Wiremu Nēra Te Awaitāia of Ngāti Mahanga
Wiremu Nēra Te Awaitāia was one of the rangatira who signed the Waikato-Manukau sheet. He signed with 31 others at the Waikato Heads Mission Station, either in late March or early April 1840.
A leader of Ngāti Mahanga, whose home was on the Waipa River, Te Awaitāia was probably born in the late eighteenth century. His mother was Parehina, and his father was Te Kata. He was a good friend and fighting companion to two of the most famous warriors in Waikato, Te Waharoa of Ngāti Haua, and Potatau Te Wherowhero of Ngāti Mahuta, to whom he was related.
In 1833 or 1834 Te Awaitāia was introduced to Christianity, and became patron of the Kāwhia station, which was built on Ngāti Mahanga land. His relationship with missionaries helped when it came to signing the Treaty. He recalled four years after signing that missionary advice had prompted many rangatira to sign, and apparently Te Awaitāia encouraged others to do so.
A full biography of Wiremu Nēra Te Awaitāia can be found at www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/1t26/te-awa-i-taia-wirem...
This photograph is of a painting of Te Awaitāia, as depicted by the artist Gottfried Lindauer. It comes from a collection of his work in the Patent and Copyright records. More on Lindauer’s work can be found at www.lindaueronline.co.nz/
Archives Reference: PC4 Box 38/ 1913/14
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Material supplied by Archives New Zealand
Caption information from www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/1t26/te-awa-i-taia-wirem...