Wiremu Tamihana


Ngāti Haua (? – 1866)

Iwi map - Wiremu Tamihana Tarapipipi Te WaharoaIWI / HAPU AFFILIATIONS

Tarapipipi was the second son of Te Waharoa of Ngati Haua. His mother was Rangi Te Wiwini. He was born at Tamahere, on the Horotiu plains. Tamihana married Ita, daughter of Pohepohe of Matamata. She died in May 1840 at Te Tapiri. Tamihana later married Pare-te-Kanawa (also called Wikitoria), another daughter of Pohepohe. They had at least three sons, Hotene, Tupu Tainga-kawa, and Tana Tainga-kawa, and a daughter, Te Raumako (Te Reo). Tarapipipi participated in the fighting expeditions of Ngāti Haua and would eventually come under the influence of Christianity, learning to read and write within six months of having access to the written word.1

On 23 June 1839 Tarapipipi was baptised by Reverend A. N. Brown at Tauranga. He was given the name Wiremu Tamihana (William Thompson), and embarked on a life of teaching and preaching in the Tauranga and Matamata districts. Tarapipipi put into practice the Christian teachings he had embraced within a traditional Māori framework, and guided his people to do likewise. The influence of missionaries was important, but qualities of intellect, and leadership, courage, eloquence and diplomacy, were of far greater significance in the life of Wiremu Tamihana.2

He was a leading advocate for a Māori King movement and blessed the first Māori King Te Wherowhero by placing his bible on his head.3 His direct descendants perform this ritual as seen at the coronation of Kingi Tuheitia in 2006. Tamihana is remembered as the Māori King Maker.


  1. Evelyn Stokes, 'Te Waharoa, Wiremu Tamihana Tarapipipi ? - 1866', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007, accessed 2 March 2010.
  2. Evelyn Stokes, 'Te Waharoa, Wiremu Tamihana Tarapipipi ? - 1866', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007, accessed 2 March 2010.
  3. Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, 'Waikato - The King movement', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 4 March 2009, accessed 2 March 2010.
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  • Janine Usoalii - Nga Puhi

    At 9pm on 6 May 2015

    Kia ora I am wondering how this site or Potrait is related to Rahapa Te Hauata. I am her great great grand daughter and would love to meet or get to know anyone who is related her grandson Thomas West is my grandfather and I never got to meet him either as he had passed well before I was born

  • Britina Edwards - Ngati Haua and ? Ngati Tahu

    At 6pm on 2 February 2015

    What relationship was William Robert Edwards to Wiremu Tamihana aka William Thompson.

  • Britina Edwards - Ngati Haua and ? Ngati Tahu

    At 10pm on 31 January 2015

    kia ora my name is Britina Edwards, my gggparents were Robert William Edwards (whaler) who married Harata Wharehuihui Tamihana also known as Puma I believe, can anyone assist me with further information regarding Robert William Edwards. His son William Robert Edwards married Mary Thompson a.k.a. Mere Tamihana

  • Kevin West - Ngati Apakura

    At 1pm on 10 June 2014

    Kia Ora, It was my family that gifted our tupuna Rahapa Te Hauata (Paoa) toanga to the Te Awamutu Museum. The West family are very pleased with the outcome & having Rahapa descendants being able to view them. Nga Mihi Kevin.

  • Edda Phyllis McCabe - NgatiPorou; Ng. Mahanga, Tipa, Tahinga, Te Ata, Karewa

    At 2pm on 5 May 2014

    Kia ora to Matilda, Jacqui Graham, Manu Rhind & Alfred (Sonny) Rhind. I have been researching Te Hororiri Hikaurua Matenga (TAMIHANA) line. Hororiri was (Raima) Rangiterewaka and Rangiweu and Ben Thompson etc father. Matilda I've phoned your cell a couple of times but get your voice mail. TO DATE; WE DO NOT WHAKAPAPA to Tarapipi TAMEHANA. I have a photo of nanny Rairai who came to my 21st at Waipiro Bay, East Coast with whanau from Waikato in 1977 and a b&w photo of her that aunty Hanareta & uncle Paddy gave me when they lived in Porirua East. Ph:06-863-1146 or email eddam@xtra.co.nz Cheers, Phyllis McCabe (nee Noble). my dad was Tom Noble and Matilda will remember him.

  • Phyllis McCabe (nee Noble)

    At 2pm on 3 March 2014

    Message for Matilda Rhind whose mother was my nanny Rairai Tamihana whose first husband was aunty Hana Oti's dad. Please contact me on 06-863-1146 (Gisborne). Leave a message too if I'm unavailable. I have some stuff for you. Phyllis McCabe (nee Noble). My nanny was Rangiweu (Raima's sister).

  • Katarina Daly - Maniapoto

    At 9am on 18 February 2014

    Kia Ora, what is the connection between Rahapa Te Hauata and this tupuna???? Some help would be good. Thank you

  • Leigh Lovett - Ngati Haua / Ngati Maniapoto

    At 12pm on 11 October 2013

    Kia Ora, I work at a rest home/hospital in Taupo, we have this portrait plus others that has been on our walls, i am trying to find names of these portraits, who they are, and where they are from, now because they were taken down a year and a half ago, because to a particular resident these portraits are intimidating to her, so she asked the manager if she could take them down, and replace them with her own art, which became boring to some, staff included, now as far as i know, i've been nursing there for 2yrs now and these portraits have been there as long as anyone can remember, so i had permission to put them back up, this resident and her fellow residents who lives upstairs in an indepentant units, which where these portraits are have nothing to do with her and her friends, she is angry that these are back up and her fellow friends are making horrible coments abouts these, help!!!!

  • Angeline Thompson - Waikato mete Maniapoto. Haua, Ngati Haua Ngati Poa, Ngati Mahuta, Ngati Koroki

    At 7pm on 3 June 2013

    Kiaora, Angeline Tamihana Toku ingoa. "Wow" this site is awsome! I have been wanting to know who my grtgrtgrtgrt grandfather Wiremu Tamihana Tarapipipi parents are. This is awsome website to checkout catchup. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    At 7am on 26 May 2013

    thank you for the tools you have left us ,an your vision for all people to have hope or faith,an to trust in our lord our God For me ,whenI see you Granddad i see unity An to have Unity Is the greatest thing you could ever want

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