Tamati Waka Nene


Ngāti Hao, Ngāpuhi (1770 – 1871)

Iwi map - Tamati Waka NeneIWI / HAPU AFFILIATIONS

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Tamati Waka Nene was probably born in the 1780s. He was the second son of Tapua, leader and tohunga of Ngāti Hao of Hokianga, and the younger brother of Eruera Maihi Patuone. His mother was Te Kawehau. By the mid-1830s Nene had converted to the Wesleyan faith and was baptised in 1839, taking the name Tamati Waka, after Thomas Walker, an English merchant patron of the Church Missionary Society.1 Tamati Waka Nene lived in the Hokianga when it was a thriving and prosperous trading society and was said to have been an astute businessman and kindly by nature. Nene saw the advantages of having Pākehā shipping traders in the area, and helped settlers as well as Wesleyan missionaries establish themselves there in 1827.

Tamati Waka Nene died on 4 August 1871 and was buried, at his own request, in a churchyard in the Bay of Islands. In 1873 Lord Bowen unveiled a memorial stone to him carved from Oamaru stone with a Greek Cross.

It is likely that Lindauer based this portrait on a photograph by John Crombie who was commissioned to produce 12 photographic portraits of Māori chiefs for the London Illustrated News. In Lindauer's notebook this portrait is numbered #6 with an inscription saying 'for Mr Partridge'. Nene's portrait was painted in 1890.2


  1. Angela Ballara, 'Nene, Tamati Waka ? - 1871', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007, accessed 28 January 2010.
  2. ‘Local Intelligence’, Daily Southern Cross, vol XIII, issue 937, 20 June 1856, p 2, Papers Past, accessed 28 January 2010. Other portraits taken include those of Eruera Patuone, Taraia Ngakuti, Te Amohau, Paratene Puhata, Ruihana Te Whakaheke, Karaka Te Au, Arama kukutai, Ihaka Takanini, Tohi Te Tururangi, Ngarepo Te Amoha, Te Wiremu Te Tonga.
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