Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Honiana Te Puni Te Āti Awa

Papakainga

Portrait of Te Puni

Honiana Te Puni, the eldest son of Rerewha-i-te-rangi and Puku, belonged to Ngāti Te Whiti and Ngāti Tawhirikura hapū of Te Ati Awa. His wife was Wikitoria Muri-tu-waka-roto and they had seven children.

With his uncle, Raua-ki-tua, he escaped Taranaki invaders attacking Rewarewa Pa by leaping from the cliff into the Waiwhakaiho River. He thus acquired the name Te Puni-kokopu.

He and Te Wharepouri, were involved in the defence of Pukerangiora pa, the battle against the Waikato at Motunui (about 1822) and they also made contact with Jacky Love and Dicky Barrett (around 1828). Te Puni visited Sydney in the Tohora in 1828.

Following the defence of Otaka Pa, 1831, Te Puni with many Te Ati Awa, migrated to Waikanae in the heke Tama-te-uaua. Te Puni cultivated at Te Koanga-a-umu, near Porirua, then moved to Okiwi and Palliser Bay.

With his people he spent time in Wairarapa, moved back to Matiu (1836) and was then invited by Matangi and Te Manihera to take up residence at Pito-one.

Te Puni and Te Wharepouri boarded the Tory, 20 September 1839, indicated the boundaries of land, and, with others, signed a deed of purchase on 27 September 1839 with the New Zealand Company. He also signed the Treaty of Waitangi at Port Nicholson on 29 April 1840.

Te Puni and Wi Tako were friendly with the settlers, and after the Boulcott farm incident were issued with 100 muskets to help keep peace. Te Puni became a friend of Governor Grey and the settlers, but later protested against Donald McLean’s purchase of the Waitara block. He died 5 December 1870.

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DigitalNZ

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Honiana Te Puni on DigitalNZ


Images

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General Links

Biographical overview

Below you'll find two encyclopaedia entries for Te Ati Awa chief Honiana Te Puni, published 24 years apart — one in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock, and one published in 1990 in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography by Angela Ballara. Both are made available through Te Ara — The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Puni's signature on the Treaty

"Henry Williams, who had translated the Treaty of Waitangi into Māori, sailed from the Bay of Islands on 2 April 1840 with two Māori-language copies of the document. He left one with his brother William Williams at Tūranga (Gisborne) on 8 April. He arrived at Port Nicholson (Wellington) in mid-April, but for 10 days could not persuade chiefs to sign. A meeting was finally arranged on the schooner Ariel on 29 April, when 39 chiefs signed" (NZHistory.net)

See Te Puni's signature

On the library site

Here are some resources related to Te Puni that the library has provided digital transcriptions of to make available online:


Books


Newspaper articles

Papers Past

From the National Library of New Zealand's Papers Past database (pertaining to the death of Honiana Te Puni).


Letters & Manuscripts

Donald McLean Papers

Donald McLean (1820-1877) was an influential figure in mid-19th century New Zealand history. He was a dominant figure in relations between Māori and the Government during this tumultuous period These letters are from the Donald McLean Papers, and are pertaining to land issues.

Letter from Te Puni to McLean, 7 Feb 1851

Letter from Te Puni to McLean, 7 Feb 1851

Letter written from Pitoone. 2 pages written 7 Feb 1851 by Honiana Te Puni-kokopu in Petone to Sir Donald McLean, related to Te Ati Awa.

Alexander Turnbull Library. Reference Number: MS-Papers-0032-0675B-03. Object #1032023

Letter from Te Honiana Puni to McLean and George Grey  (with translation), 12 Oct 1852

Letter from Te Honiana Puni to McLean and George Grey (with translation), 12 Oct 1852

Letter regarding land and local issues and includes contemporary translation and explanation of context by McLean. 7 pages, related to Sir George Grey, Honiana Te Puni-kokopu, Petone and Te Ati Awa.

Alexander Turnbull Library. Reference Number: MS-Papers-0032-0676E-01. Object #1030003

Letter from Te Puni to McLean, 15 Sep 1851

Letter from Te Puni to McLean, 15 Sep 1851

Letters written from Pitoone. 2 pages written 15 Sep 1851 by Honiana Te Puni-kokopu in Petone to Sir Donald McLean, related to Te Ati Awa.

Alexander Turnbull Library. Reference Number: MS-Papers-0032-0675H-09. Object #1032903

Letter from Honiana Te Puni to McLean, 16 Oct 1863

Letter from Honiana Te Puni to McLean, 16 Oct 1863

1 page, related to Honiana Te Puni-kokopu, Te Ati Awa.

Alexander Turnbull Library. Reference Number: MS-Papers-0032-0687E-05. Object #1032780

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