Hori Ngakapa Te Whanaunga


Ngāti Whanaunga, Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Paoa

Iwi map - Hori NgakapaIWI / HAPU AFFILIATIONS

Hori Ngakapa had a distinguished start in life as a Ngati Whanaunga leader. In 1851, he was one of several rangatira who paddled from Hauraki to Auckland on their tribal waka taua or war canoes Ahi-motu-kura and Hurawhenua; landing at Waipapa or present day Mechanic's Bay.1The wrong they wanted put right was the inappropriate treatment by Pākehā of Hoera, a Hauraki rangatira. After making their presence known, they left Auckland without spilling a drop of Pākehā or Māori blood.

In a newspaper account published in 1865 over 1200 Māori from the confederation of Hauraki tribes and some Ngati Porou gathered in Thames to discuss matters of war and peace between Māori and Pākehā. They decided that they would not leave Thames to fight against Pākehā but if troops came into Thames they would fight them. To demonstrate his commitment to peace Ngakapa gave James MacKay2 a dogskin cloak given to Wiremu Tamihana by Wi Tako Ngātata for Potatau Te Wherowhero to wear as the first Māori King. Ngakapa was gifted the cloak from the whanau of Wetine Taiporotu of Tainui, who Ngakapa assisted during a conflict. The present whereabouts of the cloak is not known.3

Hori Ngakapa Te Whanaunga and his wife, Hera Puna took part in the fighting and siege of Orakau. Ngakapa was famous for going into battle with his Tupara (double- barrelled gun) and his stone mere. On the occasion of a skirmish at Drury, Ngakapa ran out of ammunition and didn't have time to reload his gun. Hera stood in front of him as a soldier took aim to kill him, providing Ngakapa enough time to reload and protect Hera.

Lindauer painted this portrait of Hori Ngakapa in 1878.


  1. Roger Neich, Carved Histories: Rotorua Ngati Tarawhai Woodcarving (Auckland, NZ.: Auckland University Press, 2001), p 164.
  2. Harry C. Evison, 'Mackay, James 1831 - 1912', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007, accessed 24 February 2010.
  3. ‘Auckland. Important Native Meeting in the Tham’s [sic] District’, Otago Witness, issue 694, 18 March 1865, p 5, Papers Past, accessed 24 February 2010.
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