Wineera family portrait: A picture tells a thousand words

Wineera family portrait: A picture tells a thousand words


Stories from He iti whetū : Ngāti Toa portraits.

Ngā Toi Arts Te Papa: Kanohi Kitea Māori & Pacific Encounters

Ko mātou me ā mātou tamariki, mokopuna hoki about 1900. Photographer unknown. Gelatin silver and opaltype prints, hand decorated card, carved wood frame. On loan from private collection


This family portrait from the turn of last century is a remarkable and striking statement about family and identity. Titled Ko mātou me ā mātou tamariki, mokopuna hoki, or ‘Ourselves, our children and grandchildren’, this collection of family portraits within a single frame has been made and arranged with great care and consideration.

The centre piece to this photographic ensemble is a opaltype studio sitting of Wineera Te Kanae and his wife Hāna Kuti Te Kanawa (Hannah Cootes), surrounded by their family. It is surrounded by five satellite portraits of extended family members, among which are featured two of Hāna’s siblings and their respective families, Wineera’s second-cousin Hanikamu Te Hiko and family, and Wineera’s young nephews Wi Mekerei Rawiri and Rawiri Mihaka.

They have been arranged in a large hand decorated mat board made from card that has been enhanced with applied glitter and floral appliqués . On either side of the main portrait are two illuminated shields inscribed with the date and place of birth of Wineera and Hāna.

Ko Wiremu Neera Te Kanae i whanau ki Taupo – wahi o Porirua Tihema 25-1845. Wiremu Neera Te Kanae, born at Taupo, Porirua, 25 December 1845. Ko Haana WiNeera i whanau ki Otaki –i te 17 o nga ra o Maehe 1861. Hāna Wi Neera, born at Ōtaki on the 17 March 1861. Image. Detail of Ra Whanau shields

The carved frame was made by carver Piwiki Horohau (Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Raukawa), probably while he was carving the ancestral meeting house Toa Rangatira, which opened in 1901.

It’s a remarkable object in its own right, and truly a taonga (cultural treasure) that would feature as an important heirloom in any family for its wonderfully elegant aesthetic qualities, and as part of a cherished memorial to family heritage. We don’t honour our families so handsomely these days!

But behind these portraits lies a much deeper historical narrative. A story about a blended family derived from two sisters arranged in marriage, and the unshakeable bond between two families bound together through tragedy and ultimately hope and the continuity of their legacy through shared heritage.

The origins of the Wineera Family

Descended from Greatness

Detail of blended family Back row: Patara Te Teka, Wiremu Wineera, Hohepa Wineera, Ringi Horomona. Seated middle: Herāni Te Rangiruruku Patara, Harata Hikoia Patara, Wineera Te Kanae, ?, Hāna Wineera, Peneamine Wineera, Ria Te Uira Rīngi, Te Rangihoungariri Rīngi Front: Te Kanawa Wineera, Te Oriwa Rīngi, Paranahia Rīngi. Photographer unknown, about 1895

This portrait depicts the blended family of Wiremu Neera (later contracted to Wineera) Te Kanae, great-grandson of celebrated warrior chief Te Rauparaha, and his two wives, sisters Harata and Hāna Kuti Te Kanawa, or Cootes.

Wineera’s arranged marriage to Harata was blessed with four children, Ria Te Uira, Hohepa, Heraani and Wiremu. But following Harata’s untimely death in 1878 both families agreed that Harata’s 17-year-old sister Hāna should marry Wineera, 16-years her senior. We are told that Hāna was less than impressed with the prospect of marrying her deceased sister’s husband. Hāna, like many young women, most probably yearned to make her own choices in love and life. However, a week in closed conference with family and elders convinced her to acquiesce. It was a decision that was entirely in keeping with Māori customary practice and assured both families that Harata’s four children and her 33-year-old widowed husband would be properly cared for, and that young Hāna was appropriately married.

These marriages aligned in union two famous Ngāti Toa ancestral lines, those of Te Rauparaha together with the senior family line descended from the ancestral hero Te Haunga. At the same time it brought together two families who shared both friendship and tragedy.

To understand the tikanga (rationale) behind these arranged marriages, it is necessary to briefly revisit the early days of an ambitious young Te Rauparaha as he prepared to imprint an indelible mark upon an entire generation of Māori and reshape the cultural landscape of a nation!

Standing at rear: Hāna Cootes, Hera Cootes. Seated front: Hemi Tiapo Cootes, unidentified woman. Cabinet card portrait of the Cootes family of Porirua and Otaki, taken 1883-1885 by Cazneau & Connolly of Lambton Quay, Wellington
Standing at rear: Hāna Cootes, Hera Cootes. Seated front: Hemi Tiapo Cootes, unidentified woman.
 Cabinet card portrait of the Cootes family of Porirua and Otaki, taken 1883-1885 by Cazneau & Connolly of Lambton Quay, Wellington


He Tipua He Taniwha

An object of fear. A water monster, dangerous and powerful

Te Rauparaha (about 1769-1849)

This pencil sketch of Te Rauparaha was drawn from life in 1845 by government surveyor Edward Abbot, and later purchased by Governor Sir George Grey for £15. Grey presented the portrait to the Reverend Octavius Hadfield, later appointed as the third Anglican Primate of New Zealand. Hadfield and Archdeacon Samuel Williams, who managed the Ōtaki mission and knew Te Rauparaha well, declared the portrait to be ‘a perfect likeness.’ Edward Abbott (?–1849), England/New Zealand. Te Rauparaha 1845. Pencil on paper. On loan from the Hadfield family

The story of Te Rauparaha is dressed in theatre and myth; even the story of his birth is shrouded in prophecy. When his father Werawera asked the now aged Ngāti Raukawa chief Korouāputa to marry his youngest daughter Parekohatu, Korouāputa deflected the question by asking why he wanted a mere ‘water carrier’. In truth Korouāputa was dependant on Parekohatu in his old age. Werawera replied that a water bearer might produce a great taniwha, a water monster. And with the passage of time it became clear that it was Te Rauparaha, the youngest of their five children, who would fulfil this prophecy.

