Author Archives: Paul Roberts

About Paul Roberts

Born in New Plymouth, New Zealand. I now live in Orewa, New Zealand

Arthur Huia Honeyfield, 1903 – 1996

The following are edited extracts from Arthur Huia Honeyfield, Max Avery, 1916 (with permission from Arthur’s son, John Honeyfield).

Introduction

It should have been no surprise that a great-grandson of the adventuresome and enterprising Richard (Dicky) Barrett, trader, whaler, interpreter and hotel owner, would in his own field become an entrepreneurial leader in agricultural commerce and marketing.

Arthur Huia Honeyfield stepped beyond Dicky Barrett in that he demonstrated unique ability to excel both in private enterprise and as a bureaucrat. He was a pioneer aviator, he was early on the scene in exotic afforestation, he had qualifications in law and accountancy, he established the second commercial planting of avocados in New Zealand, and he was the “money man” behind the development of New Zealand’s largest export port.

Yet, when he died in Tauranga in 1996 aged 93, his name had faded from central government and local body politics. Few remembered the extraordinary abilities he displayed in organising the supply of food to 400,000 American servicemen in the Pacific during the second world war, and his strategies for the raising of massive loans to finance the development of the Port of Tauranga. Perhaps he was little remembered because he was little honoured, and perhaps he was little honoured because in stepping beyond his great-grandfather and making a success of the huge tasks entrusted to him, Arthur Honeyfield, genial and sociable though he was, had no compunction in stepping on toes when necessary to get the job done.

Early career

Arthur was educated at Tataraimaka School followed by the New Plymouth Boys Hight School. After leaving school to help his father with mixed farming, at the age of 21 Arthur successfully applied for a job with Wright Stephenson at its Wellington head office.

Arthur studied law and accountancy after work by attending night lectures at the Victoria College. Even while studying Arthur gained rapid promotion with Wright Stephenson. At 24 he became the managing secretary of the Kiwi Bacon Company, becoming general manager in 1933. By 1935 he held positions not only with Kiwi Bacon, but Amalgamated Dairies and Anchor Products Ltd, distributing butter, cheese, milk-powder. bacon and eggs.

The bureaucrat

With the election of the Labour Government in 1935 and takeover of agricultural marketing, Arthur’s private sector roles were lost and so he joined the Internal Marketing Division of the Primary Products Marketing Board based in Auckland.

Pioneer Aviator

Arthur obtain his aircraft pilot certificate during the very early days of aero clubs forming in New Zealand. Arthur was motivated by the potential to utilise flying for business trips, as well as getting some fun out of it. He put it this way:

As a young business man with a lot of travelling to do I dreamed up the idea of flying around the country rather than use the slow metalled roads. Tauranga was then not much more than a fishing village and returning from there on one occasion I decided to take a closer look at Kauri Point, landing the Gypsy (sic) Moth on a little beach down from Hugh Moore’s place. I remember tying the plane to a fence and walking up to meet the only inhabitant, a Mr Jenkins”.

Katikati Advertiser, August 3, 1993

According to Land Title Records Arthur purchased 246 acres at kauri Point on September 10, 1934, a property that he subsequently named ‘Tatara’ no doubt in memory of the Honeyfield family property at Tataraimaka.

One of Arthur’s early solo flights was to Tataraimaka on 6 March 1932, undoubtedly demonstrating his new means of transport to his family in taking a couple of flights from there, cruising over New Plymouth.

Marriage

Arthur’s political boss (and soon to be Prime Minister) the Rt. Hon. Walter Nash, Minister of Marketing, sent a telegram message on the occasion of Arthur’s wedding to 27 year old Edith Cecilia Scheele in 1938: “Hearty congratulations and good wishes. I hope that your marriage will be as happy and promising as your association with me since you joined the staff”.

Edith was born at Killara on Sydney’s upper North Shore and came to New Zealand in her late teens.

Arthur was then aged 35, with the marriage taking place four years after purchasing the property at Kauri Point. Another 50 acres at Tahawai Peninsula was purchased in 1938.

Arthur and Edith had two children, John and Elizabeth.

The couple and their children spend many years enjoying Tatara. Honeyfield house parties were events of some consequence. The annual Christmas party was an opportunity for them to entertain business and local government acquaintances as well as friends and neighbours.

Second World War

The outbreak of war in September 1939 had a major impact on the Internal Marketing Division. Arthur Honeyfield joined the New Zealand branch of the United States/United Kingdom Joint Purchasing Board (JPB) established to share resources for the war effort.

The man the JOB looked to in anticipation of making all this possible was Arthur Huia Honeyfield, and he did not disappoint it. It was then that Honeyfield’s multi-tasking abilities came to the fore, and for the next five years he was to exploit them to the full.

Max Avery, 2016 page 21

Public Service

In 1956 Arthur entered a new sphere of public service, representing his fellow Tauranga County ratepayers on the Tauranga Harbour Board. The 1950’s were a dynamic time for the Board due to extensive investments upgrading the port to handle exports of pine forest products. Arthur went on to chair the finance committee for eight years and then becoming deputy chair in 1969.

In 1971 Arthur travelled to Japan with fellow board member R.A. Owens to examine progress being made in the shipping and handling of cargo units. They talked containerisation with port authorities, shipping and industrial executives and returned to lay the ground work for the development of Tauranga as a major container port.

Fellow board member Tony Grayburn recalled that Arthur:

… made me very welcome, and was so helpful at board meetings … His business experience and contacts were invaluable to the Port of Tauranga, particularly so in the case of dairying and horticulture. His advice was always sound and given with good humour and a loud laugh”.

Max Avery, 2016: 41

Arthur stepped down as deputy-chairman in 1972, and after 18 years of service, did not offer himself for reelection in 1974.

Arthur was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal in 1975.

The Bay of Plenty Times editorialised on Honeyfield’s death in 1996:

The status of the Port of Tauranga as the leading export port in the country and a catalyst in the economic activity in the region owes much to the talent Mr Honeyfield demonstrated during his long years as finance committee chairman. The real power base of the developing public utility lay in his hands. His years as a public servant had prepared him for working the system with the powers-that-be in Wellington to the benefit of the board.”

Max Avery, 2016: 41

Pioneering Avocados

Arthur first became interested in the avocado when he visited the United States in the course of his wartime food production activities and saw avocados being grown and marketed in California.

By 1969 Arthur had sold his dairy farm and relinquished his position as chairman of the finance committee of the Harbour Board. He was 66 years of age. What better time to start developing his remaining 52 acres, and perhaps start a new industry! He build a small grafting shed and set about learning how to propagate avocados. Grafting was a matter of trial and error, and progress was slow.

Arthur preferred to do his own marketing, drawing on his experience and contacts from earlier years. He preferred to lead, rather than to follow.

By 1987 many horticultural industry leaders believed that Arthur was responsible fo pioneering the local avocado industry.

Last years

Edith died in her 83rd year after 56 years of marriage. Arthur died in January 1996 at the age of 93.

The end came quickly. Arthur Honeyfield became ill in January, 1996 and was admitted to Tauranga Hospital and he died on the 21st.

The squire and lord of the manor of Tatara, the avocado advocate, the harbour board money man, the innovative and persevering public servant of World War II days, the dairy and pork industry leader, the pioneer aviator, had gone and Tatara was empty.

Charles and Mary Honeyfield, 1874 – 1929

Charles (Charlie) Edward Honeyfield was the youngest son of James and Caroline Honeyfield, and grandson to Dicky and Rāwinia Barrett.

Charlie married Mary Alice Harrison in 1902. The Harrison family were part of the New Zealand Company emigration scheme, arriving at New Plymouth in April 1841 on the first ship, the William Bryan (Puke Ariki). Dicky Barrett and his crew were on hand to assist the passengers onshore and to house them in temporary accomodation.

Charlie and Mary farmed for many years on one of the Honeyfield holdings at Tataraimaka before selling in 1916, eventually settling on a farm on Cambridge Road, near Te Awamutu in 1925. Charles managed the property on behalf of a partnership between himself and his brother-in-law.

In the early hours of 10 February 1927, Charlie meet with a horrible demise through being burned in his motor car. Charlie left his farm at about 3.00 a.m. to meet the Main Trunk Express at Te Awamutu. Motoring experts advanced the opinion that Charlie struck a match causing an explosion and the vehicle’s benzine flames enveloped him before he could get clear.

Charlie was described as a well-known and highly respected settler (The Honeyfields of Taranaki, 2014).

Charles Edward Honeyfield

Charlie and Mary had two children:

Arthur Huia

  • Born 31 July 1903
  • Educated at Tataraimaka School
  • Married Edith Sheele in 1938
  • Died 1996

Winifred Harita

  • Born 22 February 1905
  • Married Robert Hughes
  • Died 1985

Winifred and Robert settled in the Waikato.

Richard Barrett and Florence (Loveridge) Honeyfield

Richard was the first born Honeyfield in New Plymouth in 1853, to parents William and Sarah Honeyfield.

Richard married Flo Loveridge in 1876

According to the 1892 electoral roll, Richard was a stablekeeper owning freehold land at Fitzroy, New Plymouth. However, Richard also owned a property at 49 Whiteley Street that is still standing.

Former home of Richard Barrett Honeyfield, 49 Whiteley Street, New Plymouth

Richard and Flo had five children:

Gertrude Blanch

  • Born 1870
  • Married William Duffin in 1907
  • Nine children
  • Died in 1968.

