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Te Whiu, Edward Thomas

by Sherwood Young

Biography

Ko Eruera Tāme (Edward Thomas) Te Whiu tētahi o ngā tāngata tokowhā whakamutunga i tārewatia i Aotearoa nei, he kōhuru te take. Otirā, riro ana nā tōna whakamatenga i te tau 1955, i hiwa ake ai te whakahau kia whakakorea atu te whiu a te ture rā, te whakamatenga. I whānau a Eruera i Waipapakauri i Te Tai Tokerau i te 27 o Pēpuere o te tau 1935, ko ia te mea tuawhitu o ngā tāmariki tekau mā rua a te kaimahi rā, a Tāme (Thomas) Te Whiu, rāua ko tana wahine, ko Hera (Sarah), rāua ngātahi nō Ngā Puhi. He whānau pōhara te whānau nei, ā, i a Eruera e tamariki tonu ana, he whānako kai nei tana mahi, hei whāngai ake i a rātou ko ōna tēina; nō muri mai tokowhā ngā mea taiohi o ngā tamariki i riro ko te kāwanatanga kē hei kaitiaki. Nō te wā i mutu ai tana kura, tekau mā whā ōna tau, kua oti kē i tētahi o ōna tuākana te ako i a ia ki te tāwhai, tango moni mai hoki mā te haki. He kaimeke matangareka a Eruera, me te rawe kē nei hoki ki a ia o te mahi purei piriota, mā te peti moni e kitea ake ai te toa o te tangata. E rua tekau tau nei tana pakeke i te tau 1955, ka poropeihanatia ia, he tāwhai haki, tinihanga moni te take.

I taua wā i te whare noho taitamariki Katorika ia e noho ana i te kokoru o Herne i Ākarana (Auckland). I te wā o te Aranga, i mua i tana wehenga atu ki Ōmanaia, he mea whānako e ia ētahi moni me ētahi kākahu i te whare noho; noho ake ana ia i Ōmanaia tae noa atu ki te rā whakamahara ki ngā hōia o Ahitereiria me Aotearoa (Anzac Day). I te meatanga atu ki a ia, he tāngata nei kei te kimi haere i a ia, i tukua atu ki a ia he moni, haere atu ana ia ki Whāngārei. Otirā, ngaro katoa ana aua moni i te purei piriota te mahi. Atu i reira ko tana haerenga atu tēnā ki Ngāraratunua e tata atu rā ki Kamo, e rua pō nei ia e moe ana i runga motokā, ā, i te aonga ake noho kē mai ana ia i rō hēti huna ai. I te taenga atu ki te 28 o Āperira, e makariri, e mate kai kē ana ia.

I mōhio tonu a Te Whiu ki te pouaru nei, ki a Florence Smith, whitu tekau mā rima ōna tau, kei pātata tonu e noho ana ko ia anake i tana pāmu miraka kau pakupaku noa nei. I tana taenga atu ki tana pahī, e toru tekau meniti a ia e tatari ana i muri i te whakawetonga ake i ngā raiti katoa, kātahi ka huakina ake e ia te wini o te kīhini ki te hō. I a ia i rō whare, e whāwhā ake nei ia i rō pōuri, ka kitea mai a ia e Florence Smith, ā, i a ia tonu i tana moenga ka whakakāngia mai e ia tana raiti. He mea patu, he mea hau a ia e Te Whiu, ā, mahue ake ana i a ia i runga tonu i tana moenga. Horoia atu ana e Te Whiu ngā toto i ōna ringa, ā, tahuri atu ana ia ki te paera hēki e rua nei i te tiaka hiko, ki te kai parāoa, ki te kai keke, ki te unu tī atu hoki. Tuhia ake ana e ia kia rua ngā haki. I mōhio tonu a Te Whiu kua mate kē a Smith, ka wehe atu nei ia i te whare, i te tekau mā rima meniti ki te ono karaka i te ata, haere atu ana mā raro ki Kamo, ā, atu i reira mā runga pahi ki Whāngārei.

E rua tekau mā rua pāuna, e waru herengi me te hikipene te moni o tētahi o ngā haki i riro mai i a ia i te pēke o Ahitereiria me Aotearoa (ANZ), ā, mai i reira ka rere atu nei ia mā runga pahi ki Ākarana. I tana taenga atu ki Whakapirau (Wellsford) i whakamātau anō ia ki te whakamahi i te haki tuarua mō te tekau mā tahi pāuna te nui, ēngari hore kau i taea e ia. Nō muri iho i haere atu ia ki Kirikiriroa (Hamilton). Hoi anō, nō te 1 o Mei i kitea ai e ngā hoa noho o Smith tana tūpāpaku. E ai ki te rīpoata a te kaitahumaero, a Desmond Doyle, ko te take o tōna matenga ko te tainanatitanga o tōna kakī, inarā, i te mutunga ake o te mekemeketanga a Te Whiu i tana kanohi ka kino kē nei te whara. Hāunga rā, whakamōhiotia atu ana ngā pirihimana – e takina ake nei e te āpiha rapuhara, kaitirotiro rā, e Frank Aplin o Ākarana – te āhua o te whiwhinga moni mai a Te Whiu i te haki, hopukina ake ana ia i te 12 o Mei i raro i te mana o tētahi whakahau, he takahi nōna i tana poropeihanatanga te take. Whāki atu ana ia he mea patu e ia a Smith.