Wiremu Neera, later contracted to Wineera, was the great-grandson of Te Rauparaha and the most prominent representative of his famous ancestor. He was also a grandson of the Ngāti Toa ariki, Te Kanae. Wineera was a prominent leader in the affairs of Ngati Toa, a Native Land Court assessor, and one of the principal leaders of the Ngāti Toa community at Takapuwāhia in Porirua. Wiremu Neera Te Kanae (1845-1905). Photographer unknown, about 1895


The Champion

The Story of Te Haunga

Hemi Kuti Te Kanawa (Tiapo), or James Cootes junior, with wife Eliza Lawton and family. Hemi was on of five siblings born to whaler James Cootes, a native of Suffolk, and Waitaoro Te Kanawa of Ngāti Toa. He was born in 1840 in the Paremata pā, Plimmerton, occupied by his grandfather Te Kanawa and great-uncle Te Rā-ka-herea. Hemi was well versed in Ngati Toa history, farmer, Police Constable for Ōtaki (1874-79), a renowned sportsman and ‘far famed wrestler’. Photographer unknown, about 1880


Eliza’s mother Te Rangitapuae composed this song of unrequited love for Hemi’s father, the whaler James Cootes (also known as Reweti Kuti), who left for Picton to continue whaling sometime during the early 1830’s. On his return to Kapiti he formed relationships with two cousins, Waitaoro Te Kanawa and Wharekiri, from whom the Cootes and Reweti-Cootes families descend.

It was Korouāputa who years previously petitioned the tribes for assistance to avenge the death of his uncle Te Autūiroro. And it was Marangaipāroa, Toa Rangatira’s son and heir and Te Rauparaha’s great-grandfather, who responded by gathering a small company of warriors under his sons to support the assembled Ngāti Raukawa collective in the ensuing battle, probably sometime in the first quarter of the eighteenth century.

Ridiculed for their small number, the Ngāti Toa won fame for their heroic bravery routing the enemy on the field and shaming their allies. Marangaipāroa’s youngest son Te Haunga emerged as the hero of the campaign. Te Haunga later distinguished himself in a similar campaign earning arranged marriages with two high-born Waikato woman, Te Kahuirangi and Tirapurua. Te Haunga became a celebrated warrior of his generation and his highly strategic political marriages ensured that his children and grandchildren inherited his celebrated prestige.

Many years later Te Haunga’s grandson Te Poa would become the trusted friend and comrade-in-arms of Te Rauparaha, whose grandfather Kimihia was also an elder brother of Te Haunga. These familial ties were even further strengthened when Te Rauparaha married Marore, Te Poa’s niece and great-granddaughter of Te Haunga.

Raha & Te Poa whakapapa

For more about the story of Te Haunga please read Te Papa blog: He iti whetū


Mate atu he tētēkura, ara mai he tētēkura ano

As one chief passes, so another rises to take his place..

While still a young man Te Rauparaha went to live among his mother’s people at Maungatautari in the Waikato heartland, where he became the arms-bearer to his maternal uncle, the paramount chief Hape-ki-tuā-rangi. Hape and Te Rauparaha fought many battles together during this time; It was probably through his mentor Hape that Te Rauparaha learnt much of his battle craft and military stratagem.

During this period several significant events occurred in Te Rauparaha’s life. He returned to Kawhia and married his kinswoman Marore. Marital arrangements were seldom founded on love alone, although he appeared to be very fond of her. In this case the marriage might have been all the more agreeable because Marore was the niece of his great friend and comrade-in-arms Te Poa (Te Poa’s first-cousin’s daughter). Te Rauparaha and Te Poa were not only great friends but cousins, each sharing a grandparent who were siblings. Together, Te Rauparaha and Marore had three children, Te Rangihoungāriri, Te Uira, and Tūtari.

Te Rauparaha proved himself as an ambitious and capable young man and is remembered for several small but notable campaigns in the greater Kawhia region and Waikato that enhanced his personal mana (prestige). His status among his peers was further enhanced when he returned to Maungatautari to attend the impending death of his older mentor and uncle Hape. The dying Hape addressed his people, asking who would succeed him after his death. Several times he asked but none would reply, when finally Te Rauparaha stood and addressed the assembly. He bid Hape to follow the footsteps of his ancestors and there await news of the greatness of Te Rauparaha, a greatness that would surpass even that of the exalted Hape. It was a bold and arrogant gesture, perfectly theatrical to fit both the significance and solemnity of the occasion of this great chief’s passing; and it would have aroused both the ire and the admiration of the audience. With Hape’s passing, Te Rauparaha’s gallant gesture earned him a place among the tribal council of Ngāti Raukawa, together with Hape’s widow Te Akau and the prestigious mere-pounamu Te Amokura.