Laurence Hugh

  • Born 1881
  • Married Rebecca Whiteside
  • Died in 1953.

Ethel Mary

  • Born 1883
  • Married Archibald Hodge
  • Seven children
  • Died in 1974.

Jessie Eliza

  • Born 1885
  • Married Edward Thomas (Tom) Petty in 1906
  • Jessie was educated in New Plymouth and became a milliner. She was was a keen croquet player and was President of the Kawaroa Club. She was said to have great enthusiasm and great organising ability. She also helped out at the West End Bowling Club. Sadly she suffered a long illness and passed away at the age of 1929, just short of her 44th birthday. Her husband Tom was a top Taranaki bowls player and was a member of the West End Bowling Club for 50 years, eventually becoming a life member. He served at various times on the Ngamotu Beach, Kawaroa Park, Centennial Park and Paritutu Reserve committees.

Gladys Sarah

  • Born 1892
  • Married Gordon Mexted
  • Four children
  • Died in 1942.
Rebecca (Whiteside) Honeyfield and her husband Lawrence (Laurie) Hugh Honeyfield and Ellen Caroline (Honeyfield) McLean
Jessie Eliza (Honeyfield) Petty
Ethel Mary (Honeyfield) Hodge
Galdys Sarah (Honeyfield) Mexted

Family Histroy of North Dorset Honeyfields from 1680

Extract from Francis Toogood’s research:

Many Honeyfields were tenant farmers who in the early days spoke in the Dorset dialect. In those days they did not read or write so the name was written as it was spoken – F was pronounced V. There are many variations of the spelling in the early records: Honeville, Honnevil, Hunneval, Honeywel, Honevil and Hunnifield are some examples. By the time the family settled at Gillingham the spelling of Honeyfield is constant (1800 until the present day).

Research goes back to a marriage at Kington Magna in 1704 when Robert Honeywell married Jane Parsons. Kington Magna is a small village four miles from Gillingham overlooking the Blackmore Vale. At least three to four generations of Honeyfields lived in the village and were baptised, married and buried there.

Robert was born about 1680 in the reign of Charles II. We don’t know where he was born. He lived through the reigns of James II, William and Mary, Queen Anne, George I and George II, and he died in 1766 in the reign of George III at Kington Magna.

Robert and Jane had three children. The eldest, Jane, appears to have been a cripple as the Church Warden’s Accounts refer to her being in distress repeatedly from 1741 to her death in 1767 at the age of 62, when the Parish paid for her coffin, digging her grave and tolling the bell at a of cost 10s 6d. The second child Robert, born 1706, married Anne Beaton in 1735 at St. Peter’s Church in Shaftesbury. Anne was born in 1714. They produced eight children, all recorded at Kington Magna.

Kington Magna is an isolated village four miles from Gillingham. The church of All Saints is in a beautiful position on the escarpment overlooking the Blackmore Vale.  Below the church is a large medieval fish pond and in the churchyard an ancient yew tree. There are no Honeyfield gravestones. In the village there are farmhouses and cottages of the 17th and 18th century. We do not know where they lived. The church records reveal Honeyfields from 1704 to 1793. The Enclosure Act around 1780 was most likely to have been the reason for the family leaving Kington Magna to settle in the Gillingham area. 

James, born in 1761, married Mary White at Sturminster Newton, on 1st February 1790. They went on to live at Huntingford, a hamlet near Gillingham. James and Mary brought up their eight children at Huntingford, a hamlet with a few farms and cottages.  It would have been a long walk to Gillingham yet all the children were baptised at St. Mary’s Church. They did not go to school.

One of their sons, James, married Charlotte Coombes and stayed in Gillingham farming 150 acres and employed three men in 1851. Their daughter, Miriam, married John Goddard and emigrated to Clinton, Iowa, USA in 1880, followed by another grandson of James who was born at Cole Street Farm, Gillingham.  

The gravestone of James is one of the few around St Mary’s Church and inscribed on it are the names of some of his children. It reads: ‘In memory of James Honeyfield who died 26th March 1836 and of Mary his wife who died July 21st 1835 aged 66; also of Ann their daughter who died January 1807 aged 10 years; also of Jane Langley the daughter of James Honeyfield who died May 15th 1881 aged 82 years. Also of William Honeyfield her son who died September15th 1880 aged 74 years. Also Jane wife of the above who died June 8th 1892 aged 75 years.’

Some members of the family were leaving Gillingham by 1825 to find work. William, a woolstapler, married Elizabeth White at Glasbury on Wye.  Others went to find work away from Dorset and agriculture in the Somerset coal mines, Bristol and South Wales.

Much of North Dorset was owned by large estates. The Morgans rented from the Duchy of Cornwall and the Honeyfields from the Duke of Westminster. These wealthy landowners were never very interested in the local people or their welfare, only in the income derived from ownership. They employed unscrupulous agents who controlled the tenants. In 1847 The Wilts and Dorset Banking Company closed their office in Gillingham following acute agricultural depression and so at that time our ancestors began to consider emigration to find a better life where the climate was more agreeable for dairy farming with no tithes to pay and less taxes, where they could acquire land and eventually be their own masters. Many of our family (the Honeyfields) emigrated.

John and Hannah Honeyfield

Between 1849 and 1856 four sons and one daughter of John and Hannah Honeyfield left Gillingham for New Zealand to be followed by a granddaughter in 1875, a grandson in 1876 and three great grandsons in 1910. In 1875 Miriam (Honeyfield) Goddard left Gillingham for the USA followed by James Benjamin Honeyfield from Cole Street Farm in 1880. John and Ellen Honeyfield, grandchildren of John and Hannah, left Park Farm in 1910 and settled in Manitoba, Canada.

They all hoped for a better life and were prepared to work hard. They never returned to their homeland and made a new life in New Zealand and North America.

John and Hannah Honeyfield were also tenant farmers just out of Gillingham, Dorset. John was born in Gillingham in 1795. James was the son of James and Mary Honeyfield and great-grandson to Robert Honeywell and Jane Parsons.

Hannah Morgan was also born in Gillingham, in 1803. Hannah grew up at Gutchpool farm near Matcomb, part of the Duchy of Cornwall estate.

Gutchpool Farm House

As tenant farmers, John and Hannah moved farms on several occasions. John and Hannah’s eldest child, Harriet, was born at Malt House Farm in 1824. Henry John Honeyfield was born in 1830 at Longmoor Farm, near Gillingham. James and Edmond were born at Park Farm. Longmoor Farm is now part of the Duchy of Cornwall and is tenanted by Colin and Stuart Rogers.

John and Hannah proved to be successful farmers. The census return of 1851 states that John was employing 12 labourers.

John and Hannah Honeyfield
John and Hannah Honeyfield
Park farm
Park farm, Gillingham

The Census Return of 1851 states that John Honeyfield, farmer of  Park Farm (300 acres), was employing 12 labourers. 

Emma Elizabeth was the 7th child of John and Hannah, born on the 20th March 1835 at Park Farm. Hannah wrote in her note book that Emma Elizabeth died on 19th April 1839 aged 4 years.

Hannah died in 1865. The next year John married Sarah Miles, a widow and 24 years younger. By this time five of the family were settled in New Zealand; Robert and John had farms of their own and only Charles and George were at home and they did not marry for another ten years.

John and Sarah retired to Peasemarsh. John made his will in 1872 and he died the same year leaving his house and some land in trust for his children. Sarah lived another 32 years so that his estate was not settled until 1904. By this time only John, James and George were living.

There is a grave stone to John and Hannah in the old churchyard, now a garden, in Cemetery Road, Gillingham.

Francis Toogood

History of Gillingham

While there is evidence of early Roman settlement, the town of Gillingham, situated in North Dorset, was established by the Saxons. A Saxon Cross shaft in the church of St Mary of the Virgin dates from the 9th century.

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Saxon Cross shaft

According to a British History Online article, Gillingham parish lies within the area of the mediaeval Royal Forest of Gillingham. More historical information about Gillingham is provided in the article, including that Gillingham was mentioned in the Doomsday Book (a census completed in 1086 ordered by King William the Conqueror), and that the Parish Church of St Mary’s dates back to the 14th century.

Gillingham has been a site of human habitation from earliest times. Today it is a small bustling industrial town on the edge of the Blackmore Vale in North Dorset at the confluence of three rivers over which pass five town bridges.

There is evidence of Roman Settlement. Later in the 12th century there was a royal hunting lodge which by 1300 had become redundant. Medieval period records mention 130 dwellings and a population of several hundred. In the 17th century the enclosure of Gillingham Forest began. The land was cleared and divided into large fields and isolated farm houses were built. A fire swept through the town in 1694 which explains why so few early buildings survive.

Industry first came to the town around 1769 with the establishment of silk spinning. The rivers provided power for the mills that came in the 18th century.

All through the ages the largest employer has been the land and until recent times the work was done by hand. The workers had a very hard life and were poorly paid, life expectancy was not good as food was not plentiful, medicine was hard to come by and smallpox outbreaks were frequent. In 1710 there were 19 deaths. In 1740 there was another outbreak and again in 1769 there was a severe outbreak. Scarlet Fever often occurred and was a killer. In 1843 there were 41 deaths. In 1859 Robert and Rhoda Honeyfield buried four little sons aged 4, 3, 2, and an infant. In 1830 farm workers became very dissatisfied as many had no work and were on ‘poor relief’ and riots followed. 1840 was the time of the Irish Famine and many thousands emigrated, some to New Zealand. In 1848 the church overseers gave £40 followed by £150 for poor people to emigrate.

