Topic: THE STORY OF TAMARANGI (Explanation by Patrick Nicholas)

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In 1833 Ngapuhi with support from Rarawa and Aupouri came to Tauranga to avenge the defeat of Haramiti at Motiti and to make amends for their abortive first trip to Tauranga. (Where they seemed to have spent some time at Raropua.) One of the Chiefs in the ope was Wharepoaka who was brother in law to the Trader Tapsell.

When Arawa heard of the Ngapuhi campaign a large meeting was held to discuss the whole question. Hikairo, leader of Ngati Rangiwewehi declared adamantly that his tribe would fight against Ngapuhi. The rest of Arawa stated just as fervently that they would assist Ngapuhi.
Wi Maihi Te Rangikaheke stated that Arawa should join Ngapuhi to reduce the power of Tupaea over the lands at Maketu. His ownership was undisputed, but the flax swamps in that area had taken on a new value with the arrival of Tapsell. If Ngapuhi could reduce the power of Tauranga Moana then Te Arawa would be in a better position to claim Maketu. Ngati Rangiwewehi proceeded to Maungatapu through the Pyes Pa /Taumata direction. The rest of Te Arawa went to Maketu and travelled along the beach to the Mount where they joined Ngapuhi.
The Arawa and Ngapuhi decided to lay an ambush at the mudflats at Tokitoki in Welcome Bay. They were successful in ambushing Ngati Rangiwewehi/Ngati He but found they had bitten off more than they could chew. One Tauranga man was killed. Weriweri and two Arawa: Tuhoto and Tamarangi were also killed.
To avoid desecration Tamarangi’s body was carried up one of the hills at Ranginui where he was beheaded and his body placed on a pyre and cremated. Tamarangi’s relative Haerehuka it has been said composed this song while Tamarangi body was being consumed by the fire. The middle verses refer to the smoke floating in the air. Tamarangi was from Ngati Tunohopu.

Tunohopu
Taioperua
Te Manunui
Te Moko —Parehuia
Tamarangi
Many people have stated that Tamarangi was Haerehuka’s son, unfortunately this is not correct. As you can see with the whakapapa, Tamarangi’s father is Te Moko. But Tamarangi could qualify as a Tamaiti of Haerehuka. Tamaiti being a much broader term than son. Haerehuka’s daughter married Tamarangi’s brother Tamaiwhakangaro. Tamaiwhakangaro descendants include the Te Kowhai family of Rotorua and the Maori woman Author Ngahuia Te Awekotukutuku. Haerehuka was a frequent composer and one of great skill. This song in particular being a master piece. Many parts can have several meanings. Only Haerehuka himself would know the full meaning. Here is an attempted translation.

He aha rawa te hara i whiu ai a Tamarangi kite mate ra,
For what reason did Tamarangi die?
Ko te Kaoreore Ko te Rau o te huia he hinu para ngahoro mirimiri kite kin e,
We had the Kaoreore and the Rau o te huia and the oil was massaged into the
skin,
Hoatu rawa nei taku matakahi ka wahi kite angaanga o Tamapahore nohea e
ngawha e,
I gave my wedge to smash the head of Tamapahore, why did it not burst?
Ehara i te tangata he auarere kaharunga no te pou rakau o te Kupenga a
Tutanekai,
It is not a man, but a Ariki from the pole that holds the clouds in strata taunt,
Ka hoka i te rangi e,
Soaring in the sky,
E Hinearangi hikoia mai ra ta taua manu, ka motu i te ringa e,
Lady of the sky snatch our Rangatira, who has been broken by hand,
Me ahu ki uta ra e kau i te wai nga matarae i waho o Opounui e,
Go shorewards swim the waters to the headlands off Opounui,
Aua tu ana Nga Matakerewhana i raro o Matakana e,
Shrouded in the haze is Nga Matakerewhana below Matakana,
Ma tou tuahine e taki kite ara nga roro wharenui Te Umu ki Maketu e
Your sister will guide the way to the meeting house porch to To Umu ki
Maketu,
Tangi te powhiri a tou tupuna nau mai e, e pa e.
Your Ancestor welcomes you, by calling welcome sir welcome.

Line one: is the frequent thought of Maori, when someone has died they look for a misdeed that has caused it.
Line two: refer to two clubs the Kaoreore and the Rau o te huia. The Kaoreore is one of the most sacred taonga of Te Arawa. The Kaoreore is now in the Auckland Museum.
Line 3:Possibly refers to the battle, an advantage or surprise was taken and described as a wedge(matakahi) to destroy the descendants of Tamapahore but the advantage was not driven home and was to no avail.
Line 4 “Ehara i te tangata he auarere kaha runga no te Pourakau o te kupenga a Tutanekai” paints an image of him not being a man but a herring trying to get over the top rope of the pole holding Tutanekai’s net taunt. But “Auarere kaharunga”is also a figuratively way of saying a chief(as is Manu in line 6) and we believe “Te Kupenga a Tutanekai” refers to “Kupenga a Taramainuku “(clouds in strata). Haerehuka replacing Taramainuku with his Tupuna, Tutanekai in a play of words.
Nga Matakerewhana, Te Umu ki Maketu and Matakana are place names on Matakana Island.

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THE STORY OF TAMARANGI (Explanation by Patrick Nicholas)


First Names:TAMARANGI
Last Name:Son of Te Moko
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THE STORY OF TAMARANGI (Explanation by Patrick Nicholas) by Patrick Nicholas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License