ME011850 Amokura patu pounamu 1a
Te Amokura. Mere pounamu (greenstone striking weapon) “Amokura”, 1500-1820, New Zealand, maker unknown. Gift of R Chorlton, 1968. Te Papa (ME011850)


The Amiowhenua Expedition 1819-1820

But perhaps one of the most significant events is Te Rauparaha’s participation in the combined Ngā Puhi-Ngāti Toa expedition known as Amiowhenua. Sometime during the year 1819 a large force of Ngā Puhi warriors arrived at Kawhia to join forces with Ngāti Toa warriors to embark on an extended campaign along the west coast as far as Wellington, across into the Wairarapa and returning through Kawhia again. It was a warriors’ quest where villages were sacked and plundered, at times with great loss of life, and the spoils of war gathered along the way. Reputations were made, men tested their skills, or died trying; and marriages and new alliances made as they swept through the country.

The Rev. Samuel Marsden noted the return of Amiowhenua to Hokianga in October 1820. They had been away for 11 months and returned with a large number of slaves and preserved heads, some of friends and relatives who died along the way, and others trophies of well-appointed enemies. It was during Amiowhenua, on Wellington’s south coast while watching a European sailing ship passing through Cook Strait, that the Ngā Puhi chief Patuone suggested to Te Rauparaha that Ngāti Toa might improve their position by taking Wellington as a home for themselves to gain access to Pākehā.


Hanikamu Te Hiko & wife Ngāwaina Paremata with their children. Hanikamu was a leading Ngāti Toa chief and a member of its aristocracy. He was a grandson of Te Rangihīroa, brother of the paramount chief Te Pēhi Kupe, and Te Kanae. Hanikamu’s grandmother was a half-sister of the senior Ngāti Mutunga chief Wi Piti Pōmare. His wife Ngāwaina was a daughter of the Ngati Tama warrior-chief Paremata Te Wahapiro, and first cousin to the celebrated heroine Huria Matenga, New Zealand’s own ‘Grace Darling’. Photographer unknown, about 1880


The Battle of Te Kakara (1821?)

But Te Rauparaha’s infamously daring campaigns had aroused the ire of his enemies closer to home and upset the delicate political balance in the region. While away with Amiowhenua, Te Rauparaha’s wife Marore, who had close genealogical connections with many of Waikato’s leading families, now became the focus of this unwanted attention. She was seized while visiting relatives in Waikato and put to death.

Te Rauparaha was devastated, as was Te Poa, who almost certainly grew up alongside Marore with whose grandparents, Tamarangataua and Te Rongo, were brother and sister respectively to Te Poa’s parents. Together they raised a taua (war party) and devised a plan to avenge her death.

But it only served to trigger a series of reprisals that would ultimately culminate in a decisive battle that would end Ngāti Toa’s several hundred years’ occupation of Kawhia, the battle of Te Kakara (about 1821)


Studio portrait Hera Kuti Te Kanawa, or Sarah Cootes and husband Hāmi Mita Anaru Tuhoukairangi (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa), and their family. They were married in 1875, probably at Rangiātea church in Ōtaki. The bridal party was then escorted to the Wairarapa where they continued to live. Hera, also known as Tāre or Sally, was the middle sister between Harata and Hāna Cootes. Photographer unknown, no date.


Te Hekenga Mai Raro 1821-1823

Ngāti Toa now prepared to abandon their ancient homeland. It was an impossibly difficult decision, but one made easier by their desperate plight. The migration occurred over a period of at least 18 months, commencing sometime in 1821 and probably culminating in late 1823 or very early 1824 with a layover in Taranaki with their Te Āti Awa kin so they could consolidate, recuperate, and grow food for the second leg of the journey.

It was during this final leg to Kapiti that Te Rauparaha, Te Poa and their families were struck by tragedy. While encamped north of Ōtaki, a Muaupoko messenger invited Te Rauparaha to come and receive a large canoe. A small group including Te Rauparaha, Te Poa and their families went, leaving the main body of Ngāti Toa behind.

The invitation was a ruse to lure Te Rauparaha into an ambush, and they were attacked while inside the Muaupoko village. Te Poa, his son Taiko and wife Te Uira, Te Rauparaha’s eldest daughter were all killed. Te Rangihoungariri, Te Rauparaha’s eldest son, died a hero’s death, fighting overwhelming odds in a vain effort to reach Te Uira who cried out to her brother for help. Te Rauparaha narrowly escaped by breaking through the rear walls of the whare (house) and wrapping his garments around his head and arms to protect him from the otherwise lethal blows of his attackers. Te Poa’s son Te Rākaherea made a desperate escape, eventually making his way to the Ōhau river where Te Rauparaha found him bleeding profusely with eight spear wounds to his body and a spear shaft still lodged in his back!

Wi Mekerei Rawiri
Studio portrait of Wi Mekerei Rawiri (d.1894), eldest son of Wineera Te Kanae’s younger brother Rawiri Peneta.



More than just another formal family photograph, this family portrait is bound within this convoluted, yet essentially integrated, historical narrative underscored by significant whakapapa (genealogical interconnectedness) and the inheritance of legacy that sits at the very heart of this blended whanau.

It is this sense of legacy that determined the necessity of Wineera Te Kanae’s arranged marriage to sisters Harata and Hāna Cootes. The union of the descendants of Te Rauparaha and the illustrious line of Kimihia with that of Te Poa, and the line of the celebrated warrior chief Te Haunga, were now unified in kinship, friendship, and tragedy. Celebrated here in this group family photograph, in the continuity of that legacy, now prosperous and at peace in the world.