From1783 to well into the 20th century there were many Honeyfields in Gillingham: 40 in the 1841 census and 31 in 1901, but now there are none. All that is left to remind us is an estate of houses in Peasemarsh named Honeyfields.

In the summer of 1820 Constable stayed with his friend, John Fisher, in the close at Salisbury. They visited Gillingham during their stay. John Fisher was also the vicar of Gillingham. It has been established that Constable was at Ecliffe on Saturday 29th July, and made a drawing in Common Mead Lane on Sunday 30th July and next day he sketched a farm cart. By 1823 Archdeacon Fisher and family had taken up residence in Gillingham and Constable was encouraged to visit. In August 1823 he travelled to Salisbury, thence to Gillingham. He completed two works during his stay including Parhams Mill. The view is not so recognisable today as the mill burned down in 1825 but the surrounding countryside accurately portrayed.

Constable painting of Parhams Mill at Gillingham

Eruera Te Puke Mahurangi and Kuramai-i-tera

Updated 14 January 2020

Eruera Te Puke Mahurangi and Kuramai-i-tera were Wakaiwa Rāwinia’s parents.

Very little is known about Eruera’s background. We do not know of his parents or when or where he was born. Some researchers have referred to him as a leading Ngāti Te Whiti rangatira. While there is no whakapapa available for him, evidence that he belonged to Ngāti Te Whiti is confirmed in the results of a census organised by Donald McLean in 1847.

Eruera was identified as one of the Ātiawa rangatira who gave some support to the Tainui/Ngāpuhi amiowhenua taua in 1819-20 when they were under siege at the Pukerangiora Pā (Smith, 2010 p362-363). That may indicate that Eruera shared some kinship ties to the northern tribes as did Kuramai-i-tera.

Kuramai-i-tera’s whakapapa in contrast is well-established and very impressive. Through her father, Tautara, Kuramai’s whakapapa tracks back to seven of the great waka that arrived in Aotearoa around 1350 (see Wakaiwa Rāwinia’s whakapapa in the family tree links page), and to several other iwi to the north and east of Taranaki. Tautara was known to belong to the Puketapu and Ngāti Rahiri hapū.

Eruera and Kuramai appear to have lived within or close to the area now known as Rotokere/Barrett’s Domain, probably at the nearby Ratapihipihi Pa or Manahi Kainga. They allocated land in that area to Dicky Barrett for his use following his marriage to Rawinia in 1828 (later known as Barrett’s Reserve C & D). Members of the Ngāmotu hapū were recorded as living at Ratapihipihi at the 1878 census of the Māori population.

Eruera and Kuramai had two other daughters, Horata Pikia and Horata Waikauri. Harata Pikia married but had no issue of her own. Some time following the siege of Otaka Pā Herata Waikauri was taken by the Waikato as a slave. Following her release she did not marry and she died in Auckland in 1887.

Kuramai-i-tera was also taken as a slave by the Tainui in a follow-up attack in 1833 and was not released to return to Ngāmotu until late 1839, joining her husband again at the time the Barrett’s were again resident at Ngāmotu.

Wakaiwa Rāwinia’s parents were part of the 300 or so who choose to remain at Ngāmotu to maintain ahi kā as opposed joining the migration south in 1832. Their lives from then until the return of Barrett and his family eight years later can only be described as being utter misery. Their bravery and perseverance deserve to be remembered.

Conditions for those who remained in and around Ngāmotu were very harsh. Ernst Diefenbach estimated only about 20 people remaining near Ngāmotu in November 1839, and that they ‘… lived a very agitated life, often harrassed by the Waikato, and seeking refuge on one of the rocky Sugar Loaf Islands, at times dispersed in the impenetrable forest at the base of Mt Egmont, sometimes making a temporary truce with their oppressors, but always regarded as an enslaved and powerless tribe’ (History of Taranaki, B Wells, Chapter 12).

One can imagine emotions being high at the sight of Dicky, Rāwinia and family at that time. Dieffenbach observed that, ‘On our arrival being known, they assembled around Mr Barrett, and with tears welcomed their old friend. In a singing strain they lamented their misfortunes and the continual inroads of the Waikato. The scene was truely affecting, and the more so when we recalled that this small remnant had sacrificed everything to the love of their native place’.

By late 1839, at the time that the NZ Company agents, including Barrett and his family, arrived back at Ngāmotu to conduct land sale negotiations, only a small residual of the original 300 remained.

Given his brave perseverance in maintaining ahi ka at Ngāmotu it is hardly surprising that Eruera was initially opposed to selling his land to the NZ Company (Caughey, 1998:134). As noted in the posting covering Barrett’s role on land sales, it was not until Barrett threatened to leave Ngāmotu once again with his family that Eruera was coerced into signing the deed of sale.

Eruera and Kuramai saw out their years living near the Hongihongi stream, close to the Barrett family at Ngāmotu. We do not know when Kuramai died. Eruera appears to have outlived Kuramai, Barrett and Rāwinia given that Poharama Te Whiti noted in his letter to Donald McLean dated 16th February 1851 that: “our elder, Eruera, who has died, and will not return as friend or guide for me and our good friend, Hone”.

Te Whānau o Wakaiwa Rāwinia Barrett: Nga Tūpuna

Updated 18 October 2019

Whakapapa

In traditional Māori society whakapapa describe the relationship between humans and their tātai (families) inclusive of kōrero (stories) about their inter-relations and relationships with the rest of nature (Te Ao Mārama – the natural world, Te Ahukaramu Charles Royal, Te Ara). I will endeavour to capture some of that in this posting.

Hilary and John Mitchell drew on whakapapa research of their own and others to include Rāwinia Barrett’s whakapapa in their publication: Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka: A History of Maori of Nelson and Marlborough, Volume 4: Nga Whanau Rangatira o Ngati Tama me Te Atiawa: The Chiefly Families of Ngati Tama and Te Atiawa (2014). While Rāwinia and Dicky Barrett only lived at Te Awaiti in the Tory Channel for about five or six years, and moved on to Wellington and then New Plymouth, the Mitchell’s stated that:

… her inclusion in this book is justified by the roles she played as rangatira wahine whaimana [female chief of highest seniority and standing]- respected by both Maori and European – in establishing and consolidating Te Atiawa in the Marlborough Sounds.

Mitchell, 2014, p347

In the whakapapa the Mitchell’s prepared for Rāwinia’s second cousin, Huriwhenua, we can see that Rāwinia’s whakapapa traces back to the earliest origins of Te Atiawa to the birth of Awanuiarangi (from the union of Rongoueroa and Tamarau-Te-Heketanga-A-Rangi – see more information about that union here: Te Atiawa ) and to the Kāhui people and the beginning of the world with Ranginui (Rangi, sky father) and Papatūānuku (Papa, earth mother) (‘Tautara’s book’, Waitara Districts History & Family’s Research Group, and Table 9.1, page 171 in Mitchell, 2014 – a photo of which is on the Family Trees/Whakapapa page). The name ‘Kāhui Ao’ implies a tribe descended from Rangi and Papa. Tamarau’s celestial whakapapa shows his decent from Ranginui and Papatūānuku down to Ao Tatai (Marsh 2010: 31).

Another inter-relationship between Te Atiawa is the connection to the Ngāti Awa. Originally from the far north of Aotearoa, Ngāti Awa migrated to the East Coast (Whakatane) and to northern Taranaki. Once in Taranaki they intermarried with the descendants of the Tokomaru waka, establishing them as part of tangata whenua of Taranaki and even more so through the marriage of Parenui-o-Te-Rangi to Maramata-Hae-Hoe of Te Kahui Tu (Marsh 2010: 32) around 1375. Ultimately the iwi adopted the name Te Atiawa, possibly to differentiate themselves from their origins with Ngāti Awa.

One of Rāwinia’s Tūpuna was Korotiwha, an ariki of Te Atiawa who resided at the Kairoa pā (inland from Lepperton) and was of the Ngāti Taweke hapū (Percy Smith, 1910). Kairoa pā is an historic site for Māori and an entry point for the Waikaahurangi track to Ketemarae pā, that linked northern Taranaki to southern Taranaki for hundreds of years in pre-European times. Korotiwha led Te Atiawa in the eventual defeat of the Nga-Potiki-taua of the Taranaki iwi some 20 years after Nga-Potiki-taua’s conquest of Te Atiawa. According to Percy Smith the small remnants of Te Atiawa who survived the earlier Nga-Potiki-taua conquest were scattered in small groups in the bush where they hid to evade capture (page 218). It took Te Atiawa 20 years to build up their numbers in order launch their reconquest. Korotiwha led the battle that took place at Omaru pā situated at the bend in the Waiongana river. The triumphant Atiawa chased and killed the retreating Nga-Potiki-taua all the way to Waiwhakaiho, completing the first stage in the reconquest of Nga-motu. It was said that so few of the Nga-Potiki-taua survived that the once powerful hapū ceased to exist (page 225). Percy Smith estimated the reconquest took place around 1760, but the whakapapa shows that Korotiwha lived 10 generations before Wakaiwa Rawinia’s grandfather, Tautara, so he would have been born around 1600. That would place the timing of the battle at around 1660, not 1760. That timing is more consistent with the population regrowth of Te Atiawa that had occurred by the 1820s.

