Rewi Manga Maniapoto. University of Waikato, accessed 11/12/2023, https://onehera.waikato.ac.nz/nodes/view/5251
Rewi Maniapoto was of the Ngāti Paretekawa hapu (sub-tribe) of Ngāti Maniapoto. He was trained in the traditional customs of his people, and learned to read and write at the Wesleyan mission station at Te Kōpua.
In the 1850s he was a leading supporter of the King Movement. His people fought the government alongside Taranaki Māori in 1860–61. This experience convinced him that the government intended to overturn Māori rangatiratanga (authority/chieftainship) and take land at any cost. He organised the support of many among Ngāti Maniapoto and Waikato, against the views of the more moderate Kīngitanga leaders.
Rewi took a leading role in the Waikato war (1863–64). He fought with great bravery and skill despite overwhelming odds. When called upon to surrender at Orākau in 1864 he uttered the famous words, 'Ka whawhai tonu mātou, Ake! Ake! Ake! - We will fight on for ever and ever!' After several defeats the Māori King and his Waikato followers took refuge in Ngāti Maniapoto territory, where they remained for many years.
Rewi later played a key role in establishing and expanding the Rohe Pōtae (King Country). In this vast area, extending into western Taupō and upper Wanganui, the King’s authority was supreme. By the late 1860s Rewi had come to the view that Māori could not win back their mana (authority) by force. However, they did not reach a peace agreement with the government until 1878. Ngati Maniapoto did not suffer large-scale confiscation, although Waikato Maori lost 1.2 million acres (nearly half a million hectares).
In 1882 Rewi broke with the King Movement. The King insisted that there should be no negotiations with the government until the confiscation issue had been resolved. But Rewi agreed to government surveys within the Rohe Pōtae, and discussed the construction of the main trunk railway through the King Country, in exchange for a number of concessions to the government. Rewi’s actions ultimately opened the way for extensive government purchases in the King Country, despite his attempts to control the speed and scale of land alienation. After this his influence declined, and he died in 1894.
'Rewi Maniapoto', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/people/rewi-maniapoto, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 30-Sep-2020First NameRewiMiddle NameMangaLast NameManiapotoDate of Birthc. 1807Date of Death29 June 1894