Eru Tamaikoha Te Ariari


Ngāti Tama, Ngāi Tuhoe ( ? - 1915)

Iwi map - Eru Tamaikoha AriariIWI / HAPU AFFILIATIONS

Eru Tamaikoha belonged to the Ngāti Tama hapu of Waimana. His father was Te Ariari o Tu and his mother was Tiramate. Tamaikoha could trace his whakapapa back to the original people of Te Urewera, Te Hapuoneone.  Tamaikoha was a significant Tuhoe leader whose generation fought tirelessly to prevent the loss of land to Government forces. He experienced the intense loss of political and social autonomy and later suffered the same indignity experienced by other leaders of having to prove who he was, where his lands were and why he should be able to retain them. Eru was also known as Erueti Tamaikoha.

Tamaikoha visited Auckland as a defence witness in the case of Regina versus Himiona, a sensational trial involving witchcraft and murder. The Bay of Plenty Times reported the visit:

The renowned fighting chief of Te Urewera arrived yesterday per Rowena from Opotiki en route for Auckland, as a witness for, the defence in the case, of Regina vs Himiona, the Te Teko murderer. We advise; our Auckland: friends who have not yet seen a real specimen of the cannibal to interview Mr Tamaikoha during his stay in their city; This native has never, been to sea before either in a canoe or a boat, and expresses the greatest wonder at the steamer Rowena.1

Perhaps Lindauer took the opportunity to attend the proceeding and create this portrait of Tamaikoha. This portrait was painted in 1903 and Tamaikoha died on 5 September 1915. 2



  1. Bay of Plenty Times article quoted in: ‘Page 3 Advertisements Column 4’, Timaru Herald, vol XXIV, issue 1394, 17 April 1876, p 3, Papers Past, accessed 3 March 2010.
  2. Judith Binney, Encircled Lands: Te Urewera, 1820-1921, Bridget Williams Books, Wellington, 2009.
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  • Sam Haami Rangiahua - Tuhoe / Ngati Tawhaki

    At 10pm on 4 June 2015

    Kia ora whanau, I would like to share my journey that led me to a painting of our tipuna Eru Tamaikoha (not sure if it's the original painted by Gottfried Lindauer). It hangs proudly alongside other paintings that could belong this famous artist. It all started from an old portrait photo of my grandmother Moewaka Te Uaua with Waka Hakeke Tamaikoha standing behind her. This photo led me to Papakura Marae where this painting is. Apparently these paintings were donated to this marae by a previous owner of the Papakura Tavern.

  • Kaylene Hakeke

    At 8pm on 7 March 2015

    This is my papa's great grandfather. He was born in 1835 in Ruatahuna, and was also the Chief of a small sub tribe of the Urewera, called Ngai Tama, he is also connected to Ngati Awa of the Whakatane Valley. He stood over six foot Tall, and he refused to wear the pakeha (European) clothes and always preferred the Rapaki. In the Hauhau wars in the Bay of Plenty he was a daring leader of the rebels, skilled in guerrilla warfare and the Art of Ambush. He fought relentlessly against the Government and its Maori allies at Maketu and Kaokaoroa in 1864, and later in the Whakatane and Opotiki Districts and on the Northern borders of the Urewera County. In 1869 Tamaikoha was still on the warpath against the Government forces. He made peace with Major Kemp and the Government in 1870. Later in his life he wished his people to move from their Waimana Valley to a new site. Seeing them hesitate, he promptly set fire to their homes and burnt them down. The hapu shifted! He died on September the 5th 1915. He was a Great man and fought for his people.

  • Rongowhakaata Miki Tiopira - Te whakatane

    At 11pm on 3 January 2015

    Kia ora mo tena. great photo of the koroua erueti tamaikoha. Ko Rongowhakaata Tiopira ahau no te waimana kaaku. both Hakeke and Tiopira tamaikoha are my koroua.

  • Joseph ( Tio Tio) Temo - Tuhoe

    At 1pm on 2 September 2014

    One of his daughters was Te Unupo married Tawera Moko, ka puta ko Moko Tuiringa,Te Orohi, te whaaea o taku whaaea a Te Waimatao (Tiramate)Titoki,te tahi ano ko Pihitahi Te Awhiahua ka moa ia Tupaea Rapaera ka puta ko nga Kohunui

  • Steve

    At 12pm on 24 February 2014

    I am trying to trace the daughters of Eru Tomaikoha, can anyone provide names and whakapapa/history? Thanks, Steve

  • Maraea R. - Te Whakatane

    At 9pm on 21 January 2014

    A son, a brother,a father, a koroua, not perfect who fought for the right to live on his own land and live his life in his own way. I am honoured to be his humble mokopuna.

  • Tane Singh Lagah (Rua) - Tamakaimoana, Ngai Tama, Ngati Rongo

    At 9pm on 19 April 2013

    Tena Koe tana koroua rangatira o tou hapu Tama Tuhi Rae ki Waimana! ka mau te wehi a tohunga toi Lindauer he whakaahua tana koroua ake...

  • Shane Hillman - Ngai Tuhoe

    At 6pm on 9 October 2012

    My great great grandfather, love to tell his story

  • Adam pouwhare - Ngatihaka patuheuheu

    At 5pm on 22 August 2011

    Moe moe ra e koro Rangatira o ngai Tuhoe

  • Robin Mckenzie (Te Rupe) - Ngai Tuhoe

    At 10am on 30 July 2011

    even more proud to be part of tamaikoha whakapapa when i see his portait, TeRupe reunion at Whakarae xmas 2012

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