Waka

More of Rāwinia’s whakapapa is shown in Table 19:1 (Mitchell, 2014: page 333) tracing back hundreds of years and 29 generations to the seven great waka from Hawaiki, the legendary Pacific homeland of the Māori people thought to be Rarotonga and the Tahitian region. The great waka were:

  • Aotea
  • Kahuitara
  • Tainui
  • Takitimu
  • Horouta
  • Kurahaupo
  • Matahoura

A copy of Table 19:1 can be downloaded from the Family Tree links page of this website.

To that list we can add the Tokomaru, the waka that Te Atiawa and Ngāti Tama claim as theirs through earlier kinship connections in Taranaki.

Turi captained the Aotea waka, with the journey starting from Rai’atea, Tahiti. Likely driven to seek new lands due to the growth of the population within Tahiti and the consequential demands on resources, Turi and his people set sail for Aotearoa. They landed at Aotea Harbour on the west coast of the North Island and then travelled overland to Patea, South Taranaki where they settled (Smith, 1910).

Hoturoa captained the Tainui waka, whose final resting place was in Kawhia Harbour in about 1350. The Tainui people went on to form two divisions, the Waikato to the north, and Ngati Maniapoto to the south.

The captain of the Matahoura is said to be the legendary figure of Kupe who features prominently in the mythology and oral history of some iwi. Claims about the timing of Kupe’s arrival from Hawaiki differ between tribal regions, but according to the Taranaki accounts he is regarded as a contemporary of Turi, the captain of the Aotea waka. Kupe’s wife, Kuramārõtini is said to have devised the name Aotearoa after having seen the North Island for the first time. According to Te Atiawa source, Kupe travelled down the west coast from the Auckland region, then on to the Cook Straight region.

Iwi

As noted in the posting about Dicky and Rāwinia Barrett, Wakaiwa Rāwinia was a high born woman of Te Atiawa with whakapapa links to several other iwi including Tainui (Ngāti Maniapoto/Waikato), Ngāti Ruakawa (South Waikato), Kahungauru (Hawkes Bay), Ngāti Ruanui (Taranaki), Ngāti Tama (North Taranaki), Ngāti Toa (Kawhia) as well as Ngātiawa on the west and east coasts of the North Island.

Maniapoto/Tainui

Rāwhinia’s mother, Kuramai-i-tera, was a daughter of Tautara, an ariki of Te Atiawa. Tautara’s whakapapa traces back to the Tainui waka, and through to Maniapoto, eponymous founder of Ngāti Maniapoto.

Rāwhinia’s whakapapa also connects to the first Māori king Potatau (Te Wherowhero) who was descended from Uruhina, grandson of Te Kaha-iri-rangi (ibid). More distantly in the same Tainui line, Rakamaomao’s son Tuihaua was the great-grandfather of Toa Rangatira, the eponymous ancestor of Ngāti Toa (ibid).

Maniapoto lived in the 17th century and established numerous powerful tribes. Maniapoto’s great-grandparents, Tūrongo and Māhinarangi brought together both the Tainui and East Coast tribes, something that is still celebrated today. Tūrongo and Māhinarangi’s son Raukawa was the ancestor of the Ngati Raukawa (Te Ara, Encyclopedia of NZ and here). Raukawa is an ancestor of the Māori King. There is a carved meeting house named after Māhinrangi at Turangawaewae.

The marriage of Maniapoto’s great-grandparents, Ruaputakanga (Ngāti Ruanui, South Taranaki) to Whatihua (Tainui) brought together the ariki ancestral lines of the Tainui and Aotea waka (NZETC).

Ruaputahanga, named the Whaikaahurangi track. Returning to Patea from Kawhia about 1560, Rauputakanga rested at a spot she termed Whaikaahurangi (Whaikaahu – to turn upwards; rangi – the heavens).

Maniapoto’s son, Te Kawa-iri-rangi (Te Kawa), visited the chief of Tamaki Makau Rau (Auckland) at Maungakeikei (One Tree Hill) and married his two daughters. By one, Maroa, he had a son, Tukemata. Te Kawa went to on to Taranaki where he killed a Taranaki man, and was consequently killed by Ngāti Tama. Tukemata went on to avenge his father’s death and defeated Ngāti-Tama at Taranaki. This in turn led to Ngāti Tama defeating Tukemata at Maungakeikei, killing Tukemata. Joining forces with the Waikato, Tamaki avenged his death by defeating Ngāti Tama. Out if that victory came the saying, ‘Mokau ki raro, Tamaki ki runga’ (from Mokau to the south, to Tamaki in the north) signifying they were a united people (A “Tainui” Whakapapa).

Ngāti Tama

Ngāti Tama’s whakapapa goes back to Tama Ariki, the chief navigator of the Tokomaru waka.

Tukemata’s daughter, Puraekorau, in an initiative probably designed to set aside the family feud with Ngāti Tama, married a Ngāti Tama man, Kauparera. Unfortunately the period of goodwill was short lived. In the course of a visit, Puraekorau’s uncle Runga-Te-Rangi was killed by Ngāti Tama. His body drifted away in the tide and was subsequently found by Tainui people at Hakerekere beach. It was from that unfortunate death that Puraekorau prophesied that her northern relatives would avenge the death and ‘tread the sands of Hakerekere’ (ibid) … a prophecy that came true in the 19th century.

Te Atiawa

Rawinia’s whakapapa links from Maniapoto/Tainui, to Ngāti Tama and then to Te Atiawa seems to have occurred with the marriage of Tamakura and Ko Hine Te Wiri-Noa (Ātiawa). Their son, Rehia, married Wha-Kie-Kie. They were the great-great grandparents of Tautara on his mother’s side. Interestingly, Rehia had a second wife, Korekia Kino and their son was Potaka Taniwha, Tautara’s grandfather through his father, Te Puhi Manawa (Mitchell, 2014, page 171, Table 9.1).

Potaka Taniwha

Potaka Taniwha was Rāwinia’s great–great-grandfather and his wife, Arataki was her great-great-grandmother.

Potaka is said to have belonged to the Puketapu hapū and he resided at the Nga-puke-turua pā – near Sentry Hill to the north of New Plymouth (Smith, p180). Around 1770 Potaka (who would have been elderly by then) was said to have successfully gone to the rescue of his kin of the Ngāti Tuparikino hapū who were being attacked by Rangi-apiti-rua (who was related to the Taranaki iwi and Te Atiawa, and who at that time resided at Puke-ariki) seeking utu over recent strife between the two sub-tribes.

Te Rangi-apiti-rua was apparently related to Potaka as well (possibly through Potaka’s Ngāti Ruanui ancestry), and the two went on to successfully launch an attack on the Nga-potiki-taua hapū (Taranaki iwi) who at that time occupied the land around Ngāmotu.

Although well advanced in years at the time, Potaka was also well known for the way he went about getting his second wife, Uru-kinati. Daughter of Kau-taia, chief of the Pari-hamore pā of the Ngāti Tuparikino hapū, Uru-kinati was well known for her beauty. Potaka was said to be living at Para-iti at the time, just inland from Bell Block. Para-iti was one of the reserves set aside for Māori as part of the Bell Block land purchased by the Crown (Aroha Harris, 1991). Although gauged to be an unlikely suitor for Uru-kinati due to his age, Potaka was adamant that he would posses her. With that aim he staged a siege of Pari-hamore and succeeded in having Uru-kinati turned over to him (Smith, page 187). Rāwinia was related to the Te Keha whānau through Potaka’s second wife, Urukinaki of Ngāti Tuparekino (ibid, page 430, Table 26.1).

Tautara

Rāwinia’s grandfather, Tautara, lived at the Puketapu pā, but also resided for a time at the Rewarewa pā of Ngāto Tawhirikura. He was a warrior who had a reputation of being magnanimous in victory. He participated in what became known as the Battle of Motunui in 1822 when Ngāti Toa (from Kawhia) joined forces with Te Ātiawa and defeated the Tainui invaders. Matiu Baker noted that :

Tautara was closely related to many of the leading Waikato chiefs, and out of aroha (sympathy) advocated on their behalf to ensure their safe retreat from the affray. Such considerable and sympathetic conduct was considered tika [doing the right thing] and commensurate with his rank and station.

In Mitchell, 2014 p154. In Baker, M: Tautara. In Nga Tupuna o Te Whanganui-a-Tara Vol 3, p65; quote from Wiremu Nero Te Awataia, Rangatira of Ngati Mahanga

About ten years later in 1832, Tautara, as the ariki of Te Atiawa who were at that time besieged by the revenge seeking Tainui under Te Wherowhero (and again in the position of being closely related to the leading ranks of the northern invaders) was able to meet the leaders on common ground. Tautara tried to induce his cousin, Te Kanawa to withdraw from Ōtaka but without success. In the final repulse of the enemy, when they were badly beaten and suffering loss, Te Kanawa called out to Tautara to stop the slaughter and spare them, but Tautara replied:

No! It is now too late for that; you should have listened to me earlier. You must take your well-deserved punishment.

S. Percy Smith. Incident related to the author by Tai-ariki of Pukerangiora, November 30, 1899. In History and traditions of the Maoris of the West Coast, North Island of New Zealand, prior to 1840.

