Taonui Hikaka


Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Rora, Ngāti Hia, (? - 1892)

Iwi map - Taonui HikakaIWI / HAPU AFFILIATIONS

Taonui Hikaka lived on the upper Mokau River. He was probably born at Paripari (near present day Te Kuiti) in the early 1840s. His father was also named Taonui Hikaka (also known as Hikaka) of Ngāti Rora, a hapu of Ngāti Maniapoto. His mother may have been Niapo of Ngati Hia, who, along with Taonui senior, was part of a group portrait painted by George French Angas in 1844. Taonui is believed to have had four brothers, Te Kuri (Ngaturi), Tanirau, Te Naunau Hikaka and Tautau; and a sister, Paeata Mihinoa, who married the French trader Louis Hetet.1

Taonui Hikaka was survived by his wife, whose name is not remembered, and they didn't have any children. It is thought he was aged about 50 years at the time of his death.2 Wi Parata of Ngāti Toa and his people travelled to the tangihanga from Porirua. Ngāti Toa people had kinship ties with the Ngāti Roroa people and Taonui Hikaka was considered the chief of that tribe.3


  1. Gary Scott, 'Taonui Hikaka ? - 1892', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007, accessed 2 March 2010.
  2. ‘Death of Taonui’, Evening Post, vol XLIV, issue 134, 6 December 1892, p 3, Papers Past, accessed 2 March 2010.
  3. ‘Page 2 Advertisements Column 6’, Evening Post, vol XLIV, issue 137, 9 December 1892, p 2, Papers Past, accessed 2 March 2010.
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  • Mihirawhiti Searancke - Ngaati Maniapoto, Ngaati Rora, Ngaati Hia

    At 8pm on 26 January 2014

    I have read the comment's of NM and believe that when people are referencing to Tanirau that this is a monogram name of Taonui Te Kuri Hikaka II. Also, one can assume that Rangituatahi who married Louis Hetet in 1844 must have died sometime before 1860 for Louis to then have had to marry Mihinoa so as to stay within the territory of Maniapoto. He would never have been able to have taken another wife if and only if she was a relative of Rangituatahi, my tupuna whaea being as she was a rangatira of great wealth and mana. Mihinoa is said to have come from the Turner line and as Ripekatangi descendant's regularly married into Rangituatahi line it does make historical sense. Louis Hetet never returned to Pari Pari or Te Kuiti and was forced by order's from Taonui II to remain in Otorohanga where he died and is buried. Claimant Coordinator Wai 1504 Mihirawhiti Searancke

  • Mihirawhiti Searancke - Ngaati Maniapoto, Ngaati Rora, Ngaati Hia

    At 7pm on 26 January 2014

    I am a descendant of Rangituatahi who is the daughter of Ngaipu and Taonui Hikaka I. The portrait painted by Gottfried Lindauer is of Taonui Te Kuri Hikaka I, the brother of Te Nau Nau Hikaka or Taonui III both within my family the descendant's of Tohe Herangi and Hinewai Te Teira, see as our grandparent's being that both these last men took Tohe and Hinewai as whangai. However, I am also a direct descendant of Rangituatahi Hetet their half sister and tribal kin. Rangituatahi was the first wife of Louis Hetet a commoner. A copy of this painting hangs within Te Tokanganui a Noho the whare build as a gift by Te Kooti and given to Taonui II. Lindauer appears to have taken from George French Angus's portrait of Taonui I and a known photograph again hanging in the house, at Te Kuiti pa and fused Angus's impressions of Taonui I moko. Thus we have a blended painting I believe is of Taonui II.

  • Amy Cooper, Auckland Art Gallery

    At 11am on 15 January 2013

    Thank you to T Maxwell who contacted us to point out that Taonui Hikaka did not have the moko shown in this portrait. The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography entry on Hikaka, which is linked in the footnotes of the above essay and at right under 'Ako ano/Learn more', mentions this fact and is well worth a read.

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