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Ratahi, Puhi-o-Aotea

by Aroha M. Waetford

Biography

Ko Puhi-o-Aotea Rātahi te perehitini tuatoru o te Hāhi Rātana. Heoi anō nō te wā i whānau ai ia ko Ērina Wiremu Rātana kē tōna īngoa. Nō te tau 1898, 1899 kē rānei ia i whānau ai i Ōrākeinui, ā, nō ngā tau ki muri ka noho ki tēnei wāhi, ki Rātana Pā. Ko tōna matua ko Wiremu Rātana, ā, he pākanga hoki ōna ki a Ngāti Apa, ki a Ngāti Raukawa me Ngā Wairiki. Ko tōna whaea, ko Ihipera Kōria Ērina he mema nō te Hāhi Wēteriana, ā, nō Ngāti Hine mai anō hoki ōna tātai. Ko ōna mātua nō Ngā Rauru me Ngāti Ruanui o te takiwā ki Taranaki. Nō te taha ki tōna pāpā i ahu mai te tupuna o Rātahi, te rangatira rā a Ngāhina Rātana, i a Ngāti Apa me Ngāti Raukawa. I te wā i a Ērina e tamariki ana itiiti noa ngā kōrero mōna e mōhiotia ana. Ka eke nei ōna tau ki te tekau mā iwa ka moea e ia a Panau te Mīhaia Tāmati ki Parewanui. Nō ngā hono tātai mai i a Rangitāne tōna hoa, ā, noho ake ana rāua tahi ki Rangiotū.

Nō tana māramatanga i te tau 1918 i tīmataria e te tungāne o Ērina, e Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana tana kaupapa, ā, nō te taenga atu ki te tau 1925 noho ana tēnā ko te Hāhi Rātana. He mea tautāwhi tonu e Erina te mahi a tōna tungāne, ā, i ētahi wā atu i te tekau tau atu i 1920 i haere tahi rātou ko Rātana me tana apataki, hurihuri haere ai i te motu ki te kawe i te māramatanga ki te iwi Māori. Whakamauria atu ana e Rātana te īngoa wairua o Puhi-o-Aotea ki runga i tana tuahine.

Nō te tau 1927 i mate ai a Panau Tāmati, mahue ake ana ko Puhi-o-Aotea rātou ko ana kōhungahunga tokowhā e ora ana; na, e rua tau i mua atu i mate ai tētahi atu. Nō te 23 o Hānuere i te tau 1940, ka moea e Puhi-o-Aotea a Ēpiha Rātahi i Whanganui; he mōrehu pūmau tonu nei a Ēpiha nō te Hāhi Rātana. Kotahi tā rāua tamaiti ake, kotahi te tamaiti taurima, he mokopuna nā rāua.

I te matenga atu o tōna tungāne, o Rātana i te tau 1939, hihiri tonu a Puhi-o-Aotea ki te mau i ngā mahi a te Hāhi. I te tau 1941 riro ana nāna i hura, i whakapai hoki te kōhatu kokonga o te temepara o Rātana kua oti nei te whakatikatika. Whai ake ana a Puhi-o-Aotea i tana irāmutu, i a Matiu Rātana hei perehitini mō te Hāhi Rātana i te tau 1950. I te tau 1955 tautokona ana e ia te whakahouanga i ngā akoranga o te Hāhi, ā, ka mutu nei te whakahua i te īngoa o te Māngai (o T. W. Rātana) e mau tahi nei ō rāua īngoa ko te Tokotoru Tapu i te whiti kotahi. He wā anō hoki whakawaia ana te Māori i a ia ki ngā hangarau o te ao hou tae atu ki ngā āhua o te noho tāone, ā, i pā tonu āna mahi a te Hāhi ki tōna whakaaro nui mō te oranga o te Māori. Tautokona ana hoki e ia te ahu whakamuatanga o ngā mōrehu, me te iwi Māori katoa hoki, ki te whai i te kaupapa whakaakoranga. Heoi anō, nō te marama o Ākuhata i te tau 1961 i noho ai a Puhi-o-Aotea hei mema mō te Kaupapa Mātauranga mō te Iwi Māori (Māori Education Foundation). Ahakoa te tutū o te puehu i waenganui i ngā mōrehu, tautokona ana e Puhi-o-Aotea te pukapuka mō Rātana i tuhia rā e J. McLeod Henderson i te tau 1963. I whakaae tonu ia ko te tikanga o te Hāhi o mua kia kaua e pānuitia ngā akoranga a te Hāhi, he mea whakaako ā-waha kē aua tohutohu i roto i te reo Māori. Heoi anō ko tāna kē me whakatakoto he huarahi e mārama kē ake ai ki te whakatupuranga taiohi me ngā mōrehu hoki, e hāngai ana ki te mana tino mīharo nei o tō rātou kaiwhakaū me te tino mahi i tutuki i a ia.

He hāereere tonu te mahi a Puhi-o-Aotea Rātahi huri noa i te whenua ki te tautāwhi, akiaki atu hoki i ngā mōrehu a Rātana. Nō te tau 1959 i meinga a ia hei kairangi mō te komiti he whakatikatika nei tāna mahi i te kāinga nohoanga, i Te Ōmeka, te kāinga rā i whakatūria e Rātana ki Te Poi, e tata atu rā ki Matamata. I te tau 1965 riro ana ko ia te perehitini tuatahi ki te tawhio haere i te motu, mai anō i te wā i a Rātana. Riro ana anō hoki nāna i hautū he haere manene ki te awa tapu nei, ki Te Rere-o-Kapuni kei te maunga o Taranaki, koia nei te wāhi i rongo ai a Rātana i ngā reo matakite e tangi ana.

Mate ohorere ana a Puhi-o-Aotea Rātahi i Rātana Pā i te 17 o Āperira i te tau 1966. Muia ana ia e te mano o te tangata, tae atu ki ngā mōrehu me ngā rangatira e mihi ana ki a ia. Kotahi wiki tana roa e takoto ana, ā, tanumia ana ia ki te urupā o Piki-te-Ora i Rātana Pā. Nō te tau 1969 i tukua atu ai he tohu toa whakamaharatanga ki a Puhi-o-Aotea ki te rōpū rangatahi o te Hāhi Rātana.


Hononga, rauemi nō waho

Ētahi whakaaro puaki, takenga

    Henderson, J. M. Ratana. Wellington, 1963

    Obit. Te Ao Hou No 55 (June 1966): 4


Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Aroha M. Waetford. 'Rātahi, Puhi-o-Aotea', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 1998, updated May, 2013. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/4r5/ratahi-puhi-o-aotea (accessed 24 May 2019)