Te Kanawa survived the Battle of Ōtara Pā and went on the sign the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiri) at the Waikato Heads in late March or early April 1840. Widely known as a fighting chief, Te Kanawa actually accompanied Te Wherewhero on many taua during the 1820s and 1830s. In 1857 he was one of the rangatira present when Ngāti Maniapoto confirmed their support for Te Wherowhero as the first Māori King. By all accounts Te Kanawa was quite a character, as for example:

When the geologist Ferdinand Hochstetter visited Aotea Harbour in 1859, he asked what had happened to the other tribes who had lived in the area [eg. Ngati Toa]. The chief’s response was ‘we have eaten them all up’.

NZHistory..govt.nz

There are various references to Tautara being either of the Puketapu hapū, Ngāti Rahiri or Ngati Tawhirikura. In a report commissioned by the Waitangi Tribunal, Lou Chase had Tautara down as being Tawhirikura and Puketapu (Table 11, page 50). Interestingly, the same source had Te Puni and Te Wharepouri down as being Tawhirikura.

In another report for the Waitangi Tribunal, Tony Walzl had the following to say: ‘Tautara, described by W H Skinner as an ariki and principal chief of Ngatiawa [sic], was staying at the Rewarewa pā [on the north bank of the Waiwakaiho River] when the [Amiowhenua] taua arrived (in 1821-22). His usual place of residence was Puketapu Pā, a few miles to the north’. The taua went on to stay at the Ngapuketurua pā, that had been occupied by the Puketapu and was said to belong to Rauakitua and his nephews, Te Puni and Te Wharepouri.

The taua was about 600 strong and comprised warriors from a number of iwi including Ngāti-Whatua of Kaipara, Waikato, and Ngāti–Maniapoto (History and Traditions of the Taranaki Coast, Chapter XIV – continued, Journal of the Polynesian Society).

Tautara was initially opposed to the presence of the Amiowhenua taua and arranged a siege of Ngapuketurua Pā. Differences of views within Te Atiawa eventually led to Tautara changing his mind and he went on to assist the taua to make their way back to their northern homelands.

According to a National Library record, Tautara was a chief of the Ngāti Rāhiri. Tautara had a son called Epiha Karoro (Wairauheke) who married Ruhia Pote (Te Ātiawa). They had two children, a daughter called Heni Karoro Wairauheke and a son, Epiha Karoro Wairauheke. Heni married Ihakora Te Ngarara of Waikanae. Epiha (2nd) married Katene who took her husbands name and became known as Katene Epiha Karoro. Epiha and Katene had two children; Hone Epiha Karoro (aka Hone Ngatai, Hone Keko) and Hamuera Epiha Karoro. Hone Ngatai married Roka Te Uira of Mokau (Ngati Rakei) and had one child Kohi Katene Epiha Karoro (aka Kimihangaroa, Kimi Ngatai, Kimi Matenga) who married Matenga Winara Southey Baker (Ngati Toa, Te Ati Awa, Ngati Raukawa) of Otaki. Epiha (1st) was a known correspondent to Colenso and lived at Mokau, Taranaki, where he died about 1887.

Epiha Karoro corresponded with Donald McLean (a government official involved in land negotiations between the government and Māori) in February 1851 asking that certain lands belonging to Ngāti Rāhiri be held over from sale by the government pending an inquiry into the justice of the case.

Rāwinia’s first cousin, Tuarau (son of Rāwinia’s aunty Hineone), who was a rangatira of the Ngati Tawhirikura hapū, also signed Te Tiriti at Port Nicholson in April 1840.

Dicky and Råwinia Barrett

While Rāwinia’s husband, Dicky Barrett, was employed as an agent and interpreter by the New Zealand Company’s land sale negotiations with Māori, her family ties were also of crucial importance. The Mitchell’s stated that:

[Barrett’s] success of behalf of the Company possibly had very little to do with Barrett’s “translations’, but derived more from the genealogical ties of his wife, Wakaiwa Rāwinia, the the leading rangatira in Taranaki, Waikanae, Port Nicholson and Queen Charlotte Sound.

H & J Mitchell, 2014, p345

Indeed, it has been noted elsewhere on this website that the New Zealand Company’s decision to engage Barrett was in not small part due to Rāwinia’s family ties.

On the subject of Rāwinia’s family ties during the early period of colonial settlements, the Mitchell’s also noted that:

Through the siblings of her mother Kuramai-i-tera, Wakaiwa Rawinia was related to a number of prominent chiefs of the colonial period on both sites of Cook Strait. Her Uncle, Epiha Te Korokoro (a.k.a. Waireweke) represented Wellington hapu at the Kohimarama Conference called by Governor Thomas Gore Brown in 1860; Waireweke’s first wife was Hana Te Unuhi, sister of Merenako, senior rangatira wahine at Motueka in the Nelson district. The descendants of another uncle, Paruka, also had close ties to Motueka through Paruka’s daughter, Oriwia (i.e. Wakaiwa Rawinia’s first cousin), who married Hoani Kitakita. Their daughter, Pare (Mere) Kitakita was the wife of Huta Pamriki Paaka of Motueka. Pare and Huta were founders of the large Park dynasty.

Through her grandfather’s brother, Tuhangaira and his wife Te Haunga, Wakaiwa was second cousin of both Huriwhenua, paramount chief of Ngāti Rahiri ki Te Tau Ihu who lived at Moioio and Kaihinu in Tory Channel, and his sister Wharemawhai who was wife of Nohorua, eldest brother of Te Rauparaha of Ngati Toa.

H & J Mitchell, 2014, p346

Huriwhenua signed the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti at Queen Charlotte Sound on 5 May 1840. He orginally lived at Te Taniwha pa at Turangi, near Waitara (NZ History).

Early European settlement at Tataraimaka and the Land Wars

The following is an extract from If walls could talk … Succession.

Ngā Mahanga sells 3500 acres of Tataraimaka, May 1847

Seven years after the New Zealand company purchased the Ngamotu block, now known as New Plymouth, many European settlers had arrived with over 2000 acres under cultivation between both Māori or European.

The new Governor, Sir George Grey, started negotiations to acquire more land for the increasing numbers of European immigrants and turned his endeavours to the south west of New Plymouth, This land belonged to the Taranaki iwi. Two blocks were purchased, the Omata block which was adjacent to the newly evolving New Plymouth town and 3560 acres at Tataraimaka which was sold by Ngā Mahanga, a hapū of Taranaki.

The land at Tataraimaka had largely been deserted by Ngā Mahanga since the musket wars and the devastating invasion from the northern tribes 29 years earlier.

It was described as “beautiful shrubbery” as the majority of it up until the 1818 invasion from the northerners had been extensively cultivated for kūmara and taro. The land had reverted to small scrub but was not in heavy bush as other areas were.

The Tataraimaka block was isolated from New Plymouth with no roads or access other than crossing Māori lands.

Negotiations appeared favourable to both sides with good land suitable for agriculture for the settlers and cash for Ngā Mahanga to aid development of their own land and people with the new technologies and opportunities that arrived with the settlers.

The following is taken from the book Tataraimaka 1847 – 1993, The 1st 146 years composed by Larry Charteris & Anne Marie Ngan.

Sir George Gray, in his first term of office as Governor, visited New Plymouth in February 1847 and started negotiations for acquiring more land, much to the relief of the harassed settlers. In May 1847 Mr MacLean, the Land Commissioner, and Mr Wicksteed for the New Zealand Company, were able to negotiate the purchase of 3,560 acres (500 being added later) of the Tataraimaka Block. Negotiations with 150 members of the Nga Mahanga, the local hapu of the Taranaki tribe, took place daily for a whole week and were finally sealed for 150 pounds when Mr MacLean presented brightly-coloured blankets and other gifts to the leading chief, receiving a Maori spear and a Kaitaka (a bordered mat) in return. These gifts from the chief were the Maori form of surrendering their right to the land sold.

It was stated at the time that government officers had been scrupulous in obtaining the consent of every individual concerned, with the title deeds in Maori signed by men, women and even children. In fact, the conveyance of the block was dated May 11th 1848.

First cattle run holder at Tataraimaka, 1848

George Cutfield was employed by the New Zealand company on their first ship that sailed to Ngamotu, the William Bryant. He was the Immigration Officer and store keeper and effectively the leader of the settlers and was involved with Dicky Barrett in allocating the raupo huts and make shift accommodation that Barrett had built. This was in March 1841. In the years to come, Cutfield had many leadership roles including, Superintendent of the Provincial Council, (similar to the role of a mayor), 1857 to 1861.

The following is taken from an early newspaper in May 1848:

The frequent occurrence of arrears in payment of Government salaries and other monies in this settlement is again the cause of great inconvenience and disappointment to nearly all classes. And as respects the natives, it is to say the least unlucky, for the period limited in the deed for payment of the second instalment on the land at Tataraimaka now occupied by Mr. Cutfield, J. P., as a cattle run, is past.

Papers Past, May 15, 1848

It would appear that the Crown was slow in paying for the Tataraimaka block due to cashflow, although other publications imply that the slow payment was to ensure the payment went to the correct owners. Full payment however was eventually made.

Tataraimaka and the Taranaki Land Wars

At the start of the land wars, 1860, George Cutfield was farming and living on his property at Tataraimaka. Cutfield, like the other settlers, had to move off their land for their own safety with their houses burnt in their absence.

