Readings from: Redemption Songs
Judith Binney
Auckland University Press
with Bridget Williams Books, Auckland.
ISBN 1-86940-131-X
(Top: Te Kooti's flag captured at Te Porere, showing the moon and the fighting cross of the Archangel Michael.
WI is the 10th holy day of Pai Marire)

My word simply is "Save the land and the people"
Otorohonga 15 April 1891 (455)

From: Covenants and a King (148)

Te Kooti camped across the river from the small settlement of Kaiota, at Maraetahi. ... This was his second period in the 'Koraha, the Wilderness. In 1870 Porter transcribed his prisoners' detailed accounts of their experiences, which probably depicted this time. They arose every morning to prayers: either Psalm 32 ('Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble') or Psalm 34 ('Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all'). Then the nien went to hunt, and the ears of the first pig were cut and offered as a sacrifice to God. Strict rules of tapu were imposed: both eating and smoking were prohibited during hunting and when the party was on the move. Sometimes Te Kooti himself would start out alone in the early morning with a tame kaka sitting on his shoulder, a decoy to attract others. (One he had owned for a long time was captured in 1871 and became the pet of the provincial clerk of Napier, where it becanie famous for its capacity to bite through its thick brass chain.) Or he would search for wild honey in the hollow trees. He was noted for his continual reconnaissance of the terrain, climbing the ridges and the ranges, locating and mentally mapping the unknown landscape. When messengers arrived, they were brought immediately to his whare, and waited on his permission to enter; this deliberate separateness sustained his authority and also ensured that the news came to him first. At night, the last meeting for prayers (the fourth in the day) was held, and then total silence reigned until the dawn. He lived by the omens of the sky, thunder and the rainbow, and waited for the tinie that they told.

Judith Binney

It was from Waioeka that Te Kooti uttered his next kupu whakaari. It is one of the most copied and recopied of all his predictions. The text below is from his diary, dated 6 March 1869. However, other versions are dated variously 1 February and 11 February, indicating that there was once another original source.

Te kupu whakaari ki Waioeka

I Eripi - Ko ahau hei matua nio koutou ake ake - Tani

II Ka whakaorangia e ahau te toenga o te tangata i hanga e toku ringa i te timatanga ake ake

III Ka pei ahau i te hunga kino. Ka whakahou ahau i nga rohc o Reneti = Hawira.

The prophetic saying at Waioeka

I Eripi - I shall be as father for you ever after - Tani

II I shall save the remnant of the people who were formed by my hand from the beginning and ever after

III I shall drive out the wicked. I will restore the borders of Reneti = Hawira.

In the version in the Biddle manuscript, taken from Hamiora Aparoa's notebook, a further sentence is added: Heoi ano kianga o te ingoa he whakarau koe. Tou ingoa ko Arohipene. To whenua ko Reneti Hawira. "There shall be no more naming you a captive. Your name shall be Arohipene. Your land Reneti Hawira".

The prediction was to be adapted and extended, and then, later still, claimed to have been completed. In the original forms of the kupu, the land is given a new name: Reneti Hawira. It is a name none of the Ringatu use today because it was consciously lifted from the land in 1885-86. It therefore went out of usage and its significance became lost. When Te Kooti first returned, he had simply called the North Island Te Ika Roa, the Long Fish (of Maul), but this new name was one he now gave to both islands 'in Unity'. Hawira is Havilah, the land in which the generations of Isaac dwelt, beyond Egypt. The scriptural text from which it comes (Genesis 25:18) had been copied out by Te Kooti at Te Papuni. He called Te Papuni 'Hawira = the village of distraction' ('Ko te kainga o te potatutatu'). Havilah is also the land where the people were destroyed by Saul 'with the edge of the sword', saving only those whom he deliberately set apart. Reneti = Hawira is literally Lent = Havilah. It would, therefore, seem to be a statement of the period of sacrifice, the 40 days of Lent, which itself commemorates the 40 years of exile of the Children of Israel. The overall name is like 'Israel' - that is, it is the area prormsed to them. The kupu from Waioeka is the pledge to the survivors, who have yet to enter their Promised Land. It assured them that God would intervene as their 'father'.

