Topic: Ihakara Koikoi (?-1864)

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Ihakara Koikoi was the first person killed during the Battle of Gate Pā at Pukehinahina on 29 April 1864.

Ihakara Koikoi was the eldest son of Ngāi Tamarāwaho chief Paraone Koikoi. His mother was descended from the Ngati Raukawa (Otaki) iwi.

Prior to the Battle of Gate Pā at Pukehinahina on 29 April 1864, Ihakara's father organised the safety of the Māori women and children and saw to it that the kainga was well supplied with food for the defence (Bay of Plenty Beacon, 1939, p. 4).

Ihakara was the first person killed at the start of the Battle of Gate Pā at Pukehinahina on 29 April 1864. Hori Ngatai reported later that;

The cannonade that morning began just as we were about to eat our meal of potatoes. Our Christian tohunga Ihaka, clad in a white surplice, was standing up in a very conspicuous position invoking a blessing. Just as he uttered the words: "May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and love of..." a shell from one of the big guns struck him in the waist, and bursting, scattered his body all over the place. Aue (alas), what a sight (The Story of Gate Pa, pp. 25-26).

A sketch of Ihakara was done by Horatio Gordon Robley (1840-1930) and later appeared in Robley's book Moko; or Maori Tattooing (1896):

Ihakara Koikoi (?-1864)

Fig. 127. — Ihaaka, the rebel tohunga — killed at Gate Pa (Moko; or Maori Tattooing)

Ihakara was buried at Mission Cemetery (Otamataha Pā) in Tauranga.

In 2014 a representation of Ihakara was carved on one of the Tōtara Tree Pou at the Gate Pa battlesite:

Left Tōtara Tree Pou: Ihakara Koikoi



Bay of Plenty Beacon (10 May 1939, p. 4).

Mair, Gilbert (1926). The Story of Gate Pa, April 29th 1864 [Reprinted by the Bay of Plenty Times Ltd in 1937 & 1964. Reprinted by Cadsonbury Publications in 2010. Reprinted by Tauranga Charitable Trust in 2014].

Robley, Horatio Gordon (1896). Moko; or Maori Tattooing.

Winiata, Frances & Winiata, Piripi (2000. Updated 30 October 2012) Maharaia Winiata (Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand). 

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Ihakara Koikoi (?-1864)

First Names:Ihakara
Last Name:Koikoi
Date of death:29 April 1864
Place of death:Pukehinahina, Tauranga
Fathers name:Te Rauhea Paraone Koikoi
Fathers date of birth:1828 (?)
Fathers place of birth:Tauranga, New Zealand
Fathers date of death:1874
Fathers place of death:Huria, Tauranga, New Zealand
Mothers name:Matatu Monotahuna
Mothers date of birth:1824
Mothers date of death:1896
Military Service:New Zealand Wars