In a court reports newspaper article “Taranaki Herald 4th July 1858”, It was proven that some Tataraimaka settlers had shot a heifer belonging to Māori.

Wild cattle lived in the bush around Tataraimaka. They had been introduced to Tataraimaka by Captain Henry King and Cutfield soon after the Tataraimaka land sale was secured. Captain King had imported cattle from Sydney to New Plymouth in July 1842, and along with the cattle that Dicky Barrett had help drove up from Wellington meant the cattle population had bred up both in the domestic herd and the wild escapees by 1858. The wild cattle at Tataraimaka, and indeed all about New Plymouth created problems for the farmers, both Māori and Pakeha, who were attempting to grow crops and did not need wild cattle helping themselves to the potatoes.

This court case between Māori and the settlers was civil and mature according to the article.

The rebel Māori land reoccupation of Tataraimaka was part of the wider political scene during the land wars and was not a localised Ngā Mahanga / Settlers argument.

Robert Greenwood, land owner at Tataraimaka, 1850 – 1869

Robert Greenwood purchased his first block of land on Timaru Road, exact date unknown, but directly from the New Zealand Company. He added more land when he purchased some of his neighbours, the Morgans in 1853. His obituary can be read here.

Greenwood was 53 when he arrived in New Plymouth to take up land at Tataraimaka. Nineteen years later, at the age of 72, he was forced by the mortgagee to auction his 442 acre Tataraimaka farm. It must be presumed that the financial burden resulting from the Māori land wars in the early 1860s had some part of the forced mortgagee sale. The purchaser would be James Honeyfield.

Some events from Robert Greenwood’s time at Tataraimaka

April 19, 1857

Robert Greenwood was elected to represent the Omata / Tataraimaka district on the New Plymouth Provincial Council. (equivalent to the New Plymouth District council in 2019). Fellow Tataraimaka farmer George Cutfield JP, was Superintendent of the Provincial Council.

October 1858

The schooner Martha anchored off Tataraimaka and 18 local farmers, including R Greenwood, and T Oxenham, loaded potatoes directly to the vessel instead of the awkward task of transporting the potatoes to New Plymouth with no suitable roading (Papers Past, October 1858).

Oxenham had bought the remaining Morgan land by the river mouth and was Greenwoods brother-in-law.

March 11, 1859

Tataraimaka district of the Taranaki Volunteer Rifle Co had training drills at R Greenwoods farm every Tuesday at 10.00am. Greenwood was an inaugural member of the volunteers.

March 28, 1860

Battle of Waireka where settlers and soldiers fought against rebel Māori from the Taranaki iwi and Ngāti Ruanui, who came from further south. By this date all the Tataraimaka settlers had deserted their farms for the refuge and presumed safety of New Plymouth.

April 6, 1860

The following is an account after the arrival of the Rev. Mr. Riemenschneider and family, from Warea, as given in The Herald. They were escorted safely to New Plymouth by armed Maori from Warea, nine days after the battle of Waireka.

The destruction of property on the Tataraimaka block is immense; Mr. Greenwood’s house is described as being sacked, and the sides pulled down. Cattle, sheep, and pigs have been shot indiscriminately. All kinds of household property have been carried away chiefly by the Ngatiruanui, who not content with the plunder from the settlers, sacked every Taranaki pa on their way home. The Taranakis [sic] say they cannot quarrel with Ngatiruanui at present, as they will be important allies either in the great struggle they expect to have with the Government or in another expedition to the town. After annihilating us they will have a tone to pick with Ngatiruanui. Both tribes are busy erecting pas.

April 24, 1860

Four weeks after the Battle of Waireka, troops from the 65th regiment marched to Tataraimaka to harvest R Greenwood’s wheat and potatoes. This helped secure food for the sieged New Plymouth, instead of leaving the crops for the rebel Māori (Papers Past).

June 27, 1860

Taken from “The Herald”

A large force of artillery started early this morning to take up position at Omata, to check the onward movement of the rebels. They were seen last night at Wairau, on the beach this side of Tataraimaka, and are believed to be 1000 strong — including women and children who have accompanied this expedition to attack New Plymouth. No less than 10 pas are erected on the Tataraimaka block, 1 on Oxenhams farm and 9 on Greenwood’s farm. These pas are to be occupied in case of retreat, and each is capable of holding 100 men — the pas are all near each other.

Oxenhams farm is the land closest to the Timaru Stream mouth that was formerly half the Morgan land.

September 19, 1860

Troops deployed south. At Tataraimaka they destroy eight of the rebels makeshift pa on Robert Greenwoods farm (Papers Past).

October 22, 1860

Fires were seen coming from R Greenwoods farm. In all, 30 Tataraimaka houses were burnt to the ground by the rebel Māori.

1861

Although short lived, a peace treaty was signed and some settlers returned temporarily.

The following is taken from memories of the Pierce family.
(Where the cemetery is with the farmland owned in 2019 by the Brophy family)

As a young boy John went with the women and children to Nelson for a few months during the Māori uprising in 1860. Back home in 1861 and still amidst troubled times, John as an 11 year old, had the duty to hold a gun while his older sister milked the cow. This was to protect her should Māori come out of the dense bush.

Memories of Hilda

January 1862

The Māori, who have regained occupancy of Tataraimaka, and have claimed it by conquest, have cut out of seeding pasture, a race track on R Greenwoods property. They have invited Europeans to race their horses should they dare (Papers Past). The authorities strongly advise not to trust the Māori or encourage engagement with a race meeting that would imply acceptance of Māori ownership of the land.

January 1863

Robert Greenwood was an advocate for government support to help the farmers rebuild their lives. He appeared to of received some funds earlier than he should have as the conflict in Tataraimaka was not yet over. Scotch thistles had become a major problem weed and the governor had set up a thistle fund to combat it. Whilst settlers were still fighting over the land with the rebel natives, (not all the natives), the scotch thistle was invading the land the settlers had already ploughed. The joke was that the government had paid Greenwood funds to reduce the thistle population but the settlers could not because the rebel Māori still had control of the land, Tataraimaka had in fact become a large scotch thistle nursery funded by the government (Papers Past).

110 years later, on the same land, Kevin Honeyfield can recall grubbing 300 thistles to the acre, no laughing matter.

June 4, 1863

Battle of Katikara, this was a major defeat for the rebel Māori. Troops had positioned themselves at the crows nest and with naval canon support defeated the rebels on “Johnnys Flat”. This is the flat land west of the Katikara river that the Lawn family own in 2019.

March 1864

The Kaitake Pa was stormed and captured. This Pa was a major stronghold that had prevented safe, easy passage from New Plymouth to Tataraimaka.

1865

Progressively the settlers returned to their land in Tataraimaka to rebuild houses and to restock their farms.

January 23, 1869

At a mortgagee sale, Robert Greenwood sells his farm, including a new house, to James Charles Honeyfield.

It is worth noting the impact of war on the financial fortunes of different settlers.

  • Robert Greenwood had his buildings burnt, stock stolen or slaughtered and no farm income for many years with debt to service. Bankruptcy followed.
  • James Charles Honeyfield had fought in the same battle ground on the same side as Robert Greenwood.
  • James Charles Honeyfield was a farmer and a butcher in New Plymouth. He had the use of the Barrett legacy land. Up to 2000 troops needed feeding over many years. The suppliers to the army reaped the financial benefits.


Octavia Lavinia Johns (nee Honeyfield)

The following was written by Julie Adele Johns (Octavia’s great granddaughter) as a contribution to the, ‘If walls could talk … the Stories’ document prepared for the Honeyfield 150 celebrations.

Octavia Lavinia Johns (nee Honeyfield)

‘Octavia Lavinia Honeyfield, the eldest child of James Charles Honeyfield and Caroline ‘Kararaina’ Honeyfield (nee Barrett), was born on the 17th December 1865 at Moturoa, New Plymouth and baptised on Boxing Day that same year by the Reverend John Whitely who had also married her parents earlier that year on 2 January, 1865. James and Caroline later moved to Tataraimaka where Octavia grew up with her younger sister Sarah and brothers Barrett, William and Charles.

On the 19th January 1884 Octavia, aged 18 years, married Thomas Edward Johns aged 21 years at her parents’ homestead on their Tataraimaka farm. Thomas was born in Liverpool, England and had been living in New Zealand for about 18 months before their marriage. Their first child Edgar was born later that year.

That same year on the 19th June 1884 Thomas filed for bankruptcy and on the 16th June 1884 a meeting of his creditors was called. Prior to Thomas’s bankruptcy he had been farming on a large scale without any previous experience and had suffered many losses, also having had the misfortune of a house fire on 22 June, 1883. According to a court hearing on 22 January 1885 Thomas was at that time living with his father-in-law James Honeyfield and no doubt along with Octavia and baby Edgar too. As reported in the newspaper his father-in-law had offered to pay Tomas’s creditors 10 shillings in the pound, but they declined this. Later that year on 22 October, 1885 an order was made for Thomas to be discharged from bankruptcy.

On the 29th July 1886, as reported in the newspaper, Thomas was farming at Moturoa. He and some natives had exchanged a pair of working bullocks and the Maori had returned to revoke the transaction – all ended peacefully.

Octavia gave birth to twelve children, six of who survived into adulthood and six who sadly did not which unfortunately wasn’t uncommon in those times.