The kupu also promised the restoration of the land. On one level of meaning, the statement seems to refer to the area of influence and expansion of the faith itself. regaining the area of the faith and the recovery of their 'borders'.15 But it also probably indicates that Te Kooti knew that finally a confiscation agreement had been rammed through at Poverty Bay on 18 December 1868. On that date the chiefs of Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki had ceded all the land to the Crown, on account of the 'rebel- lion ... murders and burnings' ('te riringa ... me nga kohurutanga me nga tahuta- hunga'). The government had finally exacted its reprisals. Subsequently, in 1869, it would choose three substantial areas for itself and then attempt to adjudicate title in the remainder, recognising only those Maori who had given it support. All 'Hauhau' were intended to be dispossessed.

In the additional text copied from Hamiora's manuscript, the people themselves were given a new name: Arohipene. It replaced the name of whakarau. It suggests their free- dom, but its precise significance is unknown, except that it is thought to have been scriptural in origin.18 The name seems never to have been used again.

There is another text from Waioeka, which in one source is dated 18 February 1869. This text looked to the construction of the faith. The version cited here is from the Biddle manuscript collection, which states that it was said at Tawhitinui, Waioeka, in that year:

  1. Ko te Ture. Ta te Ture he Hura.
  2. Ko te Wairua. Ta te Wairua he Hipoki.
  3. Ko te Haahi. Ta te Haahi he pupuri, he whakarongo.
    Ko te ritenga tenei o te Ture o te Kawenata.

In English:

  1. The Law. The Law is a Divestment.
  2. The Spirit. The Spirit is a Cover.
  3. The Church. The Church is an anchor and to heed.
    This is the meaning of the Law of the Covenant.

In this kupu whakaari, the law is shown to be the dispossessor, but the faith and the church are the means of protection. Collective salvation lay only in the covenant made with God. This fundamental statement would be later reaffirmed in the days of peace as the foundation of the organised Ringatu church. At Tawhitinui, words were also promulgated in 'te reo ke'. One, 'Tupeta', is explained: I wehenga', 'separation': it needs no further elaboration. This was the reality of their survival. The others were warnings of death: by epidemic and by the sword. On 20 February, the groups who had gathered at Waioeka separated and departed, carrying with them these words of direction. Following on an invitation, Te Kooti had gone to Maungapohatu. So reported Hira Te Popo, writing from Tawhitinui to the young chief of Ngati Awa, Wepiha Apanui. A few days later, Wepiha was also warned by the Tuhoe chief Rakuraku: the next strike would come at Ohlwa. It was at Maungapohatu that Te Kooti formed an alliance with some of the Tuhoe leaders. The guerrilla wars were to be renewed. The chiefs who were now to come down to the Ohiwa harbour with him included Te Whenuanui and Paerau Te Rangikaitupuake, two of the leading chiefs of Ruatahuna. Their alliance was forged on the back of the Hawke's Bay confiscations of 1867, which had taken the land of Tuhoe and Ngati Ruapani, Te Kooti's close kinsmen, by the southern shores of Waikaremoana. It was not until August 1872 that this land would be returned (that is, most of it), and then it was to Ngati Kahungunu, as the 'loyalist' tribe. Tuhoe would have to take their claim to the Native Land Court where, even as their rights were upheld, they were forced to sell the block back to the Crown, while Ngati Ruapani were utterly dispossessed. In 1869, therefore, the inland Tuhoe and Ngati Ruapani chiefs were prepared to support Te Kooti - and also Te Waru, whom they had sheltered since the fall of Te Karetu. For his cause was theirs: the recovery of the land of upper Wairoa and Waikaremoana.