Nō te 25 o Hūrae o te tau 1955 i whakawākia a Eruera Te Whiu i te Kōti Matua (Supreme Court) i Ākarana mō te kōhuru, ka riro nā te Kaiwhakawā o runga, nā Joseph Stanton te kēhi nei i whakahaere. Ko G. S. Meredith rāua ko G. D. Speight ngā kaiwhakapae a te Karauna, ā, riro ana nā L. P. Leary rāua ko D. S. Beattie i whakahaere te taha ki a Te Whiu. Ki tā te whakaatu a Leary, he māitiiti ātaahua, memene whakahoahoa, whanonga pai kē nei te āhua o Te Whiu. Ko te tohe ake nei a te kaunihera wawao, nā tana maurirere i pērā ai ia, ehara kē i te mea i te hiahia ia kia whara i a ia te patunga rā. Otirā, he wāhanga anō tō te whakamāramatanga ake mō te mahi kōhuru e kī nei, arā, mehemea ko te hiahia o te tangata kia tino whara rawa i a ia tētahi atu tangata kia pai ai te tāhaetanga, kia wātea rānei te rere atu, whāia rānei, ki te tino whakakore atu i te hā o te tangata, ā, me ka mate te tangata, he kōhuru tērā. Ki te whakaritenga a te rōpū whakawā i hara a ia. I muri i te whakataunga kia whakamatea ia, e ai ki te rīpoata a ngā rata mate hinengaro, he āhua iti kē ake nei te takohanga o Te Whiu mō āna nei mahi i te hunga taiohi noa nei ngā tau, me te tohu tonu atu hoki i te rawakore ōna i a ia e tipu ake nei.

Ahakoa tonu, whakaaetia ana e te Kaunihera Whiriwhiri (Executive Council) te whakamatenga atu, he mea whakahaere ake nei i te whare herehere o Mautini (Mount Eden) i te 18 o Ākuhata. Tino mōhiotia ake ana tōna whānau i te whare herehere nei, e ruarua nei ōna tuākana, tēina rānei i mau herehere. Tae ake ana hoki ōna mātua ki te whare herehere ki te tangi nei ki tā rāua tama, me te whakaatu anō i tā rāua whakahē i te whakaritenga. Nā te tamariki rawatanga o Te Whiu, nā te korenga i āta tau o te whakaaro me te takaonge o tōna porihanga, i hiwa ai te pātai o te maha me e tika ana te whiunga whakamatenga mō te tangata. Nō te tau 1955 i tuhia ake ai e te kaitito rā, e James K. Baxter te kōrero nei, ‘A rope for Harry Fat’, mō te taha rā ki te whakamatenga o Te Whiu me ētahi atu anō hoki, tokowhā nei rātou, i taua tau anō i tārewatia ai.

Riro ana ko te whakamatenga i a Eruera Te Whiu me wai atu anō o taua tau te take nui i whakatūria ai te komiti mō te turaki i te whiunga whakamatenga (Committee for the Abolition of Capital Punishment) i Oketopa o te tau 1955. Nō te tau 1941 kua whakakorea atu e te kāwanatanga Reipa te mahi whakamate tangata, hoi anō nō te tau 1950 kua whakahokia kētia e te Rōpū Nāhinara. Noho ake ana ko Te Whiu te mea tuarima o te hunga tāne tokowaru nei rātou i whakamatea atu i te tau 1950 ki 1957. Riro ana nā te Rōpū Reipa, kātahi nei ka pōtitia anō hei kāwanatanga, i whakatau he momo whiunga iti ake nei i ngā tāngata katoa i whakawākia kia whakamatea, ā, i noho pērā tonu, tae noa ki te wāhanga whakamutumutunga o te tau 1960. Nō muri i te pōtitanga anō o te kāwanatanga Nāhinara, i whakakorea rawatia atu te whakamatenga tangata mō te kōhuru, i runga i te pōti noa nei a te Whare Pāremata i te tau 1961.


Hononga, rauemi nō waho

Ētahi whakaaro puaki, takenga

    Leary, L. P. Not entirely legal. Christchurch, 1977

    Young, S. Guilty on the gallows. Wellington, 1998


Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Sherwood Young. 'Te Whiu, Edward Thomas', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2000. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/5t11/te-whiu-edward-thomas (accessed 15 November 2019)