Besides Octavia suffering the heartbreak of the loss of five of their children during her lifetime she also had grief and strife in her marriage too. On the 27th November 1894 her husband Thomas appeared in the New Plymouth District Court for drunkenness and as reported in The Taranaki Herald with the likelihood of another charge being laid, that of inflicting grievous bodily harm on his wife. On the 3rd December 1894 Thomas once again appeared in court no doubt as a consequence of what had taken place earlier. This time a prohibition order was issued against him, to which it is reported Thomas himself had no objection. It was suggested that the order should take effect throughout the provincial district, to which James Honeyfield, father-in-law of the defendant, also expressed that this was his wish also. The court granted the order accordingly for twelve months.

A year later Octavia gave birth to their tenth child, a son who was named Thomas Edward James after this father and grandfather James Honeyfield. Octavia then went on to give birth to Ronald who sadly passed away two weeks later. A month after Ronald’s death Thomas was again adjudged bankrupt on the 28 October 1897. His occupation was given as butcher and that he was residing in Blagdon at the time. Lastly the twelfth child of Octavia and Thomas was born who they named Bernard. Sometime after this Octavia’s husband Thomas Johns was paid by James Honeyfield to leave New Zealand so I was told by my grandmother Daisy Johns who had married Edgar Johns (the eldest child of Octavia and Thomas) and that Thomas was what they called a Remittance man. Thomas went to Australia where he remained for the rest of his life.

Sadly approximately 18 months after James’s wife Caroline Honeyfield died on the 12th November 1899 he was again having to write an obituary this time for their beloved daughter which read:

“Death of Mrs Thomas Edward Johns. Octavia Lavinia died in New Plymouth Hospital Tuesday, 14th May 1901 aged 35 years. Mrs Johns had been suffering from typhoid and the complications that followed the dread disease for some considerable time and her death was therefore not unexpected”.

Octavia’s death certificate stated she had been ill for eleven weeks. The surviving children’s ages were listed as five males aged 16, 13, 9, 5 and 2 years, two females aged 11 and 8 years at the time of her passing. From the newspaper at the time it reports that:

“… the deceased was well known and esteemed by a large circle of friends and that her relations will have much sympathy in their sad bereavement. The internment will be private.”

This now left the Johns children without their dear mother, it is unknown whether Thomas had already left for Australia or not.

Tragically Octavia’s last-born child Bernard died at the age of seven years at Moturoa four and a half years after this mother had passed away and it is known Thomas had left for Australia by then.

Octavia’s only sister Miss Sarah Honeyfield (who never married) helped bring up her nieces and nephews. It was history repeating itself as Caroline and James Honeyfield had also helped Sarah Mary Honeyfield (nee Barrett) raise her children when their father William Henry Honeyfield had died also of typhoid fever thirty-seven years earlier. ‘Aunt Sarah’ as she was called remained living on the Bell Block farm with the Johns’ whanau until shortly before she passed away having been taken prior to her death on 3rd March 1932, aged 64 years, to the Tataraimaka farm where she had grown up. Octavia’s children loved their Aunt Sarah very much and even Octavia’s grandchildren remembered her and spoke of her with deep affection which is how she is still remembered to this day.

According to New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) burial records permission was granted for Bernard to be buried in the same large James Honeyfield plot at Te Henui cemetery where his grandmother Caroline had been interred earlier. Although Bernard has no headstone to mark his grave neither can a headstone be found for his mother Octavia or any of her young deceased children. The NPDC has a receipt for 10 pounds having been paid for Octavia’s grave to be dug at Te Henui cemetery. Octavia and her young children are all listed as having been buried there but unfortunately other records have been destroyed by mould (such as plot numbers) plus the undertaker’s records have long since ceased to exist. Along with the NPDC burial staff we can only presume, since they are nowhere else to be found in Te Henui cemetery, that they are all buried together in the James Honeyfield plot as the NPDC believed it was purchased around the same time as William Henry Honeyfield’s plot was bought when he died in 1864. The reason for Octavia and her six young children having no headstones remains a question and any answer is conjecture. Unfortunately, my grandfather Edgar Jules Barrett Johns, Octavia’s eldest son, would have known the answers to many of our questions, but he died when my father Montague Honeyfield Johns (known as Monte) was only eight years old so any information concerning their graves was not passed down. It is my heartfelt desire being one of Octavia’s great grandchildren that it only be fitting that a small plaque be placed in their memory at the James Honeyfield site, so Octavia and her young children are not forgotten through time.

On the 19th July 1933 a letter was sent by Thomas Edward Johns senior to solicitors in New Plymouth, copies of which were handed to the Johns children. Thomas expressed his sadness at having recently received a letter from the Public Trustee informing him of his son Bernard’s death which had taken place 28 years earlier and the recent death of Miss Sarah Honeyfield. Thomas expressed his desire to hear from his children and wanted to see them again since he was now nearing 73 years of age, and in his own words, “But like Johnny Walker am still going strong”. He especially wanted to know how Bernard had died, asking after Effie, Vera, and Edgar although he supposed he would never see or hear from them again. Thomas finished his letter with a postscript, asking the solicitors to oblige him by letting him know how the children were, saying “… you will do me a great kindness”. When this letter was written unbeknown to Thomas his eldest child Edgar had passed away two years earlier aged 47 years. Two of Thomas’s other sons known as ‘Charlie and Tommy’ had gone to live in Australia as adults but to our knowledge never contacted their father. According to Thomas Edward Johns senior’s death certificate which lists his first marriage to Octavia and names their five surviving children it also says that Thomas went on to marry a second time to Anne Fanny Williams who already had a daughter but there were no children from their union. Thomas senior lived out the rest of his life in Australia dying in Murrurundi, NSW on 9th June 1943, aged 80 years. To this day no photo survives of Thomas senior that has been passed down through the Johns whanau which speaks volumes!

James Charles Honeyfield died on 21 February 1911 aged 71 years. In his will he remembered the children of his late daughter Octavia Lavinia especially making provision for his grandsons Edgar, Charles, Oscar and Thomas Johns.

This has been a sad story to write and reflect on, not only because it is true, but Octavia and Thomas are also my ancestors/tupuna, so it is very personal to me along with the rest of the Johns whanau. We exist today because of these people who are our direct heritage line/whakapapa. I have been both factual and fair in giving this account.

Should you wish to find out more information regarding the court cases, Google search ‘Papers Past’ using the dates I’ve given for reference.’

Children of Octavia Lavinia Johns (nee Honeyfield) and Thomas Edward Johns

  • Edgar Jules Barrett Johns
    • Born: 30.09.1884 /30.11.1884
    • Married: Daisy Amy Fuller 09.11.1916
    • Farmed at Bell Block
    • Died: 19.12.1931, aged 47 years
    • Buried: St Lukes cemetery, Bell Block 21.12.1931
  • William Charles Johns
    • Born: 08.12.1885
    • Died: 29.01.1886, aged 7 weeks
    • Buried: Te Henui cemetery 30.01.1886
  • Lina Hannah Johns
    • Born: 08.01.1887
    • Died: 21.03.1887, aged 9 weeks (at Blagdon farm)
    • Buried: Te Henui cemetery 22.03.1887
  • Charles Barrett Johns (known as Charlie)
    • Born: 08.12.1888/28.04.1888?
    • Migrated to Australia
    • Married: Cecilia (known as Sis)
    • Died: 21.03.1951, aged 64 years? Queensland, Australia
  • Victor Barrett Johns
    • Born: 04.02.1889
    • Died 06.09.1892, aged 3 years 7 months
    • Buried: Te Henui Cemetery 07.09.1892
  • Effie Hilda Johns
    • Born: 03.02.1890/ 24.05.1890?
    • Married: John Ambrose Heskett
    • Died: 17.12.1963, aged 72 years Headstone inscription reads 1890- 1963
  • Oscar Harold Johns
    • Born: 02.09.1891
    • Married: Kathleen Doris Mace 02.05.1921
    • Farmer, furnace man, businessman, soldier – Private in Wellington Infantry Regiment. WW1 Service no.69491 NZ Expeditionary Force
    • Died: 19.12.1960, Huntly, NZ
  • Vera Sarah Johns
    • Born: 20.01.1893
    • Married: George Victor Weir 26.03.1913
    • Died: 1952? 12.1957?
  • Doris Octavia Johns
    • Born: 26.03.1894
    • Died: 21.06.1894, aged 3 months
    • Buried: Te Henui Cemetery 22.06.1894
  • Thomas Edward James Johns Junior (known as Tommy)
    • Born: 30.11.1895
    • Migrated to Australia
    • Married:
      • Ist wife, Ruby Elizabeth Fitzgerald
      • 2nd wife, Olive Edna Ellan Archer
    • Labourer and clerk
    • Died: 19.08.1964, aged 68 years, Queensland, Australia
  • Ronald Edward Johns
    • Born: 13.09.1897
    • Died: 28.09.1897, aged 2 weeks
    • Buried: Te Henui Cemetery 30.09.1897
  • Bernard Edgerley Johns
    • Born: 04.01.1899
    • Died: 15.11.1905 at Moturoa, aged 7 years
    • Buried: Te Henui Cemetery 17.11.1905. Funeral left from Mrs Ellen Caroline McLean’s (nee Honeyfield) residence at Moturoa. Recorded permission given for Bernard to be buried in the James Charles Honeyfield plot.