By the time that Te Kooti reappeared - at Otara, near the entrance to the Waimana gorge, at the beginning of March - he had equipped a force of 130-140 men with arms. William Mair also believed that Te Kooti had forged an understanding with the most remarkable fighter of Tuhoe in the eastern Bay of Plenty, Erueti Tamalkohatia. Nor was he the only one to believe this: the chief Paora Hapi of Taupo was another who was convinced that the two worked together in 1869 Eru Tamalkoha had waged a singular guerrilla campaign in 1867-68 against the confiscations in the eastern Bay of Plenty, which had taken the only low-lying land that Tuhoe possessed. In 1866 the government had drawn a straight line on the map, as reprisal for the death of Volkner, although Tuhoe had had no part in that affair. This arbitrary line had cut Tuhoe off from the mouths of the Waimana and Ruatoki valleys and from access to the food-rich Ohiwa harbour. Tamaikoha's war had been against the ing'ustices created by the exercise of law: the same cause as Te Kooti's. But Tamaikoha was not prepared to fight with Te Kooti. Although he had been specially invited, he had pointedly refused to attend the Tuhoe runanga in January. He remained utterly opposed to Te Kooti's religious teachings. Nevertheless, he did allow Te Kooti's passage through Tawhana, his settlement at the junction of the Tauranga and Tawhana rivers, which together form the Waimana river. Moreover, it was at Tawhana that the pact with Tuhoe was made which sealed them for ever with Te Kooti. They gave him their land and their loyalty; he in turn swore his oath to them. This is what he said to Tuhoe, deliberately using the words God had uttered to Moses:

Nau ahau i kukume mai i roto i te pouritanga. Kua tukua e koe te tangata i roto i te mura o te ahi, i roto i nga whakamatautauranga, mai ano o te ringa mai e haere nei. Whakarongo, - ko te kupu tenei 'Ka tango ahau i a koutou hei iwi mooku a, ko ahau hei Atua mo koutou, a ka mohio koutou ko Ihowa ahau.' Ko koe hoki te iwi o te kawenata.

You drew me out of darkness. You have sent the people into the flames of the fire, into the tests, since the landing [this] has gone on. Listen, this is what I have to say, 'I take you as my people, and I will be your God; you will know that I am Jehovah.' You are the people of the covenant.

This text is derived from Hamiora Aparoa, and also from the old men ('koroua') of Tuhoe, including Te Purewa, a senior chief of Ruatahuna and Waimana. It is dated 20 March 1869 and is followed by Te Kooti's instructions for the attack on Ohiwa. The date seems to be incorrect, for two reasons. On 20 March Te Kooti was in the headwaters of the Rangitaiki river heading directly inland for Ahikereru, where he would take sanctuary at Te Harema pa. It should probably read 2 March, when Te Kooti was reported as corm'ng down from Tawhana and Otara into the Waimana gorge. Tawhana itself was well known to Tuhoe. It was accessible from Maungapohatu, and also from Nga Tapa and Waioeka on an old bush track. On the night of 2 March Te Kooti occupied Whakarae pa, near the headwaters of the Ohiwa harbour. The pact at Tawhana was made in the context of the early alliance he forged with Tuhoe and, although this alliance was unquestioningly reinforced by later events, this - the original agreement - speci 'fically antedates the attack on Ohiwa. These words are seen as the binding kupu which created the special relationship between Te Kooti and Tuhoe, which would grow. It states that it is they who are the people of the covenant; it is they upon whom the faith will rest. As one Tuhoe elder put it some years later:

while the war was going on ... [Te Kooti] entered into a covenant with the Tuhoe people, at Te Tawhana: it was to rest on the chiefs of Tuhoe, i.e. Kereru, Paerau, Te Purewa, Te Makarini Tamarau, Te Whenuanui, Te Ahikaiata, Tutakangahau, Te Haunui, & Te Puehu; these people gave their mana to be under the guidance of Te Kooti; and a piece of land including this block [Ruatoki], & extending from Waimana to Mauiigapohatu, was given over to Te Kooti.... Te Kooti said: 'Under this oath, let the people be one.'

