Te Whānau-ā-Apanui - Stories of Apanui Ringamutu’s family', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 June 2022)

Story by Roka Paora, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 10 Feb 2015