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Ngatai, Wiremu Nera

by Ian Church

Biography

Nā Wiremu Nēra (William Naylor) Ngātai i kawe te Rongopai ki te tonga o Taranaki i te wāhanga whakamutunga o te tekau tau mai i 1830. I whānau tonu pea a ia ki Taranaki ēngari kāore i te mōhiotia ko wai ōna mātua. Nō te tekau tau mai i 1820, ka haria a ia e tētahi marau nō Ngā Puhi ki Te Hokianga. I reira ka taka a ia ki raro i te awe o Nathaniel Turner, he mihinare nō te Rōpū Hāhi Wēteriana (Wesleyan Missionary Society). Nō te whakapaunga o te tau 1837, ka tukuna a ia kia haere. Ko tōna hokinga mai tērā ki Waipapa, he wāhi e pātata ana ki Ōhangai i te awa o Tangāhoe. E ai ki a Reverend John Skevington, nā ngā tohutohu me ngā kauhau a Nēra, i awhi ai te nuinga o te taitonga o Taranaki, i ngā momo whanonga a te Karaitiana. Nō mua noa atu i te taenga atu o ngā mihinare Pākehā, tēnei tū āhua. He kaha te ātete ki te Rongopai i te tīmatanga, ēngari, taro rawa ake, ka hangā e Nēra te whare karakia, a Mangungu, ki Maraeroa.

E ai ki a Te Karu Whā (Henry Williams), o te Rōpū Hāhi Mihinare (Church Missionary Society) kīhai a Nēra i mōhio ki te pānui pukapuka. Ā, pērā i te nuinga o ngā kaiwhakaako mīhana o mua, he iti noa iho te mōhio ki te kaupapa o te Rongopai. Ko rātou i tahuri ki te whakapono, i iriirihia e ia ki te wai mahana mai i tētahi kōhua haena. Ka īngoatia ko te Kokiro tēnei momo iriiri, arā, he kōnanunanutanga nō ngā tikanga Karaitiana me ngā tikanga Māori. Nā rātou i iriirihia, i kawe te Kupu ki a Ngā Rauru i Waitōtara, ki a Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi i Wanganui, ā, ki a Ngāti Tūwharetoa i Taupō. Tokowhā o aua karere i kōhurutia. Tērā atu pea ētahi. Heoti, nā te rite tonu o te torotoro a Nēra ki Te Ahituatini, he kāinga i rāwāhi atu o Pūtiki, i tahuri mai ai te rangatira nei, a Mare, ki te Whakapono. Nā, ka hangā e Nēra he whare karakia ki reira. Ko te patunga o ngā karere Karaitiana tokowhā o Ngāti Ruanui tētahi o ngā take i tū ai he riri ki Te Kūititanga pā i Waikanae, i te Oketopa o 1839. He pū me ngā pukapuka o te Kawenata Hou ngā mauranga a te taua i ārahina e Nēra ki te āwhina i a Ngāti Ruanui i Waikanae. Rokohanga atu e rātou a Te Karu Whā i Rangitīkei. Ka whakahē a ia ki tā rātou kaupapa, ā, ka whakamātau ki te aukati i tā rātou haere. Ko tā Nēra ki a Te Karu Whā, he rite tēnei haerenga ki te haere mau pū a Tāmati Wāka Nene me tōna iwi ki Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands); ahakoa rā, ka whakaae a ia ki te hoki ki te kāinga.

I ngā mihinare nei i a Te Haena (Samuel Ironside), i a George Buttle, me John Aldred, e torotoro mai ana i te Hune o 1840, ka aratakina atu rātou e Nēra ki Tangāhoe. Nā rātou i iriiri ngā tāngata e 42 i tahuri mai ki te Whakapono. E rua tau te hunga nei e kuraina ana kia mātau ai rātou. I torotoro anō hoki ngā mihinare nei i te whare karakia a Nēra i Pātea. Nō Ākuhata o 1840, ka piki tahi te mana o Nēra me te kaupapa o te Rongopai. Nā ngā whawhai ā-iwi i pēnei ai. Na, ka pāhorotia e Ngāti Pēhi o Tūwharetoa a Pātoka pā i Waitōtara, ā, ka nohoia iho e rātou. He tini ngā herehere i mau i tā rātou urutomotanga mai mā te awa o Waitōtara. I mua i te tukinga o Pātoka e Ngāti Ruanui rāua ko Ngā Rauru, ka whakahaeretia e Nēra he karakia . Nō te hinganga o te pā, kīhai tētahi o āna tangata i whara. E ai ki te mihinare nei ki a Te Waitere (John Whiteley), nā te mea he mea whakamīharo tēnei ki te hinengaro Māori, i aro mai ai rātou ki te Atua o te Rongopai me tāna pukapuka.