In this manner, Tawhana became the sacred place of Tuhoe. As a Tuhoe elder said:

Ko te whenua tapu rawa ko Tawhana.... Ahakoa a Maungapohatu, engari ko Tawhana te whenua o te oati ki te Atua, ake tonu atu. Ahakoa kotahi te tangata. 'Te whenua o te oati ki te Atua.' Koira te ingoa o Tawhana.

Tawhana was a very sacred place. . . . Certainly Maungapohatu, but Tawhana is the land promised to God, now and for ever. Even if there was just one person [there]. 'The land promised to God.' That is the name of Tawhana.

The named chiefs were the most senior chiefs of Tuhoe. Conspicuous by his absence, however, is Tamaikoha, who is always remembered for his defiant statement to Rakuraku that he would rather put Te Kooti's atua in his pipe and use him as tobacco!

In 1869, Te Kooti was a man fighting for a future which could also conserve the past. He had allied with some (but not all) of the Tuhoe, whose cause was the rights of Maorl in their own tribal lands. They saw themselves as the oppressed because of their recent experiences. They were not simply men living in the past: they had specific and legitimate grievances. Te Kooti offered a new order, and it seemed that he nu'ght achieve it. This new order rejected the Maori kingship as a failed experiment, already being eroded by whispering words from the government. This Judgment was harsh, but it recognised that the King would no longer fight. Te Kooti instead sought to direct people through his vision, based in the covenant promises given to the Chosen of God. He also warned them of the consequences of faltering in the pursuit of this vision: their own destruction. It was a fearsome vision, to which many of the Tuhoe were drawn. His war tactics were the tactics of disruption. The attacks were based, as all guerrilla campaigns must be, on highly accurate information as to where and when to strike.

Later at Ruatanuna .. Te Kooti spoke on 29 April 1869 ... He predicted his betrayal by those who sheltered him.

Oputao - Ruatahuna.

Listen Tuhoe, my prisoner friends from over there at Wharekauri and all the survivors. To you Tuhoe, I have this to say today - a greeting and a farewell to you, We see ourselves this day, and a disclosure of some sayings. sleeping together eating together sitting together going about together talking together. . . .

And you yourselves, who eat together with us here, will turn to pursue and capture me, and to deliver me to those who ill-treat me .... But do not be upset by this talk, because although you pursue me with your relations, and our friends who fight us now, and even with the Pakeha Governor, I will not be caught by you all. But the outcome will be that you yourselves will separate from me and will be called upon by the Governor to fulfil this statement which I have made to you this day. Although you go in pursuit of me, even, with the Governor, you will not capture me. Nor will you kill nie, and it will simply be through weakness that I shall die.

Boy Biddle has commented that the text foretells a death 'so silly, that you wouldn't ever believe what it is! As Te Kooti directed Tuhoe's ultimate tactics, he mocked the soldiers and he accurately predicted his own end. He then looked further into the future:

A ko te wihi o te MOTU nei e mate Hau-aitu ai ahau kei reira ano kei taua wjhi, kei taua takiwa ano te Tangata mo tatau mo nga iwi katoa. Ko ia ano hei whakahaere tikanga, a maana ano e whakaoti nga whakahaere nio tenei motu tae noa atu ki o tatau whakatupuranga.

The place on this LAND where I shall die through weakness, there, in that place, in that district shall be the Man for us, for all the tribes. He alone will organise the way, and he too will coniplete the arrangements for this land for our getterations.

Thus the prediction looked to the completion of the work and the faith, and to Te Kooti's successor. The kupu consciously linked death to new life. It also linked the place of Te Kooti's actual death to the renewal and completion of the faith in the next generation. Different histories have evolved around these texts, and different interpretations have been given to them by the various claimants who have emerged since 1893. As a consequence, the texts have shifted both in memory and in written record, as their fulfilment has been sought in different regions of the land.

The Journey to Meet Death (456)

The days remain when man will bow down in the presence of the Creator and climb onto the canoe to paddle as one. It will be known on the day for Taitoko [Te Keepa].

Then also Te Whiti will bow down to the one faith.

