Pera Tutoko


Ngā Potiki, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Ngāi Tūhoe (? - 1897)

Iwi map - Pera Te Rangituatahi TutokoIWI / HAPU AFFILIATIONS

Watch an interview with descendant George Parekowhai

Pera Te Rangituatahi Tutoko was one of the first batch of Māori prisoners incarcerated at Wharekauri (Chatham Islands) in 1866. Leading up to his incarceration, Tutoko was part of a 200-plus strong group of Māori who vowed to defend their land from imminent confiscation by the Government and to maintain independence. The standoff is now famously referred to as the November 1865 one-week 'hinge of fate'1 attack on Waerenga a Hika Pa in Poverty Bay. The fate of Tutoko after this event, together with other Māori including Te Kooti Te Turuki Arikirangi was that they were sent to Napier, then exiled to Wharekauri. The cause and significance of the attack on Waerenga a Hika Pa is still being debated today.

Ironically, it is said that Te Kooti Arikirangi2 was part of a group of Rongowhakaata Māori who fought on the Government side during the Waerenga a Hika siege.  Arrested on suspicion of spying at that time, Te Kooti was seized on 3 March 1866 and detained in Napier. Despite protesting his innocence and repeated requests for a trial, he was shipped with other prisoners to Wharekauri on 5 June 1866.3 Pera eventually escaped on board the Rifleman with Te Kooti and others captives from Wharekauri and reached Whareongaonga, south of Poverty Bay, on 10 July 1868.

Around 1886-7 Pera was in Gisborne when elders of the day decided to visit Te Kooti at Te Tokonganui-a-noho Marae at Te Kuiti seeking spiritual advice. Te Kooti's advice was that Rongowhakaata Maori should 'Whakahaungia te Rongopai I runga I te Ngawari me te Aroha.' Translated this means they should 'Proclaim the gospel, the gentler faith and the love of God.' They honoured Te Kooti by building four major marae named Whakahau, Rongopai, Ngawari and Te Aroha.

Lindauer inscribed this painting with the words Chief Pera Tutoko of Kaitara, PV (Poverty Bay). In Pera's lifetime, Kaitara was a fighting , but is now a tribal urupa.  Pera had whakapapa connections to Te Urewera and his given name was Te Rangituatahi Pera Uatuku. The name Pera is an abbreviation of the name Aperahama, the Māorified Christian name for Abraham. The name Tutoko was bestowed on Pera in honour of a family ancestor.

Pera was a practitioner of spirit-based ideology and strongly believed in the philosophic power of Māori to vision their future.  His Nga Potiki worldview was inspirational to his people and his ideologies continue to motivate his descendants to this day.4 Aperahama died 15 May 1897.5




  1. W.H. Oliver and Jane M. Thomson, Challenge and Response: A study of the development of the Gisborne East Coast Region (Gisborne: East Coast Development Research Association, 1971). The term ‘hinge of fate’ was coined by these authors.
  2. Judith Binney, 'Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki ? - 1893', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007, accessed 28 February 2010.
  3. Sian Daly, ‘War and Confiscation, 1860-69’, Rangahaua Whanui District 5b, Poverty Bay (Waitangi Tribunal Rangahaua Whanui Series, Working Paper: First Release, February 1997), accessed 28 February 2010.
  4. Personal communication with George Whakataka Parekowhai.
  5. Putanga 5873, 15 Haratua 1897, p 6, reporting on an article published in the Poverty Bay Herald in May 1897.
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Pito korero about Latest comments about Pera Tutoko

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  • Anonymous

    At 4am on 29 August 2014

    I have a print of this picture in my home. Actually, I bought it many years ago. When I saw it, I felt his eyes looking at me.. So powerful. I had to get it. I am a NZer, but not related to Pera Tutuko at all. Now I live outside NZ, and I brought this with me. He greets every person who comes to my home. Many people comment on how noble he looks. I love this picture.

  • Lynda - same as Pera tutoko

    At 12pm on 12 June 2014

    Well we know this painting is Pera Tutoko because Lindauer painted him so if your painting is the same as the one you just looked at than take yours down.

  • Lynda - same as Pera tutoko

    At 12pm on 12 June 2014

    Well we know this painting is Pera Tutoko because Lindauer painted him so if your painting is the same as the one you just looked at than take yours down.

  • Anonymous

    At 2pm on 30 December 2012

    There's has been much heated debates about the origins and portrait of this Tipuna; the strongest by Nga Ariki Kaiputahi from Mangatu, Gisborne. His picture hangs in the wharepuni Te Ngawari amongst the Iwi, Nga Ariki Kaiputahi, Mangatu. Pera is the son of Rawiri Tamanui and Pokeno Te Uatuku.

  • Rach Maheno - ngaariki

    At 7pm on 7 April 2012

    this is my great, great, great grandfather on my fathers side. my grandfather Steven Wainui looked exactly like him.

  • Caroline McBride

    At 10am on 15 June 2011

    Please see the FAQs at the bottom of this page for a comment on the selling of Lindauer reproductions.

  • Judy Robinson

    At 10am on 27 May 2011

    Would you be able to tell me the value of these prints. I have three to sell.

  • Horiana Wainui - Nga Ariki/ Te Aitanga a Mahaki/Tuhoe

    At 1am on 21 April 2011

    Kia ora This is also our tipuna and known by my whanau as Pera Te Uatuku.

  • Ameriai Kiriwera - Ngariki,Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, Tuhoe, Kahungunu, Ngati Porou

    At 9am on 12 August 2010

    Kia Ora This is my Tipuna.We know him as Pera Te Uatuku

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