  1. Kia Ora my name is candi am enquiring about my GGG grandmother as I have been told after Potatau te wherowhero killed her partner at Te Rauparaha’s PA at Hikuparea in Kawhia Moana I have been told after a war with Tainui tribe against Ngati TOA apparently my GGG Grandmother made the smoke signal high up to Te Mahoe Ngati Toa’s Last Pa her name is either Riria te horenga, or Riria, or One of her husbands called her riria Kawharu she is also Ngati KOATA Ngati Whakaue and 2nd or 3rd hubby to NGAONE KERAPA I’ve been told she left with her whanau Te Rauparaha and set of to Capiti or Kapiti Island I am trying so hard to find any info be Appriciated 4th year Journey of My Whakapapa sorry for the novel

  2. E te whanaunga Matiu nga mihi mahana ki a koe mo tou mahi whakapapa mo oku nei tupuna hoki. Nga whakaahua katoa he tino taonga ki au kei te mihi ! Through the lineage on my mother’s side of the whanau I descend from Hanikamu and Ngawaina Te Hiko who are my great grand parents ..their daughter was Waepiti Matenga/Wineera/nee Te Hiko. Her daughter was Temanawa Te Unahi Pungatara/Matenga who is my mother … ko Oriwia Louise Hartley/nee Pungatara ahau. Hohepa (Joe Pop ) Wineera was my grandfather. I am so proud to be the great mokopuna of Hanikamu Te Hiko who in turn is the grandson of my tupuna Te Rangihiroa . I have the portrait of Hanikamu Ngawaina Te Hiko and whanau hanging on my wall at home. Thanks ever so much for the beautiful memories and whakapapa that i descend from. Ka nui te aroha Oriwia <3

  3. Tēnā koe Matiu he tino taonga ēnei kōrero. He uri au nō te hononga a Hemi Kuti rāua ko Wharekiri.

    Hēmi Kuti (James Cootes) = Wharekiri
    Te Rākaherea Rēweti
    Te Rākahuru Rēweti
    Tāmati Rēweti
    Paora Rēweti
    Trist Rēweti
    Ariana Rēweti

  4. Kia Ora Matiu, Thank you for sharing this blog of the whakapapa and photos that help us to appreciate where we come from. I, too, am related to James Cootes (Snr) and Wharekiri. They were my 2 x’s great grandparents. Their son Te Rakaherea Reweti (Cootes) married Whata Henare. They were my maternal great grandparents. Their son, Te Ikaapiti Reweti & Te Kahuaute Karawana/Galvin were my grandparents. My mother Taniko Annie Reweti was their second child. My mother married Walter Bruce Charteris and I am number six from thirteen. Ruby “Jeanette” Charteris (ex-Avery), now Healand. I have two children and had seven moko puna; along with one great grandson. This chain of whanauatanga is continuing to grow and your blog helps to keep our ancestors alive within us. Thank you very much.

  5. Go to pukehu 5c otaki native land ‘ this makes any myth truth werumu paki

  6. Nga mihi Matiu, my mum is Marie Hakaraia (Cootes). Her father is Francis Cootes the son of Frank Cootes, the son of Hemi Tiapo and Eliza Cootes. Thanks for sharing your research, it is great reading.
    Mihinui kia koe.
    Pat Hakaraia

    1. Author

      Kia ora Pat, I remember aunty Marie (and dad) well, she was a wonderful and very elegant woman, dedicated to Rangiatea – and uncle Peter of course 🙂
      Thank you Pat for your kind comments. I’ve had such a wonderful response to the blog. I am very grateful for everyone’s continued suport. Ngā mihi nui e te whanaunga

    2. Kia Ora Pat,
      Are you able to advise the link with the Batt family.
      I have a name Rangi Pikia, piki or anawarihia piki Cootes

  7. Tēnā koe e Matiu,

    I te ngaru haere au i te ipurangi i te pō nei ki te whai ētehi kōrero mō ngā whakatauāki nō Ngāti Toa Ngāti Raukawa anō hoki, kātahi ka makere mai ki tēnei taonga tōu! Katahi rā te kōrero papai ko tēnei! Really interesting reading this about the Cootes/ Wineera whānau me ngā tātai whakapapa nei. Nō Ngāti Wehiwehi, Kapumanawhiti, Tukorehe rātou ko Kauwhata tēnei, nō reira he mihi nui ki a koe, mahia te mahi cuz!

    1. Author

      Tēnā koe e Te Mako, mihi nui noa atu nei ki a koe e te whanaunga. I really appreciate your words of support cuz, and grateful that you enjoyed it – means a lot thanks 🙂

  8. kia ora would you know who Te Rakahereas mother was unsure if it was waitaoro or wharekiri paki could you please help me fit the puzzle.

    1. Author

      Kia ora Winston
      Te Rākaherea’s father was Te Poa and his mother Rangitiatia, first cousins and grandchildren of Te Haunga. His story and that of his father is recounted, at least in part, in the narrative above. You can also see the whakapapa if you scroll up a few paragraphs. Te Rākaherea is named after Te Rangihaeata’s father (of the same name), who was the first cousin of his grandfather Te Kanawa. I must admit I haven’t seen the name Paki attributed to Wharekiri. Wharekiri and Waitaoro are second cousins.
      Ngā mihi

    2. Could you be referring to Rakaherea Cootes, son of James Cootes and wharekiri

    3. Author

      The Te Rākaherea I refer to in the blog is the son of Te Poa and Rangitiatia, and a brother to Te Rangiruruku, Taiko, and Te Kahuirangi. Te Rangiruruku is the mother of Waitaoro who married whaler James Cootes. Wharekiri’s son Te Rākaherea Reweti (Cootes) is named for his great uncle mentioned in the blog. Hope that’s helpful.
      Ngā mihi

  9. Kia ora, Thank you for this blog, very very informative. I now have something to show my 6yr old g/son about my/his family-tree. I listened with interest when my Grandmother spoke of whanau but it was at a time when OUR spoken Language was forbidden by the Government of the day, and i lost a great deal of my Heritage in that era. Once again i thank you for this blog, carry on your good work. : ))

    1. Author

      Tena koe Reginald, thank you for your kind comments. It’s incredibly gratifying to know that it has been so well received by whanau. Nga mihi nui. Matiu

  10. Great work, Matiu, and the comments are also a treasure trove.

    I’ve been adding some of the people involved to the free site, but there are lots more to do.