Kātahi ka kaha haere kē atu ngā mahi a Nēra. Nō te Pēpuere o 1841, ka ārahina atu e ia te minita rā, ko Karira (Charles Creed), ki te tonga o Taranaki. Ka tae ki tōna pā i Tangāhoe, ka kauwhau a Karira. He hokowhitu tāngata i āta whakarongo ki a ia, ā, nāna i mārena e 42 ngā tōpū. Ahakoa i whakamanawatia a Karira e ngā mahi a ngā tauira, ko tāna e noho kūware tonu ana rātou. Ahakoa ia rā, nā ēnei takatūranga a Nēra i whakatuwhera te huarahi ki ngā mihinare Pākehā. Nō Āperira o 1842, ka tae mai tō rātou mihinare tuatahi, a Skevington ki a Ngāti Ruanui noho ai. Nā Nēra a ia i harihari haere i tōna takiwā. I Hūrae o 1842, arā a Nēra i te pūruatanga o ngā awa o Manawapou me Ingahape e noho ana. Nō te tau 1846, ka pānuitia ko ia te kaiako Wēteriana mō reira.

I te tōmuatanga o te tau 1843, ka urupou te rongo o Nēra. He moenga nāna i a Rora Tūrori, te tuahine o Te Herekiekie o Tokaanu. I mauhereheretia tēnei wahine i Waitōtara. Ko Wiremu anō te īngoa o te tangata nāna ake te wahine nei. Heoti, kua tukuna kētia e te wahine nei tōna ate ki a Nēra. E kīia ana, he tangata purotu, ā, he tangata pai a Nēra. Ē ai ki a Edward Jerningham Wakefield, kāore i roa, ko Rora kē i te whakahaere i a Nēra. Wawana ana te kōwhetewhete i waenga i ngā whanaunga o ngā tāne a Rora! E kī ana te pūrongo a Skevington, nā te raruraru nei i whakapōhauhau, i whakangaro ai hoki ētahi o ngā rōpū Wēteriana.

I te tekau tau o muri mai, ko Nēra tētahi o ngā rangatira i whakamātau ki te whakakotahi i a Ngāti Ruanui, i a Ngā Rauru me Taranaki, kia taea ai e tō rātou kotahi te pupuri ō rātou whenua. Nō muri mai i te hui nui ā-iwi i Manawapou i Mei o 1854, ka hainatia e Nēra te pānui e waitohu ana i ō rātou rohenga whenua. E toru tau i muri mai, ko ia tētahi i whakahē kei hokona te poraka o Whakangerengere. I te whawhaitanga o Taranaki i Waireka, kāore a ia i tae wawe atu ki te auporo. I whakahētia e ia tā rātou mahi, ā, nō te hokinga o tōna tira ki te kāinga, ka murua haeretia e rātou ngā kāinga o te iwi o Taranaki.

Nā te kore kōrero ka taea te whakatūturu, i kore ai e mōhiotia ngā mahi a Nēra mai i 1860. Waihoki, ko tētahi rongo kōrero e kī ana, nō muri mai a ia ka mōhiotia ko Wī Parirau. Tērā pea i roto a ia i ngā mahi a Te Ua Haumēne, nō te mea hoki ko tēnei te īngoa o tētahi o ngā apataki a Te Ua Haumēne. E tinga anō, i te taha a ia o Tītokowaru i te whakatauitanga o tērā ki uta o Waitōtara. E kīia ana, i ōna tau whakamutunga, ka whakaheaheatia a ia e tētahi momo mate pōrangi, e pā ana ki ētahi e kaha rawa ana te whai i te Whakapono. Ko te kōrero, i mate atu a ia ki te whare pōrangi o Pari-ā-rua (Porirua) i te whakapaunga o te rau tau 1800–1899.


Hononga, rauemi nō waho

Ētahi whakaaro puaki, takenga

    Hammond, T. G. In the beginning. Hawera, 1915

    Houston, J. Maori life in old Taranaki. Wellington, 1965

    Laurenson, G. I. Te hahi Weteriana. [Auckland], 1972


Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Ian Church. 'Ngatai, Wiremu Nera', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 1990. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/1n9/ngatai-wiremu-nera (accessed 8 July 2020)