Hamiora Tu


Ngāi Te Rangī (1825 – 1880)


Hamiora Tu of Ngāi Te Rangī is depicted in this portrait wearing Māori fighting dress and holding a bayonet-style firearm. Hamiora served as a guide to Crown forces during fighting at Pukehinahina or Gate Pa in Tauranga in 1864. He played a pivotal role supporting the Colonial forces in conflict against his iwi. For his efforts, he was given substantial gifts of land that he sold to Pākehā. Hamiora was awarded the Victoria medal for 'gallant conduct' and in life was known for his hospitality.

The lifestyle of Pākehā appealed to Hamiora and he quickly became part of the Pākehā gentry, enjoying a comfortable life and status with Government officials, land agents, Church of England parishioners and Auckland businessmen. In 1876 Hamiora was elected a member of the Tauranga Jockey's Club to celebrate the Anniversary of the Colony on 29 January that year,1 and as a committee member of the Tauranga Annual Regatta events.2 However freely he was welcomed into Pākehā circles, in 1876 Hamiora was challenged on his eligibility to vote at Church meetings because he lived outside of the local Trinity Church Parish and was Māori.3 He won his right to vote.

Hamiora Tu lived at Te Puna and his tangihanga in 1880 was held at Matapihi in Tauranga.


  1. 'Tauranga Race Meeting', Bay Of Plenty Times, vol V, issue 438, 22 November 1876, p 3, Papers Past, accessed 28 January 2010.
  2. 'Page 2 Advertisements Column 2', Bay Of Plenty Times, vol IV, issue 367, 15 March 1876, p 2, Papers Past, accessed 28 January 2010.
  3. 'Church of England Meeting', Bay Of Plenty Times, vol IV, Issue 402, 19 July 1876, p 3, Papers Past, accessed 28 January 2010.
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