    The now famous Sussex whaler involved must have been born rather earlier than the “1827” stated for him on Is there any documentation that points to a more likely date?

    1. Author

      Tena koe Robin, thank you for you commnents. James Cootes senior the whaler was from Suffolk. He died at Otaki sometime in May 1873. No one, to my knowledge, has identified his DoB, yet. But I’m sure in time with the wealth of records constantly being added to the internet that we will; and in doing so identify his family. It is said within the whanau that members of his family (I recall specifically his sister) visited him in NZ sometime prior to his death. There is said to be a newspaper record of their visit but I haven’t been able to locate it?
      Nga mihi

    2. From what I understand James coyotes arrived in n year 1823/24.and was about 24years old.

    3. Author

      Tēnā koe Anthony, quite possibly. It’s hard to track his early movements as he occurs very irregularly in the public record. John Cootes did some good research on the Cootes family generally and he suggests that James Coots Senior arrived in NZ about 1822, so his thinking is similarly aligned with yours. James Cootes gave evidence in Tasmnaia about 1835 (I don’t have the date to hand), and was still working the Whalers at that time. His eldest son to Waitaoro Te Kanawa of Ngāti Toa was born at the pā at what is today Ngāti Toa Domain Paremata (or Mana if you prefer) in 1838, and James Cootes Junior (Tiapo) was born there in 1840. That pā belonged to his in-laws, Waitaoro’s father Te Kanawa and Te Rākaherea (brother of Waitoro’s mother), the principle chiefs of the Ngāti Te Rā.
      Ngā mihi

  11. Thank you for your mahi, he tāonga koe ki a mātou.

    1. Author

      Kia ora Hui, Glad yo enjoyed the blog Hui, and thank you for the very kind comment 🙂

  12. Kia Ora Matiu a very special piece of history to read and Im enjoying reading the comments from whanau too. Thank you for all your great work:)

    1. Author

      Kia ora Anne, thank you for your kind words 🙂

  13. Kia ora

    Thank you so much for this. Its amazing reading the history of my whanau.

    I myself am a Wineera from Tuwharetoa I would love to meet more of my whanau from ngati toa

    Nga mini

    Chas wineera

    1. Author

      Kia ora Chaz. The Wineera whanau at Takapuwahia pa in Porirua is very coherent and cohesive extended whanau, most of whom have grown up in a tight-knit community. They are a warm and welcoming whanau. Email me directly at Te Papa on and i’ll put you touch with the Wineera clan at the pa.
      Mihi nui

  14. Kia Ora whanaunga o Ngati Toa Rangatira.

    My name is Misty Matenga.

    Ko Toa Rangatira

    Ko Marangaiparoa

    Ko Te Maunu

    Ko Pikauterangi

    Ko Pitoitoi

    Ko Te Rangihiroa

    Ko Te Hiko

    Ko Hanikamu Te Hiko

    Ko Waepiti Te Hiko Matenga

    Ko Ngongoro Piwari nee Matenga

    Ko Kaakaa Matenga nee Piwari

    Ko Bucky Matenga

    Ko Au.

    1. Author

      Tena ra koe e te whanaunga, mauri ora ki koe me tou whanau hoki. Matiu

  15. Kia Ora Matiu, I believe we are related 🙂 i am the great grand daughter of Pitama Baker.. i would love to get in touch as i am currently in charge of researching our Baker ancestory.
    Any help would be fantastic x

    1. Kia ora koutou, there is a lot of whakapapa I have seen mum is a baker from mimi river..her tipuna were George baker and Ngawai mc clutchie..I am just wondering where a outs does your baker line come in from..I believe my great grandfather mayve been from taihape

    2. Author

      Kia ora Paora, our Baker whanau origins are directly from England and although we both share very strong Ngati Mutunga whakapapa it’s not through the Baker lineage. However, the Baker-McClutchie clan is well known. Contact me directly at Te Papa if you need a contact name. Nga mihi Matiu

  16. Hey cuz long time. Where are you
    love to catch up….


    1. Author

      Hey Lou, I’m here, yo found me 🙂 Love to catch up with you cousin .. and thanks for reading my blog post, hope you enjoyed it.
      Nā tōu tungāne aroha Matiu

  17. Kei te tuku mihi ahau ki a koe e Matiu, kua horoingia taatou i te ao taawhito puta noa ki nga kawai whakapapa a Toa Rangatira heke iho ki nga uri whakatipu. Nau nei e Matiu e whakaritehia nga whakaahua ataahua hei hono, hei poipoi, hei mirimiri te wairua hei kitea nga kanohi mo ake tonu atu.

    I am a descendant of Waikato Tainui, Taranaki and Te Arawa. From Waikato I am Ngati Whawhakia / Te Ngaungau. The tribes I connect to from Taranaki are Ngati Mutunga, Te Ati awa, Nga Ruahinerangi, Ngati Ruanui, Ngati Apa. In the Te Arawa Confederation I connect to Tuhourangi, Ngati Wahiao.