After that day another day will be called there. I will not call it but he himself [the Creator] will. . . .

Then we will all know that that is the day of the Prophecies concerning the teaching and the Churches, on which [we] will come together, to be one in our direction and our canoe.

The words illuminate Te Kooti's essential message of unity. His was a unity of spirit. The prophets, the chiefs and the churches would come together, and their journey would be as one. The warnings of conflict, and Te Kooti's challenges to rival Maori authorities, both secular and spiritual, were intended to make possible this ultimate harmony. The metaphor of the canoe in which they would all travel, and whose prow would turn towards the way, recurs in many of Te Kooti's speeches and songs. He never offered himself as the captain of that canoe; but he urged this collective search for Maori redemption (458).

"He spoke again against the prophets. Te Whiti and Tohu, Te Kere and Tawhiao, saying that their work was merely boasting and that they had abandoned the most important thing in the world love: that which God had devised for his people and had created in the beginning." (465).

He urged the power one God whose spirit alone could unite the tribes:

Ko ahau e kiia nei etahi o koutou he Poropiti a he Atua hoki. E hika ma, whakarongo mai, ehara ahau i te Poropiti, ehara ano hoki i te Atua. Kaore ano koutou i matau noa ki te poropiti; kaore ano hoki te Atua e kai riwai. He tangata tonu ahau, kai raro tonu nei hoki e noho ana, kaore i runga o te rangi. Kaore ano tatau i kite noa i te Atua pehea ra tona ahua, pehea rd e karangatia nei e tatau i te ao. Ana kupu kai a tatau e korerotia ana, ara, ko te aroha, ko te pupuri i ana kupu me ana Ture, ko te atawhai ko te awhina tonu o tatau i a tatau ano, o tetahi iwi i tetahi iwi o tetahi tangata i tetahi tangata. Ko ahau he kai mau ke au no te aroha ki te tangata me te Rongopai hoki (466).

Some of you say I am a Prophet and even a God. People, listen to me. I am not a Prophet, neither am I a God. You do not yet know the prophet; God would certainly not eat potatoes. I am just a human being, living right down here, not above in heaven. We have not yet seen God, what his appearance is like, how he is called by us into the world. His words as spoken are with us, that is, love, holding to his words and his laws, charity, and continual caring for each other, one tribe for another, one man for another. I am rather a carrier of the love of man and the Gospel.

The words could not be clearer, nor more orthodox. He claimed no divinity; he did not claim to be the one prophet, who was still to come, nor even to be a prophet at all: he was a mere 'human being, living right down here', eating potatoes. Nevertheless, Te Kooti's followers thought of him as a prophet. The Ringatu church itself includes him in a carefully compiled list of the 'Prophets' ('Poropiti') who emerged in the 19th and early 20th centuries. His followers believed, and many continue to believe, that he had been entrusted with the gift of healing, which in their view is specifically bestowed by God. For them, certainly, he was much more than the mere messenger he claimed to be. As Reuben Riki put it:

The Maoris live in the world of the spirits; they are today. When influenced [by] Te Kooti, [that is] the influence of the world of the spirits. Because Te Kooti was a god to them; there had to be a god - to be a god.

For most of Te Kooti's followers in the 1890s (and after), the Ringatu teachings have their roots firmly embedded in the soil of the Old Testament, and for them Te Kooti was unquestionably a prophet. He was seen as divinely inspired, a man whom the spirit of God had entered and through whom the spirit spoke. For some, he was 'a god himself (he atua ano)'.

Te Kooti's words at this time reflect his own sense of homelessness and imrminent death, but they insist on his desire for the unity of the people. The kupu whakaari for Otamauru must date from this sad last visit:

Pu Oro Mei, Retiworo

Jehovah has made an oath to his multitude. He has said, 'In what I have spoken you will also find the fulfilment of what I have prescribed, and it will remain so forever. There is a grave within, a divided house, divided ways, divided people, divided land.'

