Story: Kīngitanga – the Māori King movement

King Tāwhiao's seal, 1894

This 1894 letter from King Tāwhiao to Sir George Grey is sealed with red wax bearing the imprint of the Māori king's personal seal, which had belonged to his father, Pōtatau. The seal held considerable symbolic significance for the Kīngitanga and when one of his followers, Kerei Kaihau of Waiuku, attempted to use it, Tāwhiao wrote furious letters from his throne at Maungakawa demanding that Kaihau 'deliver up the seal of Potatau'  (Timaru Herald, 26 June 1894, p. 3).

Using this item

Auckland City Libraries - Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Reference: 7-C1898

Permission of Auckland City Libraries Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Rahui Papa and Paul Meredith, 'Kīngitanga – the Māori King movement - Tāwhiao, 1860–1894', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/zoomify/37865/king-tawhiaos-seal-1894 (accessed 11 August 2020)

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