    Well done and my sincere tribute ki a koe e Matiu,I am not a descendant of the Wineera / Cootes lineage but a dedicated researcher of whakapapa for more than 30 years, all your work, effort and pride is a reflection of your passion, love and personal devotion for your identity, prestige and now a legacy of these mighty families. You have brought together the Photographs, Whakapapa and stories which has ignited the descendants to contribute and feel “inclusive” Ko te kai o te rangatira, ko te korero.. no reira, kia korero tonu atu, kia korero tonu mai.

    Pai Marire

    Hone Nuku Tarawhiti

    1. Author

      Tēnā koe Hōne
      Whakamihi atu ki a koe mō ōu kupu pai mō taku tuhinga korero-a-tūpuna mō ēnei o ngā tūpuna whai mana o Ngāti Toa Rangatira o mua. E kīa ana he kanohi kitea, he hokinga mahara, ā, koia rā ka tuhituhi i tēnei nā kia mōhiotia ai ngā uri he kāwai rangatira nō mātou, ko wai mātou, mō mātou me a mātou tamariki mokopuna hoki. Tērā pea me kī, he whakahonore, he whakahihi ki a ratou i whetūrangitia nei, kia whakaoratia ai ano ki roto i a matou e ora tonu nei. Ā, tuku mihi hoki ki a koe e te rangatira, te uri whakaheke a Heta, rangatira nui o Ngāti Whāwhākia, Minita rongonui i āna mahi hāpai i te iwi o roto o Waikato, ka hau te rongo a Minita Heta i taua ra. Tae atu hoki ki nga korero mō te whanau a Heta mō runga i te kupu a Tawhiao, ko Te Kete Kīwai tēnā. Kei te mihi. Ā kāti tēnā.

      Thank you Hōne, a generous complement indeed. I have been genuinely humbled by the wonderful support this blog has received in recent months. It has gone on to become the third most viewed Te Papa blog ever! And in all fairness it has been patronised mostly by descendants of the Wineera/ Cootes (Kuti Te Kanawa) whanau. But in my mind that has truly been the reward. I’m inclined to think that if I had published it as an academic paper barely a descendant would have ever seen it. But as a blog it has been viewed more than 4500 times. Just awesome. No reira ano, mihi ana ki a koe e whai taima ki te panui i tenei korero poto mo era atu o nga reanga o Tainui, nō Mōtai tangata rau, ko Ngāti Toa te iwi, ko tona whakatauki ko Mango taringa tahi! Ko tetehi atu, ko nga uri o Toa Rangatira raua ko Turangapeke, he taonga hoa tu noa atu.
      Mauri ki a koe

  18. Hi Matiu,Very interesting reading,i have only in the last few months,found my 3x Great Grandparents,James and Eliza Cootes and 2x Great Grandparents Thomas and Francis Cootes and my Great Grandfather Reginald Tukiata Cootes at Rangiatea Cemetry.Was a very sentimental moment for my son and i.Learning about family connections is amazing.Thank you Matiu.

    1. Author

      Kia ora Amanda, how wonderful that you were able to reconnect with your Cootes heritage, and that this blog was in some way able to help in that journey too. The Cootes family have a long and colourful history on the Coast. My ancestor Thomas Cootes and your 2 x great-grandfather, James Tiapo Cootes, were brothers born two years apart (1838 and 1840 respectively) at Paremata Pa, where the Ngati Toa Domain now stands at Mana (the suburb, not the island), Porirua. My ancestor Thomas died young leaving only a daughter. James, or Hemi Tiapo, lived a long and good life leaving a large family. He was at one time the Police Constable at Otaki, a noted sportsman, and a wrestler of some renown. It is said he defeated the NZ wrestling champion in his day but was wasn’t awarded the title because he was Maori. He was a large and powerful man, like his father before him. Good Suffolk stock we are told. Best wishes Amanda.

  19. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos – true taonga. I am a descendant of Toa Rangatira through Waikauri and have been researching our whakapapa and the life of Te Rauparaha and others for some time and all these stories all add to the bigger picture. Wonderful. Thank you.

    1. Author

      You’re welcome Heather, thank you for your kind comments. The photographs belong to the [Ngati Toa] whanau and are only on loan for the exhibition. But the stories they tell are an important [art of the wider Ngati Toa narrative. Waukauri’s descendants are numerous among Porirua and the upper South Island communities, I hope you’ve been successful in locating yourself among this very distinguished descendant group. Mauri ora ki a koe, Matiu.

  20. Tena koe,

    Nga mihi nunui ki a koe!

    Ko Jett sharp toku ingoa. Ko etahi tangata o Te whanau cootes/hakaraia.

    Kia ora my great grandmother was Charlotte cootes, with her father being hemi tiapo cootes – this is a beautiful website and I am honoured to have found so much more of my whanau and whakapapa. My mother is helen hakaraia, the daughter of Lawton David hakaraia, who was Charlotte’s son.

    Thank you,


    Thank you!

    1. Author

      Kia ora Jett, thank you for your kind comment. I’m really glad you found the blog and enjoyed it so much. Kei te mihi.