From Otamauru and Ruatoki, Te Kooti went to the island in the Ohiwa harbour, Hokianga. And there, as one elder from the area, Pat Aramoana, said quite simply, 'he was caught by death.'

The Tuhoe elders gathered around Te Kooti on Hokianga island, and it was to them that he made his last predictions. On 10 April, in pain, he wrote to Netana and he spoke at length to Rakuraku and Hemi Kakitu. They were the chiefs of the 'two hearths' ('enei ahi e rua') which burnt on the island, that is Tuhoe and Te Upokorehe. Te Kooti referred to his long and ambivalent associations with both men. His words recalled Hemi's involvement in the attempt to kill him in the last days of the fighting in the Urewera. He said dryly, 'I say someone else will kill me, not you two' ... He told them to continue to bring him food, and to 'continue corming to hurt me. There is no other road to the other side' ('haramai tonu hoki ki te patu i au. Kaore he ara atu ki tawahi nei') but death.

The song he then sang to them is described as a song of anger ('he waiata riri'), in which he 'struck' ('aki') Rakuraku and Hemi'. In it he spoke of the bullet ('te kariri') which had been sent against his people to afflict them. It had been sent against himself, but he had pursued it, as he said, 'until we were as one' ('whairawa atu au kia moe maua'). The anger was spent; the old warrior had defused the hatreds.

Te Kooti's ohaki - his dying speech and gift - is dated 12 April. It was uttered on his last Twelfth, and Hamiora recorded it in detail. Te Kooti spoke first about his successor. This kupu is, understandably, the best-known of all his predictions:

Twenty-six years remain before the Person for us shall appear. But if everything goes according to plan, and runs smoothly, these years will be very important. But there will be three more years before the person for us appears.

But if there are difficulties with the organisation in this land [the time] will be moved again, and it will not come quickly. But that which will cause trouble will be the conduct of the Chiefs, who are working now for the land on this island, and other troubles as well. ...

He left ambiguous the time for the deliverance of the people by the One who would follow him. He spoke as a religious teacher in the gospel traditions. He then sang his last waiata:

Tera te ahi te kd mai ra
Kei nuku-wai.
Na to Ringa rawa koe i tahu mai
Kia mihi atu au.
Hohoro koe na te kau mai
Hei tokorua
Hei hoa ake ki te moenga
E tuohu nei.

There the fire glows
Across the vast waters.
It was kindled by your Hand alone,
It is there I cast my thoughts.
Hasten to me, cross those waters
Come again to be my friend,
Stay close with me
Until the end.

The faith is the fire kindled by God across time and space. The song asks God to reach across these dividing waters to be with him at his end; and the words recall the hymn composed 300 years earlier by the Anglican divine John Donne:

I have a sinne of feare, that when I have spunne
My last thred, I shall perish on the shore;
Swear by thy selfe, that at my death thy sonne
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
And, having done that, Thou haste done,
I feare no more.

Te Kooti's final spoken words followed the song that betokened his ultimate faith. They concerned Te Wainui as the home for the Ringatu.

Te Kooti's Diary (531)

As an appendix to his book Colenso published his translation of six of the prayers (inoi) from Te Kooti's notebook, to show that they 'are truly beautiful good and pious' . ... Inoi [16] is the most famous, because it expressed the sadness of the prisoners on Wharekauri:


E te Atua, ki te hoki atu o matou niahara i runga i te whenua e noho whakarau nei matou, a ka repeneta, ka inoi atu ki a koe me te whaki atu ano i a matou hara ki tou aroaro, tena ra, e Ihowa, murua te hara o tou iwi i hara nei ki a koe. Kaua ra e whaka- ngaro atu i a matou, e te Atua. Kola matou c whakakororia nei i to ingoa tapu. Amine


0 God, if our hearts arise from the land in which we now dwell as slaves, and repent and pray to Thee and confess our sins in Thy presence, then, 0 Jehovah, do Thou blot out the sins of Thy own people, who have sinned against Thee. Do not Thou, 0 God, cause us to be wholly destroyed. Wherefore it is we glorify Thy Holy Name. Amen.

