Wiremu Kīngi. University of Waikato, accessed 04/12/2023, https://onehera.waikato.ac.nz/nodes/view/5286
From 'Wiremu Te Rangitake', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/people/wiremu-kingi-te-rangitake, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 7-Jul-2020
Wiremu Kīngi Te Rangitāke, of Te Āti Awa, was born at Waitara, Taranaki, near the end of the eighteenth century. His early life was affected by the great tribal migrations south (from Taranaki and Kāwhia) to Manawatū, Kāpiti, Te Whanganui-a-Tara (the great harbour of Tara, or Wellington) and the northern South Island during the 1820s and 1830s.
In response to New Zealand Company claims that it had purchased his Taranaki lands, Te Rangitāke uttered the words that would recur in his later life: 'Waitara shall not be given up.' After later demands from Governor George Grey to give up their ancestral lands, 600 Te Āti Awa moved from Waikanae back to Taranaki in 1848. Te Rangitāke agreed with those who were against the sales. This caused hostility with the local settlers. He often spoke of his desire to live peacefully with Europeans, but he did not accept that the price of harmony should be the land of his iwi. Things came to a head in 1859 when the chief Te Teira Mānuka offered the government some land near Waitara.
Te Rangitāke was determined that the land should not be sold. He told Governor Thomas Gore Browne, 'I will not permit the sale of Waitara ... Waitara is in my hands, I will not give it up; I will not, I will not, I will not'. The government’s view was that Te Rangitāke had no 'personal' rights in the land. The 'genuine' owners who chose to sell would be supported, by force if necessary. In fact Te Rangitāke was upholding his right as a senior rangatira (chief) to veto a sale of tribal lands.
In early 1860 the government sent in surveyors, and events soon spiralled into war. After a period of savage fighting, Kīngitanga chiefs negotiated an uneasy truce. Governor Grey decided to cancel the Waitara purchase on learning some 'new facts'. However, fighting broke out again in 1863 when government troops occupied the Tātaraimaka land block on the other side of New Plymouth. Defeat and land confiscation followed. Te Āti Awa saw this as a bitter injustice. Te Rangitāke withdrew inland until 1872, when he emerged to join the pacifist community at Parihaka, led by the prophets Te Whiti-o-Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi. He died in 1882.Date of Birthc. 1795Date of Death13 Jan 1882