  21. kia ora matiu. awsome korero and photos reminded me that i am a wineera/cootes/horomona as well.its the first photo i have seen of ria te uira.i thought i would put our line in.wineera te kanae/harata.ringi horomona/ria te uira.natanahira parata/oriwa horomona.nohorua parata/tapuhikura pokere.tutere parata/denise robertson,shannon toa parata me.its cool to see how much pride they took in their photo frames and their whanau.kei te mihi.shannon

    1. Author

      Kia ora Shannon, thank you I really pleased you enjoyed it. Awesome whakapapa Shannon! The photographs of the whanau pani at Natanahira’s tangi feature Ria Te Uira at the head of his coffin. They’re not great images of her, but she’s there! Enjoy.
      Nga mihi nui

  22. Tēnā koe e Matiu, ka nui te mihi mō te whakaaturanga o ngā kōrero me ngā whakaahua. He uri au o Hohepa Wineera. Kua kite ētehi o tōku whānau i tāu whakaaturanga, Ko te whakaaro o tētehi o ōku matua, ēhara ēnei kōrero mō te ipurangi! Tāku ki a ia, kua putaina te whakapapa/kōrero ki te ao, kua tuhituhi a pukapuka. I whakaāetia e ia. Kua kite ētehi o tōku whānau me te maia me te mīharo hoki. Tāku anō ki tōku matua ko te ao hangarau tēnei, tēnei taputapu o ngā ngai rangatahi mā, kei te kite, kei te ako tēnei reanga pēnei mai, puta noa i te ao. Ara hoki te ako whakapapa me ngā hononga o tātou. Anō nei te mihi 🙂 Big mihi Matiu, as I have said I come from Hohepa Wineera, my grandfather was Dodi Te Matoe Wineera. This blog has gained access to whakapapa and history of our people. Positive comments from my whanau. I’ve learnt and made connections from the whanau who have commented, mihi to you all. 🙂

    1. Author

      Tēnā koe e te whanaunga, kei te mihi atu ki a koe mo ou kupu pai, tautoko hoki. Timataria a Tamihana Te Rauparaha i tāna pukapuka tātaku i nga korero mō tōna pāpā mō Te Rauparaha, ka tuhituhia tēnei korero kei wareware! A, koia rā ka tuhituhia te kōrero nei kia mohio ai tātou ki a tātou i te ao nei, kia kore ai e ngaro atu i a matou ēnei korero pūrakau nō matou. Ka nui te mihi. Mauri ora ki a tatou katoa. Nā tou whanaunga pono. Nā Matiu

  23. Hi Matiu,
    Fantastic blog! And we share the same proud family history;
    1 James Cootes = Waitaoro Te Kanawa
    2 Wineera Te Kanae = Harata Cootes
    3 Wiremu Wineera = Waina Rihiata Reweti
    4 Wiremu Pere Wineera = Ruth Andrea Englebretsen
    5 Royden William Wineera = Colleen Vera Pikari
    6 Royden Pere Wineera (Me)

    Thanks for sharing. I’d love to add your Cootes/Baker line into our whakapapa family tree


    1. Author

      Kia ora Royden, e mihi ana ki a koe. Thanks for your kind words. Yes, please do add it to your mahi. Nga mihi, Matiu

    2. Arohamai Matiu,

      Nga mihi hoki ki a koe, mo tenei mahi rangatira. Ka pai.

      My whakapapa is the same as Royden’s except my dad was James Te Haunga Rihiata Wineera. The youngest brother of Ariki and Wiremu. Wiremu Pere and Waina Rihiata Wineera were my grandparents. When I received your blog, I couldnt wait to share it with the rest of my whanau. We were born and bred in Ngapuna, Rotorua. My dad married a Hona but her mother, my grandmother was a Heta. She was born in Otaki and eventually moved back to their hau kainga in Paraawera, Te Awamutu. Her name was Uri-kore Raiha Heta but her name was changed to Ngahuia Irihapeti Hona.
      Nga mihi e te whanaunga,

      na Irihapeti Wineera

    3. Author

      Tēnā koe Irihapeti
      Thank you for your kind words. There has been a great online response to the blog from the whanau. I’m really very grateful that it has been so well received by everyone, and so well shared! And special thanks Irihapeti for sharing your whakapapa. Our connection is that every Wineera is a Cootes, but you are twice blessed if you are Wineera and a Reweti-Cootes. Ngā mihi mahana ki a koe e te whanaunga. Matiu

  24. Thank you for the beautiful photos of my Whakapapa, my Grt. Grandparents HaniKamu Te Hiko and Grt. Grandmother Ngawaina. My koro was Hoehepa Wineera. My mother Te Ngongoro Piwari/nee Matenga was named after Wineera Te Kanae. So proud to have a beautiful whakapapa. Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories, aroha Ngawai live in Sydney Australia. Blessings.

    1. Author

      Kia ora Ngawai, you’re welcome and thank you for reading the blog; and for sharing your connection. Mihi nui ki a koe e hine

  25. Tena koe Matiu

    This is fantastic! A treasure trove of wonderful memories.

    1. Author

      Anō rā te mihi maioha ki a koe Rihia!

  26. Tena koe Matiu

    Fantastic blog. A treasure trove of wonderful memories.

    1. Author

      Tēnā koe Rihia, and thank you for your kind words. I really do appreciate it.
      Mauri ora ki a koe e whae

  27. I did see these taonga at Te Papa with my granddaughters, thank you for the history of my ancestors or tipuna, the portraits are amazing, I now know why our whanau are so close, I have three siblings from my mums second marriage Reweti – Cootes wow so blown away. Nga mihi kia koe.

    1. Author

      Kia ora Vicky, and thank you. I’m really pleased that you were able to visit the exhibition with your whanau; and that this blog has helped make a connection. Thank you for your kind words.
      Mihi nui ki a koe

  28. Thank yous for this beautiful insight into our whanau history. My grandfather was Wiremu Pere Wineera and my dads name was James Te Haunga Rihiata Wineera. Rihiata was his mothers name.was Waina Rihiata Reweti.
    So proud of my ancestry.