The notebook also contains waiata, some Jottings, a diagram of a predictive dream and 'kupu whakaarl' (prophetic sayings). The earliest dated prediction is 6 March 1869, at Waioeka.

A predictive dream, recorded in Te Kooti's second diary. It appears to show the stars, four choices or directions, and the rainbow. It reads:

Kino Hohepa                      Te moe mo nga whetu
Ko Pere                               Na Rawiri i huihui enei whika
                     wi I
Atua Kohuru                      Te hae o nga tuakana

Evil Joseph                        The dream concerning the stars
Rainbow                             David assembled these symbols
                     wi I
God Killing by treachery The jealousy of the brothers (siblings)

The figure Wi I (or WI) was stitched on Te Kooti's flag captured at Te Porere in October 1869. It represented the WaIrua Tapti (Holy Spirit), which was the original name of the faith. Eripene is a word in 'te reo ke', the strange language.

1. 'Tereina': the prophetic word of God to Adam. In the published account Tereina is described as a Hebrew phrase, given to Te Kooti by inspiration from God. The interpretation given is: 'Be thou created out of my shadow.' In the notebook the text reads: 'Tereina, Ko te whakahanga o tona wairua' ('Tereina, The creation of his spirit').

2. 'Te Kipi': the prophetic word to Abraham. The published account again states it to be a Hebrew word, and the interpretation given is: 'Go to Judea'. In the notebook the prophetic word to Abraham is 'Tiripe'. The text reads: 'Ko te tononga a te Atua i a Aperahama ki ura' ('God's calling of Abraham to Ura', Judea). The word to Abraham, 'Tiripe', is also transcribed in a list of prophetic words and their associated scriptural references, which was compiled by Petera Te Rangihiroa and transcribed by Robert Biddle into his collected documents of the faith.

3. 'Te Kaumu': the prophetic word to Christ. The published account again states it to be a Hebrew word, and the interpretation given is: 'Thou shalt be a king for ever'. In the notebook the prophetic word to Christ is the fifth in a series of six prophetic words listed (to Adam, to Abraham, to Moses, to David, to Christ and to Te Kooti). The word to Christ in the notebook is 'Epirinatai'. There appears to be no equivalent of 'Te Kaumu'. The text in the notebook reads: 'Ko te whakapumautanga Kingi' ('The establishment [of the] King'). 'Epirinatai' is also given as the word to Christ in Petera's list of the prophetic sayings.

The strange words were all said to be Hebrew, and Te Kooti's followers often say that Te Kooti could speak Hebrew by inspiration. The account of 1871 also reported this claim. ...

The Hawke's Bay notebook contains the kupu whakaari uttered at Waloeka on 6 March 1869, which is one of Te Kooti's better-known predictions. ... Te Kooti would reiterate it after the wars, and then, in 1886, indicate that it had been fulfilled. ...

The notebook demonstrates a restatement and a reworking of the early kupu whaka- ari by Te Kooti. These are the basic texts of Te Kooti's developing 'theology of liberation'. Thus both surviving diaries contain the first bases of what would be extensively developed and recorded by Te Kooti's secretaries - the tradition of the kupu whakaari. The second diary also records fragments of the war in 1869-70 - the places and people to whom Te Kooti looked for support, and also those whom he considered he could not entirely trust. One of the latter was the Tuhoe chief Rakuraku, who Joined him, but whom he called here 'te Ngarara' ('the Monster'). Another was the unhappy Tuwharetoa leader Horonuku Te Heuheu, who, as Te Kooti wrote here, would be successfully caught ('ka mau') at Moerangi in June 1869. The last dated entry is March 1870 This, too, is a kupu whakaari, from the inland forests of Waioeka. The area, Te Tahora, was about a mile from Maraetahl pa where Te Kooti took shelter, and most of his people were staying at Te Tahora:

