Wiremu Nera Te Awaitaia


Ngāti Mahanga, Ngāti Haua (? - 1866)

Iwi map - Wiremu Nera Te Awaitaia IWI / HAPU AFFILIATIONS

Te Awaitaia was born probably in the late eighteenth century. His mother was Parehina, and his father was Te Kata. It is said that Te Awa-i-taia had nine wives, including Rangihikitanga, Hinu, Kararaina, Pirihira and Raimipaha.1

Te Awaitaia came under the influence of the Wesleyan missionary William White, while White was setting up mission stations along the Kawhia coast.2 He became patron of the Kawhia station, which was built on Ngāti Mahanga land and is attributed with converting Ngāti Mahanga ki Whaingaroa Maori to Christianity. He was baptised at Kawhia by the resident Wesleyan missionary, James Wallis, on 17 January 1836 and took the name Wiremu Nera (William Naylor).

Wiremu Nera Te Awaitaia signed the Treaty of Waitangi on 11 April 1840, when it was brought to Whaingaroa by the CMS missionary Robert Maunsell.3 He died at Kawhia on 27 April 1866.



  1. Gary Scott, 'Te Awa-i-taia, Wiremu Nera ? - 1866', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007, accessed 2 March 2010.
  2. M. B. Gittos, 'White, William 1794 - 1875'. Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007, accessed 2 March 2010.
  3. John Wilson, ‘Government and nation – The origins of Nationhood’, Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 3 March 2009, accessed 24 February 2010.
Tukua mai āu nā kōreroSubmit your story

Tāhuhu kōrero

Contributed stories

Do you have a story related to this portrait? Maybe you have images of this person? If you would like to see your story published on this website, please submit it here. All stories are reviewed before publishing.

Waiho mai he paku kōrero Leave a comment

Pito korero about Latest comments about Wiremu Nera Te Awaitaia

We welcome your comments on the portraits.

* Mandatory fields

Waiho mai he paku kōrero Leave a comment

  • 900 characters
  • Tukua Submit
Tāia tēnei whārangi | Print this page
Etahi atu whakaahua
Ako ano
Rīpene whakarongo
  • Tangata pūkenga | The Artist

    Learn about Gottfried Lindauer, one of the best-known painters of Māori portraits. Read about his painting techniques, why the works were painted, and the role of his patron Henry Partridge.

  • Documentary series | Behind the Brush

    The Māori Television series Behind the Brush brings alive the stories of descendants and to uncover the lives of the artist, the patron and tupuna Māori.

  • Pukapuka manuhiri | Visitors Book

    Turn the pages, view the hundreds of comments and signatures, read the transcription and translation, and search by name and place. A digitisation of an historical legacy.