    1. Author

      Kia ora Irihapeti
      You’re welcome, and thank you for sharing your connection. It is such a rich heritage, you are privileged. Something to be very proud of indeed!
      Mauri ora ki a koe

  29. i have these photos and often wonderd who was who Many thanks for the enlightenment.Recently found Hanas grave stone in a small beautifull spot over looking the Porirua harbour.I wonderd where Haratas stone was ?and how she died ?

    1. Author

      Kia ora Alan
      How interesting, I wonder of these photographs you’re referring to? I have seen other copies of the Cazneau & Connolly studio portrait of James Tiapo Cootes & sisters about from time-to-time.
      Harata, or Charlotte, Cootes died on the 5 July 1878 and was buried at Otaki.
      Mihi nui ki a koe Alan

  30. Absolutely enjoyed reading the history of the WiNeera whanau. Beautiful photos to accompany the history. My grand mother was Te Kahurangi Kenny nee Parata from Takapuwahia. My mother Janie Edwards nee Kenny still lives in Takapuwahia as do a few of my siblings and their families.

    1. Author

      Kia ora Alvareta
      Thank you, I’m really gratified you enjoyed the blog. We are in fact related, I am a Parata through my grandmother, and a Cootes through my grandfather.
      Mihi nui

  31. Very well done
    I have research a lot on this.
    Te Aroha to Te Raupara
    The whalers around Kapiti and their relationship with iwi.
    My son is direct linked to Te Rauparaha by first wife who was taken and killed going to tangi while her man was down sth.
    My son is of the Taupo branch.
    Interesting also the turn of events from Church of england to morman in the Wineera timeline.
    part of history
    Royden has done some good work and has met my son in Qld.

    1. Author

      Thank you for your kind comments Peter. It’s great to hear about your son’s research into his tupuna, Te Rauparaha.
      Mihi nui

  32. Im wondering if its Hohepa (Temaihengia) Wineera in the main photo. If so, hes my Great great grand father

    1. Author

      Kia ora Justine
      Yes, I do recall someone once saying that he was named after Hohepa Tamaihengia. He’s more affectionately referred to as ‘Joe Pop’ by those who knew him, which I didn’t.
      Thank you Justine for taking the time to read the blog.
      Ngā mihi

  33. Ko Tainui te waka Hoturoa te Tangata,Pirongia me Maungatautari nga maunga,Puniu te awa Raukawa ki Wharepuhunga te Iwi Rawhitiroa no Owairaka Valley taku papakainga. This has blessed me beyond word,as I have been doing whakapapa research for myself and my moko’s, and since I have found a lot of info about this great Rangatira Te Rauparaha and knowing that my Tuupuna Koroua Whitipatato and TePaerata went down there

    1. Author

      Tēnā koe Te Ranginohoora, thank you for your comments, and good luck on your journey of research.
      Ngā mihi

    2. Tena koe Te Ranginohoora, ko koe, ko au. He whanaunga taua. I am blessed with not only my tupuna on my dad’s side but also my mums. A whakapapa that is so illustrious.
      My nan’s name was Urikore Raiha Heta, when my koro Witariana Te Ngatete Hona came to Parawera Te Awamutu with a Te Arawa ope and took my kuia by horse back. They were chased by Ngati Maniapoto and various other hapu members.
      They travelled through the Mangakino route back to Rotorua and reached the the Ngakuru Bluff where a group of Te Arawa were waiting for my koro and his ope. Te Aeawa on the bluff blew their putatara and told Waikato to “return lest they become kai in the ngawhas” The details are a bit vague but thats the story my aunty told me about my koro and kuia. Te Arawa eventually changed her name to Ngahuia Irihapeti Hona.

  34. Kia Ora whanau..
    Thankyou so much for this beautiful history
    On our whanau..
    I feel very blessed to carry our Great Nanny’s Name.. Ngawaina
    I carry it with pride..
    Much blessing’s..

    1. Author

      Thanks Ngawaina, it really is a name to be carried with great pride. She is very fondly remembered at Takapuwahia and Waiwhetu. Thanks you for your kind comments. Mihi nui. Matiu

  35. Thanks for this fascinating glimpse of the origins of family and place names in my local area (Elsdon, Takapuwahia)

    1. Author

      Thank you Pam, I’m glad you enjoyed the blog.
      Ngā mihi

    2. Hi Pam, can you please get in touch with me at This is in regards to Shackle Lane. Cheers. Carlo

  36. Many thanks for sharing these wonderful images and your whanau history. Thinking of how family survives through the generations in the complex way you describe, I thought of the proverb He kapiti hono, he tatai hono (That which is joined together becomes an unbroken line). Is that applicable?

    1. Author

      Kia ora Pamela, yes I suppose it is, it was something that was designed in this case by our elders. I think those relationships, and especially in relation to significant events as in this story, had real meaning for them. When recounting the story for the blog I couldn’t help but be struck by the historical immensity of it for us as Ngāti Toa. When I think of my Wineera cousins I am always reminded of it. Indeed, I cannot think of them without revisiting these stories. These events helped define our extended families identity within the wider Ngāti Toa historical narrative.
      Thanks again Pamela for taking the time to read the blog and comment

    1. Author

      They are! Thank you Vera

  37. how lovely the photographs are thank you… great way off giving us interesting history! thanks..

    1. Author

      Thank you Adele

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