Waioeka Panui Tetahora

tenei kupu Maehe [?]l -1870

  1. Rapua a Ihowa, e te hunga mataki
  2. Tiakina tou Arero. Ko wai te tangata e hiahia ana ki te ora

Waioeka Announcement Te Tahora this saying

  1. Seek Jehovah, you watching crowd
  2. Guard your tongue. Who is the person who desires life

There was one further notebook written in Te Kooti's hand which survived the wars. This was in the possession of the tohunga Eria Raukura in 1914 and was said to have come to him at Te Kooti's death in 1893. It contained the texts for 12 services, the original number that Te Kooti composed, each of which possessed ten portions. The text for the first service, which was composed on Wharekauri, was:

  1. 1 Chronicles 16:28, 30.
  2. Job 12:10-11.
  3. Psalms 3:8
  4. Jeremiah 31:16-17
  5. Zephaniah 2:3
  6. Proverbs 1:7
  7. Proverbs 24:16-17. 28

This service, 'Panui 1', with some slight extensions, is retained by the Ringatu today.

Hine Legends

Kahukiwa, Robyn (artist); Grace, Patricia (writer) 1984
Wahine Toa Women of Maori Myth
, Collins, Auckland. ISBN 0-00-217205-4


My mother was formed from Papatuanuku by the hands of Tane. I was formed in the womb of my mother when Tane entered her, combining both male and female elements. But I did not know at first that Tane was my father. I was their firstborn, named Hine-titama, being the Dawn, and being therefore the daughter who bound earthly night to earthly day. I later became the wife of Tane, not knowing that he was my father, and we parented several daughters.

One day I asked Tane who my father was. He would not answer me directly saying only, "Put your question to the posts of the house." lt was then that I knew that Tane, my husband, was also my father. I was bone of his bone and yet I was wife to him. I was angry and shamed because of this, and decided that I could not continue either to be wife to Tane or earthly mother to our children.

So I left the world of light, telling Tane not to follow me. I told him to remain with our children and to care for them in the world of light. " I will go on to the dark world," I said, "where I will welcome our children when their earthly life is ended. I will go in order to prepare an after life for them, where once again I can be a loving mother. I will be known from now on as Hine-nui-te-Po."


It was because of shame that I left the world of light for the dark world and promised to await my children and their descendants to welcome them here in Rarohenga. Now the time is near.

Now, at last, this Maui comes towards me, coming in the hope that he will conquer me, and that the children of hard-won light will never know death.

When I have defeated Maui, I will thereafter welcome my descendants in death. But I do not cause death, and did not ordain it. Human death was ordained when human life was ordained. And we - my father-husband Tane; Taranga who gave special birth to Maul; Makea-tutara, speaker of the tohi rites; Maui-potiki, and I, Hine-nui-te-Po, are merely the instruments, the practicalities, and the sequence of death. See Maui now. In the world of light he has achieved all he can achieve. He comes now to challenge me in the world of no-light, seeking to achieve what cannot be achieved. To defeat death he will need to gain living entry to my womb, and living exit, but this he cannot do. Now he stands at the edge of light, exuberant, changing from one disguise to another while the little birds watch, excited and trembling. My vagina, where he must enter, is set with teeth of obsidian, and is a gateway through which only those who have already achieved death may freely pass.

He will attempt to enter in life, hoping that I am asleep, but he will be cut in two, meeting his death. Only then can he be made welcome. (Maui is depicted in the background image)

Come Maui-tikitiki-a-Taranga. Your bird companions chuckle and flutter at the strange sight of you, but they are not your undoing. There is one purpose only for these obsidian teeth. In this your last journey, you will give your final gift to those of earth, the gift not of immortality, but of homecoming, following death. Come survivor of seas, lengthener of day, obtainer of fire, fisher of land, keeper of the magical jawbone of Muriranga-whenua.

Death is yours, your chosen, death is yours. Your deeds will be spoken of in the world of light, but you will never be seen there again.

I will wait at this side of death for those who follow, because I am the mother who welcomes and cares for those children whose earthly life has ended.

Robyn Kahukiwa (artist); Patricia Grace (writer)