Pre-European Tataraimaka: of fishing, gods, great waka and musket wars

Tataraimaka first became home territory to the Honeyfields close to 170 years ago when William Honeyfield purchased a farm there in 1852. William joined his cousins, John and William Morgan, who made their first purchase in Tataraimaka in 1851. While William and his wife Sarah sold up to farm the Barrett Reserve land in New Plymouth, there has been a permanent Honeyfield presence at Tataraimaka for 150 years, since James and Caroline purchased their farm in January 1869.

Of course, for centuries before the Europeans arrived at Tataraimaka that land had been the home of the tangata whenua. The following captures a little of that story,

(The following is an extract from ‘If walls could talk … Succession’ written by Kevin Honeyfield as part of the Honeyfield 150 celebration)

According to an ancient Maori story, Tataraimaka was a giant who fished with an enormous black net. His black net was magic and had been woven from flax.

One day, a mother said to her little fishes, “Now listen carefully, dear children, be sure you keep close in to the rocks. Do not venture out into the open sea. Today Tataraimaka goes fishing”.

Tataraimaka fishing


On this day however the sea was smooth, the sun was at its brightest. Rainbow colours danced about the little fishes as they played their games. They were having so much fun they forgot their mother’s words.

Without warning disaster struck. The big black net of Tataraimaka hit the water and all seven fishes were caught. They cried, making the sea salty with their tears.

Tane the God of forest and light heard their cries and felt sorry for them. He took the net away from Tataraimaka and hauled it up into the high heavens.

There the seven little fishes were turned into stars. Look to the west, you can see them in the evening above the horizon. Six of the stars have names – but one star remains nameless.

The constellation known as Matariki to the Maori, is known as Pleiades to the Greeks on the other side of the world. 
Maori used this group of stars to help navigate their way to Aotearoa (New Zealand)

It has been left for all the children of the world. Just before going to bed, you may put your name on this star, and in this way you will be among your friends as you sleep.

Possible reasons why our home farms are called Tataraimaka include:

  • Did it come from Tataraimaka, the Giant fisherman in the ancient Maori story?
  • Was it the name used by “The people of the land” the tangata whenua as suggested by Roy Komene at the Tataraimaka Hall Jubilee in 1994? Roy spoke of the people that resided in Tataraimaka years before the Maori arrived, the Kahui-maunga.
  • Its been recorded in many publications that Tataraimaka means “to toss the garment”. Is this simply the feeling given to Tataraimaka after the northern tribes conquered Nga Mahanga?
  • Twenty years before his death Alan Fisher informed Kevin Honeyfield that many years ago some elder Maori had claimed the full name of Tataraimaka was in fact Tataraimaka-moana. Loosely translated meaning a “Beautiful place by the Sea”.

Today, in the year 2019, the families that live in Tataraimaka are less concerned about the meaning of the name. There is more concern about retaining the name and the depth of heritage that Tataraimaka offers.

‘The Broken Canoe’

Laden with people and stores, a fleet of waka that had woven sails set off from Tahiti to make Aotearoa their new home. Three hundred years earlier, Kupe had told his people about his discovery of a vast new land in the South west Pacific, until now only a small number of waka had tried to make this journey.

One of the wakas was the Kura-haupo, this is the canoe that the Maori who later lived at Tataraimaka set sail on. Te Moungaroa was the leader of this waka that had a 5000 km journey to make.

The fleet got separated in the great ocean but three of the waka met at Rangi-tahapa Island, just 1000 km away from Aotearoa. Here the waka Kura-haupo was smashed by the big surf. Te Moungaroa and some friends joined the other two waka, leaving others behind to try and fix the broken canoe.

Te Moungaroa and his followers reached Aotearoa and eventually settled at a beach they called Oakura. They landed by the mouth of the Wairau Stream where the surf club is today.

Here they made their new home, amalgamating with the Kahui-maunga people. These were the people living in Aotearoa before the fleet of waka arrived.

Five hundred years later, some Taranaki Maori still referred to the Kura-haupo as the “Broken Canoe, the canoe that Nga Mahanga from the Taranaki iwi originated from, but a canoe that never arrived in Taranaki.

Another canoe from the fleet, Tokomaru, settled a little further north, forming the Te Atiawa iwi. This is the main blood line that Rawinia, wife of Dicky Barrett, ancestors that the Honeyfields are descended from.

Nga Mahanga

With good land and plenty of food the Taranaki iwi flourished. Two hundred years and seven generations after the landing at Oakura of Te Moungaroa and his friends around 1350, twin boys were born and they named their sub hapu Nga Mahanga, the name for twins. They lived in a pa called Matai-whetu and this was not far from the main Tataraimaka Pa site.

The twins were great warriors and had the following saying which refers to their courage and likens them to the mussels that adhered to the rocks, for they could not be removed from their pa by their enemies.

E Turi’ a Tai! E Hotua Tai! Mara a Tai! Te toka i tauria e te kukwpara, araio mimingo. Kit tu matou ko aku tama, he whetu kau;

Nga Mahanga become the dominant hapu in the Tataraimaka and surrounding area. Sometimes friction arose between them and the iwi to the north, Te Atiawa.

This friction continued for many generations although there were also peaceful times with marriages between them, especially around the Ngamotu area.

Nga Mahanga rohe at Tataraimaka

The Northern Invasion, Summer of 1818

For many generations the hapu of Nga Mahanga flourished at Tataraimaka, with fresh water from the mountain streams, an abundance of sea food and kind forgiving land to grow kumara and taro.

Little did they know, a large war party had come by waka from Kaipara and Tamaki and were resting north of Waitara, hosted by their allies Ngati Tama, who were foe of Nga Mahanga.

Muru-paenga was one of the most feared chiefs of this, the ‘Musket war’ years. He was an ally of Te Rauparaha but an avid enemy of the infamous Honi Hiki.

Overland the war party marched on to Tataraimaka. Nga Mahanga had not encountered the musket before. The hostile northern maori, led by Muru-paenga, advanced towards the Tataraimaka Pa in a wedge shape formation. Some Te Atiawa also accompanied the attackers, pointing out Nga Mahunga chiefs, making them the first casualties to fall to Muru-paenga’s muskets.

If Te Atiawa had not helped Muru-paenga they could of been his next meal, and this is exactly what happened to many of Nga Mahanga.

Great slaughter followed with the spoils of war being flesh, kumara, woven garments and slaves going to the northern attackers.

The surviving Nga Mahanga left Tataraimaka, never to return as residents.

Edmund and Catherine Honeyfield

Updated 25 November 2019

Edmund Morgan Honeyfield was born at Gillingham, Dorset in 1841 and was the 10th child of John and Hannah.

Edmund was considered a delicate child and the family thought the New Zealand climate would be beneficial. His brother Henry John returned to England in 1855 to marry Eliza Read. Edmund aged 15, travelled with them to New Zealand on the Ashmore in 1856.

In 1877 Edmund married Catherine Gane from Mells, Somerset. She had means of her own. They farmed at Whenuakura near Patea in South Taranaki. They called their house Park Farm.

Edmund’s cousin John Morgan in his writings mentioned visits to Park Farm in 1895:  “Thursday I was at Park Farm, stayed the night, after breakfast I took a walk on the farm, it looks grand, but grass is very short, about all day at the farm.  ……Friday Cecil Honeyfield started for Wanganui, he promised to visit Newtonlees and to stay a few days helping if required.  ……Saturday I found Mrs Honeyfield fully engaged in the baking establishment, there I found a capital old fashioned brick oven all aglow, various dishes and dough worked into loaves, confectionery all ready for the oven.”

Edmund and Catherine had 11 children who became known as the Patea Honeyfields:

  1. Cecil Reginald, born 1878, died 1958. Married Katherine Wright. They farmed at Park Farm, Whenuakura until 1948 when they retired to Patea.
  2. Clara Isabel, born 1879, died 1968. Did not marry.
  3. Lena Eveline, born 1881, died 1967. Married Harry Bradmore.
  4. Leonard, born 1882, died from a farming accident in 1940. Married Elsie Finch and farmed at Patea. In 1918 Leo served overseas in World War 1 in the 30th reinforcements of the Wellington Mounted Rifles. Leo and Elsie had two sons, Ray and Geoff.
  5. Edith Mildred, born 1883. died 1970. (Edith) Mildred went to England in the 1920s. Later she married Ernest Morris at Buckhorn Weston Church, 1925. She lived in England until after the Second World War when she returned to New Zealand.
  6. Irene Katherine, born 1885, died 1947. Married Stewart Wickstead.
  7. Ivo, born 1887, died 1969. Married Prudence Simmonds. Farmed at Patea. Their only child Kenneth also farmed at Patea.
  8. Violet Suzie, born 1889. Married Cyril Langdon Dymock in June 1909. He managed the Bank of New Zealand branch at Taihape where Violet was a teacher.
  9. Alice Muriel, born 1891, died 1964. Married Herbert Hereward Edwards of Stoke, Nelson, where they settled.
  10. Earle, born 1892, died 1893.
  11. Victor Maurice, born 1895, died in 1916 of tuberculosis.
Edmund Honeyfield and family, 1903. Back row: Leonard, Lena, Ivo, Catherine (Mother), Clara, Cecil, Mildred. Front row: Irene, Edmund (Father), Alice, Violet, Maurice